Thursday, April 09, 2015

WRP, The ISS Just Saw Your Reality Cheque Bounce Past Them

When newly minted WildRose leader Brian Jean spoke on the party's budget plank, he demonstrated just how unrealistic the neoliberal model of government is.
"We believe that any Albertan that goes into any government service will see inefficiencies and things they would actually see to change themselves. We are bringing forward practical solutions to change things. We are not going to affect any front-line workers and I would not suggest it's an axe."
Yeah ... sure.  When was the last time you dealt directly with a government frontline worker?  Registries?  Nope - those are all privately operated now.  Taxes?  Nope - those are all automated these days.  Health Care?  Yes, if you went to a hospital; no if you went to your family physician or a walk-in clinic.  Alberta Works?  Yes.  Schools?  Nope - those people are employees of the school boards.

In the two cases where government employees are involved, if you see "inefficiencies" that you want to change, the people involved are front line workers.  
Jean is also promising to improve health care and education, and make government more accountable. He said Albertans are frustrated by what he called "countless scandals" involving the abuse of tax dollars and the entitlement of senior government officials.
The PCs have failed miserably for the last couple of decades to be prudent fiscal managers.  The piddling size of the Heritage Savings Trust Fund demonstrates this, as does the enormous deficit the government is facing in the wake of a downturn in the oil market.

That said, WRP's "plan" isn't exactly realistic either:
The leader of the Wildrose Party is promising to return Alberta to balanced budgets by 2017 without raising taxes. 
But Brian Jean did not offer up full details on how his party would accomplish the feat as he introduced a five-point priority list in Calgary on Wednesday. 
The centrepiece of the plan is to roll back the tax and fee increases introduced by the Tories in the spring budget and create a long-term savings strategy.
So, you're going to reduce taxes (that's what all those fees are that Prentice just slapped Albertans with), and you are going to balance the budget?  All without addressing the systemic problem of the current revenue models?  Good luck with that.
The other four Wildrose priorities are: 
  • Patient-centred health care and seniors care: implement a 'Wait Time Guarantee' to reduce surgical and specialist queuing.
  • World-class education: "back to basics" curriculum and grading.
  • Democracy and accountability in Alberta: the party vows to curb waste and cronyism by capping severances, reducing managers and eliminating corporate welfare.
  • Supporting rural industries and communities: "We recognize that the long-term health of Alberta depends on ensuring our rural industries and communities have the support they deserve," the party's website says.
Seriously?  They think they can do massive overhauls of health care and education without spending money?  Good luck with that.

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