Wednesday, January 28, 2009

No, no, no, no, NO! BAD Harper!

An $85 Billion deficit?!? Are you insane?!

You DON'T want to be a second Mulroney. Chretien and Martin executed a spectacular turnaround, and it's taken you all of four years (not even!) to return to debt inflation the likes of which we haven't seen since the mid-nineties.

Now, I'm not saying these aren't difficult times. Markets are weaker, and we're definitely in what counts as a recession these days (growth in single digits, or no growth at all). This, you had no control over. So it's possible we might have run a minor deficit as government spending was curbed. But what I can (and do) blame you for is what you did in times of plenty. Tax cuts galore, to the rich, to businesses - and, worst of all, to the GST.

I grant you, the GST is a minor annoyance when buying luxuries. But it doesn't apply to staples, so it's a sales tax that doesn't hurt the poor. How perfect is that?

But courtesy of a little mathematical legwork done by Mike Watkins, we can see that Harper's been engineering this deficit for months now, and only now reveals it to the public. Harper's taking out an extended mortgage on the strength of our future. Leading economists claim that the Conservative strategy is predicated on a "short, sharp" recession, rather than the prolonged one that appears to be taking shape. But for the sake of argument, we'll say that Harper finds the income, in 2013, to start paying down the deficit right away, at eight billion dollars a year. By the time we pay off the debt accumulated in the upcoming few years, it'd be ~$95B, not $85B - assuming, of course, that the Cons stick to that value.

So low interest rates notwithstanding - the price for this newly-acquired debt is ten billion dollars that could be better employed doing... anything.


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