Politics

We Should Be More Like Canada (Seriously)

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In our super-spooky 3D issue on slashing government (subscribe today!) there's a great essay from former Canadian and Reason Contributing Editor David Henderson on Canada's spectacular success cutting government in the 1990s. Here's a sneak peek from his essay:

In 1994 government debt was 68 percent of Canada's GDP. By 2008 that number was down to 29 percent. Finance Minister Paul Martin Jr. and Prime Minister Jean Chrétien, both of the Liberal Party, are the two unlikely stars in this heroic tale of fiscal discipline….

Martin and Chrétien enforced discipline on other cabinet members with a zero-sum ground rule: If a cabinet member wanted a smaller cut in one program, he had to propose a bigger cut in another.

The piece is based on a larger paper by Henderson, released last week. The whole thing is worth checking out, but here's a stunning chart pulled from its pages:

canada is better than us

Note that those cuts are real cuts, not the phony cuts in the growth of spending that D.C.'s phony fiscal conservatives tout. Real, honest-to-god, less-money-for-each-government-program (except Indians, I guess) cuts.