Thursday May 28, 2009

Editorial Cartoon by Graeme MacKay, The Hamilton Spectator – Thursday May 28, 2009

Flaherty says deficit spending ‘right thing to do’

Finance minister Jim Flaherty defended the government’s huge deficit spending Thursday, saying it’s the “right thing to do for Canada” during a recession.

Flaherty told CTV’s Canada AM that this is a “difficult year” but said he had no qualms about assisting the unemployed and bailing out the struggling auto sector.

“We’re spending billions more because we have more unemployment and we’re helping out the auto sector to save jobs,” Flaherty said.

The finance minister also called the opposition hypocrites.

“The opposition has been screaming that we have to do more to help the unemployed. That’s exactly what we’re doing,” Flaherty said. “But at the same time they say don’t run a larger deficit, which quite frankly is nonsense in terms of logic.”

On Wednesday, the opposition parties demanded Flaherty be fired, after his shocking announcement that the federal deficit has swollen to $50 billion.

“How can the prime minister, or any other Canadian, have any confidence in the minister of finance?” Liberal Leader Michael Ignatieff asked in the House of Commons.

The Tory budget for this fiscal year far outstripped government predictions of $34 billion and is believed to be the largest-ever budget deficit in the country’s history. (Source: CTV News)