Driving home today and listening to CBC Radio I caught a curious and severely conflicting story, which highlights the out-of-touch(esness) of politics and otherwise in the current Canadian political and business climate.
This seems to have been a rather steady flow the past little while.
One segment discussed the release of poll results by the ‘respected’ firm Angus-Reid: Canadians Want Budget to Help the Jobless, Ease Pain at the Pump.
Apparently, according to a poll of 1000 Canadians (I’m sure it was representative of all homes…):
Respondents across the country prefer balancing the budget to increasing spending by a 3-to-1 margin.
Many Canadian adults think the federal government is right to reduce spending, but more than two thirds are calling for measures that would help the unemployed and reduce the price of gas across the country, a new Angus Reid Public Opinion poll conducted in partnership with the Toronto Star has found.
In the online survey of a representative national sample of 1,007 Canadian adults, half of respondents (51%) expect the budget that will be tabled by Finance Minister Jim Flaherty this week to focus primarily on spending cuts and fiscal restraint.
Three-in-five Canadians (61%) believe the federal government should try to balance the budget, even if it means reduced spending on services, while 21 per cent would opt to increase spending, even if it means continued budget deficits.
So… if there is apparently 60% of Canadians that believe the federal government should “balance the budget”… how many actually know what it means to “balance the budget”?
… let alone what a ‘balanced budget’ is?
(and I don’t mean this rudely to those who assume a balanced budget is a GREAT thing…)
(that’s that old marketing is everything, everything is marketing…thing).
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Well…a balanced budget is not really all that different than a household budget.
A ‘balanced budget’ simply means there is no surplus or deficit at year end.
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But what about the overall debt that Canada carries?
Well… a balanced budget means there’s $0 left over at the end of the year. That means $0 to pay down the massive debt load that we already carry.
The Canadian Taxpayers Federation suggests yours and my share is a good solid $17,000 each… or so.
For a grand total debt of a little under $600 billion or so… (if i’m counting the zeros right?)
So how much of that debt gets paid down within a ‘balanced’ budget?
Well… the same amount that your credit card debt gets paid down if you have $0 left over at the end of the month…
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And what’s getting snuck in at the back-end of tomorrow’s federal “Harper Government” budget is a potential gutting of the Environmental Assessment legislation and the Fisheries Act.
Is this in line with federal NDP suggestions that these guttings of environmental legislation are for: “Stephen Harper’s friends”?
Please show us how gutting environmental legislation, meaning delaying the costs of things like climate change, habitat destruction and so on, to mine and your kids’ generations — makes sense in the long run?
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And come on polling companies… and politicians… let’s not fog over the tough reality in Canada right now.
We have a serious issue with literacy and numeracy.
Wonder why there’s such an issue with voter turn-out…?
Well, one is that politicians generally spew little more than platitudes and B.S. simply to appease a fickle ‘voting’ public, which is quickly approaching less than 50% of the Canadian population. (worse in Provincial elections)
The other half of the population is struggling to read recommended doses of cough syrup medication required for their children’s cold…
….and figuring out how they can improve their numeracy to deal with day-to-day realities of mortgages, credit card debt, and whatever ‘low-interest’ (high penalty) credit deal Canadian banks and otherwise have been handing out…
(those same institutions then bitching about the high Canadian household debt load… See Bank of Montreal economist headlines today)
(… those same institutions who handed them – Canadian households – that debt in the first place… you two-faced, talk out of all sides of your mouth, rolling in profit institutions…)
Now unfortunately, Canadians largely have a menu that consists of a main dish of bullshit (farmed GMO), with a hefty side order of green salad bullshit (sponsored by Monsanto), and a fine drink sponsored by your ‘multi-national’, transnational, conglomerate, (once Canadian, but now foreign bought out company) (not to mention, once Canadian, but now foreign-owned grown in Canada hops and wheat, in turn fermented in a once-owned Canadian beverage).
Yes… I’m sure the budget coming tomorrow is all about “middle-class Canadians”…