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Canada

EDITORIAL: Liberal deficits, apparently, work for everyone

Finance Minister Bill Morneau is poised to deliver the federal Liberal government’s fall economic update Wednesday.

Morneau has already framed expectations, last week tweeting out: “Following Canada’s Fall Economic Statement, I’ll be speaking at the Economic Club of Canada in Ottawa to share the next steps in our proven plan to grow an economy that works for everyone.”

We assume he’ll assure Canadians the federal Liberal’s track record of rising debt, massive deficits, tax hikes and growing government red tape were part of a proven plan to modestly grow Canada’s economy over the past three years.

That adding a national carbon tax that will hike the cost of gas, groceries and cost of living will magically put more money into everyone’s pockets.

That following his government’s taxpayer credit-card fueled spending spree, that saw government spending top $300 billion annually for the first time ever, fiscal responsibility and balanced budgets are on the horizon.

Meanwhile, fiscal irresponsibility has defined the past three years.

During the 2015 federal election campaign, then Liberal leader Justin Trudeau predicted that if elected he would run a $9.9 billion deficit in 2016-17.

Instead, it hit $19 billion — 92% higher than planned.

He predicted a $9.5 billion deficit in 2017-18, a $5.7 billion deficit in 2018-19 and a $1 billion surplus in 2019-20.

Instead, the Liberals ran a $19 billion deficit last year, are tracking toward a $19.4 billion deficit this year according to Ottawa’s independent Parliamentary Budget Officer and a $21.3 billion deficit in 2019-20, though Morneau will surely trim that in this election year.

The problem with deficits, as any Canadian who lives on a budget knows, is you can’t pay your bills with your credit card for very long.

Debt junkies like the Liberals ignore that reality, and the reality you can’t count on revenue to grow forever or that debt to go away.

Conservative leader Andrew Scheer got it right in a tweet: “Justin Trudeau inherited good economic fortune and then spent every nickel. Now he has no plan to weather economic downturns. This week the Liberals will table their Economic Update and we want to know one thing: when will the budget be balanced?

Place your bets.

Undoubtedly it will work for everyone.

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