Balancing a budget is easy. Anyone can do it. No imagination required.
At the household level, cuts to heat and electricity are not possible.
So we look to the shopping cart, child care, and clothing.
At the government level, we look to services and infrastructure.
Since the financial crisis of 2008, caused by the reckless deals of investment banks, the federal government has been cutting spending to balance the budget for the 2015 election.
Bailouts by government to the banks have returned these institutions to prosperity.
These monetary gifts by government came from taxes.
It has been estimated by economists that Canada is in a similar situation of spending on infrastructure and services comparable to 1948.
The justification for this approach is the theory of supply-side economics favoured by the current federal government — fewer or no regulations for corporate interests, reduced trade barriers in the form of lower taxes and tariffs, and a balanced budget signalling a safe place for investment.
The justification is to promote growth.
The theory promises a trickle down of money to those cutting household budgets while trying to balance child care with a job while feeding a family.
John Kenneth Galbraith said “that supply-side economics was merely a cover for the trickle-down approach to economic policy — what an older and less elegant generation called the horse-and-sparrow theory: if you feed the horse enough oats, some will pass through to the road for the sparrows.”
When I read the policy statements expressed by some of the prospects who were seeking municipal political office, I wonder how many of them have torn a page from the current federal government’s playbook?
Balancing the budget is easy and requires no imagination.
I see lots of sparrows picking up crumbs already this winter.