There's going to be one. And, if the Harper government gets its way, it will go to tax cuts. That happened under the Liberals, too. Linda McQuaig writes
The trick is to make surpluses disappear quickly by doling them out in tax cuts — before there’s time for a serious national debate about what the electorate actually wants to do
with their money.
So when Ottawa started generating big surpluses in the late 1990s, it quickly began slashing taxes — particularly on corporations and high-income earners. As a result, Ottawa now collects about $50 billion less in taxes per year than it would have if it hadn’t done all that tax-cutting, according to labour economist Toby Sanger. That has deprived governments of the revenue they’d need to provide the kind of enhanced public programs many Canadians probably would like.
That's what right wing think tanks are advocating. The International Monetary Fund, however has suggested has suggested that now is the time to spend on infrastructure. Scott Clark and Peter Devries write
“The time is right,” says the International Monetary Fund in its latest World Economic Outlook
, “for an infrastructure push.”
“In many advanced economies,” says the report, “there is still substantial slack … Robust demand momentum has not yet taken hold … There are now worries that demand will remain persistently weak — a possibility that has been described as ‘secular stagnation’.”
Yet the Harper government insists that the way to grow an economy is to create supply, not demand. Which raises the question, who was all this austerity for? Not for ordinary folks. Consider what has happen to medicare funding, writes McQuaig:
When medicare was established in the late 1960s, Ottawa covered 50 per cent of the costs. Today, Ottawa contributes just 20 per cent — and this will fall to a mere 12 per cent over the next few decades under the new health care funding formula
unilaterally imposed on the provinces by the Harper government in 2011.
The money which used to fund medicare has gone into the pockets of the wealthy, a trend which will continue if the Harper government introduces income splitting:
This is, of course, exactly what the Harper government is planning to do. It has promised to introduce income-splitting — a costly and deeply unfair tax cut which would see almost all of the benefits go to well-heeled families with stay-at-home mothers.
If you're a politician these days, it pays to look after the rich. they'll look after you in your retirement. The surplus benefits the wealthy and those who serve them.