Canada: Kelly McParland: There's an election coming — get set for a blast of austerity alarmism - PressFrom - Canada
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CanadaKelly McParland: There's an election coming — get set for a blast of austerity alarmism

02:15  12 july  2019
02:15  12 july  2019 Source:   nationalpost.com

R. Kelly expected to appear for court hearing Tuesday

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The day that I got caught cheating in my English class was one of the worst days of my life. It was supposed to be another easy summative assignment.

McParland first came to national attention when, as an undercover operative using the name James McKenna, he infiltrated and helped to dismantle There is some evidence to support the charge the "crime wave" that appeared in the anthracite fields came after the appearance of the Pinkertons, and

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Kelly McParland: There's an election coming — get set for a blast of austerity alarmism© Adrian Wyld Leader of the Opposition Andrew Scheer rises during Question Period in the House of Commons, in Ottawa, Wednesday, May 29, 2019.

The odds are pretty good that at some point in the next several months, Canadians will receive a lecture on the cruelties of “austerity.”

Austerity, in the lexicon of those who deride it, means any effort to control public spending should it ever interfere in programs or policies a particular candidate endorses. Liberals and left-wingers are firmly opposed to austerity, even though the most stringent recent example was put in place by the government of former prime minister Jean Chrétien and his finance minister, Paul Martin.

Federal announcement about a threat to coming election will be a 'last resort'

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Labour leader addressing thousands at Parliament Square slammed what he called the Tories’ ‘hypocrisy’ for voting against lifting public sector pay cap.

Alarmism definition is - the often unwarranted exciting of fears or warning of danger. Getting this right will help take away from the authoritarians one of their most potent rhetorical weapons: immigration alarmism .

Even though the Chrétien-Martin plan worked wonderfully well, producing years of surpluses, the word has since been reduced to the status of a profanity. It’s all but certain it will be directed at Conservative leader Andrew Scheer between now and the election in October.

One oddity with austerity is that the word is most often used when referring to Conservatives. When Liberals, or even New Democrats, feel the outflow of cash is getting worrisome, they pledge to “control spending.” When Conservatives do it, it’s “austerity” and deserving of condemnation. Another peculiarity is the fact that any real support for austerity — not only in Canada but among leaders in other parts of the developed world — appears to have faded to near invisibility. It’s a McGuffin: which the director Alfred Hitchcock identified as a device of no real consequence on its own, but needed to keep the plot moving.

R. Kelly arrested on federal sex crime charges, law enforcement says

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But there ’ s a limit to how much they can do in that direction. Until recently, the conventional wisdom was that you couldn’t cut interest rates below zero. rom the beginning, there were plenty of people strongly inclined to oppose fiscal stimulus and demand austerity . But they had a problem: their dire

" There , austerity to meet targets set by the troika is leading to a public-health disaster," he says. The plan was simply to get health spending down to 6% of GDP. Where did that number come from? To set our economies on track for a happier, healthier future, as we did in the postwar period.

Nothing in the plans of Scheer suggests a Tory government would pursue spending controls with anything more than token enthusiasm. At one time Scheer pledged to balance the budget within two years of taking office, a promise that couldn’t have been kept without severe cutbacks. In May, however, he backtracked, altering the timeline to five years. In other words, he’d be able to meet it only if he got re-elected. And you don’t get re-elected by taking things away from voters.

Scheer’s change of heart became almost inevitable once the Trudeau Liberals abandoned their 2015 promise of “a modest short-term deficit” — $10 billion a year for three years, followed by balanced books. Though Trudeau presented the promise as cast in stone, Finance Minister Bill Morneau has never come close to meeting it, and further deficits are projected until at least 2023-24.

The NDP, of course, wouldn’t dream of putting any sort of limits on spending. Leader Jagmeet Singh has made a point of moving his party further to the left of the Liberals to prevent voter leakage, and now backs big-spending plans that include “head-to-toe” coverage for dental care, eye care, hearing care, mental-health care and seniors care, on top of existing coverage. How to pay for it doesn’t enter the picture: Singh’s view on covering costs is such that he disdains raising money even for his own party, and has attended only one fundraising event this year .

Bill Kelly: Sorry, no sympathy for complaining MPs

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Anyone who thinks electoral reform is great way to improve Canada should take a moment to digest the results of Australia’ s latest government train wreck. Yes, they have an elected Senate. Seizing it from the hands of a small group of recalcitrant zealots was a key reason the election was called.

Andrew Scheer is probably aware that the Liberal party has handed him a gift: it’ s the next election , all wrapped up in bright, shiny paper, with ribbon around it and a bow on top. It’ s not his yet. The gift is there , alluring in its availability, sitting on a pedestal waiting to be claimed.

Outside Canada, austerity is in equal disrepute. Martin Wolf, the respected economics columnist for London’s Financial Times, writes that Donald Trump’s financial boom is mostly hot air, dependent on corporate tax breaks that have done little to produce the intended benefits, while raising the danger of inflation and interest rate hikes down the road. While tax revenue has increased, it’s not been enough to outpace spending growth, pushing up the already-swollen deficit by 39 per cent in the first eight months of the fiscal year . U.S. shortfalls now verge on $1 trillion a year.

Should Trump lose next year’s election, the last thing that’s likely to happen is a reduction in the spending pace he’s set. The leading contenders for the Democratic nomination are deep into a bidding war over who can promise the most costly new programs, from free college tuition to single-payer healthcare to the forgiveness of $1.5 trillion in student debt. When California Senator Kamala Harris unveiled a $100 billion plan to help black families buy houses, it followed on an earlier proposal to spend $315 billion over 10 years offering teachers salary increases averaging $13,500 each.

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Broadly speaking, there are three primary types of austerity measures. The first is focused on revenue generation (higher taxes), and it often even supports more government spending. Austerity is defined as a set of economic policies a government implements to control public sector debt.

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Australia’s newly-re-elected conservative government kept a campaign promise this month by passing a bill that cut taxes by US$111 billion, which recipients are being urged to spend in hopes of kick-starting the economy.

Britain’s former prime minister David Cameron introduced austerity measures in 2010 that have officially been in place ever since but appear all but certain to end with the departure of current Prime Minister Theresa May. Both candidates to replace her express little enthusiasm for prolonging the program, with frontrunner Boris Johnson promising a package of tax breaks estimated to cost up to 20 billion pounds a year. Johnson says he would pay for the cuts with revenues from Britain’s departure from Europe, despite a battered economy and widespread uncertainty over the likely impact of Brexit. Should gloomy projections come true, there is already anticipation of government intervention to offset the pain.

Kelly McParland: There's an election coming — get set for a blast of austerity alarmism© LOUISA GOULIAMAKI/AFP/Getty Images Greece’s newly elected Prime Minister and leader of conservative New Democracy party Kyriakos Mitsotakis, speaks to the press outside the party’s headquarters after the official results of the elections, in Athens on July 7, 2019.

It would seem, then, that anyone warning that a dark era of government tightfistedness lies ahead is mainly regurgitating past alarmism. One of the few working examples was the ongoing measures imposed on Greece in return for loans to prop up its collapsed economy. But Greek voters saw fit this week to oust the left-wing government of Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras, who came to power vowing to oppose the demands of the European leaders.

Tsipras failed in his attempt, and Greeks have laboured under years of harsh reforms that slashed spending and raised taxes. Ironically, Tsipras’ bid for re-election argued that all the pain had had its effect, and growth has returned. It came too late for the prime minister, however, who lost to Kyriakos Mitsotakis, the son of a former prime minister, who promised lower taxes, privatized services and increased investment.

“Greeks deserve better and the time has come for us to prove it,” Mitsotakis said.

He may be the beneficiary of austerity, but like every other politician he hates the medicine that often produces health. It’s the remedy that dare not speak its name.

National Post

Twitter.com/kellymcparland

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