Former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher was quoted saying “the problem with socialism is that eventually you run out of other people’s money.” The concepts that follow the socialist mindset typically come up short on details of where and how the revenues they propose to distribute will come from.
The first week of the new legislative session was a profound eye-opener for the Opposition members charged with holding the new Alberta government to account concerning the interim supply budget, Bill 3 Appropriation (Interim Supply) Act, being brought forward in the house by the NDP. The recurring response to the questions on allocations and rational being used were non-committal or non-existent. Responses like “I’ll get back to you” and “I’m not sure” left many on the Opposition side of the house dismayed and confused about what exactly the government’s true intentions are.
The Alberta government is responsible for the allocation of spending for all of Alberta’s social programs and operational budgets that keep Alberta functioning. Per capita spending in Alberta is already ranked among the highest in all of Canada; that unfortunately does not correlate with the level for value of services provided.
Increased taxes to Alberta corporations and individuals earning more than $125k/year will come up short of covering the new expenditures being proposed in Bill 3. The expenditures will cost an additional $624 million dollars on top of the $48.4 billion that was already allocated in the spring budget released just prior to the May 5 election. The increases in spending were done without the due diligence of finding saving within government; which is cause for concern for fiscally responsible Albertans.
Re-distribution of wealth is a tried and true route to failure that time and again ends in a fiscal wreck that does not benefit taxpayers. In order to distribute wealth, that same wealth is taken from one and given to another. Former Alberta MLA for Hanna-Oyen (elected 1975) Jack Butler, made the astute observation that the government must take in $3 to $4 for every $1 that is redistributed by government. The theory of wealth distribution is a socialist fairytale that increases the size and cost of government for the taxpayer.
Another former British Prime Minister, Winston Churchill cautioned, “I contend that for a nation to try to tax itself into prosperity is like a man standing in a bucket and trying to lift himself up by the handle,” which is eerily similar to what is being proposed with Bill 3.
There are a litany of unanswered questions concerning where this new spending will come from and whether this will be another brick in the budget deficit wall that is obscuring the vision of a balanced budget here in Alberta.
Wildrose is proposing an approach of a more fiscal responsibility approach to budgeting which will allow Alberta to return to a balanced budget, avoiding the inevitable burden to future generations. By introducing new spending before establishing a position of fiscal responsibility, is a guarantee that we will not be living within our means.