Comment 26876

By Undustrial (registered) - website | Posted October 08, 2008 at 16:20:46

It's hard to get an accurate picture of welfare spending when it's lumped in with health that way. Canada's health care system is astoundingly expensive (though definitely more cost-effective than the American system). As for EI, since that's somewhat of a separate system tax-wise. Showing federal budgetary information only skews these things a fair bit, since most of the actual decisions are made at the local or provincial level.

Where do you go looking for corporate welfare? First, in infrastructure spending (usually municipal), especially roads (like the Red Hill Expressway). Next, in natural resource sectors, which lie entirely off the national budget since Canada doesn't seem to view natural resources on crown lands as a part of the public coffers. The defense budget would be another great place to look, given the costs of munitions (though the US is a much better example of this). Along the same vein in the US, the private prison system is another great example. Also, look towards the "tax incentives" given out frequently, like the money Grassroots alluded to with General Motors. Both Bush and Harper have slashed billions from corporate and upper-class tax bills, though as you show, not having a tremendously positive impact on the economy.

In terms of the effects of public spending on the GDP, there's a fair bit more at work there, on an international scale, than the welfare spending of Bush, Clinton, Cretien or Harper. I also have to take some issue with the use of the GDP as benchmark, but that's a much bigger issue.

One wonders what such die-hard conservatives are doing with all of that spending...certainly isn't going toward welfare.

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