Tuesday, September 26, 2006

And the Bush worship marches on.

It's hard to imagine that PM Stephen Harper could be a more loathsome and reprehensible human being than George W. Bush but the evidence is, well, pretty fucking overwhelming.

Think back over the last few years as the Bush administration took a surplus from the Clinton administration and, hideously mismanaging almost every goddamned thing they touched, turned it into an earth-shattering deficit. But that's not the most interesting part.

Recall, if you will, that part of the Bush mantra, even in the face of a deficit that was growing more monstrous by the month, was to toss tax cuts around like confetti (mostly to the very rich, of course.) And how was one to pay for those tax cuts? Simple -- annihilate social services at every possible turn. But at least this strategy was based on a warped kind of logic -- given that massive deficit, something had to give, and it was any concern for the poor, of course.

Stephen Harper has no such excuse.

Consider, if you will, the following:

The federal government's near-record surplus of $13.2 billion didn't save over a dozen programs and initiatives from the Conservative chopping block.

A surplus. Of $13.2 billion. One doesn't even have the excuse of claiming that money is tight and sacrifices have to be made.

A surplus. And yet:

Everything from literacy programs to medical marijuana research are being slashed as part of the Conservative government's plans to cut $1 billion in spending over the next two years.

A surplus. And yet:

"Most of those cuts are designed to appeal to the Conservative base," reported CTV's Ottawa bureau chief Robert Fife.

"They have taken the axe to programs they've long regarded as slush funds for left leaning groups who don't vote Conservative."

For example, the Court Challenges Program which funded equality and language-rights groups to challenge federal laws -- an initiative long disdained by Conservatives -- is getting the axe.

A department significantly hit was Canadian Heritage. The department's Status of Women Canada, an agency which promotes gender equality, stands to lose $5 million from its annual $23 million budget.

Hard to believe, isn't it? At least Bush had a deficit to fall back on as an excuse. But Harper? It takes a whole new level of despicable to take a surplus of $13.2 billion, and still kick the crap out of the neediest people in Canada.

I don't worry about foreign terrorists coming to destroy Canada. It's the homegrown ones running the show in Ottawa that scare the crap out of me.


Crabgrass said...

Harper is brutal.

I haven't been particularly interested in politics for most of my life, but since he's taken the helm, I'm completely preoccupied.

Thank God(TM) it's a minority. I can't wait for these Alliance folks to get turfed.

And I wish that people would not call them "Tories". I do think that would make a difference. The Tories weren't my party, either, but these guys ARE NOT the Tories. I really wonder if some massive initiative on that matter might make a difference... Language is very powerful, non?

Anonymous said...

Unfortunately, I don't think the Liberals or the NDP have either the focus or the people to take HarperCrit down in the short term.

Harper's government needs to stand for another 12 months or so - long enough for the howling base to gnaw through their muzzles, and for the public to get enough hypocrisy thrown in their faces to realize how awful this lot really is.

Anonymous said...

"They have taken the axe to programs they've long regarded as slush funds" -- Most of these programs were slush funds. I don't think there is much question about that. To be fair, they have also got rid of some corporate welfare (e.g. "Technology Partnerships") I think you need to look at just what impact these cuts are likely to have before condemning.

Mike said...

Yet had they stopped the "corporate welfare" to the most profitable busniess sector in Canada - Oil and Gas - they would not have needed to make any other cuts (like the needed to make any of them). Oil and Gas, while making record profits, ae subsidized by the Feds to a tune of a bout $1.3 billion per year.

But of course, he isn't going to take money away from people who don;t need it. That's just crazy.

Zorpheous said...

When I first heard about Harper throwing the surplus at the debt, I thought great. Yet he is cutting programs and handing out gst rebate kickback bribes and those lovely taxable child care bribes...

Why not just save us from all the new fucking red tape and keep the gst where is was and avoid these other cuts,... What am I saying??? Can't have these liberal programs running.

Ayways, who's paying for all that coffee his adminstration is scarfing down, why not cut that perk? You know, a penny saved is peeny you don't have to tax./

Deanna said...

It's not all slush funds that were cut, anonymous, nor is it only programs loved by the left.

I still don't get the $11.7 million that was cut from the fund that was supposed to help communities deal with the mountain pine beetle infestation in BC. Millions of acres are infested and destroyed, the beetle is spreading, and they cut the funding.

Is it because the logging companies get to cut and sell the dead trees? Is it because it's an environmental problem, so they just don't care? Did they think that northern and interior BC was so strongly pro-Conservative that they would always vote for the big C, no matter what they did while in government?

I dunno, but it sure is strange.