Monday, January 24, 2011

Conservative Deficit Reduction Fraud? According To Page, Yes.

Ralph Goodale shared another very insightful email today... He discusses the economic ineptitude of the Harper Conservatives.



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.

post signatureVICTORY FUND


CanadianSense said...

Just curious what is the record of the Liberals on being off in double digits on their projections during the "surplus" years?

What is the record of Page is being overly pessimistic about growth, unemployment rate? (Check his earlier reports-I did)

Last point why do opposition ignore his Reports when they validate the government but only point to them when they are critical?

Example G8-G20 report on costs. The opposition ignored this analysis because it backed up the government.

Seems like a pattern of "cherry picking" stats like selecting 2005-2009 vs 2006-2010. (Any idea why?)

WesternGrit said...

Common: It's a hell of a lot more important to know if the government has any sort of plan to fight the deficit (that they created), than it is to know how great their budgeting was that they built up a contingency fund (ie: the Goodale contingency)...

Anonymous said...

"Without big savings in these areas, the Conservative deficit-reduction plan is a fraud."

That'd be the third fraud. The second fraud was the alleged corporate tax revenue loss that would be recovered by a double-tax on income trusts.

By the way, is any bean-counter working on the actual increase in corporate tax garnered by Flaherty's double-taxation of retirement savings?

The first fraud was the report Flaherty submitted to FINA in January 2007.


WhigWag said...

LackofSense, short v:

Why do critics criticize?

Why aren't the Members Opposite the Praise-asition?

Why's Everybody Always Pickin' On Me?

Prairie Kid said...

Once again I need to ask you. What policies did the Liberals put forward during the last 4 years that would have taken a differenet approach? And I'm not asking what you would have done. Just throw me a bone here. Put me on to any web site where Ignatieff suggested taking a different approach?????

WesternGrit said...

Well, for one thing (my opinion) no SANE government that took the advice of it's own economists and those on Bay St would have created a structural deficit by cutting the GST. THAT is the main point. Cutting a consumption tax was wrong in multiple ways. The Liberal plan was to promote growth through stimulus spending in research and development, science and innovation, and education. That type of stimulus is what has attracted the biggest foreign investment to Canada.

More? Liberals did agree on some cuts to corporate tax (but not nearly what Harper did), and cuts to personal income tax (much healthier for the economy).

Harper's folly? Not only did he create a structural deficit, but, he also promoted Canadian spending to the point where we are the MOST INDEBTED NATION at the personal debt level... by promoting the 5% down, 40 year mortgages in Canada (mortgages over 30 years represent over 80% of Canadian mortgages now). This has exacerbated the recession in Canada. We were in much better shape than the US - thanks to Liberal planning and bank policy. A Liberal government would NOT have done this.

- A Liberal gov't would have maintained better relations with the rest of the world (and there's absolutely no arguing that), especially relations with the fastest growing economies of India and China. This would have increased trade with those two booming economies, rather than the decreasing trade with the dying economy south of us.

The better world relations would also have increased trade with the EU, Russia, and South America. Harper has almost turned our gov't into a world pariah.

These few things alone would have created significant difference in Canada's current fiscal morass. Unfortunately for the Conservatives, this kind of stuff goes against most of what they stand for.

I have more truly "liberal" ideas that would have come to fruition... Creating a Canada that is a world leader in green technology - respected the world over..., and more...

WesternGrit said...

Oh... and Liberal budgets did not cut into the $13 Billion contingency fund. That money would have covered better quality stimulus that would have targeted the economy for a quicker recovery (when worked in with the factors I list above).

There are many more things I'm sure the Liberals would have done differently...