Brian Lee Crowley

Of deficits and infrastructure

One of the signature policies of the Liberals in the last election was their promise to increase substantially infrastructure spending and to run a deficit solely for this purpose. As Sean Speer and I argued in this 19 April 2018 piece for Inside Policy their policy has failed on both counts. Not only have they proven woefully ineffective at spending infrastructure dollars, they have nonetheless run up deficits on a host of other spending.  Ottawa’s approach to infrastructure badly needs a rethink.

And you thought it was all about stimulus!

Naive Canadian that you are, you may actually have believed the government when it offered the following justification of budget deficits at a time of economic growth: We are not satisfied with the rate of economic growth so we are going to borrow while interest rates are low and use the money to build productivity enhancing infrastructure that will pay for itself through the increased tax revenues generated by the new economic activity. Sounded good, didn’t it? Well like most things that sound too good to be true, this was too. Read the bad news in an op-ed by Sean Speer and me that appeared in the Financial Post on 8th November 2016.

Brian Lee Crowley
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