It might seem a tad irreverant to summon the genius of Sir Winston Churchill, a Conservative icon, in an editorial concerning the B.C. NDP’s first budget in 17 years.
But Churchill’s wisdom is of course for the ages, regardless of political stripe and whichever governing party is trying to sell a budget to the masses at any given time. So let’s take a brief journey into the giant intellect of which Sir Winston was possessed, and ruminate on a couple of sagacious mind eggs he’s laid in our path. His quotes are always important to remember, at budget time.
“There is nothing government can give you that it hasn’t taken from you in the first place,” is one piece of sound wisdom attributed to the late British statesman.
Tradition has it that Canadian finance ministers preparing to deliver their budget get fitted with a new pair of shoes. We’re not sure why — perhaps it’s to better make good on their escape, if the budget proves too unpopular?
One thing notable about Finance Minister Carole James’ first provincial budget is that it appears to have managed to not make anyone really angry. That alone, in the world of political budget making, represents an achievement worthy of accolades.
The second thing Churchill teaches us about budgets applies to nations, provinces and cities as well: “We contend that for a nation to try to tax itself into prosperity is like a man standing in a bucket and trying to lift himself up by the handle.”
Well said, Mr. Churchill.