That’s outrageous given that leading up to and during the early part of at the 2015 election campaign, Trudeau repeatedly pledged a Liberal government would run balanced budgets and hypocritically blasted the Harper Conservatives for running deficits, even though the Liberals demanded them in the wake of the 2008 global recession.
Then, in mid-campaign, Trudeau reversed himself, calling for “modest” deficits of $9.9 billion in 2016-17, $9.5 billion in 2017-18, $5.7 billion in 2018-19, with a $1 billion surplus in 2019-20, the final year of his election mandate.
Morneau’s fall economic statement exposes those numbers as a fabrication.
With the economy booming, according to Morneau, Trudeau now has a 2016-17 deficit of $17.8 billion, 80% higher than the $9.9 billion he projected during the 2015 election.
For the 2017-18 fiscal year, Trudeau now projects a $19.9 billion deficit, 109% higher than the $9.5 billion he predicted in 2015.
For the 2018-19 fiscal year, Trudeau now projects an $18.6 billion deficit, 226% higher than the $5.7 billion he predicted in 2015.
For the 2019-20 fiscal year, the final year of his election mandate, Trudeau now projects a $17.3 billion deficit, astronomically higher than the $1 billion surplus he predicted in 2015.
Morneau’s economic statement also predicts that in the first three years of the next Liberal government — should Trudeau win in 2019 — his deficits will be $16.8 billion in 2020-21, $13.9 billion in 2021-22 and $12.5 billion in 2022-23.
Morneau and Trudeau insist our roaring economy under their leadership enables them to spend billions of dollars more enhancing benefits for the “middle class” — apparently now defined as families with children under 18 and low-income workers — while lowering deficits compared to their predictions in their March, 2017 budget
But all that means is that they predicted deficits then they knew were higher than the real numbers, so they can claim they’re lower than expected now.
This cynical game Liberals have played for decades doesn’t make them good money managers. It makes them lousy budgeters.