Why Is Justin Trudeau Spending like a Drunken Sailor?
At the end of 2017, Maclean’s published an excellent analysis piece which provides a financial view of where Canada is sitting at the beginning of a new year. For this article, I will focus on Justin Trudeau’s out of control spending habits.
The chart above is part of an extremely informative snapshot of how the Federal government has been hemorrhaging money with no end in sight. Here’s a list of all Canadian Parliaments to cross reference against the Federal debt numbers.
Let’s do some analysis: The Liberals starting with Lester B. Pearson (1963) and ending with Turner (1984) (minus of course Joe Clark’s six month blip in 1979) successively started to dramatically raise the Federal debt. Brian Mulroney (1984–93) continued this upward, steady climb of federal debt. Jean Chrétien took over from 1993–2003 and with some soul searching and Paul Martin’s help, finally slayed the deficit and turned the beast around in 1997. Former Finance Minister Martin accomplished this by cutting transfer payments to the provinces and the larger than forecast federal revenue. (Personally, I liked Paul Martin and I thought he was good for the country. But my beef and point of these writings is really with Justin Trudeau and where he’s taking Canada.) Steven Harper was elected in 2006 and of course was replaced in 2015. He was continuing the path of successive government surpluses when a little thing called the Great Global Recession came along in 2008. Harper is widely credited with having positioned Canada to a point of a somewhat soft economic landing but plenty of credit is due to Chretien/Martin for turning the head of the ship around in the first place. It is normal and sound economic policy to go into deficit spending mode during times of great economic downturn or in time of war.
As illustrated in the chart above, there was a sharp Federal deficit starting in 2008–09 to deal with the immediate effects of the recession in Canada. This was followed by a swift return to a surplus balance in his last year in office. Despite having weathered the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression, Harper leveled out the debt in 2013 holding steady to 2015.
Now focus on Trudeau’s tenure in office and his spending. We’re not at war and not in a global recession but his deficit numbers are increasing dramatically and the projections from his finance minister don’t show any decrease any time soon especially with an election looming in a couple of years.
The Prime Minister and Finance Minister Bill Morneau are spending like we are in a Golden Age when we are not. Canadians seriously need to ask if we can afford another term in office from Justin Trudeau’s Liberals.