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Opinion

Liberals are right to leave the deficit fixation behind

By Les Whittington      

Finance Minister Bill Morneau’s spending forays appear to have paid off so far, with the economy showing resilience after years of sluggish growth in the post-recession era.

Finance Minister Bill Morneau’s third budget was a ‘fairly tame effort,’ writes Les Whittington, without using up too much of the fiscal ammunition the Liberals may want to roll out in advance of the 2019 campaign. The Hill Times photograph by Andrew Meade
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OTTAWA—It was Paul Martin, in full Mr. Dithers mode, who some 20 years ago explicitly adopted the idea of a contingency fund in budget fiscal plans—spawning confusion about how the government was actually constructing its budget forever after. For the coming 2018-19 fiscal year, for example, Finance Minister Bill Morneau is predicting an $18.1-billion budget deficit. But $3-billion of that is the rainy-day fund, or “adjustment for risk,” to cover a possible spending emergency. Still, however one looks

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