Stories of money, greed and bananas

Commentary by Chris Clegg

There’s an old saying that says, “You spend money like a drunken sailor!” It refers to anyone who spends frivolously and carelessly without any plan. In a sailor’s case, likely on ladies of the evening and booze down at the wharf. If that’s the case, we have quite a few people formerly employed by the Canadian Coast Guard in our political offices.

Let’s see!  Prime Minster Justin Trudeau just delivered a budget. Capt. Trudeau’s estimated deficit is $30 billion.

Who cares, just a few dimes and quarters, right? Who cares if there is no surplus until 2019?

In Alberta, much as they try, Rachel Notley just can’t keep up. If you believe some media reports, Rear Admiral
Notley’s projected deficit could reach $10 billion, or perhaps “only” $6-7 billion. Who cares? It’s only money, right?

Meanwhile, the Town of Slave Lake, Town of Falher, Town of High Prairie, are all under orders to never submit a deficit budget to Alberta Municipal Affairs.

Never mind that the same government can rack up huge budget deficits and tell others that they must do as they say, not as they do. Me thinks they speak with very forked tongue.

Hmm! It’s probably a good thing. No sense our third level of government spending us into oblivion. It’s amazing that Canada is as rich as it is, with three levels of government all robbing from our pockets at the same time. Most governments work very, very hard at raising revenues streams [raise taxes or dream up new taxes] rather than cutting spending.

Hmm! Interesting! There is no way politicians would run their businesses like that, unless you were in charge of Bombardier or the CBC. Wink, wink, nudge, nudge.

It’s no secret governments have to spend to buy votes. Let’s face it. Cutting spending means decreased services or infrastructure, and that’s a sure-fire way to anger the public and lose the next election. Want to lose votes? Don’t build that new road.Don’t help build that new arena. Don’t provide health services to select communities.
So, spend, spend, spend it is. Never a care in the world! Let the kids and grandkids deal with it.

The question is answered why governments spend. The cause? Greed! Yes, one of the great sins. If the public wasn’t so demanding of its governments – call it greed by any other name – they would not spend so lavishly and foolishly.

You see, politicians are like bananas. They hang together, they’re all yellow and there isn’t a straight one amongst the bunch. They both start out green. As they ripen, both turn yellow and mushy. Bananas have no backbone.

But I digress. The truth is they try hard. But something happens when one is given a bit of power. Common sense spending is thrown out the window.

It’s tough, however. Think of Notley as the Mother Goose with a hundreds of goslings, each picking and squawking, demanding to be fed and protected. The demand of each gosling never ends and the older they get the louder they become. The problem is, pictures of Mother Goose in her advanced years show a tired, worn out bird. Mother Goose hasn’t been totally plucked yet by the public purse but it’s darn close.

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