The headlines from these two Globe & Mail “Report on Business” stories kind of sum up the contrast between our dithering prevaricator-in-chief and the incoming president-elect south of the border: “U.S. sets course” as opposed to “Canada bides time.”
For a man that made “leadership” the cornerstone of the Conservatives’ last election, Stephen Harper certainly isn’t demonstrating very much of it since his minority government was returned to power under completely false pretenses.
Update: Rachel Maddow reviews Obama’s new economic team, coins a new word (“Rubinonmics”), snarks a bit about Obama’s latest video/radio address, and talks to Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell about the “Big Build”…
Just six short weeks ago, Stephen Harper said: “We’re not running a deficit. We have planned a realistic scenario. We’ve got conservative budget estimates. We’ve got a modest platform that doesn’t even fill the existing fiscal room that we have and we have plenty of flexibility in how we phase it. So that’s our policy. We’re not going into deficit.” Now, of course, Harper has said that running deficits will “essential” and in any case, it seems they will be unavoidable:
“While it is now generally acknowledged that the federal government is headed for a deficit in the coming years … those deficits could be much larger than are currently anticipated,” the [Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives] said.
“A mild recession in 2009 would create a very small deficit in 2008-09, followed by deficits of $12.6 billion in 2009-10 and $20.5 billion in 2010-11,” it said. “A major recession starting in the fourth quarter of 2008 and lasting through 2009 could produce deficits of $1.4 billion in 2008-09, rising to $27.9 billion in 2009-10, and $46.8 billion in 2010-11.”
But even what it labels a slowdown — 0.5-per-cent growth this year and zero growth next year, followed by a rebound to three per cent in 2010 — would push the government $7 billion into the red next year and leave it with a $5.4-billion shortfall the year after.
This of course doesn’t factor in the cost of any stimulus package.
I’m sure there are just storms out outrage amongst the “Blogging Tories” about Harper’s flagrant and deliberate LIES during the election and his dramatic reversal of position since that time… right? Nah, of course not. Instead they’ll just slag the CCPA because of its “progressive” orientation and blast the evil liberal media for reporting economic forecasts they find displeasing.
Update2: And of course we always have the meta-simplicity and utterly tiresome whinging of this crowd who want to endlessly natter on about everything under the sun that isn’t at all relevant or constructive in the least bit.