The second, which I am taking the liberty of reproducing below, is yet another example of the wisdom of Toronto Star readers. In this case Bill Livingstone of Toronto punctures the myth of conservative fiscal prudence and sees a more sinister purpose served by Harper running the current deficit:
Every so often, we elect a conservative government. It seems we just can't tolerate a balanced budget or we just let our emotions over some silly scandal carry us away. In recent memory, no conservative government anywhere in the world has balanced a budget. It's their goal to create a deficit in order to have an excuse to cut social programs. For the Harper Conservatives, this is all working out to plan, with a little help from the recession of 2008 where the debt was increased by so-called Keynesian economics but did more to help GM and the banks than stimulate the economy. In truth, our banks didn't need help, at least not in the way someone starving on welfare needs help, but we gave them money anyway.
Anyway, now that we have a big deficit, we can cut OAS and EI. Without the deficit, people might be up in arms. With the deficit, even most seniors will still vote conservative in the next election while they give the government billions as they cash in their RRSPs. So far, all is going according to the conservative playbook. So what comes next? The conservatives are not forthcoming but history is quite clear on this. All the cutbacks and austerity will almost certainly lead to a depression. And history shows that conservatives always have the excuse that they didn't cut deeply enough or fast enough. That is rather a deception. The real reason is that, as history can surely reveal, even in a depression there are winners. Hint, follow the money.
Eventually, a democracy (if we still have one) will bring in a liberal government with real Keynesian policies that actually stimulate the economy and all will be well again. But then eventually, after a couple of good decades, when memory fades about why we regulate and why we really pay taxes, we will vote in another conservative government . . .
Bill Livingstone, Toronto