Yes, Scott Walker attack of the Unions were a "power grab", the focus on tax relief to the ultimate rich through tax cut, tax holidays or trickle-down policies amount to a"corporate cash con" of national scope, and his "Oligarchy American Style" could have been written in 2008. Now the tides of radicalism in the Republican Party is so over the top that most of its member do not only embrace it but promote it in all media outlet with much vigor and foam at the mouth. It's like encountering 500 little Rush Limbaugh on every comment space of every country political websites all very high and all very angry. One could say that right wing spring madness is upon us -internationally.
Here in Canada, Stephen Harper is slashing in all that could be construe as a common cultural heritage with a jubilating efficiency and draconian cuts to the CBC/Radio-Canada or in any department created for the protection of the public that could give Harper & friends a hard time with pesky legislation and scrutiny. The Food Inspection Agency, Public Safety Canada, Transport Canada will all be affected for a grand total of more than 19000 jobs out of the door. So, more money to spend on useless jets and military posturing maybe?
Foreign Aid will now mean giving money to Canadian companies that establish themselves internationally and that offer foreign natives different "in-house training" programs. The money, Ottawa tout, will help "create jobs" in countries that need them the most. It almost makes sense. But nowhere is it mention the condition of these jobs, their salaries or the amount per workers that Canadian companies will pocket as pure profit as a gift from Harper & friends.
800 million in the2012 Canadian Budget will be taken from the poor and given to the richest of Canadian citizens under guise of tax cuts or frozen tax rates. The Conservatives, who at their heart are still the Reform Party, are now a Alberta private club affair: it's all steams a-head for oil, pipelines, mining, crude export tanker, gas and circumventing environmental hearing for a fast track from crude to pure cash for Energy investors. And prisons for kids. Promised are almost 300 million dollar in cuts to Correction Canada in the next 3 years but Harper won't build anything new. Guess we'll be calling those US private juvie prisons people soon...
And keep those private US Health Insurance phone numbers at the ready too. Your tax won't grow but all your private expenses will. Especially since Harper & Friends will cut 300 million per year to our Healthcare system. When Harper was only a mini Stockwell Day and the new tech guy for his Reform Party, he totally agree with the party's adherence to bankrupt the National Healthcare system and replace it with a two-tier private health insurance system. His Conservative Party is nothing like the party of Mulroney and Joe Clark as much as the Republican Party of today has none of the restraint or moderation of the Republican Party under "Ike" Eisenhower.
The approach and grievances of the "build a firewall around Alberta" gang is transparent and did not change since Ernest Manning's day as the "soul" of the Social Credit Party Of Alberta:
-the demise of the National Energy Program that regulates prices,
-the dismantling of the Department of Indian Affairs,
-they opposed extending certain rights to homosexuals,
-they were against any immigration "designed to radically or suddenly alter the ethnic makeup of Canada"
-and they think that too much attention and power are given to Quebec and the rest of Eastern Canada.
Harper was a representative of that platform before the Canadian Alliance cannibalized what was left of the Conservative Party. I don't think anything he will do, now that he finally has a miraculous majority, will deviate much from that wish list of the Canadian Alliance Party/Reform Party/Social Credit Party.
For certain projects public debate will be curtailed- which is ironic giving the new budget propensity for vague wording and ambiguous itemization inexplicably free of charge ( about consultation of Aboriginal bands, “appropriate legislative and regulatory frameworks related to oil spills and emergency preparedness.”, the new "enhancement to governance and oversight framewok" for the CMHC )- which means we will probably need more of it.
EcoEnergy Programs are deleted, National Council on Welfare gone, the new "modernized" immigration system will be controlled by corporations for corporations... after spending more than 12 million dollars on advertising on its promotion, the Jim Flaherty Budget was a right-wing hit love song promising that the best was yet to come.
So when I read Krugman finally calls US conservatives "fraudulent""phonies", it fun and heartwarming. But when he calls their policies "wishful thinking", we all have to stop smiling. There is nothing funny or left to chance here. The right wing forces are not the Three Stooges. There is in all countries caught in the grip of a conservative administration a very deliberate, a carefully calibrated, a very thoughtful process of dismantling 80 years of social democracy economical policy that relied on the citizen as a emancipated agent in a union of equals to transform that same citizen as a pure economical assignee- from citizen to consumer, from a protector of national good and commonwealth to a producer and consumer of goods, period. The government that must be "drown like a baby in a bathtub" to paraphrase a conservative policy maker, is to be no more concern by its citizens than ...a bathtub by a drowning baby.
The "economic growth" of the world 2% rich elite is what is sought after with austerity measures from now on. Everything else must be paid for at the most expensive price by you... while you drown in debt. The right wing motto never was prosperity for all. Too bad millions will lose much before they will ever figure it out.