Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to take part in today's debate on the budget. I would like to point out that the Liberals confirmed in their most recent budget that, unfortunately, they still believe in the old Keynesian theory that governments can create wealth by spending more.
However, when the government injects money into the economy, one has to ask where that money is coming from. We know it does not grow on trees. The reality is that whenever the government takes another dollar from someone's pocket, it is a dollar that the person cannot spend or invest. When that happens, public spending increases and private spending decreases, and there is no creation of wealth.
Government borrowing does the same thing. Private investors who lend their money to the government will have less money to lend to private entrepreneurs. Public sector borrowing and spending increase and private sector borrowing decreases at the same time. There is no creation of wealth.
To be a bit more clear and explain it another way, it is like taking a pot of water from the deep end of a swimming pool and pouring it into the shallow end. As we know, this has no effect and makes no difference, except that a bit of water is wasted between the two. It is the same for the government. When it spends or borrows, it prevents the private sector from spending, and we know that the private sector is better at creating wealth.
What we find with the Liberal government’s budget is that it puts us in a difficult economic situation. The Liberals are going to run deficits and borrow money, somewhat like the Trudeau government of the 1970s.
It is important to tell the government that prosperity comes not when the government spends, but rather when entrepreneurs invest.
To kick-start the economy, the government needs to give entrepreneurs the means to create wealth. The government should put in place the best conditions to help entrepreneurs be more productive. To that end, it should reduce taxes for all entrepreneurs, reduce the regulatory burden on Canadians, and promote free trade.
Growth and progress are realized through more economic freedom and less government intervention in the economy. More public spending is not the solution to our social and economic challenges. On the contrary, it will drag us into a debt spiral. According to the government’s budget, we will be in that debt spiral for the next five years. Future generations will have to pay off that debt.
I would like to summarize the government’s economic logic. It is quite simple: if we are in a recession, spend; if we are not in a recession, spend so that we are in a recession.
That is the simplistic economic logic of this government. It does not understand that Keynesian spending logic does not create wealth.
I have a few questions for my Liberal colleagues.
What if the Liberal government's economics policy is deeply flawed and does not bring us prosperity? What if more government borrowing and spending are not the answer to our economic challenges? What if we wake up one day and realize that the deplorable state of Canada's finances is a predictable consequence of the current government's excessive borrowing and spending? What if the Prime Minister is wrong in his belief that the more the government spends and stimulates the economy, the less he needs to worry about the deficit? What if the Prime Minister is completely wrong and the budget does not balance itself?
What if the Minister of Finance is wrong and makes a huge mistake thinking we can spend our way to prosperity on borrowed money?
What if Canadians are right when they believe that we do not get richer when we spend money that we do not have? What if deficits do not create wealth but harm future generations? What if prosperity does not come from government spending but rather from entrepreneurs investing? What if more government spending and borrowing does not act as an economic stimulus but rather as an economic sedative?
What happens if my concerns are completely unfounded? Nothing. However, what happens if my concerns are justified and ignored? Nothing good for Canadians.
What I am saying right now is very simple. We cannot borrow money and spend money that we do not have and do not need to spend when we do not have an economic crisis or a recession. That is what the Liberal government is doing right now, and it will harm future generations.
I am very happy to have been able to participate in this debate on the budget. We ought to have a smaller government in Canada, a government that lives according to its means and allows future generations to progress and live in a country that is freer and more prosperous.