After 15 years, Kathleen Wynne’s Liberals see taxing and spending as the solution to every problem.
And any attempt to reduce taxing and spending, regardless of whether it helps average people, is viewed as dangerous, reckless and a threat to public services.
Thus Wynne’s out-of-touch reaction to Ontario PC leader Doug Ford’s promise to lower gas prices by 10¢ a litre.
“We know that most people won’t feel that,” Wynne said Thursday about Ford’s pledge. “The reality is that the prices fluctuate, the prices vacillate wildly.”
Wynne’s pooh-poohing is a measure of how disconnected the Liberals have become from the lives and struggles of everyday Ontarians.
She apparently doesn’t believe people will “feel” a break on a necessary expense that for most — especially middle class and low income families — struggle with a growing affordability crisis.
It’s the same out-of-touch thinking that saw the Liberals permit hydro rates to skyrocket in this province, and auto insurance premiums, and taxes, debt and fees for public services.
What Ford is proposing to do is lower gas and diesel prices by cutting excise taxes on fuel, ending cap-and-trade and fighting the federal carbon tax.
With the price of gas edging up $1.40 a litre, a fill-up now easily ranges from $50 to $100 and more and taxes are a big part of that. Ford says his 10¢ a litre tax cut will save the average driver $500 a year.
Wynne, however, already has plans to spend that money.
“By saying that he’ll take 10 cents out of the gas tax that’s a billion and a bit dollars, that is huge, huge support every year for building infrastructure, building transit around the province,” Wynne said.
Again, the Liberal mindset is rooted in a 15-year practice of seeing deficit spending, debt growth and tax growth as the only tools or options available to support infrastructure.
It’s a deeply cynical and self-serving mindset that views layers of bureaucracy, waste, inefficiency and mismanagement as inevitable and necessary costs of doing business.
It assumes public programs can’t be delivered in better, cheaper ways — that technology as one example, can’t help make government more affordable.
Wynne doesn’t get it. The Liberals don’t get it. They haven’t for 15 years.
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