(CNN) -- When Paul Martin became finance minister of Canada in 1993, the government was spending itself into a deep hole. Its spiraling debt was prompting observers to compare it to a Third World country. Martin unveiled budgets that steeply cut the $42 billion deficit and eliminated it in four years without long-term damage to the economy.
The example of Canada has been cited and debated as governments in developed countries around the world are looking for ways to cut spending and reduce the size of their debts. Britain has embarked on sweeping spending cuts with an eye toward Canada as a model. In the United States, the midterm elections focused attention on the size of the budget deficit.
Martin, a Liberal Party member who later became prime minister, says lessons can be learned from his nation's experience, though he says many differences exist between Canada's situation in the 1990s and the U.S. economy today.
America should consult Canada and learn from their approach and implementation to reducing govt debt.
From a Canadian official who did it: Cutting deficit is no easy task