Beam me up, Scotty. Mr. Speaker, the hon. member for Notre-Dame-de-Grâce says he wants to cut the deficit all right but in doing so he is going to ignore the 63 per cent of our budgetary expenditures that are used in transfers. Then he makes this gigantic leap and says that all the cuts that would be made in those would be made on the backs of the poor. I have news for him. There is more money taken out of social programs by the middle class, including the upper middle class, than there is by the poor. He can read that in the statistics in his own reports.
I give the hon. member some credit for telling us that the programs work great as long as there is strong economic growth. That is what we have been saying all along but we cannot continue to throw money out the door with abandon when we have a weak economy.
Let us not say that these programs have never caused any economic decline in countries that have had them. Look at Sweden. Sweden has hit the wall economically. I have personal knowledge of that from people I am dealing with who are trying to get past immigration into Canada because there are no jobs in Sweden any more. Sweden is worse off than we are.
If as the hon. member suggests the deficit is not as great a problem as we Reformers suggest, I find it passing curious that the Liberals have accepted their half-hearted attempts at deficit reduction. Either we have a problem or we do not. Let us be consistent. Let us decide what we are saying here.
Finally, there is one part of his dissertation which I did find a little bit offensive. He said the government and taxation are not to blame for the deficit or government overspending. It is all those evil, ordinary little people who insist on wasting their money on consumer goods when mother government could spend it so much more wisely on their behalf.
I would like to hear the hon. member's response to my comments.