Sunday, March 25, 2012

What the federal budget will say, and what it really means...cue Carlin

When Thursday rolls around Canadians will be finding out exactly what kind of government a minority of some 40% of us chose.  In  point of fact it might be well under 40%, depending on how many Canadians were sent to non-existant polling stations which might just have boosted Conservative numbers a tad. 

Isn't Floridahhhhh...errr I mean Canada great?

We're being told that the budget will focus on certain areas or themes.  Of course they'll positioned with nice flowery language, employing plenty of double speak, something politicians do very well.

In the interest of clarity here's my take on what we'll be hearing and what the actual impact will be.

  • Support for innovation and research
Sounds nice, but let's call it what it really is okay?  Corporate welfare.  Tax credits designed to ensure this nations wealthiest business pay even less in taxes than they already are.  Adam Smith preached the profit motive, companies competing against each other, researching and innovating to better their chances of survival.  Now we've got the corporate nanny state looking to hold big business' hand.
  • Overhauling of regulations for resource development. 
Again this sounds positive.  An overhaul is a good thing right?  Every machine needs an overhaul for it to keep running.  But what it really means in this case is allowing resource companies to avoid annoying things like environmental impact studies.  We'll find out how the environment was impacted by pipelines, mines and oil sands projects after the money has been made.
  • Investing in training and opportunity
Now who could argue with that?  Well folks, sorry to say it just sounds like more corporate welfare to me.  "Ya know those people you were going to hire?  We'll letcha stick taxpayers with their training costs.  Your business gets skilled workers to help you make even more $$$$, and you don't have to invest a dime.  Why invest your own capital when the government can stick it to Joe and Jane Sixpack"?

And finally the biggest bone job of them all: 
  • Insuring the long-term sustainability of major social programs like Old Age Security
Oh boy.  To sustain social programs we're gonna have to cut benefits and/or raise the eligibility criteria.  But you boomers nearing retirement don't have to worry, you guys vote and there are a s*** ton of you, so we're gonna stick your kids and grand kids with the bill.

For a primer on political double speak I give you the late great George Carlin:

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