By Jason Clemens
and Milagros Palacios
The Fraser Institute
Pulitzer Prize-winning author George Will has repeatedly argued that, contrary to conventional wisdom, there is enormous consensus in Washington, D.C. – borrow today to finance spending and tax cuts but leave the costs (i.e. taxes) to the next generation. There are increasing signs that Canadians are gravitating to this D.C. consensus, which resulted in the U.S. national debt (held by the public) increasing from $3.4 trillion in 2000 to $16.8 trillion in 2019, pre-recession.
Up to 2015 and extending back to at least the mid-1990s, Canadians had a very different consensus – balanced budgets and paying down debt, prioritizing government spending to live within our means, and competitive taxes. Such consensus led not only to strong government balance sheets but also a comparatively robust economy.