30 August 2005

Loyola and "sound fiscal management" - oxymoron [Revised]

Loyola Sullivan turned himself in knots these past few days trying to explain why the province won't be offering any systematic help to low and fixed income earners struggling with high heating costs this winter.

According to Sullivan, we have a huge debt which grows each day.

Ok Loyola.

But you're the finance minister.

What is your plan to stop the bleeding from our budget, Loyola? That's what people elected you to do. That's what you were talking about when you mention all the financial evil the other guys did when they were in power.

Fixing the financial mess was what you promised to do once you got elected.

Truth is Loyola doesn't have a debt reduction plan. He didn't have a real deficit reduction plan either: that was taken care of by the growing economy.

There is no plan, despite promises made by the Premier two years in a row.

As Loyola Sullivan said earlier this year, the Williams government intends to let the debt grow by about $500 million each year for the foreseeable future. If that approach to sensible financial management lasts for 10 years, as Sullivan mused, the debt of the province will be the better part of $ 20 billion. That's the same size as the economy currently. That would put us in the same mess the Wells government inherited in 1989: a debt load equal to the size of the economy.

Talk about living beyond your means.

In interviews yesterday, Sullivan referred to this as being somehow a matter of sound fiscal management.

I call it grossly irresponsible, especially in light of the Great Offshore Deal [editor's note: That was sarcasm] Danny brought home last year. When we are flush with cash, we should be fixing the long-term debt problem so that when the oil runs out, we can still pay the bills.

Piling up more debt is not the way to do that. It isn't what the Williams administration promised before they got elected.

I can see the campaign slogan now:

Vote for Danny and Loyola for Responsible Irresponsibility.

What people will see is Danny and Loyola: Oxymorons.