Budget days should be days when Canadians are encouraged to imagine the possibilities for one of the richest countries in the world. Not the possibilities of the shopping mall or the offerings of Netflix, but the possibilities of building -- or rebuilding -- community.
At its best, that is what government is supposed to be about.
But the last eight budgets have been about smothering the national dream of prosperity and equality by systematically starving the federal government.
The outrageous tax cuts of the Harper government (and the Liberals' before that) have had one purpose: to dramatically reduce the role of government while redefining Canadian citizens increasingly as consumers.