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Tory cabinet reveals $6-billion worth of budget initiatives

From Monday's Globe and Mail

Further advance information on the budget is expected today ...Read the full article

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  1. 4Cryin Outloud from Canada writes: I don't know about others but having the Harper party offering these things to us sets off alarm bells in me not a confidence that he may know what he's doing or what we need or how to implement those things without taking us into such massive debt. It's really as simple as I don't trust him. There really is nothing he can do to instil trust at this point and I wonder when he'll actually accept that and if it's at all possible for him to graciously head out of town? He's like a ball and chain to progress.
  2. Geoffrey May from Canada writes: The surge of pre-budget announcements is low on details, and no way near the $64 billion hole Harper is digging .Why do we need permanant tax cuts to get out of a short-term recession ?
    Ignatieff is going to have to step up, invoke the coalition , and form an honest government capable of delivering stimulus where it's needed, not hand outs to dying industries , infrastructure for the past, and pork for the masses .
    Harper couldn't balance a budget in good times, he sure can't govern now.who elected this fool anyway , and who would have voted for his $64 billion deficit ?
  3. North Star from Canada writes: History will remember Harper as the PM who brought in the largest deficit in Canadian history.
  4. Mark Dip from Canada writes: With an unemployment rate four times the national average, the spouses of Canadian government employees serving overseas lose over $1 million per year from being forced to pay for EI overseas while being ineligible for benefits. The way it goes is that spouses quit their jobs to accompany their partner, but are still forced to pay EI premiums overseas because CRA defines them as Canadian “Factual Residents” due to diplomatic status, but then they later get their EI social benefits revoked afterward because HRSDC says they’re not “Residents in Canada”. This administrative Catch-22 also extends to disallowing these spouses from being able to claim education expenses on their taxes – even if they take Canadian courses from overseas. This also happens to non-government spouses whose residency is classified this way by CRA. Who’s to guess we’ll be shut out once again on this EI retraining initiative?
  5. Stude Ham from Canada writes:

    right... a few pennies here and there to the masses... to look good at this moment... and then crushing tax loads to the helpless so as to recoup the billions in deficits of the flarper/haferty dirty little political games as per usual budget.


  6. Sober Second Thought from Toronto, Canada writes: What happened to calling the RCMP whenever there was a budget leak?
  7. J Law from Canada writes: The same people here, including the G & M screaming about Harper NOT being secretive are the same people who scream about him being secretive.

    I like this being given the information in small dose where I can get my head around it before the newspapers and opposition parties distort it. This way I can evaluate whether I agree with what is in the budget and if the governing party or the opposition parties are giving me a bunch of BS.
  8. J Kay from Canada writes: Let me start by saying I would like tax cuts, especially income tax cuts as much as the next person - I pay plenty - but I think it's a very poor choice for economic stimulus, especially in the short term and moreso because we will be in deficit regardless.

    Tax cuts will simply make it more difficult to climb out of deficit; and please no one quote me Laffer curve nonsense, I'm well aware of the argument but also the complete lack of empirical support for it and the other issue with it. The fact is that tax cuts will continue to exert a downward pressure on revenues in perpetuity, not a bad thing when the budget is balanced, but a poor choice when it isn't.

    What we are looking at is another 3 - 5 years wherein growth in government expenditures exceeds growth in revenues - note growth not nominal values. This is in addition to the last 3 years where this has been the case. As a result, to get back to surpluses the government will have to severely restrict government expenditures going forward thereafter, allowing revenues to grow faster than expenditures and eventually a budget balance to occur. I have little faith that governments will wish to be as fiscally prudent as Martin was and was forced to be, which I fear mean perpetual budget deficits.

    The problem is, if we have a surplus, even minor, and we maintain revenue and expenditure growth at the same levels, then over time the budget surplus will naturally widen, creating room for new fiscal spending or tax deductions. The corollary is that if we have a deficit and do the same thing, it too will naturally widen, simply by allowing expenditures to grow at the same rate as revenues, which is to say, with the economy. Thus in nominal terms the budget deficits, just due to economic growth will have a natural pressure to grow and thus it will require significant fiscal tightening the longer we run these budget deficits and the deeper they get.

    So leave the tax cuts out.
  9. Sober Second Thought from Toronto, Canada writes: J Law: Openess and breaking the law are two different things. As I understand, it is still an offense to leak the budget prior to its introduction into the Parliament.

    Not that this will matter, if it is like any of the past Budgets -Harper will screw it up. The headlines on Wednesday are as follows:
    The Star: "Harper Blows the Budget"
    Globe and Mail: "Budget Standoff"
    National Post: "Budget Tax Cuts at stake"
    The Sun: "Raptors Lose Again"
  10. Al Gorman from Canada writes: Next week we'll learn that Ms. Finley signed a petition against the current budget.
  11. Donald Wilson from Canada writes: There's no details about who is eligible for what and under what circumstances . Thus all these promises are just " window dressing " that Harper will use during the next election to be held March 3 if the Libs vote this budget down . And even if the Harperites are not voted down - remember that Harper has a very difficult time keeping his word . His word is so unreliable that most wouldn't buy a used car from him . His record as published in the media shows us how reliable he is .

    And not a penny so far for enviornmental projects like converting home heating / cooling to GeoThermal . That would be a long lasting infastructure project . Changing building codes to allow energy saving would be a hugh step forward and long lasting . Projects to eliminate septic systems for treating human waste and convert to aerobic systems would greatly protect ground water and nearby streams .

    These things may not be flashy in the media , but would be hugh steps forward .
  12. a l from Toronto, Canada writes: Didn't Harper call the RCMP when he thought Goodale broke secrecy?
  13. Cross the Border and up the Hill from Canada writes: Retraining people? Nice touch. It always astounded me how the feds one minute say "we don't have skilled labour" yet continue to do this. Now how are those people supposed to obtain that if they can't afford it, esp. just out of school? Let's see. Get a student loan whereby you not only pay it all back but with a ton of interest. So instead of not working and being poor you get to work and be poor. Attractive? No. So you head out to the workforce, work a bit, and then either draw EI or just jump to the chase and get the ole feds to pay for everything. What a wonderful system. Funny how these goons can't help out students paying back student loans but can help those that made little attempt on their own to get educated. Even if they took care of the interest for those that had loans and made those getting it (currently) all paid for pay back just the principal we'd have a much better society than we have and more well off too. The Cons and the Liberals have both shown their stupidity here. Reward those seeking to improve their education rather than punish and make those looking for a free ride more accountable.
  14. rick from river city from Canada writes: Sober Second Thought from Toronto, Canada writes: As I understand, it is still an offense to leak the budget prior to its introduction into the Parliament.

    and you would be wrong. Chretien and Martin also spoke in a general sense of what was in budgets before they were introduced. You don't think if it was an offense that GimmeJack would not be running to the Mounties?
  15. Jay Dubya from Toronto, Canada writes: Shame on you Mr. Harper - buying everyoen off with their own money.

    Harper is desperate to hang on to power - what happened to elected senators? fiscal responsiblity, etc.? Look at the jokers he has appointed.

    Out with him I say.

  16. t devitt from Canada writes: the budget so far is laughable. Non-investment in sustainable, forward looking technologies is money pi$$ed down the drain again by a government which is only worried about its own survival. Well history repeats itself again LOL. Investment in technology is the main thing that money should be used for with the taxpayer getting shares in the developed products to help repay the massive debt incurred. The girl guides 200 k is a nice touch steve but I'm not sure if it belongs in the main federal budget. and i know the 6400 to the medicine hat music festival definitely doesn't!!!!
    Well hope the news is better tomorrow when the details are released but I have the feeling that we've been $crewed again.
  17. Jimmy K from Toronto, Canada writes: North Star, 32 billion on a 1300 billion economy? That's approx 2.5%.

    Ten years ago it was at 5%, DOUBLE. Even in nominal dollar terms it was higher ten years ago, and our economy was much smaller then.

    Yes, it'll be a big deficit, but let's watch the hyperbole here. Largest in Canadian history? Please. It's not even in the ballpark of the largest in history. Not even CLOSE.
  18. al reimer from burnaby, writes: We need tax credits for renovating our older housing stock to energy efficient standards.We could replace windows reinsulate house and new furnaces for our homes.This would create work for our trades people and improve our energy efficincy.This would create instant jobs and employ alot of people.We now have thousands of unemployed construction workers in bc
  19. PeckedToDeath ByDucks from Canada writes: I'm interested in seeing a summary in Billions to corporate Canada vs. Billions to individuals.

    In short, how much of the total funding did our "very healthy" financial corporations get?

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