All you have to do is divide $100BILLION over 20Million tax payers and the number will irritate you worst than hemorrhoids.
Socrates, I am afraid that is human nature, we do not see the wood from the trees. I remember in one of the threads we were discussing the stellar performance of Canadian banks. Somebody there complained about the high ATM charges. To which my response was, which would he rather pay, higher ATM charges or tens of billions of dollars in bailout money (which government would have to pay if Canadian
banks were in the same sorry state as US banks).
Same way, people see the 100 million $ or so involved in the sponsorship scandal. However, as soon as Harper came to power, he gave Bush a gift of 1 billion $ in the softwood lumber dispute. It was a propitiation gift to get in the good graces of Bush. How was that any better use of the money than that wasted in sponsorship scandal? And it didn’t work anyway, relationship between USA and Canada wasn’t any noticeably warmer than before.
Then of course, as you say there is the huge Leviathan of deficit, which threatens to put the budget in the red at least for years, if not the decades.
A reporter was talking to Paul Martin the other day and Martin made a very interesting point. Harper is giving the excuse that this crisis was unforeseen, so he had to incur the astronomical deficits. There is some truth in what he says.
However, Martin pointed out that when Liberals were in power, there were plenty of unforeseen crises. There was the 9/11, dot com recession. But Liberals were prepared for unforeseen crises, they kept running a healthy surplus throughout. When Bush went for astronomical deficits in USA, Liberals kept running surplus here.
Martins’ point was that it is the job of Prime Minster to cope with unforeseen crises. Harper was wrong to fritter away the surplus in tax cuts favoring the rich (GST cut disproportionately favors the rich, while income tax cut favors the poor and middle class). Then when the unforeseen crises came, he had nothing to fall back on.
If we had Martin in power instead of Harper, I am confident that we would have had no deficit, or only a modest amount of deficit by now.