SQUANDERED INHERITANCE: Stephen Harper Handed Justin Trudeau A Balanced Budget & A Strong Economy. Budget 2019 Shows Trudeau Has Totally Ruined It.
Spencer Fernando, exclusive to the National Citizens Coalition
After the hated carbon tax, destructive regulations, and broken balanced budget promise, what does our country have to show for it?
When Stephen Harper left the Prime Minister’s Office, he handed Justin Trudeau a $1.9 billion budget surplus.
And, while Trudeau and much of the establishment media claimed Canada was in a recession in 2015, it turns out that wasn’t the case, something even CBC had to admit in an article posted in May of 2016:
“Canada's economy expanded by 0.9 per cent last year, but there were wide differences across the country. Statistics Canada released final numbers for 2015 on Thursday that showed the economy expanded in seven provinces, but shrank in Alberta, Saskatchewan and Newfoundland and Labrador.”
Let’s take a moment to really think about this.
The economy had contracted in the first two months of 2015. Yet, it finished the year with positive growth. That means it was gaining strength as the year ended – meaning Trudeau was given an even stronger economy than the statistics showed.
The budget was balanced, a year ahead of schedule.
So, it is simply a fact that Stephen Harper handed Justin Trudeau a growing economy and a balanced budget.
And what has Justin Trudeau done with that strong economic inheritance?
He’s totally squandered it.
Canada’s economy is slowing down. Debt has reached record highs. There are endless deficits, with no plan to get back into balance. Taxes are up. Investment is fleeing the country. Canadians are pessimistic.
Our energy sector is facing an existential struggle – not because of a global downturn, but because Justin Trudeau’s regulations are strangling the construction of pipelines and devastating the industry.
His hated carbon tax has sent a signal to investors that Canada is ‘closed for businesses,’ and is gouging already-overtaxed Canadians.
The reality is that we are now in a worse economic position than we were in 2015.
And that’s despite tens of billions of dollars in deficits, deficits that the Trudeau Liberals chose to run.
This was supposed to be the year that the Liberals balanced the books. The deficit was never supposed to be bigger than $10 billion per year. That was a core part of Justin Trudeau’s campaign message in the last federal election.
Instead, that promise was betrayed, and we’re looking at endless budget deficits.
According to the budget document itself, here are the projected budget deficits going forward:
2018-2019 - $14.9 billion
2019-2020 - $19.8 billion
2020-2021 - $19.7 billion
2021-2022 - $14.8 billion
2022-2023 - $12.1 billion
2023-2024 - $9.8 billion
And that assumes we can even trust what the government says about deficits. Given their constant lies, the real numbers are likely to be far worse.
What have we gotten for all that spending?
What can we expect to get for those deficits in the future?
Nothing but added debt.
Even the parts of the economy that have temporarily looked good fall apart upon further inspection.
While the government touted the recent jobs numbers, it turns out that actual hours worked have been going down, and in many recent months, wages are falling behind the rate of inflation, meaning Canadians are getting poorer and life is getting more and more expensive.
And the trend isn’t good. The economy is slowing, and there are growing warnings of a looming recession.
That’s another essential point of contrast between the economic management of the Harper government and the failed ‘management’ of the economy under Trudeau.
Harper managed to grow the economy even as federal spending was being held in check.
Trudeau is managing to weaken the economy despite recklessly throwing money around (which should at least have created a temporary burst of growth), which is quite an ‘accomplishment’ in a negative sense.
Trudeau has also been operating within a growing world economy and a surging United States, while Harper dealt with a horrendous global downturn and an anemic US economy.
Justin Trudeau can’t blame his failing economic policies on Harper.
The more problems Justin Trudeau faces, the more he blames Stephen Harper.
He talks about Harper more than he talks about anybody else.
Yet, Trudeau can’t blame his failing economic policies on Stephen Harper.
Because as we’ve clearly seen above, Justin Trudeau was given a great economic inheritance when he took office. He’s proceeded to ruin it, squander it, and waste tens of billions of dollars in the process.
He betrayed his promises to Canadians, he betrayed our economic future, and he has left us with nothing to show for all our misspent tax dollars.
Budget 2019 is a litany of desperate spending promises and endless deficits. But it is more than that. It’s a confirmation of how massively Justin Trudeau has failed on the economy, and it’s yet another reason why he must be defeated.
Spencer Fernando is an Election Fellow for the National Citizens Coalition. For more from Spencer, visit his website, and follow him on Facebook and Twitter.
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