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Let’s Not Be Duped Again By Deficit Hawks Peddling Austerity

Originally published at http://www.commondreams.org/views/2020/05/20/lets-not-be-duped-again-deficit-hawks-peddling-austerity

Harper ran deficits 6 of his 8 years in power. The only surpluses where in the first two years after they inherited a 13.8 Billion dollar surplus from the prior Government.

His deficits did little to improve Canada overall as next to nothing was invested in infrastructure.

I too am hearing more and more of these deficit hawks on radio talk shows talking about the need to gut spending by Governments and making sure major Corporations can generate profits. Yeah same old song and dance , lets make it easier for the rich and harder for the poor.


Regarding deficits in the US, as you know, we have a non-stop kabuki show playing on repeat.

Our show features the added entertainment of 2 supposedly oppositional parties both preaching austerity based on the unsustainability of a huge national debt.

In fact, if the 2 parties are opposed to anything, it’s reality:

We don’t have that threatened inflation – we’re actually experiencing deflation.
Government borrowing hasn’t crowded out corporate borrowing – we’ve had near ZIRP for a decade.
And the Fed has publicly announced that it will buy all new federally issued debt.

Yet Nancy “Paygo” Pelosi will lie in our faces…Her goal can only be to block progressive programs.


Although this article is about Canada, it is uncanny how well it also applies to the U.S.
Plus, the so-called “budget hawks” are the ultimate hypocrites: they are the ones who supported the tRump/Republican tax cut for the rich back in 2017. That law will make the long-term deficit MUCH larger.

US “deficit hawks” (ever since I first worked on a political campaign in 1962) echo Dubya regime VP Cheney’s sentiment that “deficits don’t matter” whenever corporate welfare is on the table, especially for the biggest corporate welfare recipient, the military industrial media infotainment complex (MIMIC).

Whenever “domestic programs” that benefit the 99% are on the table, those “hawks” whine like swine on the slaughter house ramp.


Are there differences between the NDP and Trudeau on austerity?

Mulcair, leader of theNDP, went as with the Harperites into 2015 federal election saying the NDP would support ongoing austerity measures like Harper’s should he win. Needless to say, his base (people like me who also knew that he is a party hopper and started his career as a conservative) rejected him and Harper both in the 2015 election. The NDP went from Party of the Opposition to nearly wiped out. That left the field for Trudeau’s Liberals to canvas to the left of both and came from being (at the time), the smallest party other than Greens in parliament, to his huge majority even getting seats in Alberta. Mulcair was made to step down and Jagmeet Singh replaced him as party leader and ran to the left again. It is the NDP who, with support from the Bloc Quebecois and Greens, pushed for the financial help for all of us during this pandemic. It didn’t hurt that Trudeau has only a minority government this time.

So, I don’t think the NDP party will be going for austerity again like then if they would like to do a repeat of being at the very least, the opposition in the next elections if not the PM’s party. Whatever party aside from the Cons also make austerity part of their policies may not do well either. Canadians do not wish to see further erosion of our social safety nets, especially medical/health or sciences!!! (Harper is a religious fundementalist who does not believe in sciences like many in the US)

Another thing about Canadian federal elections: there is no corporate or union funding and is strictly kept to donations from private individuals with set limits. (Back room deals of course do occur as it leaks out every so often).


An addendum: I did vote for my local NDP Member of Parliament (MP) though because in Canada, we don’t vote for Prime Ministers, just the members in our ridings.

Thank you for that lisemarie. Very interesting and useful. Glad the NDP is more or less back on track. I’ll hope for Trudeau, barring an outright NDP victory, which would be best, to get another razor thin margin and have to rely on NDP votes. Do I have that about right?

Yep. Though it depends a lot on whether Trudeau is kept on as leader of the Liberals and also contingent on his ongoing grip to successfully deal with this crisis (these crises?) to the end and how well the Canadian citizens rate his actions.

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Gee, who knew that Canadians have their town criers, clutching at the pearls yelling about “austerity”. When what they truly mean is “austerity” for the masses and welfare for the rich and corporate - or is that part “just American made”.

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Muclair should never have been in the NDP. He was a just another Centrist Politician that claimed he was NDP for the sake of convenience. His tenure and that wing he brought with him was a disaster for the party.

We had much the same here in BC with the Old Social Credit party. They were way over to the right and got wiped out one election. All of its members then decided they would join the Liberal party instead and now the Liberal party is way over to the right.

I want the old NDP back. The one of Tommy Douglas and David Lewis.


Unmentionable - There are but the fact that the NDP believe the austerity myth is sad & frustrating. The Federal Rate of Corporate Taxation has fallen from 49% in 1948 on profits greater than $250,000.00 to today’s 15% on profits greater than one million is the reason. How can this be? In 1987 Ms. McQuaig wrote a book entitled," Behind Closed Doors - How The Rich Won Control of Canada’s Tax System…And Ended Up Richer" Viking Press. Today in Canada, 001% of the adult population receive and own 70% of the wealth and profits. That’s not a scandal…that’s a crime. There is no need for austerity measures or the cutting of Government of Canada social programmes. The problem today is a concentration of the corporate owned media and the resulting bias in the that same media. Back in 1987 American Professors Noam Chomsky and Edward Herman wrote a book entitled," Manufacturing Consent" which went into great detail “how the population” is not getting all the news fit to print. In 1995 the national Film Board of Canada produced a documentary entitled " Manufacturing Consent." Propaganda is what’s being printed today by the Corporate owners of the media. . I encourage you to take-out the DVD from your local Library and watch the documentary. There is a direct line…between the newspaper box…and the ballot box…and the bread box…and the pine box.
Mr. Blair M. Phillips

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One of the circumstances that see Canadian Corporate tax rates lowered is of course those “Free trade deals”. In entering those deals the Canadian Government is saying “These Corporations must now compete on the world stage with competitors in the USA and Mexico”.

Well guess what. If the tax rates on Corporate profits lower in those other Countries then there the demand to lower Canadian tax rates so as “to remain competitive”.

Those that signed on to NAFTA knew this would be the case from the get go. When they entered that agreement and when they enter into others like that , they know before they sign their names to the paper that the Corporations will demand lower taxes and de-regulations and they know when they sign their name to that paper that they will in time accede to those demands.

The union members that were opposed to that agreement knew this as well but the Corporate owned media droned their voices out in proclaiming it would be great for Canada because imports of STUFF would be cheaper.

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Thanks Blair. So I take it the NDP isn’t proposing a rise in the corporate tax rate? How do they accept the austerity myth? Honest question.

Hi Suspira! That’s what I meant when we all knew he was a party hopper. After all, we know that Harper tried hard to woo him to run for the Cons again, but Mulcair wanted to be a big fish. Now he lost it all, politically - no reputation left, demoted!

Yes I agree very much - let’s bring back the Tommy Douglas/David Lewis/ Dave Broadbent NDP party back, even if we need to re-rebrand, CCF! Have to say I really liked Dave Barrett’s feistiness when he was premier of BC. Too bad he went over to the dark side with Pattison. (I apologize to those of you to whom this means nada). But still happy to live on the Island with the rest of us Dippers here.


Keep it coming. We literally never hear anything about all this is the U.S.

It’s alright. We’re not shocked. America takes all the airspace/paper space/spacespace available so it’s no wonder few know about other countries. It’s easy to be lost in all that bloviating gas coming from your gov’t, corps, and regular media. Our institutional hot air is not quite able to float beyond that even though bought and paid for by the same institutions globally.

let us not be duped by the austerity promoted by BOTH political establishments–which is in reality the give the rich everything and to hell with everyone else programs practiced religiously for decades by our politicians