COLUMN: Low budget surpluses are a good thing

SOUTH DUNDAS — The reaction by the pundits in the press this week to the $1.4 billion surplus in the federal budget tabled on April 21st is surprising. It is like these pundits forget what a budget surplus really is, over-taxation of the population.

The 2015 budget is, without a doubt, an election budget. It is written for the purposes of getting re-elected, and it should work to help reinforce the notion that the Conservatives are good stewards of the economy. This statement has been proven true based on the low budget surplus.

Government’s role should only be to collect the money it needs through taxation, to pay the expenses  There should be no profit, and no over-taxation. Therefore, the lower the surplus, the better. If a government wants to spend more money, then it can do so as part of balancing the books. Similarly, if the government plans on paying down the national debt, that should also be factored in before announcing a surplus. Budget planners should not over-tax the population, then go on a mad spending spree when they realize that they have extra money. That leads to spending on what is not needed, and growth in government bloat.

Those on the Liberal left have been crowing that their former finance minister, Paul Martin, balanced the books and had seven consecutive budget surpluses. His track record peaked with a record surplus of $19.8 billion in 1999. Look at that number, for it represents $19.8 billion dollars in over taxation. Money that was lifted out of taxpayers pockets needlessly. $1.4 billion does not look so bad now in that context.

Some have criticized the use of $2 billion in contingency funds to balance the budget this year, forgetting that Martin raided surpluses in the Canada Pension Plan to balance their books, and cut health care transfers to the provinces from 50 percent, to 14 per cent. For all of Martin’s pluses, he balanced the federal budget in the 1990’s on the backs of the provinces.

This budget is not perfect, but the low budget surplus is the ideal end result for taxpayers.


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