Students lose out in 2010 federal budget

After the federal government released the 2010 budget following several months of “recalibration,” it was expected that the government would actually have a plan for the future.
We have been sadly mistaken. Instead of having a new vision, the government re-offered the status quo. With a structural federal deficit and no serious plan to tackle it, students should be alarmed at the state of our country’s finances.

The government often claims that the size and scope of this deficit was necessary given the poor state of the economy, when the reality is they have no one to blame but themselves. The government drained the treasury with a meaningless GST cut and increased spending across the board. Spending has increased 40 per cent over Harper’s tenure. This left little room to maneuver when the recession hit, and now we are paying for it with large deficits.

Our generation will inevitably be shouldering the bill of reckless spending. This is the wrong time to run deficits and rack up debt. The labour pool is shrinking as the baby-boomers retire. This means the government tax base is eroding precisely at a time when the strains on state social programs will be the greatest.

Many of the programs we are paying into with the expectation they will be around when we retire will be in jeopardy. Instead of our tax dollars being put towards our future, they will be used to pay for the short-sightedness of the past. It is our generation that loses out.

Flaherty’s “plan” to balance the budget involves neither raising taxes nor cutting spending. Our country will grow its way out of deficit.

This assumes constituently high growth and no double-dip recession. Instead of preparing for the worst, he prepared for the best – this is irresponsible.

To be fair, the Liberals have offered no serious solutions. Each party operates its own version of voodoo economics. It is time for politicians to get serious about eliminating our debt; interest rates will not always be low and there are storm clouds on the horizon.

For the sake of our generation, students need to demand that politicians of all stripes stop playing games with our future.

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