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The important thing about budget commentary is to consider who is making it. One would naturally expect the party in power to paint a budget in glowing terms and the party in opposition to pan it. However, if a person really did want an unbiased opinion, they should seek out a well-informed neutral observer (and probably more than one). This would allow any interested person to come to their own conclusions and those conclusions would be of real value as long as one was able to keep an open mind.
For example, Don Drummond (a person who, I would think , is respected by all sides) stated a few days ago that, in his view, the budget was detailed, used realistic assumptions, maintained contingency factors, used reasonable revenue projections and showed a real commitment to modest spending increases and that all of these points gave credibility to the goal of balancing the budget by 2017-18 .
There is no doubt that we are in tough economic times. This truth is exacerbated by the fact that these tough times are much harder on some than on others For the last 35 years, probably,Canadians have balked at paying higher taxes which has contributed both to increasing government debt and to infrastructure deficit. The recent economic recession combined with our current stagnating economy has really put the icing on the cake.
As well, we also have to look at the purpose of deficit spending. Moving an economy forward requires investment. For example, a student invests in an education with the hope that, using the knowledge they have learned, they will be able to pay off the debt and be the better for it. Governments should be (and I believe are) taking the same view and therefore should be held to account for the things they invest in.
In the meantime, though, we must also maintain some minimum living standard for all because that in itself will save money in the future.
We must also remember that to a certain extent, all governing bodies are at the mercy of external conditions. They all crow when things are good and cast blame when things are bad but in reality they are driving a vehicle after dark with poor lights and one that has (at least somewhat) unresponsive brakes and steering. - and they have 100 people telling them what to do. "Turn right!" "Turn left.!" "Stop!" "Go!".
Finally (to fully show my own bias) it is my view that Kathleen Wynne is doing just about as good a job as anybody could, given the circumstances. As well, she doesn't appear to me to have any particular hidden agenda, a kind of a "What you see iswhat you get." politician. Since life is full of risks, I have to admit that there is a risk factor in supporting Kathleen. However, personally, I am not yet ready to "throw the baby out with the bathwater". I am willing to wait and see "what the morning will bring" and suggest that others do so as well.

Bill Moses, CFO,

Provincial Liberal Association of Bruce-Grey-Owen Sound

 

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