Thursday 4 February 2010

Moderation is the key to doing nothing

Thank God we have a responsible Premier here in Manitoba. Faced with a looming $592m deficit, our trusty Premier is committed to taking bold action though rigourous moderation:

"We're looking for moderation from everybody given the times," Selinger said. "Moderation is going to be a watchword going forward on things like collective bargaining. "We'll be looking to negotiate moderate collective agreements that recognize the limitations that we have fiscally." -fp-
Hey, I think I know what the word of the day is!

Gone (or at least postponed) are the days when we will sign collective agreements that guarantee our civil servants are the fourth highest paid in the land, in spite of our low cost of living. Say "hello" to the new moderate Manitoba, where collective agreements will be signed that restrict our government workers to a woeful increase of only 3 times the rate of inflation. Hey, it isn't pretty, but everybody has to feel the pinch!

But why stop there! The fiscal policy team at AWAP has formulated other moderate policies that we believe Greg Selinger should consider:

1. Wait for federal transfer payments to increase. C'mon Ottawa! Every other year the NDP has over spent you've been there to bail us out with windfall increases to equalization or other transfers. Don't let us down this time! We can only run a deficit for one year!

2. Smile and look happy.

3. Do nothing and hope the problem goes away.

For those of you radical right-wingers who believe we should attempt to spend within our means, freeze civil service wages, or trim the fat in our bloated bureaucracy: Shame on you! What are you trying to do? Ruin our economy? You should know that government spending is the engine that drives the Manitoba economy, and if we take our foot off the gas pedal we'll grind to a halt. Cutting spending is the last thing we should do!

Plus, if there's anything that Selinger has learned from Gary Doer, it's to not do anything that makes you look mean. Things like laying off a worker, or cutting down a tree on the east side of Lake Winnipeg. Selinger has to be especially diligent because he is not as adept at grinning as Gary Doer was. Oh that grin ... How it could always make us feel good. How I miss that grin ...

(sorry for the crappy graphic. I had time limitations and only MS Paint at my disposal)


Anonymous said...

When Filmon ran the province, he cut spending and over time paid the ultimate political price in a province that is dependent on transfer payments and government spending. Here's what Selinger should do: Just spend, baby. If you have to borrow, borrow. Give the public-sector unions big raises, announce new spending, expand programs. Change the law regarding deficits. Tell people it's unreasonable. They'll agree and vote for you. When the debt someday is unmanageable, say in five or ten years, look to Ottawa for a bail-out package. They'll pay it, don't worry. Remember, when you owe 10 bucks it's your problem, when you owe billions it's someone else's problems. Mark my word, Ottawa will bail you out, Greg Selinger. Just spend, baby, just spend. LOL

cherenkov said...

@anon1: That's the spirit!

@anon2: Yikes. We had better put on our tin foil hats ASAP to protect ourselves.

Anonymous said...

Filmon ran deficits, Mulroney ran deficits, Harper is running deficits - Bush and Reagan ran the largest deficits in American history - I dont think I have ever met a Conservative who spends within his means.

Govt spending? What the hell do you think Harper and Obama are doing?

Transfer payments? How much are those Olympics in BC costing Canadian tax payers? Did Filmon ever receive transfer payments? Who originally negotiated transfer payments on behalf of Manitoba? Duff Roblin - Conservative. I guess the "moderate" voters of Manitoba must just piss you off eh?

cherenkov said...

Wow, all these questions ...

Bush Jr wasn't a conservative. I don't know what he was, but certainly not a fiscal conservative.

Harper probably couldn't have avoided a deficit (having cut the GST, which was not wise) however the stimulus spending is largely due to pressure from the opposition.

Filmon did receive transfer payments, and those transfers were slashed during his last term, and he took action to deal with that. You might remember it. If not, I'm sure the nurse's union will remind you next election.

The Olympics? What? I don't know. Does it matter? If it does, we should have thought about that when we bid for the games. Hmm, who was the PM then?

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