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.