Health and education vs. sports executive boxes

It’s no surprise that the root cause of the recent recession would be eventually reinterpreted to blame the public sector.

Now that the bankers and the auto industry have now renounced their brief flirtation with socialism, it seems we are told our problems stem from us little people having it too good when it comes to health, education and other public services.

Even the ever apoplectic Rex Murphy blames Premier Dalton McGuinty for the sudden state of the province’s finances, and not the bankers who crashed the economy and suddenly put a big hole in Ontario’s gross domestic product (GDP).

Federal Finance Minister Jim Flaherty, blowing harder than usual these days, says Ontario has fundamental budget problems – “major spending problems that they’ve built up over the course of eight years.”

Eight years? Did Flaherty forget the three balanced budgets the Liberals brought in before the recession hit?

Did Flaherty also forget his own deficit after inheriting a sizeable surplus from the Martin government? Or the nearly $6 billion hole he left behind in Ontario when he departed for Ottawa?

Now Flaherty is out to protect the little guy – by taking the province to task for tampering with write-offs the business elite get for sports tickets and executive boxes. Flaherty calls these “side issues.”

Ontario Finance Minister Dwight Duncan shot back, “Obviously (Flaherty) sees tax breaks to corporations who buy boxes at hockey game and baseball games as more important than things like education and health care.”

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