So, here’s Canadian federal minister Stockwell Day’s challenge as printed in a Canadian Press article today:
Treasury Board President Stockwell Day told reporters the upcoming budget will begin laying out specific areas where the Conservatives will rein in public spending. “What we have to do is send the signal out that we realize that, just as families can’t take on debt indefinitely . . . they expect the government to do the same,” said Day. “What you’ll see with Minister Flaherty in the budget is the beginning of this road map. You’ll see some of the specifics; other areas that will be more general (is) where we’ll want ongoing input from Canadians.”
In a cabinet shuffle last month, Day was appointed to head the Treasury Board, where he is overseeing the government’s belt-tightening efforts. On Wednesday morning, Day met with public-sector union leaders, who have expressed concern the government will scale back the generous pensions of federal public servants.
It bears repeating: The problem with big government is that it only gets bigger. No government has proved successful reining in public spending…. Stockwell Day is just the latest in a long string of political hachet-men who talk a good, tough talk but in the end will likely wield a very dull axe. I would love to be proved wrong here – and we will know better what the initial stand of this federal government will be with its budget address on March 4.
Having said that, I believe I can be forgiven for my skepticism given the Harper’s Government record on government spending. Today, we have the largest, most expensive federal government in the history of our country. It is growing at an alarming rate. Hence, the By George “Big Government” lament:
Onward Day and Flaherty and Prime Minister Harper! May you surprise all of us!