Transcript: Show #51 | Jan 28, 1996

The opening sequence rolls.
In animation, the title "Fourth Reading" spins against a red background.
Then, snippets from the current episode play.

Steve says THIS WEEK,
THE GREAT DEBATE.

In a clip, William Kristol says THE INCENTIVES, THE SPIRIT,
OF ETHOS THE WELFARE STATE,
AS WELL AS THE STRICT
INCENTIVES OF WELFARE
POLICIES HAVE CONTRIBUTED
TO, UNFORTUNATELY, A FAILURE
TO PROGRESS IN
REDUCING POVERTY.

Bob Rae says WE HAVE THE CAPACITY TO PAY
FOR WHAT NEEDS TO BE PAID FOR.
THE QUESTION IS, DO WE
HAVE THE POLITICAL WILL?

Steve says BOB RAE AND WILLIAM
KRISTOL DEBATE THE FUTURE OF
THE WELFARE STATE.

(music plays)

Steve and three guests sit around a table in the shape of a number 4.
Steve is in his early forties, clean-shaven, with short curly brown hair. He's wearing a dark cyan suit, white shirt and lilac and green patterned tie.

Steve says POLITICIANS AND PUNDITS SEEM
TO BE SAYING THE SAME THING
THESE DAYS, THE SHRINKING
ROLE OF THE STATE IS THE
STORY OF OUR AGE.
HI, EVERYBODY, I'M STEVE
PAIKIN, AND WELCOME TO
ANOTHER EDITION
OF 4th READING.
EVEN BILL CLINTON, WHO HAILS
FROM THE PARTY OF FDR AND
THE NEW DEAL SAID THIS
WEEK THAT THE ERA OF
BIG GOVERNMENT IS OVER.
IS HE RIGHT?
SHOULD THE WELFARE
STATE BE ROLLED BACK?
THAT WAS THE TOPIC WHEN
OUTGOING NDP LEADER BOB RAE
DEBATED WILLIAM KRISTOL
BEFORE A PACKED HALL AT THE
UNIVERSITY OF TORONTO
WEDNESDAY NIGHT.
KRISTOL, OF COURSE, THE
CONSERVATIVE REPUBLICAN,
EDITOR OF THE NEW
WEEKLY
STANDARD, FORMER CHIEF
OF STAFF TO VICE
PRESIDENT DAN QUAYLE.
HERE ARE SOME HIGHLIGHTS OF
A DEBATE THAT'S RIGHT ON
POINT FOR A PROVINCE
DEEP IN THE THROES OF A
NEOCONSERVATIVE COMMON
SENSE REVOLUTION.

A clip plays in which Robert Prichard speaks at a university.
A caption reads "Robert Prichard. President U. of T."

Prichard is in his early forties, clean-shaven with wavy blond hair. He’s wearing a navy suit, white shirt, and dotted polka-dotted navy tie.

Prichard says THE RESOLUTION BEFORE THE
HOUSE TONIGHT WILL BE
RESOLVED THAT THE WELFARE
STATE MUST BE ROLLED BACK.
IN INVITING MISTER KRISTOL TO
SPEAK FIRST, WE THOUGHT THAT
WAS AN APPROPRIATE COURTESY
TO OUR VISITOR, AND AN
APPROPRIATE REFLECTION OF
POLITICS IN ONTARIO AS
THEY NOW STAND.

[applause-laughter]

Now a clip shows William Kristol speaking in front of an audience.
A caption reads "William Kristol. Editor, The Weekly Standard."

Kristol is in his forties, clean-shaven with receding hair. He’s wearing a dark suit, pale blue shirt and patterned brown tie.

Kristol says THE ERA
OF BIG GOVERNMENT IS OVER.
BILL CLINTON SAID
THAT LAST NIGHT.
THE DEMOCRATIC PRESIDENT
OF THE UNITED STATES,
PRESIDENT, THE LEADER OF
A PARTY WHOSE REASON FOR
EXISTENCE IS TO
MANAGE BIG GOVERNMENT.
He puts on a pair of glasses and continues WELFARE STATES TEND TO GO
BANKRUPT, OR AT LEAST ARE ON
A PATH TOWARDS BANKRUPTCY OR
INSOLVENCY, TAX AND TAX,
SPEND AND SPEND, ELECT AND
ELECT, THE FAMOUS SLOGAN OF
THE NEW DEAL WHICH SERVED
THE DEMOCRATIC PARTY WELL
FOR 40 OR 50 YEARS IN THE
UNITED STATES, NO LONGER WORKS.
WHAT WAS ORIGINALLY
WELFARE BENEFITS BECAME
ENTITLEMENTS, AND
ENTITLEMENTS BECAME
UNCONTROLLABLE ENTITLEMENTS.
WHAT WERE ORIGINALLY
TARGETED INTERVENTIONS IN
MARKETS BECAME SUBSIDIES
FOR INDUSTRIES, AND BECAUSE
OF THE POLITICAL DYNAMICS
OF THE WELFARE STATE,
INDUSTRIES NEVER LOST THESE
SUBSIDIES, AND WHEN THEY
WERE NO LONGER NECESSARY,
AND YOU HAVE THE OBVIOUS
SITUATION AROUND THE
WORLD OF BUDGET DEFICITS,
MOUNTING DEBT, UNEMPLOYMENT
IN THE SAME WELFARE STATES
THAT WERE HELD UP AS A
MODEL TO THOSE OF US IN
THE UNITED STATES, AS
RECENTLY AS FIVE, TEN,
YEARS AGO, PLACES WE SHOULD
MODEL OUR WELFARE POLICIES,
OUR UNEMPLOYMENT POLICIES,
OUR JOB TRAINING POLICIES
ON, NOW HAVE 11-12 PERCENT
UNEMPLOYMENT, EVEN IN
REASONABLY GOOD ECONOMIC
TIMES, AND SUDDENLY,
EUROPE LOOKS LESS
ATTRACTIVE AS A MODEL.

Now, Bob Rae stands behind the lectern.
A caption reads "Bob Rae. Ontario NDP Leader."

Rae is in his forties, clean-shaven, with short white hair. He's wearing glasses, a gray suit, light blue shirt and patterned black tie.

Rae says WE ARE NOT BANKRUPT
AS A COUNTRY.
WE ARE NOT BANKRUPT
AS A PROVINCE.
WE ARE NOT BANKRUPT AS
A GROUP OF COUNTRIES
IN THE WESTERN WORLD.
WE HAVE THE CAPACITY TO PAY
FOR WHAT NEEDS TO BE PAID FOR.
THE QUESTION IS, DO WE
HAVE THE POLITICAL WILL?
DO WE HAVE THE WILLINGNESS?
DO WE HAVE THE WILLINGNESS
TO SUSTAIN PROGRAMS?
WE FACE A CAPITALISM
WHICH IN AND OF ITSELF IS
GENERATING NOT MORE EQUALITY,
BUT MORE INEQUALITY.

People in the audience listen carefully.

Rae continues WHICH IS GENERATING GREATER
GAPS BETWEEN RICH AND POOR.
FACED WITH THIS PROBLEM
AND THIS CHALLENGE, ARE WE
COMPLETELY POWERLESS AS A
SOCIETY TO SAY THE EFFECTS
OF THIS SHOULD
BE ALLEVIATED?
WE SHOULD RESPOND, SHE WOULD
ATTEMPT TO REDISTRIBUTE.
AGAIN, I DON'T THINK WE
SHOULD BE POWERLESS.
AND I DON'T THINK GOVERNMENT
AND THE STATE SHOULD ACCEPT
THAT IT IS POWERLESS.

Kristol says EVEN IF THE WELFARE
STATE WERE ECONOMICALLY
SUSTAINABLE, I DON'T
THINK IT WOULD BE WORTH
SUSTAINING BECAUSE IT'S
NOT ACCOMPLISHING THE
FUNDAMENTAL THING IT WAS
SUPPOSED TO ACCOMPLISH.
AT THE END OF THE DAY, THE
WELFARE STATE WAS SUPPOSED
TO HELP THE POOR.
THAT IS THE MORAL
JUSTIFICATION, SURELY,
FOR BIG GOVERNMENT, OR
FOR THE WELFARE STATE.
AND THE SITUATION OF THE
POOR HAS NOT IMPROVED AT
ALL, DESPITE HUGE INCREASES
IN EXPENDITURE, IN TRANSFER
PAYMENTS, IN WELFARE
SUBSIDIES, AND THE LIKE.
AND WE HAVE HAD THE DISASTER
OF WELFARE DEPENDENCY FROM
GENERATION TO GENERATION,
THE HUGE GROWTH OF
ILLEGITIMACY, FAMILY
BREAK-UP AND THE LIKE.
NONE OF THAT CAN
EXCLUSIVELY BE ASCRIBED TO
THE WELFARE STATE PER SE,
BUT I WOULD ARGUE THAT THE
INCENTIVES, THE SPIRIT, THE
ETHOS OF THE WELFARE STATE,
AS WELL AS THE STRICT
INCENTIVES OF WELFARE
POLICIES HAVE CONTRIBUTED
TO, UNFORTUNATELY, A FAILURE
TO PROGRESS IN REDUCING
POVERTY, AND IN SOME WAYS
TO WORSENING THE STATE OF
THOSE WHO UNFORTUNATELY FIND
THEMSELVES BORN INTO
POVERTY BECAUSE OF THE
SOCIO-ECONOMIC CONDITIONS
THAT NOW SURROUND THEM.

Rae says MANY OF THE SOCIAL
ILLS OF OUR TIME HE ASCRIBES
TO SOMETHING HE CALLS
'THE WELFARE STATE'.
AND I WOULD ASCRIBE TO
SOMETHING CALLED THE NATURE
OF OUR MODERN ECONOMY
AGAINST WHICH THE WELFARE
STATE IS TRYING
TO DO SOMETHING.
TO BLAME THE WELFARE STATE
FOR HIGH RATES OF CRIME, OR
TO BLAME THE WELFARE STATE
FOR HIGH RATES OF POVERTY,
AND HIGH INCIDENTS OF
FAMILY BREAKDOWN STRIKES ME
AS AN ARGUMENT, BUT
NOT NECESSARILY TRUE.
I DON'T THINK IT'S AN ACT OF
GENEROSITY OF OUR PART THAT
WE'RE HELPING OUT OTHERS AS
AN ACT OF PRIVATE CHARITY.

A man takes notes as Rae speaks.

Rae continues NO, THAT'S NOT HOW IT'S
INTERPRETED OR SEEN BY US.
IT'S SEEN AS SOMETHING THAT
WE'RE DOING IN A SPIRIT
OF SELF-INTEREST.
WE'RE DOING IT FOR
OURSELVES, AS MUCH AS WE'RE
DOING IT FOR OTHERS.
AND IT'S BASED ON A SIMPLE
PRINCIPLE OF ASSURANCE
THAT SAYS I KNOW I'M
GOING TO GET SICK.
I KNOW I'M GOING
TO GET OLD.
AND I KNOW I'M GOING TO
RELY ON HEALTHCARE AND NEED
THE HEALTHCARE SYSTEM.
AND SINCE IT IS SO CLEARLY A
FACT OF LIFE AND A FACT OF
NATURE AND SOMETHING WE
SHARE, IT HAPPENS TO RICH
AND POOR, TO OLD AND TO
YOUNG, THE PRINCIPLE THAT
EVERYONE SHOULD BE COVERED
BY SOME KIND OF INSURANCE IS
AN ADVANCE WE FEEL WE'VE
MADE IN CANADA, AND WE
DON'T FEEL THAT IT'S
SOMETHING THAT WE'RE DOING
AS AN ACT OF
CHARITY FOR OTHERS.

Kristol says THE DYNAMICS
OF THE WELFARE STATE, I THINK,
DO VARIOUS THINGS THAT OVER THE
LONG RUN TURN OUT TO BE DAMAGING
TO SOCIAL HARMONY, SOCIAL
COHESION, EVEN TO THE
SPECIFIC CHARACTER
OF THE SOCIETY.
YOU SEE THIS, I THINK, IN
THE UNITED STATES AT LEAST,
WITH THE INCREASING
BALKANIZATION OF SOCIETY,
PARTLY DUE TO GOVERNMENT
POLICIES, WELL-INTENTIONED
ONES TO BEGIN WITH, THAT
COUNT PEOPLE BY RACE, THAT
ALLOCATE POSITIONS BY
RACE, ETHNICITY AND GENDER.
SIMILARLY THE GROWTH OF WHAT
YOU MIGHT CALL A PSYCHOLOGY
OF VICTIMIZATION IS THE
ULTIMATE EFFECT, I THINK,
OF A WELFARE STATE IN WHICH
PEOPLE ARE GIVEN LOTS OF
INCENTIVES, AND LOTS OF
REINFORCEMENT FOR THINKING
OF THEMSELVES AS THE VICTIMS
OF POLICIES BEYOND THEIR
CONTROL, AND NOT AS
REASONABLY SELF-RELIANT
INDIVIDUALS, FAMILIES,
COMMUNITIES, ABLE IN MOST
CIRCUMSTANCES, AT LEAST
IN NORMAL CIRCUMSTANCES,
BARRING A GREAT DEPRESSION
OR NATURAL CATASTROPHE,
TO MOSTLY TAKE CARE OF
THEMSELVES AND THEIR NEIGHBOURS.
AND AT SOME LEVEL, THE WHOLE
PSYCHOLOGY AND SOCIOLOGY OF
VICTIMIZATION UNDERCUTS,
NOT JUST INITIATIVE, BUT IT
UNDERCUTS, NOT JUST THE
ABILITY OF THE WILLINGNESS
OF PEOPLE TO RELY UPON
THEMSELVES AND THEIR OWN
FAMILIES, BUT ALSO TO HELP
OTHERS, NEIGHBOURS AND
FELLOW CITIZENS.
AND AT SOME LEVEL,
THEREFORE, I THINK THE
CULTURE OF THE WELFARE
STATE REALLY UNDERCUTS AND
DAMAGES THE CIVIC CULTURE
OF A NATION OR OF A COMMUNITY.

Rae says I DON'T
SHARE THAT VIEW.
I BELIEVE IN A GENUINE
POLICY OF INCLUSIVENESS.
YES, THIS INCLUDES A
RECOGNITION OF DIFFERENCES.
YES, THIS INCLUDES THE
RECOGNITION IN OUR OWN
SOCIETY THAT WE LIVE IN A
MULTIRACIAL SOCIETY, AND
YES IT MEANS RECOGNIZING
THAT THERE ARE ASPECTS OF
OUR SOCIETY WHICH HAVE
PRODUCED DISCRIMINATION
WHICH WE MUST STRIVE TO END.
THAT'S NOT BALKANIZATION,
THAT'S INCLUSIVENESS.
AND THAT'S RECOGNIZING THE
CHALLENGES WHICH LIE AHEAD.
NONE OF US ARE
SELF-MADE.
NONE OF US ARE.
WE MAKE OUR WAY IN THE WORLD
BECAUSE OF THE SUSTENANCE
OF OUR FAMILIES BECAUSE OF
THE CHOICES THAT WE MAKE
OURSELVES, AND BECAUSE OF
THE OPPORTUNITIES THAT ARE
PRESENTS TO US BY SOCIETY.
THE ILLUSION THAT SOMEHOW WE
CAN DO IT ALL ON OUR OWN,
THAT WE MADE IT HERE ON OUR
OWN, AND THAT THERE IS NO
SENSE OF OBLIGATION HOLDING
US TOGETHER WITHIN THIS
CAPITALIST SOCIETY IS
A TERRIBLE ILLUSION.
YES, WE LIVE IN MARKETS, AND
YES, WE BELIEVE IN THE ROLE
AND THE PLACE OF MARKETS IN
OUR SOCIETY, BUT WE ASPIRE
TO BE NOT SIMPLY CONSUMERS,
BUT WE ASPIRE TO BE CITIZENS.
AND WE ASPIRE TO BE PART OF
A CIVIC CULTURE IN WHICH
WE OWE SOMETHING TO ONE
ANOTHER, AND WHICH WE
EXPRESS THAT SENSE OF
MUTUAL OBLIGATION BY
ENSURING, NOT SIMPLY IN
MOMENTS OF DIFFICULTY, BUT
INDEED THROUGHOUT OUR LIVES
WE'RE THERE TO SUPPORT AND
TO SUSTAIN EACH OTHER.

[applause]
Now, Rae and Kristol sit at a long table. Behind them, a banner reads "University of Toronto."

Prichard says THANK
YOU VERY MUCH, PREMIER.
THANK YOU VERY
MUCH, MISTER KRISTOL.
THE PRINCIPLE POSITIONS
ARE BEFORE THE HOUSE.
I NOW INVITE YOU
TO INTERVENE.

Now, Jack Carr speaks.
A caption reads "Professor Jack Carr. U. of T."

Carr is in his forties, clean-shaven with brown hair. He’s wearing glasses, a navy suit, white shirt, patterned gray tie and an ID.

Carr says REAL WELFARE RATES FROM
1980 TO SEPTEMBER OF 1995
INCREASED BETWEEN
45 AND 70 PERCENT.
THAT'S REAL WELFARE RATES.
THAT'S WHAT WELFARE INCREASED
OVER AND ABOVE INFLATION.
AT THE SAME TIME THIS
OCCURRED, INCOMES OF AVERAGE
CANADIANS ALMOST
STAYED CONSTANT.

Rae takes down notes.

Carr continues WHAT WE ARGUE IS PEOPLE
COMPARE INCOMES THEY CAN
MAKE ON SOCIAL ASSISTANCE
TO INCOME THEY CAN MAKE
IN THE LABOUR MARKET.
AND IT WOULDN'T COME AS A
SURPRISE THAT IF INCOME YOU
COULD MAKE ON WELFARE WERE
TO INCREASE DRAMATICALLY,
AS OCCURRED RELATIVE TO
INCOME IN THE LABOUR
MARKET, THAT YOU SHOULD
FIND NUMBER OF PEOPLE ON
WELFARE INCREASING.

Abe Rotstein stands in the audience holding a microphone.
A caption reads "Professor Abe Rotstein. Economist."

Rotstein is in his fifties, clean-shaven with receding gray hair. He’s wearing glasses, a gray suit, white shirt and brown tie.

Rotstein says LOOK AT THE QUESTION OF TODAY,
WHO IS PAYING THE TAXES?
IT'S NOT SURPRISING THAT
THERE IS A TAX REVOLT,
AND IT'S NOT SURPRISING
THAT IT EXPRESSED ITSELF
SO VIRULENTLY IN THE
ONTARIO ELECTION.
THE TAXES TODAY ARE BEING
PAID BY INDIVIDUALS IN A
PRECISELY REVERSE RATIO OF
APPROXIMATELY THREE TIMES
AS MUCH BY INDIVIDUALS
AS BY CORPORATIONS.
I SUGGEST TO YOU MISTER
CHAIRMAN, THAT THE
RESOLUTION BEFORE US TODAY
MIGHT BE AMENDED SLIGHT.
SHOULD THE WELFARE
STATE FOR CORPORATIONS
BE ROLLED BACK?

[applause-cheering]

John Crispo speaks standing behind the lectern.
A caption reads "Professor John Crispo. U. of T."

Crispo is in his fifties, clean-shaven with brown hair. He’s wearing glasses, a dark suit, white shirt and polka-dotted black tie.

Crispo says I'D LOVE TO TAKE ON ABE.
I CAN'T BELIEVE THIS
AUDIENCE STILL BELIEVES
THAT CORPORATION
TAXES ARE PROGRESSIVE.
CORPORATIONS PASS ON
THEIR TAXES TO CONSUMERS.
I JUST CAN'T BELIEVE IT.
ALSO, WHEN OUR CORPORATIONS
ARE COMPETING IN A VERY
GLOBAL VILLAGE, TO TAX THEM
WHEN OTHERS AREN'T IS
ABSOLUTELY THE
HEIGHT OF FOLLY.

Now, Linda McQuaig speaks in front of the audience.
A caption reads "Linda McQuaig. Writer."

McQuaig is in her early forties, with shoulder-length wavy blond hair and bangs. She’s wearing a navy blazer.

McQuaig says THE WHOLE IDEA
THAT OUR TAXES ARE PARTICULARLY
HIGH AND THEREFORE
WE'RE UNCOMPETITIVE IS
JUST COMPLETELY WRONG.
IN FACT, IF YOU LOOK AT THE
FEDERAL GOVERNMENT'S RECENT
ECONOMIC STATEMENT, IT SHOWS
VERY CLEARLY THAT, IN FACT,
CORPORATION TAXES OVERALL
IN CANADA ARE THE LOWEST OF
ANY OF THE G7 COUNTRIES,
INCLUDING THE UNITED STATES.

[applause]

Prichard says SO NOW I CALL UPON YOU TO
INDICATE WHETHER OR NOT YOU
ARE IN SUPPORT OF THE
RESOLUTION THAT THE WELFARE
STATE MUST BE ROLLED BACK.
THOSE WHO WISH TO JOIN WITH
MISTER KRISTOL, PLEASE STAND.
AND MAY
I NOW INVITE THOSE WHO WISH
TO JOIN WITH PREMIER
RAE IN OPPOSITION TO
THE RESOLUTION TONIGHT.

Much more people stand up in favour of Rae.

[applause-cheering]

Prichard says
PLEASE BE SEATED.

Rae says IT'S A TIE.

Prichard says MISTER KRISTOL, IT
WAS VERY CLOSE.
[laughter]
YOUR
GOVERNMENT REPRESENTED ITSELF
HONORABLY, BUT I REGRET
TO BRING NEWS TO YOU
THAT THE RESOLUTION
HAS FAILED TONIGHT.

[applause]

Rae and Kristol shake hands.

The clip ends.

Back in the studio, Steve says BOB RAE WON THAT
ELECTION ANYWAY.

Larry says FORGET THE FEELING.

Steve laughs and continues IS THE WELFARE STATE IN
NEED OF ROLLING BACK?
LET'S PURSUE THIS AND HOW
IT'S BEING PLAYED OUT HERE
IN ONTARIO WITH
QUEEN'S PARK ANALYSTS.
LARRY GROSSMAN IS HERE.
HE'S FORMER TORY TREASURER,
NOW PRACTISING LAW IN TORONTO.

Larry is in his late forties, clean-shaven with receding gray hair. He’s wearing round glasses, navy suit, white shirt and patterned blue tie.

Steve continues PATRICK GOSSAGE IS A LIBERAL
SUPPORTER AND HEAD OF THE
PUBLIC RELATIONS
FIRM MEDIA PROFILE.

Patrick is in his fifties, clean-shaven, with wavy white hair. He's wearing oval glasses, a gray suit, blue shirt and polka-dotted gray tie.

Steve continues AND ROSS MCCLELLAN, WAS
SPECIAL POLICY ADVISOR TO
BOB RAE WHEN RAE
WAS THE PREMIER.
ROSS NOW WORKS THE ONTARIO
FEDERATION OF LABOUR.

Ross is in his fifties, with a goatee and brown hair. He’s wearing glasses, checked gray suit and black T-shirt.

Steve continues WELCOME, EVERYBODY.
JUST BEFORE WE GET TO SORT
OF SOME SPECIFIC QUESTIONS,
LET ME JUST GET SOME
FEEDBACK ON WHAT YOU SAW.
LARRY, KICK IT OFF.
WHAT'D YOU THINK?
WHAT STRUCK YOU?

A caption appears on screen. It reads "Larry Grossman. Former PC Treasurer."

Larry says WELL, WHAT STRUCK ME WAS
THAT MISTER KRISTOL WAS
TALKING PHILOSOPHY
NOT PRACTICALITIES.
BOB WAS ON THE OTHER HAND,
HIS USUAL ELOQUENT AND
PASSIONATE SELF, BUT
HE WAS, I THINK, NOT
EMPHASIZING SOME OF
THE FISCAL LESSONS AND
REALITIES HE LEARNED
WHILE HE WAS PREMIER.

Steve says PATRICK?

Patrick says I THOUGHT IT WAS
INTERESTING, YOU KNOW, THE
LACK OF DEFINITION OF WHAT
THE WELFARE STATE IS.

The caption changes to "Patrick Gossage. Liberal Activist."

Patrick continues WE WERE TALKING AND SAYING EVEN
THE USE OF THE WORD 'WELFARE
STATE' IS A BIT OF A RED...
OR PERHAPS A BLUE HERRING.
I THINK THEY WERE ALL, YOU
KNOW, TALKING ON THE MARGINS
OF WHAT THE REAL ISSUE IS,
REAL ISSUES ARE IN THE
WELFARE STATE.
THEY BROUGHT UP
EMPLOYMENT EQUITY.
BOB BROUGHT UP
EQUALIZATION AND SO ON.
AND I WISH IT HAD BEEN A
LITTLE MORE FOCUSSED ON THE
WELFARE STATE AS PEOPLE
COMMONLY UNDERSTAND IT.

Steve says ROSS.

Ross says I AGREE WITH
PATRICK'S POINT.
KRISTOL DIDN'T TALK ABOUT...
OPPONENTS OF THE WELFARE
STATE RARELY TALK ABOUT
WHAT IT REALLY MEANS.

The caption changes to "Ross McClellan. Ontario NDP Strategist."

Ross continues THEY DON'T SAY WE WOULD LIKE
TO GET RID OF MEDICARE.
WE WOULD LIKE TO GET RID
OF OLD AGE PENSION, YOUR
CANADA PENSION PLAN,
YOUR GUARANTEED INCOME
SUPPLEMENT, AND
YOUR GAINS PROGRAMS.
WE WOULD LIKE TO GET RID
OF UNEMPLOYMENT INSURANCE.
THEY ALWAYS DISGUISE IT.
THEY ALWAYS CLOAK IT IN
CONCEPTUAL LANGUAGE.
BUT WHEN THE CHOICES ARE PUT
BEFORE THE CANADIAN PEOPLE
SQUARELY MY SENSE IS
THEY LOVE THEIR MEDICARE
PROGRAMS, THEY LOVE
THEIR PROGRAMS THAT HAVE
ELIMINATED POVERTY AMONG THE
ELDERLY, AND THAT'S WHERE
THE CANADIAN PEOPLE
ARE STILL AT.
AND POLITICIANS HAVE TO
DISGUISE THEIR ATTACKS.

Larry says I THINK ONE COULD PUT AN
ARGUMENT THAT MIKE HARRIS
DIDN'T DISGUISE WHAT
HE PLANNED TO DO.

Ross says WE SHOULD
DISCUSS THAT.

Larry says IT'S UP TO STEVE.

Steve says I SUGGEST WE DON'T.

Patrick says WE'RE WAITING
FOR YOUR DIRECTION, STEVE.

Steve says THANK YOU SO
MUCH, COACH.
LET ME PICK UP ON SOMETHING
BOB RAE DID SAY DURING THE
DEBATE, WHICH WAS THAT THE
SENSE THAT WE HAVE SOMEWHERE
ALONG THE WAY LOST THE WILL
TO PAY FOR WHAT WE WANT.
IF THIS IS THE DEFINITION
OF THE WELFARE STATE, AND
LET'S USE YOUR DEFINITION,
ALL OF THOSE SOCIAL
PROGRAMS WE HAVE COME TO
EXPECT IN MANY CASES,
DO WE STILL HAVE THE
WILL TO PAY FOR THEM?
CLEARLY THE IMPLICATION OF
THE ELECTION OF THE ONTARIO
CONSERVATIVES IN JUNE OF '95
IS THAT WE'RE NOT ANYMORE.
DO YOU TAKE THAT?

Larry says ACTUALLY, I DON'T.
I WOULDN'T...

Steve says YOU DON'T
INFER THAT FROM THE
ELECTION RESULTS?

Larry says NO, I DON'T.
WE MAY HAVE LOST SOME OF THE
CAPACITY TO FUND ALL THAT,
THE FINANCIAL CAPACITY, BUT
I DON'T THINK WE'VE LOST
THE WILL TO TRY
AND FIND A WAY.
THERE'S CERTAINLY, AND BOB
RAE IN HIS LAST COUPLE OF
YEARS IN OFFICE WAS
REFLECTIVE OF THE NEW REALITY.
HE DIDN'T TRY AND SPEND HIS
WAY OUT OF THE RECESSION
AS HE DID IN '91.
HE KNEW THE NEED TO CONTROL
EXPENDITURES AND TO FIND
WAYS TO DELIVER WELFARE
PROGRAMS AND SOCIAL
PROGRAMS BETTER.
HE CHOSE THE SOCIAL
CONTRACT AS AN OPTION.
MIKE HARRIS IS CHOOSING
ANOTHER OPTION.
BUT THE WILL TO TRY AND FIND
A WAY TO CLOSE THAT GAP
HAS NOT GONE.
THE WILL TO TRY AND BUY IT
BY UNIVERSAL PROGRAMS AND
BY BUYING, I WOULD SAY,
EVERY CEREAL BOX ON THE
SHELF INSTEAD OF THE FIVE
THAT MIGHT BE NEEDED,
THAT'S WHAT'S CHANGED.
THE CAPACITY TO BUY
THEM ALL HAS GONE.
BUT I THINK IT IS A MISREAD
OF THE CANADIAN ETHIC TO SAY,
OH, WE'VE NOW DECIDED WE DON'T
CARE ABOUT LOW-INCOME PEOPLE.
WE'RE SAYING, WE'VE GOT TO
FIND A BETTER WAY TO DO IT.

Steve says CAN WE AFFORD THE
WELFARE STATE ANYMORE?

Patrick says I AGREE WITH LARRY.
I THINK THE FACT IS THAT
GENERALLY CANADIANS THINK
WELFARE SUPPORT SHOULD
BE MORE TARGETED.
I DON'T THINK THERE'S ANY
DISAGREEMENT ABOUT THAT.
AND THERE'S AN AWFUL LOT
OF WASTE AND LOOSENESS
IN THE SYSTEM.
BUT, YOU KNOW, WE HAVE COME
A FAIR WAY IN TARGETING.
IT'S NOT AS IF
WE'RE NOWHERE THERE.
IS THE CLAWBACK ON THE CPP,
FOR INSTANCE, WHICH ANNOYS ME.
I PAID IN.
I WANT MY CPP.
MOST OF IT IS GOING
TO BE CLAWED BACK.
I CAN LIVE WITH
THAT, YOU KNOW?
BUT WHAT STRIKES ME, THOUGH
STEVE, IS THAT PEOPLE LIKE
KRISTOL, I DON'T KNOW
WHETHER HE'S FROM
CALIFORNIA, I KIND
OF WISH HE WAS.

Steve says HE'S FROM NEW YORK.

Patrick continues HE'S FROM NEW YORK, BUT WHAT
WOULD BE INTERESTING TO
DISCUSS IS AT WHAT LEVEL
WHEN YOU GO BELOW THAT
LEVEL, YOU KNOW, YOU TURN
INTO A CALIFORNIA WHERE YOU
ARE WAREHOUSING CONVICTS.
WHEREAS THE COST OF
MARGINALIZING A WHOLE
SECTION OF SOCIETY ALMOST
OUTWEIGH WHAT WE'RE PAYING.
THERE'S AN AREA IN THERE.
AND I'D BE INTERESTED
TO KNOW WHETHER THAT'S
SOMETHING THAT
WORRIES HARRIS.
WE TALKED ABOUT THAT.

Steve says ROSS, IF WE CAN EXPAND THE
DEFINITION OF THE WELFARE
STATE TO INCLUDE THINGS
LIKE POLICIES THAT THE NDP
GOVERNMENT BROUGHT IN, FOR
EXAMPLE EXPANDED PAY EQUITY,
EMPLOYMENT EQUITY, THESE ARE
THINGS KRISTOL OBVIOUSLY
HAS A TERRIFIC
PROBLEM WITH.
THESE ARE THINGS TORIES
TODAY, IN GOVERNMENT,
HAVE PROBLEMS WITH.

Patrick says I DON'T THINK THEY'RE
PART OF THE WELFARE STATE.

Ross says NEITHER OF WHICH
PROGRAM COST A LOT OF MONEY
RELATIVE TO THE BASIC
ARGUMENT THAT KRISTOL IS
MAKING THAT WE CAN'T AFFORD
TO PAY FOR THESE THINGS.

Steve says BUT IF THERE
WAS ANY WILL...

Ross says BUT IT'S IMPORTANT
TO UNDERSTAND EXACTLY
WHAT KRISTOL IS
TALKING ABOUT.
BECAUSE HE'S NOT TALKING
ABOUT THE PROGRAMS AT THE
MARGIN OF THE
WELFARE STATE.
HE'S TALKING ABOUT THE CORE
PROGRAMS LIKE MEDICARE,
LIKE OLD AGE SECURITY, AND
OLD AGE PENSIONS THAT ARE
REALLY THE BULWARK, THE
MAJOR INSURANCE PROGRAMS
AGAINST RISK, THAT ARE
COSTLY, THAT ARE EXPENSIVE,
THAT TAKE 15-16 PERCENT OF
OUR GROSS DOMESTIC PRODUCT.
THAT'S WHAT HE DOESN'T WANT
TO PAY FOR ON BEHALF OF THE
WEALTHY PEOPLE THAT
HE REPRESENTED.

Steve says BUT LET'S PUT
THE REASONS OUT THERE.
HE SAYS THERE IS NO WILL TO
PAY FOR THESE PROGRAMS ANYMORE
BECAUSE THEY HAVE FOSTERED
DEPENDENCY ON GOVERNMENT.
THEY'VE TAKEN AWAY
PEOPLE'S SELF-SUFFICIENCY.

Ross says THE ARGUMENT IS
COMPLETELY FALSE.
CANADA HAS TWO FANTASTIC
SUCCESS STORIES IN THE
LAST 25 YEARS.
ONE IS BY ELIMINATING
POVERTY AMONG OUR ELDERLY
POPULATION THROUGH CANADA
PENSION, GIS AND GAINS
ADDED TO THE BASIC
OLD AGE PENSION.
WE HAVE ELIMINATED POVERTY
FOR MILLIONS AND MILLIONS
OF ELDERLY PEOPLE WHICH
EXISTED PRIOR TO THOSE PROGRAMS.
AND MEDICARE.
OUR MEDICARE PROGRAM IS
THE ENVY OF THE WORLD.
AND SURE THERE ARE PROBLEMS.
IT HAS TO BE UPDATED, IT HAS
TO BE MODERNIZED, IT HAS TO
TAKE INTO ACCOUNT CHANGES
IN MEDICINE, BUT IT IS A
FABULOUS SUCCESS THAT
HAS PROVIDED MEDICARE
FOR OUR PEOPLE.
AND HE'S CHALLENGING, HE'S
ATTACKING, AND I BELIEVE
MYSELF LARRY THAT THE HARRIS
GOVERNMENT SHARES KRISTOL'S
OPPOSITION TO THESE
INSTITUTIONS.

Patrick says THE MYTH THAT
HARRIS EXPLOITED WHICH WE
HEAR ON THE SCREEN TONIGHT
IS THIS WORD 'ENTITLEMENT'.
IN OTHER WORDS, IT'S CRADLE
TO GRAVE, THERE'S A WHOLE
CLASS, A WHOLE MILLIONS
OF PEOPLE WHO IN FACT ARE
DEPENDENT ON THE SYSTEM,
WHO COULDN'T LIVE WITHOUT IT,
AND WHO ARE LOOKED
AFTER CRADLE TO GRAVE.
IT'S NEVER BEEN THAT
WAY IN THE COUNTRY.
I DON'T KNOW WHETHER
IT IS IN THE STATES.
MAYBE YOU KNOW.
MAYBE THE WELFARE
SYSTEM WAS EASIER.
I KNOW IN A TIME IN
CALIFORNIA, CANADIAN KIDS MY
AGE WERE GOING TO CALIFORNIA
BECAUSE YOU GOT YOUR
WELFARE RIGHT AWAY.
BUT HERE I REALLY DON'T
THINK WE COULD EVER HAVE
BEEN ACCUSED TO HAVING A
CRADLE TO GRAVE SYSTEM
THAT IN FACT BOUND PEOPLE
INTO DEPENDENCY ON IT.

Larry says NO, I THOUGHT THE
KRISTOL STUFF ABOUT 'IT CREATES
THE
POVERTY', AND 'IT CREATES
THE GAP', THAT HAS NO RELEVANCE
IN CANADA, CAN'T
SPEAK TO THE STATES.
BUT I THINK WE ALL
MISREAD, AND I THINK ROSS'
DESCRIPTION OF THE HARRIS
ADMINISTRATION MISREADS
BOTH THE ADMINISTRATION
AND THE PUBLIC.
I'VE ALWAYS BELIEVED THAT
PRESTON MANNING'S, I HOPE,
TEMPORARY SUPPORT BASE
IS MORE A SENSE THAT
GOVERNMENT HASN'T PUT
ITS MECHANISMS, ITS
INSTITUTIONS THROUGH THE
SAME KIND OF RIGOROUS TEST
OF EFFICIENCY THAT WE
ALL WERE THROUGH DURING
THE RECESSION.
TOO MANY PEOPLE LOST THEIR
JOBS, TOO MANY PEOPLE LOST
THEIR CARS AND THEIR
HOMES AND ALL THAT STUFF.
AND THEY SIT BACK AND LOOK,
AND THEY SAY, THERE'S ALL
THESE PROGRAMS FOR ALL THESE
PEOPLE, WHATEVER 'THESE
PEOPLE' ARE, BUT THE
ORDINARY TAXPAYER DOESN'T
FEEL LIKE HE OR SHE IS THE
BENEFICIARY OF THOSE PROGRAMS.
THERE ARE OTHERS WHO ARE.
AND THEY FEEL THERE IS
INEQUITY IN TERMS OF HOW
THEIR TAX DOLLARS
ARE BEING SPENT.
AND I THINK IT'S A MISREAD
TO TURN THIS INTO A
PHILOSOPHICAL CHANGE IN
DIRECTION OF CANADIANS.
WHEN THIS IS REALLY A HOW
YOU DO IT, NOT WHETHER
YOU SHOULD DO IT.

Steve says YOU KNOW MIKE
HARRIS BETTER THAN
ANYBODY AT THIS TABLE.
AND MY SUSPICION IS, AND YOU
CAN TELL ME IF I'M RIGHT OR
WRONG, MY SUSPICION IS MISTER
HARRIS HAS A LOT OF TIME
FOR THAT ARGUMENT.
THAT INCREASING BENEFITS AND
AN INCREASING INCURSION BY
THE "WELFARE STATE" IN THE
LIVES OF THE 11 MILLION PEOPLE
OF ONTARIO HAS RESULTED
IN AN UNBECOMING DEGREE
OF DEPENDENCY ON THE STATE
WHICH HE'S TRYING TO BREAK.
AND AS FAR AS I KNOW,
THAT'S ONE OF THE GREAT
PHILOSOPHIES OF
THIS GOVERNMENT.

Larry says I MUST SAY I
DON'T READ IT THAT WAY.
SORRY.
I JUST DON'T
READ IT THAT WAY.
I READ IT AS LOOKING AT A
SYSTEM WHERE AT THE MARGINS,
ALL THE STUFF WE ALWAYS HEAR
ABOUT, DOES IT PAY TO STEP
FORWARD AND TAKE EMPLOYMENT
IF WE'VE GOT THE RIGHT
INCENTIVES IN THE SYSTEMS?
THE THINGS BOB WAS TRYING
TO GRAPPLE WITH AS PREMIER,
AND ULTIMATELY TOO MANY
TIMES FOUND THE SAME
REALITIES THAT EVERYONE
ELSE HAS FOUND.
THE SAME THING MIKE IS
FINDING NOW WITH THE
DIFFICULT OF IMPLEMENTING
WORK FARE, WHICH NO
JURISDICTION HAS
SUCCEEDED IN DOING YET.
BUT THAT IDENTIFIES
WHERE HIS PROBLEM IS...
WHERE EVERYONE'S
PROBLEM IS.
IT'S NOT THAT HE SAYS ALL
YOU PEOPLE GO OUT AND WORK,
WE ALL KNOW IF EVERYONE
JUST GOT OFF THEIR BUTTS
AND GOT OUT THERE...
HE ISN'T SAYING THAT.

Patrick says WELL, YOU KNOW, IT'S FUNNY
HOW PEOPLE READ THE GREAT
MOMENT WHEN HE STOOD IN THE
SKY DOME AND SAID HOW WE
COULD FILL THIS WHATEVER
SEVEN TIMES OVER WITH HOW
MUCH WELFARE HAS INCREASED,
AS IF SOMEHOW THE SYSTEM
ITSELF WAS GROWING ITS OWN...
WAS EXPANDING ON ITS OWN,
AND THERE WAS NO RELATION
BETWEEN HOW MANY PEOPLE WERE
ON WELFARE AND IN FACT WHAT
WAS HAPPENING TO THE ECONOMY.
HE GAVE THE IMPRESSION THIS
HAS KIND OF GROWN UP AS AN
UNCONTROLLED CANCER
IN OUR SOCIETY.
AND I THINK THAT'S
WHERE HE ATTRACTED QUITE
A LOT OF SUPPORT.
BECAUSE SOME PEOPLE
DO
THINK THAT.

Ross says AS A MATTER OF FACT,
WE'VE BEEN SUFFERING FROM
MONETARIST POLICIES AT THE
FEDERAL GOVERNMENT LEVEL NOW
FOR ALMOST A DECADE.
WE HAVE A STATE OF PERMANENT
RECESSION WHERE FULL
EMPLOYMENT IS ASCRIBED AS
8 PERCENT UNEMPLOYMENT.

Patrick says SEASONABLY ADJUSTED.

Patrick laughs.

Ross continues YEAH, EXACTLY.
WHENEVER UNEMPLOYMENT GOES
BELOW 8 PERCENT THE BANK OF
CANADA HAS RAISED ITS
INTEREST RATES FOR MOST
OF THE LAST DECADE.
THIS HAS THROWN MILLIONS
OF PEOPLE OUT OF WORK.
WE HAVE A PERMANENT
RECESSION IN THIS PROVINCE
AND IN THIS COUNTRY.
AND FOR HARRIS TO BLAME THE
VICTIMS OF THAT, AND TO USE
THE SKY DOME ARGUMENT, AND
TO TRY TO BALANCE HIS BOOKS
SOLELY AT THEIR EXPENSE
IS REALLY, REALLY WRONG.
AND I DISAGREE WITH YOU THAT
THERE ISN'T AN IDENTITY OF
VIEWS BETWEEN THE COMMON
SENSE REVOLUTION AREAS AND
MISTER KRISTOL.
THE AMOUNT OF MONEY HE'S
TAKING OUT OF THE SYSTEM
WILL PROVE THAT.

Steve says LET ME PICK
RIGHT UP ON THAT, ROSS,
BECAUSE WE'VE GOT A
COUPLE OF MINUTES LEFT.
HAVING LISTENED TO KRISTOL,
THERE WILL BE THOSE WHO
WILL SAY THE COMMON SENSE
REVOLUTION HAS BEEN
IMPORTED FROM THE STATES.

Ross says YES, IT HAS.

Steve says WHAT DO YOU SAY TO THAT?

Larry says I THINK THE ONLY COMMON
FACTOR IS, AND IT EXISTS IN
EVERY PROVINCE, EVERY
WESTERN DEMOCRACY
REGARDLESS OF STRUCTURE
OR ORGANIZATION, IS THAT
GOVERNMENTS HAVE BOUGHT MORE
SOCIAL PROGRAMS THAN THEY
CAN AFFORD, THAN THE
TAXPAYERS CAN AFFORD.
NAME ME THE GOVERNMENT AND
ADMINISTRATION WHO HASN'T
FOUND THEMSELVES
OVERMORTGAGED TO PROTECT...
I'M NOT GOING TO CALL
IT THE WELFARE STATE,
I DON'T BUY THAT.
BUT TO PROTECT THE
SOCIAL PROGRAMS THEY DEEM
TO BE VALUABLE.
WHAT GOVERNMENTS EVERYWHERE
ARE SAYING IS I CAN'T AFFORD,
TAXPAYERS CAN'T AFFORD
ANYMORE ALL THE VALUABLE
SOCIAL PROGRAMS.
THEY'RE NOT SAYING
THEY'RE NOT VALUABLE.
THEY'RE SAYING I JUST
CAN'T AFFORD ALL OF THOSE.

Steve says SO THE COMMON SENSE
REVOLUTION IS HOME GROWN,
IS WHAT YOU'RE SAYING?

Larry says I THINK IT'S THE
CANADIAN VERSION OF HOW YOU
DEAL WITH OVERMORTGAGED
GOVERNMENT.
AND I THINK IT IS MORE
SENSITIVE AND MORE
CARING THAN NEWT GINGRICH
OR WILLIAM KRISTOL.

Steve says WHAT DO YOU THINK?

Patrick says I THINK IT
BORROWS A LOT FROM
U.S. NEO CONSERVATIVES.
IT CERTAINLY HASN'T GONE
AS FAR AS WE KNOW ANYBODY
WHO'S WATCHING U.S.
TELEVISION THESE DAYS,
BUT I DO THINK
THERE'S AN AWARENESS.
AND THAT'S ANOTHER
ITEM IN THIS.
THERE'S A DEFINITE AWARENESS
AMONGST BUSINESS PEOPLE WHO
SUPPORTED THE COMMON SENSE
REVOLUTION THAT IT'S A LOT
EASIER IN THE STATES.

Larry says TO DO BUSINESS.

Patrick continues YEAH, AND PART OF THAT IS
BECAUSE OF THE TAX REGIME.
PART OF THAT IS BECAUSE
THERE'S KIND OF AN IGNORANCE
OF SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY,
SOCIAL AND POLITICAL
RESPONSIBILITY TOWARDS
THE LESS FORTUNATE.

Larry says SORRY, AN
IGNORANCE WHERE?
THE UNITED STATES?

Patrick says YEAH, THERE'S
KIND OF AN INDIFFERENCE.
YOU KNOW, CLOSE OURSELVES
OFF IN OUR NICE...
AND BASICALLY, YOU KNOW,
IN A KIND OF A BLIND WAY
BUSINESS PEOPLE SAY MAYBE
THAT WOULD BE NICE.

Steve says SAVE TEN
SECONDS FOR ROSS.
ROSS, LAST TIME.

Ross says I BELIEVE IT IS
AMERICAN STYLE POLITICS.
THE TAX CUT WAS BORROWED
FROM THE GOVERNOR OF
NEW JERSEY AND THE HUGE
SPENDING CUTS WHICH WILL BE
TOTALLY UNMANAGEABLE OVER
THE NEXT THREE YEARS ARE
REALLY, IF THEY ARE CARRIED
THROUGH, WILL DECIMATE
OUR SOCIAL SERVICE PROGRAMS.

Patrick says DECIMATE.

Steve says THANKS ROSS
MCCLELLAN, PATRICK GOSSAGE,
LARRY GROSSMAN.
THANKS TO YOU ALL.
He faces the screen and says OKAY, LET US KNOW WHAT
YOU THINK OF THE PROGRAM.
PLEASE WRITE TO US AT:

A slate reads "Fourth Reading. Box 200, Station Q, Toronto, Ontario. M4T 2T1."

Steve continues ROSS, I GOT TO GIVE
THE ADDRESS HERE.
HANG ON A SECOND.
OR IN
CYBERSPACE AT:

A new slate reads "Internet address, studio2@tvo.org."

Steve concludes OKAY, NOW YOU CAN SAY
WHATEVER YOU WANT.
WE'RE SAYING GOOD-BYE.

Music plays and the end credits roll, as Steve and the rest continue the conversation.

A production of TVOntario. Copyright 1996, The Ontario Educational Communications Authority.

Watch: Show #51