Apparently British Columbians are now so debt-free that the wizards of Clarklandia have decided that they can throw a few bones back at various and sundry demographic slivers that their numbers boys tell them they will need in the suburban swing ridings come what may happen in May.
But make no mistake, the screws of regression are still clamped down tight.
And the cronies are still winning big.
And the resource industries are still not paying anywhere close to their fair share.
And, despite what the local puffed-up punditry will tell you from here until the weekend, the real debt is, as Norm Farrell has done a fantastic job of showing, through the roof:
But Norm's graph, above, is not the even the real real story.
Because, when you throw the cronified contract obligations onto the bonfire of the insanity you add another $100 billion to that last bar with nary a sparkle pony in sight.
Are our public schools as good as they were in 2001?
Is post-secondary tuition where it was?
In point of fact, I would challenge anybody, anywhere, to tell me one provincial public service that ALL the people use that is in the shape that it was fifteen years ago?
PR/Spin/PAB-Bottery houses, excepted, of course.
Which has to have anyone who has been paying attention asking...
I'll tell you for what...
For a massive tax/user fee and debt obligation shift onto the backs of those who can afford it least.
But not to worry...
Because some people's kids will come out of all this completely unscathed.
As for the rest of them?
And don't even get me started about the PR value of a line item increase in the budget for public shool 'supplies'....That, right there, in my opinion, tells the entire story of the how hard the great regression has squeezed us...And, the kicker (in the head on that one?)....Unless I missed it, don't think I saw the need for that sort of deal for the privates we are still giving $300 million a year to so that they can keep on keepin' lots of folks' kids out...
And just where are those BC Hydro numbers anyway?
Finally, if you need an actual breakdown of what went down yesterday, Iglika Ivanova and Alex Hemingway of the CCPA have a good thorough summary up.