Harperâ€™s Anti-Government Rage
In his latest Maclean’s column, Paul Wells suggests that the Prime Ministerâ€™s apparent anger toward various public officials and agencies reflects not his personality, but his ideological crusade against government.
Of course, as Wells observes, the Canadian state was greatly diminished during the years preceding Harperâ€™s government. However, Harper undoubtedly aims to continue the trend and is on record arguing that all levels of government should account for no more than 30% of GDP.
Wells notes that this percentage implied cutting annual federal spending by $40 billion. I would point out that $40 billion is the projected annual cost of the tax cuts enacted by Harperâ€™s government.
Of course, the dollar value of cuts required to get to 30% has changed since Harper made that speech. Nevertheless, Canadaâ€™s New Government has managed to eliminate a lot of public fiscal capacity during its relatively short tenure.