Economist Hugh Mackenzie has written two recent BLOG posts on the phoney deficit and the real one — the deficit in public services Ontarians rely upon. The Behind The Numbers BLOG is part of the work of the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives.
“There is no structural deficit in Ontario. There is a lingering, but
manageable, cyclical deficit – trumped up by a deficit crisis narrative
the government itself helped fuel two years ago.” Mackenzie looks at how the government has ramped up the deficit hysteria to cut public services. Does anybody care that each and every one of those government deficit projections was wildly off the mark?
“The enduring and highly visible deficit in Ontario is actually its public services deficit. In 2010-11, public program spending represented 17.9% of GDP in Ontario. The McGuinty government planned to cut it to 14.6% of GDP by 2017-18. That missing 3.3% of GDP in public services spending amounts to $20 billion in public service cuts.” Yet as Mackenzie points out, we also reduced government revenues by cutting more than just corporate taxes.