budget best guess

I remember the night of the budget leak. It was 1989. I happened to be in downtown Ottawa. I worked on Parliament Hill and I knew something was up. You see, Ottawa after dark is a pretty dull place. So when you see RCMP cruisers and news trucks parked up and down Wellington after the sun goes down, you know something’s gone terribly wrong. But it’s so exciting for a town full of bureaucrats. It really is.

So now, on the eve of any federal budget, I wait in anticipation for news that someone, somewhere, saw something they shouldn’t have seen and said what they shouldn’t have said. I don’t think most people realize that there are plenty of people who know what the budget will include. It’s just that they are sworn to secrecy. It’s been written and edited and copy-edited and printed and boxed and shipped and delivered and waiting in a lock up for journalists to sink their teeth into tomorrow when the sun comes up.

It’s only the rest of us who have to wait for it. I’m not privy to any of those processes now (nor have I ever ever been) but I do have my suspicions about what it’ll include – and what it’ll exclude.

I predict it will include prisons, planes, pension reforms and pleas for employment.

Prisons
Since the gun registry issue got shot down, the conservatives need to appeal to big city constituents’ fear of crime – which I’ll call a big city’s fear of itself. So they’ll throw more money at prisons – or what I like to call affordable housing for criminals – to bolster the vote. Which is coming, I predict, in May.

Planes
Since our military resources are less than state of the art and our PM is anxious to be our American President, they’ll probably be some significant military expenses to protect the nation (and the neighbour’s) by upgrading our, shall we call it, least fancy alarm system on the block.

Pensions
Since most Conservative voters are, shall we say, closer to retirement then to spring break in Fort Lauderdale, I suspect the Minister of Finance will throw an irresistible pension power punch into the mix. It’s hard to vote against something that will make your retirement dreams come closer to fruition. Retirement is 20 plus years out for me, so that effort is lost on this household.

Pleas for employment
I suspect there will be a tax cut for small business to stimulate employment. And I can’t say I disagree. I’d rather hire someone then pay corporate tax. And by hiring people, we feed the very system that pays for prisons, planes and pensions. Someone has to pay for it. Might as well be small business. At least by giving me the wiggle room to hire employees, I feel I have some measure of control on how my money is spent. Better that then paying corporate tax into general revenues and still having to do all the work. I’m no conservative, but even I can see the benefit in this. So it makes it harder for me to vote against them. Or at least they hope it would.

Politics
Ultimately, it all comes down to politics. By drafting a budget that quells the fears of some of  the electorate, the conservatives have a better chance of getting their majority which they so desperately want. And make no mistake, there’s no amount of your money they wouldn’t spend to get it.

What the budget won’t include? Money for the poor. Money for the vets. Money for the children. Money for culture and money for content. If you can’t afford to contribute to the conservative party and you can’t vote, don’t count on them. They are on a mission for majority.

Ironically, the majority of canadians won’t even watch or know that tomorrow is budget day. But i’ll be watching and I hope I’m wrong. But somehow, I don’t think I’ll be too far off.

Thanks goodness for CBC Newsworld (i doubt the CBC will be getting money either, btw). But they’ll come in pretty handy come sun up of that you can be sure.

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