Ralph Goodale shared another very insightful email today... He discusses the economic ineptitude of the Harper Conservatives.
CONSERVATIVE FISCAL PLAN SHOT FULL OF HOLES
On coming to power five years ago, Stephen Harper promised to create a “Parliamentary Budget Officer” (PBO) as an independent source of financial expertise for the House of Commons.
Mr. Harper didn’t trust the Department of Finance.
He wanted his own hand-picked watchdog to challenge all the government’s financial claims. He personally recruited Mr. Kevin Page.
But that “watchdog” refused to become a Conservative “lapdog”. Mr. Page has exposed multiple falsehoods and fabrications in the financial picture painted by Mr. Harper.
Such truth is an aggravation to Conservatives. So they’ve turned on Mr. Page. They tried to cut his funding to shut him up. Now they’re simply hounding him out of office, heaping scorn on his reports and refusing to renew his mandate.
But despite that abuse, Kevin Page is correct in his assessments far more often than Mr. Harper has ever been.
Another example came last week when the PBO analyzed the government’s so-called deficit-reduction plan. The Conservatives claim they’ll balance the books by 2015.
Mr. Page says there’s not a snowball’s chance!
The Conservatives have so mangled the nation’s finances that their deficit is not just cyclical (temporary), but structural (long-term).
Long before there was any recession to blame, they overspent by three-times the rate of inflation, and wiped-out all the contingency reserves and prudence factors that used to shield the federal budget from nasty surprises – such as the US housing and banking implosion in 2008 which triggered global economic turmoil.
Wishful thinking won’t fix Mr. Harper’s deficit. It will require cuts to expensive pet projects – like his extra tax breaks for big corporations ($6 billion/year), his untendered stealth fighter-jets (over-priced by at least $4.5 billion), and his US-style mega-jails ($10–13 billion).
Without big savings in these areas, the Conservative deficit-reduction plan is a fraud.