02 November 2007

Stop your more for me please rants

Danny Williams is using Loyola Sullivan's old debt boogeyman to try and frighten people away from demanding too much of a provincial government awash in petro-cash.

The problem for Williams is that while he uses the debt as a bogeyman, his own record of increased public spending and increased public debt make it clear his administration is willing to spend.

His spending and borrowing is fueled by rising oil prices that may deliver a $500 million dollar surplus to the province's treasury by the end of March.

"The people of the province also realize that we have the highest debt in the country, and still do, and will have for a long time," Williams said.

"Our debt is twice as high as the next worst province, which is Nova Scotia."

Of course, it will and of course the debt is the highest in the country.

That's because the provincial government doesn't have a debt reduction plan; it has a debt management policy of borrowing at lower interest rates and of rolling over debt to lower interest rates when it comes do.

And, if everything rolls out as the premier plans, the provincial government will increase the public debt through loan guarantees and borrowing on projects like the Lower Churchill.

Everything Danny Williams said is absolutely true.

The provincial government will have the highest debt in the country and "will have for a long time."

And in the meantime, Williams was basically warning people to stop asking for more and thereby interfering with his own spending and borrowing plans.

It's that line from the campaign song:

"Stop your more for me please rants."

People should expect they'll be hearing it a lot more from Danny Williams during his last couple of years in office.