One of the things that has always irritated me about the modern neoConservative is how utterly myopic their policies and solutions to things are.
In a time of economic crisis, which may well plunge Canada back into deficit territory, we find Jim Flaherty musing about selling off assets to balance the books.
How utterly short sighted. First off, given the economic situation, nobody's going to be able to borrow the money to purchase those assets. Second, at that point, the only way to sell them will be at fire sale prices, which hardly does justice to the taxpayer's investment, does it?
Lastly, a government, just like an individual, needs a balance of liquid and non-liquid assets. My house is an asset. I use it to my advantage by controlling my cost of living month to month; similarly, there is merit in the government owning a certain amount of 'bricks-and-mortar' to house its operations - in part so that the costs of the governments operations can be kept under some control - not terribly complicated to understand, is it?
Selling off Canada's assets to 'the highest bidder' simply to avoid a deficit is foolish. There are other ways to achieve that goal that do not have the same long term consequences for taxpayers.