Tuesday, June 11, 2019

Tommy Douglas was never about "fiscal responsibility"

Tommy Douglas was not about "fiscal responsibility" and it is the NDP that is responsible for framing him that way. 

Now we see why that was a stupid idea.

For an excellent analysis of why the idea that Douglas was fixated on "fiscal responsibility" is simply false see Fraser Needham's 2015 piece The NDP and budget deficits: Not the Tommy Douglas vision

Among other things Needham notes: 
Douglas and Blakeney sought to make transformative changes to the capitalistic economy in order to level the playing field, bring stability to the Saskatchewan economy and finance social programs. Balanced budgets happened to be part of the process but were not the main goal in and of themselves. Neither Douglas nor Blakeney would ever have advocated balancing a budget regardless of the economic circumstances.
Balancing a budget regardless of the economic fallout is a more recent and right wing mantra. It falls into the belief that government should never intervene in the economy and government finances should be operated like an accounting ledger – surpluses should always be spent and deficits never incurred.

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