On deficits & balanced budgets

All it took was for Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau to state he would not be tied to balancing the federal budget at the expense of Canadians’ standard of living and budgets and deficits become the hot-button-issue.

For the record, here is how the three parties yesterday articulated their stance on balancing the federal books.

Justin Trudeau said:

  • “Although the Liberal party continues to be the party that is committed to balancing the budget and making sure we maintain fiscal responsibility and discipline, how many years it takes to balance that budget is what we will be talking about in the coming days and weeks.”
  • “He [Prime Minister Stephen Harper] needs to come clean with Canadians which promises he’s made are now off the table because of his commitment to balance the budget in a recession, which will take the money out of pockets of Canadians and quite frankly, his poor economic policy in a time of recession. You just have to look at recent history. Conservatives run deficits, Liberals know how to grow the budget into balance.”
  • “The way to grow out of deficits is through economic growth, through investing in Canadians. That is how you avoid structural deficits. You just have to look at recent history. Conservatives run deficits, Liberals know how to grow the budget into balance.”

Chrystia Freeland, Liberal MP said:

  • “Thomas Mulcair’s phony rhetoric is a mirage. He’s siding with Harper in favour of austerity instead of investment, jobs, and growth. Thomas Mulcair talks a lot about looking out for average Canadians, but his only path to a balanced budget so quickly is massive cuts and backing away from the NDP’s spending promises. The choice in this election is between jobs and growth or austerity and cuts. Thomas Mulcair made the wrong choice.”

John McCallum, Liberal MP said:

  • “Stephen Harper told Canadians in the 2008 election there was no recession, only to admit the truth right after the election. He’s doing the same thing again now. Just as in his PMO scandal with Mike Duffy, Stephen Harper is not telling Canadians the truth. He cannot be trusted. Canadians have had enough. We need a new government and a new plan to grow this economy.”

NDP Leader Thomas Mulcair said:

  • “We’ve been categorical. We will not be running a deficit. No, we will not be entertaining any thought of that. Our choices are different from Mr Harper’s. We will not be running a deficit.”

Andrew Thomson, NDP candidate and the Party’s financial “star” said:

  • “Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau “isn’t up to the job.” We’ve had eight straight deficits under Stephen Harper and now Justin Trudeau is promising to run many more. The Conservative fiscal and economic policies have taken us into debt and recession. Liberal inconsistencies show that they don’t know how to fix Stephen Harper’s damage to our economy. While Tom Mulcair has been clear that our first budget will be balanced, Justin Trudeau can’t make up his mind. That’s not the kind of change that Canadians are looking for in Ottawa.”

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Stephen Harper said:

  • “Justin Trudeau now says, now that’s he’s realized that budgets won’t balance themselves, he says he’s just given up trying. He’s just going to run deficits all the time anyway. And we know what the NDP plan is. They say they’ll balance the budget but the real plan is they will bring in an avalanche of tax increases that in theory will balance the budget and in reality wreck the economy.”
  • “Since first taking office we have been focused on our plan to support jobs and economic growth. We have lowered taxes and made key investments to help small- and medium-sized businesses expand and hire.”
  • “Justin thinks budgets balance themselves, but small business owners know otherwise. Thomas Mulcair’s plan to hike taxes and pile on debt will create economic chaos, putting Canadian workers and small businesses at risk. Our low-tax plan is helping create jobs and move Canada’s economy forward.”

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