Thursday, February 16, 2012

Dalton "Shock Doctrine" McGuinty

It's nice of Ontario Liberal Premier Dalton McGuinty to be so obvious. I mean, I already knew that he had an unhealthy contempt for democracy and human rights when he skulked around in the dead of night to remove our Charter Rights at the behest of the thuggish Toronto Police Service Chief Bill Blair for the Toronto G20 Summit. And I already knew he had nothing but contempt for the electoral process when he ran on a platform of spending and new programs and then immediately began making noises about unsustainable deficit levels.

But McGuinty finally removes any doubt that he's a corporate stooge, through and through, with this "Drummond Report" nonsense!

If you lived through the Mike Harris years, you ain’t seen nothing yet.

Cutbacks are back and bigger than ever. And this time, they’re here to stay.


What’s driving this stark reality is hardly a mystery, yet it remains poorly understood: We have to get off a government spending train that, with all three political parties on board for the ride (now and in the past), is still hurtling toward fiscal derailment.

Imagine if Ontario’s deficit doubled overnight from $16 billion to $30 billion (instead of melting away, as promised, within five years) — with a debt mushrooming beyond $400 billion.

In fact, we may already be living through that thought experiment — we’re on track to double the deficit by 2017 unless we change course.

Politicians have long known the direction we’re headed in, but dared not say it on the campaign trail. Credit rating agencies, however, now see it coming.

OOOH! Scary!

Then again, remember Naomi Klein's book The Shock Doctrine?

Based on breakthrough historical research and four years of on-the-ground reporting in disaster zones, The Shock Doctrine vividly shows how disaster capitalism – the rapid-fire corporate reengineering of societies still reeling from shock – did not begin with September 11, 2001. The book traces its origins back fifty years, to the University of Chicago under Milton Friedman, which produced many of the leading neo-conservative and neo-liberal thinkers whose influence is still profound in Washington today. New, surprising connections are drawn between economic policy, “shock and awe” warfare and covert CIA-funded experiments in electroshock and sensory deprivation in the 1950s, research that helped write the torture manuals used today in Guantanamo Bay.
More and more, it's plain to see that neoliberal governments also use fabricated crises to justify their shocking economic reforms. In the 1990s, Ontario's PC Education Minister was infamous for saying in a video-taped speech how he was going to "create a crisis" in education in order to impose his bone-headed ideas. Now, in the time-honoured LibroCon ("Liberal, Tory, Same old story!") tradition, it's Dalton McGuinty's turn. As the Toronto Star's Chris Hume puts it, the "Drummond Report Taxes Credulity." Here's the money shot:
Still, Drummond isn’t entirely to blame for the lack of imagination; he was instructed not to examine tax increases.
And that's all that needs to be said about Dalton McGuinty's crude propaganda effort.

Look at it this way: For years and years and years, Ontario governments have (like their federal counterparts) been cutting taxes for individuals and corporations, with the bulk of the lost revenue going to the wealthiest. (As well, consumption and payroll taxes which impact average people have increased, adding to the unequal outcomes.)

The justification for these tax cuts and the foregone revenues was that they would spur investment and growth. That doesn't seem to have happened does it? Not at all.

Ontarians, like most Canadians, are pretty moderate. They were told that some people would get huge tax-cuts and that this would create jobs and growth. If that turned out to not be the case, and that was the end of it, they'd probably shrug their shoulders. But if it was spelled out for them that the wealthy and the corporations would get tax-cuts, that this wouldn't create any jobs or growth, but, instead, produce massive deficits that would necessitate cuts to all sorts of necessary programs and services, I think the response would be a little different.

That's why McGuinty can't be honest about things. That's why he has to try to scare us with this bullshit about how Drummond's austerity recommendations are the only thing to save us from a deficit death spiral.

This is a snow job people. This is crude manipulation. This is insulting nonsense.


Owen Gray said...

The results are in over in Europe, thwap. If our leaders persist in the same policies, they are fools.

thwap said...

McGuinty isn't running for re-election. But any Liberals who expect another win after this crap ... then again, look at all the fools backing Obama.

All they need for "legitimacy" is to go back and forth between tweedle-dum and tweedle dee.

Even if 65% of the electorate can't bestir themselves to vote for this farce, a 35% turnout would be fine for the elites.