A balanced budget is good but at what cost?
How many of our veterans will suffer and/or die from undiagnosed symptoms from PTSD due to cutbacks? How many young people with treatable mental issues will die or become hardened criminals in our prison system due to cutbacks in our mental health support systems? How many people will become ill and/or die from digesting contaminated food and water due to cutbacks in our safety networks?
The list goes on and almost daily we are reminded of the suffering, due in part to our government’s desire to balance the budget.
Do not get me wrong, I too desire a balanced budget and look forward to possible surpluses to eliminate debt, but at what cost?
If we took the money we are spending on those signs telling us about projects being funded by the government and put it into Veterans Affairs, would we have to close those centres?
If we took the money we are spending on advertisements about programs that ended two years ago, or do not yet exist, and invested it in mental health programs, would it have kept our most vulnerable out of prison?
We will not supply parkas to cadets but we will fly dozens of people (the prime minister, aides, his hair stylist, ministers, MPs, etc.) around the country to make announcements. It boggles the mind.
We need to look at the value of our expenses, donations, charities, programs and operations regularly but keep in mind why we have a government.
We do not have a government so one man can be king, we do not have a government so people can play politics. We have a government so we can do things collectively what we cannot do individually. Governance needs to remain separate and vastly more important than politics, and while a balanced budget is an honourable goal, if it diminishes governing to enhance the game of politics it is too great a cost.