Hon. Sinclair Stevens (York-Peel):
Mr. Speaker, I am sorry that we have no representatives from our socialist Party in the House as we commence debate on this very important Bill this morning. I say that because while the Liberal Party must carry the main burden for the deficit financing that we are now into and the necessary borrowing which follows from such deficit financing, I think all Members of the House would agree that it is certainly the socialist Party that has egged the Government on month after month, year after year, into more and more irresponsible spending with the resulting deficits and borrowing requirements with which we are now faced.
One of the saddest things happening to us is that people are losing their perspective. They no longer can relate to $ 1 million, let alone to SI billion or to $30 billion of deficit financing or requirements. The perspective is so confused or fudged at the present time that the Government sees nothing wrong with coming before us, as it did in its last presentation in the form of a budget, and indicating that between the 1983-84 fiscal year and 1986-87 the total financial requirements of the nation will be $93 billion.
Let me repeat that figure: $93 billion is what the Government has put before us as its financial requirements in the sense of what it will have to borrow either during this fiscal year or through to fiscal year 1986-87. I mention that because is it not strange that we have a Prime Minister (Mr. Trudeau), to whom many refer aptly as the emperor, who went to Williamsburg and had the colossal nerve to say to the United States of America, the United Kingdom, Germany, Japan and various other participants in the conference, "You had better get your deficit in line; you had better cut back on your spending"?
That was the representation on the part of our Prime Minister who only weeks ago, through his Minister of Finance (Mr. Lalonde), told us that our own deficit requirement for financial needs between now and 1987 would be $93 billion. That on a per capita and gross national product basis is much higher than they have or are anticipated to have in the United States. For example, in Canada our deficit for fiscal 1983-84 will be $31.3 billion, more than we spent at the federal Government level in total in the fiscal year 1975. It is about triple, in deficit terms alone, the total spending when the emperor took power in this country in 1967-68.
I mention this little bit of background because our socialist friends to the left, who have been so instrumental in putting the spending in place, have not only been allowing the Government but egging it on to increase this deficit. I still hear the odd socialist say that it is right to spend, that the Government should be borrowing, that somehow or other deficit financing is the way of the future. That is not true.
There is all kinds of evidence that the dilemma we face in this country with high spending, low revenues and big deficits is actually deterring rather than encouraging growth in this country. Some may claim it is Keynesian to argue that the state should be spending, fine tuning-as they call it-the economy with such spending and deficit financing. I invite those who attribute that approach to Keynes to read what Keynes said with respect to such deficit financing as we are now experiencing. He would have been shocked that socialists of the day, such as those who sit to our left or the dear socialists opposite who presently form the Government, would attribute their irresponsibility with respect to deficit financing to something that they learned from Keynesian teaching.
What Keynes suggested was that in times of a slowdown, the state can spend and go into a deficit position in anticipation of going into a surplus position in better times. You then pay off whatever you incurred in the form of debt during the slow time and somehow you have a levelling. Perhaps where this Government went wrong is that it only heard one side of the equation.
In the early seventies, at the behest of the New Democratic Party, the Government put in massive spending programs. When we were in power, we learned that they did not even have the foresight to ask about the projected ongoing trends with regard to the cash requirements for those programs year after year.
Subtopic: SUPPLEMENTARY BORROWING AUTHORITY ACT, 1983-84 (NO. 2) MEASURE TO ESTABLISH