Mr. Speaker, I cannot help but object to the member's comments welcoming debate on paying down the debt.
As my hon. colleague for Lethbridge has pointed out, the cumulative debt stands at $580 billion which has saddled this country into low productivity. Year after year after year Michael Wilson and Brian Mulroney told us that this debt was going to go. I remember it well.
In 1984 Mr. Mulroney campaigned and indicated that we were $170 billion in debt courtesy of the Liberal Party and this was going to sink us under a whole margin of debt. Mr. Mulroney's government was going to fix this when it took office. From 1984 to 1993 the Mulroney government ran up the debt from $170 billion to approximately $450 billion. The Liberals continued on and ran it up to $580 billion. It was the Reform Party coming over the horizon and saying that if things did not change we would take over this place that caused the Liberal Party and that rump down at the far end, the Progressive Conservative Party, to change their minds.
The member says he wants to enter into a debate about the national debt. Let us remember what two parties created the national debt. It was the Reform Party that came here and caused them to change.
The member talks about the GST replacing a hidden tax. The manufacturers sales tax did not affect me much as a consumer but the GST hits me in the pocket every time I go to the cash register. People do not like it. It was brought in over the protestations of every Canadian. The Liberals kept it even though they promised to get rid of it.
I want to know what the member is going to do about the GST and high taxes. There are $40 billion in interest payments every year because of the national debt.