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Analysis

Harper spends big, but can he go back?

From Wednesday's Globe and Mail

Now that the Prime Minister has admitted there is a place for big government, has he crossed the philosophical Rubicon? ...Read the full article

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  1. lord cross of Blacks Harbour from BLACKS HARBOUR NB, Canada writes:
    Pretty thoughtful pork-barrel budget ... Monte Solberg's ( Medicine Hat ) riding gets $6,400 to hold a zither concert. 'Course for Monte
    ( jazzname Monterey Sooouuuuullllberg ) that'll renew his credibility among the folks he, Harper and Flairity lied to, with their Income Trust Betrayal. *And Flairity was quite adamant about it, Monterey, 'If you don't use it, you lose it!'*
  2. Rick Jones from The Rock, Canada writes: If I compare this budget to my own life, I'd be maxing-out my credit limits and then reducing my income to part-time wages to pay for it.

    But then, no one plans to actually pay for it.

    Just the interest.
  3. grand puba from Yellowknife, Canada writes:

    'Even ending the temporary spending program on infrastructure would be difficult in such a campaign. Liberals and New Democrats alike might be tempted to argue that the program should be lengthened by another year or two.'

    Why extend it by another year or two.

    The infrastructure in so many municipalities is falling apart. And yet it is the infrastructure which is needed to support our businesses, our economy. I feel this infrastructure spending needs to be a 10 year plan. Highways, Water & Sewer, Public Transit, Rail,.... we are so far behind in these core areas.

    I don't care which party is in power.. or sharing the power.. now is the time to restore the core services which support our communities.
  4. Mrs. Whiggins from Canada writes: You know and I know that as soon as you ran that picture of Stephen (Demento) Harper smilin' while Canada cried that the kitty was out of the bag.

    Wipe your tears. The kitty is A-OK.

    Stephen Harper, not so good.

    Big surprise.

    Onward, ever onward.

    The kitteh is okay, doesn'e need a vet, has food. All good.

    Say g'nite nite wee Stevie, say g'nite nite right now.

    Meow meow meow

    Say bye-bye now now now

    Kitties never lie: so says Bubbles.

    And he knows.

    And how.

    Meow.

    .
  5. Ryan Ginger from Canada writes: So let me get this straight - the Conservatives want to eat their cake and have it too? (ie. reduce taxes AND spend?)

    Can someone remind me what, exactly, the Conservative party stands for anymore? They've written their own death sentence.
  6. Canadian born liberal-conservative Muslim from Ottawa, Canada writes: I was wondering, if tax rates for incomes were fixed at 15% at the federal rate from everyone over an income over $25,000, would this be possible? I remember my professor telling the finance class at U of O this around 3 years ago. He also said that Canada should limit welfare checks to the 1.7 million Canadians to only 1 month instead of today's unlimited months (Professor: Can't they work at McDonalds or something instead of having a strain on the tax system?. I'm not talking about the handicapped, mentally disabled but the lazy ones who just don't want to work. You know, the regular joes like you and me).I don't want to be mean, but can't unemployed people at the moment work at Tim Hortons while finding another permanent job? Sure your going to make $9 dollars an hour... but so what? Thats $21,000 a year if you work 6 days a week. That seems like good sense. Doesnt it? I mean Tim Hortons is always hiring.Other things to stop funding: Gun registry ($2 billion can go towards health care or more tax cuts, dont ya think?). What difference does this make. ALL GUNS THAT KILL ARE ILLEGAL GUNS NOT LEGAL ONES. No one is stupid enough to kill with a legal gun in the first place so what is the point of it. The CBC ($2 billion a year can go towards funding to education, tax credits). CTV, GLOBAL, TSN AND OTHER MEDIA OUTLETS ARE PRIVATE, WHY CANT THE CBC?. Only give the special pensions to MP's and Senators who have atleast 10 years experience in Parliament? Prime Ministers who served at least 5 years? Make the Governor General spending cap to not exceed $5 million intead of today's $40 million a year? Don't physically give students grants and scholarships. Let the government pay for the tuition and books. I was given $9,000 in scholarships and bursaries, not including the $4000 i got in loans =13,000. And my tuition plus books was $5000. Why? And i only had a 78% high school average entering. I wasn't bright but they treated me like I was the most brilliant guy in Canada.
  7. The Three Faces of Steve from Canada writes: Methinks 'Ole Pasty Puss's' scheduled run is almost over. And someone please tell him to put his jacket back on - the man has no shoulders - no wonder he can't bear responsibility well.
  8. lord cross of Blacks Harbour from BLACKS HARBOUR NB, Canada writes:
    Jobs malaise starts to spread--Globe & Mail--January 27, 2009

    “Even a minor recession sees a two-[percentage]-point rise in the unemployment rate,” said Avery Shenfeld, senior economist with CIBC World Markets. “Even if everything governments are doing worldwide works, we're going to end up in very short order with an 8-per-cent unemployment rate.

    Are Harper / Flairity ready for the unemployed.

    Don't think so.

    Think we'll see Jekyl go into Hyding.
  9. Mike Keith from Saskatoon, Canada writes: It's too late for Harper. His over spending and ineffective tax cuts have significantly increased the deficit we are forced to run and furthermore he is/was definately behind the curve in addressing the situation. This economic incompetence is especially embarrassing for an 'economist'.
  10. Vickky Angstrom from Canada writes: He just had to cut taxes too. Harper creates the largest national debt in Canadian history. He's right in line with other right wing governments for creating record debt: both Bushes, Reagan, Thatcher's human and infrastructure deficit, Mulroney. There is more than one way to pass on your problems to future generations and these neo-cons are exploring all of them.

    Of course Harper is smack dab in the middle of the most selfish generation in history. Only the boomers would want stimulus spending and tax cuts in the same budget and think that was in any way sane.
  11. Mrs. Whiggins from Canada writes: Canadian born liberal-conservative Muslim from Ottawa, Canada writes:

    You know and I know that someone signed your papers. Someone vouched for you.

    Same thing for Stephen Harper.

    Now.

    Comes a time when you might have to stand behind that trust.

    Kittehs await with bated breath your words

    and deeds

    and payments.

    Uh huh.

    Hmmm.

    Meow.

    ka-ka-kakkaf.... got receipts?

    Revenue Canada comes calling

    Sooner or later

    For everyone.

    Why are you so special?
    .
  12. truth betold from Canada writes: Who is going to pay for all this spending?
  13. Canadian born liberal-conservative Muslim from Ottawa, Canada writes: truth betold from Canada...

    Ask the Socialist NDP and Bloc. They are the ones who asked for them.
  14. lord cross of Blacks Harbour from BLACKS HARBOUR NB, Canada writes:

    Flairity was symbolically wearing 'construction' boots. When Flairity learns the provinces / municipalities don't have matching funds, and they LOSE THE PROMISED INFRASTRUCTURE MONEY, Jimmy Flairity will find all the industrial boots will be joined to oust him.

    1. Construction

    2. Foresty

    3. Manufacturing ... Auto assembly.

    4. Agriculture

    http://iwork4you.ca/boot_tag.jpg

    And they even misspelled Flairity's name ... TO BOOT!
  15. lord cross of Blacks Harbour from BLACKS HARBOUR NB, Canada writes:
    Some government ministers have been slow to gain 'status' such as Maxime ( My department FA, cleared me of wrongdoing, despite the fact that some say, I wore no clothes ) Bernier, and now 2-Tier P-3 Tony Clement gains widespread popular commemorative acceptance for his diligent lack of effort.

    Remember, THE $6.99 is before shipping and taxes.

    The purchase limit for this romantic keepsake is 500 ... So don't be trying to buy more through a shadow address.

    What's the $30 Million PROMISE to Nortel intended for, Tony?
  16. Mrs. Whiggins from Canada writes: Flaherty returned his steel-toed boots to the retailer.

    Flaherty has no need for work boots.
  17. lord cross of Blacks Harbour from BLACKS HARBOUR NB, Canada writes:
    As romantic keepsakes go, Tony (2 Tier P3) Clement's is ranked second only ( to President Obama's inaugural plate ). You'd be wise to avail the opportunity right now rather than waiting for Tony's anticipated precipitous decline in popularity.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CcOAwb1q2FQ
  18. Rollo 8>) from Belgium writes:

    Forestry is going to suffer. The housing boom in the US went bust, and with it, demand for softwood lumber.

    The home/cottage/cabin/hut renovation should be tied to Canadian foresty products. Made in Canada.

    A grander vision would raise GST and lower income taxes correspondingly across the board in yearly increments. Imagine not having income tax in 10 or 15 years.
  19. little bowpeep from Bye Bye Vote Buyer, Canada writes: Harper spends big, but can he go back? And exactly what is he going back too. He has increased government spending 22 % in less than 3 years, spent the entire surplus on tax giveaways to the rich and now sold the kids farm. So I can only assume you mean, opposition!
  20. Horsefeathers 'n wildrice from Canada writes: The REFORM -conservative has now lost my vote forever.

    How dare they deny equity pay for women!
    It takes 2 to tangle in these rough times...u pinhead..er... PM.
  21. Canadian born liberal-conservative Muslim from Ottawa, Canada writes: You have to be fair to Mr.Harper. He did not want these deficits to happen. But when you got a party in minority territory being blackmailed by the leftist parties and being threatened of being toppled by them, how do you think Harper is going to respond? It's interesting to note that the present Conservative Government is the only federal government in the last 30 years that provided any funding to social housing; $2 billion to be exact. Would the conservatives normally do this. Heck no! Look at this budget carefully. 90% of what the budget has is clearly not the ideals of the Conservative Party. They had to impress the other parties and those who voted for them. Now Harper is getting criticized ONCE again for deficits that the NDP and etc have indirectly wanted (they wanted a huge stimulus package). If the NDP was in government and delivered the stimuls package in this economic slowdown, would you lefties criticize them or would you not? Honestly, just stop and think for a minute. Do you really think Harper is the problem? You got a global economic crisis here and on top of that, leftist parties dictating what you should include in your budget. This is by far not Harper's fault. BY FAR. Please, stop rooting for your party just for now and think about this for a second. You may hate Harper's guts but be reasonable for once.
  22. Canadian born liberal-conservative Muslim from Ottawa, Canada writes: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ME6bSd2bKU0&feature=related
  23. Wily 905 from Toronto, Canada writes: In this unprecedented global recession Harper is doing what is necessary for Canada to survive. Chances are that none of these stimulus incentives will actually work, here or abroad, and a natural course of events will unfold. Historically, this means conflict, and this being a global event, that means Global conflict. To place blame on Conservative or Liberal ideology for Canada's state today is naive to say the least. Watch as the US spending stimulus fails miserably. A weak economy will be the least of any of our worries.
  24. Andrew LaCroix from Ottawa, Canada writes: I challenge Mr. Laghi's analysis. Basic economic theory (ala Keynes) says that you raise taxes and pay off the debt in boom times; lower taxes and stimulate the economy in recession. Running a deficit at this point is the only reasonable action.

    If a more left-leaning government was in place, we'd be talking about a $100B deficit or more. As a point of reference, as a general rule of thumb, you can take whatever the Americans do and divide by 10; that'd be $800B/10 = $80B versus what we're actually spending ($65B over two years).

    I think we're in fine shape entering this recession and hopefully (relative to everyone else) we'll be in fine shape exiting it. The Conservatives are not 'letting the toothpaste out of the tube' by any stretch of the imagination (and no, I did not vote Conservative in the last election!)
  25. Troubled Youth from Everywhere, Canada writes: Ha! The left have been given everything that they demanded ...or else, and now that they have it, they are going to whine some more.
    Pathetic.

    And Ontario who is getting more than any other region can't shut off the whining long enough to even acknowledge the total bailout of that province by the taxpayer. More pathetic.
  26. Alex Li from Canada writes: To Canadian born liberal-conservative Muslim from Ottawa,

    In response to your first comment about a fixed tax rate: if I'm not mistaken the Canadian tax system is based on equity. 15% tax of a person with $25,000 is not the equivalent of 15% of a person with $120,000. In theory, the person with higher income should be able to afford the higher taxes. But of course, many of the rich find ways around the system but in theory it tries to balance the field for those in a weaker financial position.

    Limiting welfare cheques to a month would really lower government spending but that assumes people can quickly find jobs-which I don't think is true for the most part. It also seems to be a in an indirect form of stimulus spending as people have more mone in their pockets.

    The EI is also not unlimited but rather for a fixed period of time, if I'm not mistaken. Your idea of having the unemployed working at a lower paying job is an interesting one but would a person working in middle/ upper management-now say unemployed- really want to revert back to a starting position? How would that look on his resume after he looks for a better paying job? What about job safety?

    You seem to be a much luckier university student than many others as you received a hefty sum of money but those are dependent not only on your grades. But also on your family's income, the university you attend, how many others applied for the bursaries etc. Haven't the cost of university gotten to high-which makes the point of having such bursaries and scholarships? Doesn't this encourage students to attend university?
  27. Mrs. Whiggins from Canada writes: Where's Harper going to go back too? Toronto? Cochrane? Clagary? Texas?

    How back is back for Stephen Harper?

    Just asking.
    .
  28. Alex Li from Canada writes: In response to your second comment, Canadian born liberal-conservative Muslim from Ottawa,

    Did not want the deficits to happen? Well, to say the least he made an extremely unwise choice of lowering the consumption tax (GST) when he should have lowered the income tax instead and raised the GST- as someone pointed out earlier. This is a basic economics principle taught early on in university and he should know this.

    You are saying that his hands are tied due to being in a minority government and should not receive any blame for this policies? Then it begs me to ask that isn't this what defines a minority government?
    You seem to be criticizing the NDP (and possibly the Liberals) for advocating a large stimulus package. In such a financial crisis, you believe that there is no need for one? This was long overdue. I believe many of the posters, myself included, are angry at the fact that it took Harper and his government so long to address the current financial crisis when many other countries addressed it quiet earlier.
  29. Canadian born liberal-conservative Muslim from Ottawa, Canada writes: Alex Li...

    Stephen Harper made a promise to the Canadian populace during the 2006 election did he not? Remember, the promise of cutting the GST by 2 percentage points? Obviously, he knew cutting income taxes were the best choice (everyone who took ECON 101 knows this) but he made a promise... 'My party will cut the GST once elected'... and he did. Give him credit for fulfilling an election promise... something you dont see in politics.

    And for Layton and the lefties.... How does the political ideology of an elected government undermine the confidence of the House?? Should you not have confidence in those that elected Harper into office?
  30. Alex Li from Canada writes: But many Canadians did not elect Harper, hence a minority government. As well, what about the confidence of those that elected the NDP and Liberals?
  31. Lalo Lad from toronto, Canada writes: The Reformers must love this budget. Harper has betrayed them for power instead of sticking to his guns and let his government fall to call an election.
  32. Misery No one from Toronto, Canada writes: He must go, he's taking us along the same path as Iceland and Ireland.
    Save us now, let him go now. He has lied from day one. Two months ago he said no deficit now he's plunging the country into a debt we might never recover from. Election now. The people are ready.

    A coalition is what we need going forward.
  33. Troubled Youth from Everywhere, Canada writes: Alex Li , the Harper government had been addressing the economics of Canada from early on and feeding the banks, in small measured doses as it proved necessary. Long before the European's and American's even began to think about stimulating their economies and bailing out failed industry with taxpayer monies.

    You need to research the sum total of the financial workings of this government and not buy into the media hype.
  34. Canadian born liberal-conservative Muslim from Ottawa, Canada writes: Alex Li,

    Comparing individual parties, Harper's Conservatives received the most votes out of all parties; and they received much, much more seats than the NDP and Liberals combined. Those who voted for the Liberals are not leftists; they are centrists. Those who voted NDP are not centrists; they are leftists. Those who voted the Conservatives are centrists and right wing. The Conservatives right now are governing at the centre... what the overwhelming majority of Canadians want. If you think about it, Harper is representing those at the centre as well and is representing a good 70- 75% of Canadians. So right now, we can see the NDP is the minority here. Tough luck for the socialists that voted for them. They dont have a voice. Kinda sucks to be a socialist in Canada doesn't it? Move to Scandinavia or anywhere else in Western Europe if you want social democracy in your lives.
  35. cons suck don't want to have to say i told you so from Canada writes: What a joke this budget was. The same people that criticized Bob Rae's deficits in the recession of the early 90's are running deficits now. Of course conservative supporters will spin it. Conservative supporters vote conservative no matter what they do
  36. Crusty Curmudgeon from Ottawa, Canada writes:

    It is easy to criticize when none of you are responsible for anything.
  37. Canadian born liberal-conservative Muslim from Ottawa, Canada writes: cons suck don't want to have to say i told you so..........

    NDP supporters vote NDP no matter what they do
    Liberal supports vote Liberal no matter what they do
    Bloc supporters vote Bloc no matter what they do
  38. R Miller from Halifax, Canada writes: There is no small c-conservative party in Canada anymore...

    We've now got spendthrifts who are just paid by different lobbies and special interest groups on both sides of the House... Not dissimilar to the US situation which has resulted in market failure...

    There has never been an example of a government that successfully managed to buy it's way out of a recession in the long-term...

    Inflation cannot last for ever...

    As Ludwig Von Mises postulated 'Crack up Boom'

    Oh, Canada ...
  39. Hart Oldenburg from Canada writes:
    Consulting the public? Well here we have smiling Minister of Industry-- formerly Health--- Toni Clement fishing for ideas. He has experience, inviting 7 000 opinions for 4 years to build a food guide, halt obesity, wasting time and money.
    One must wonder when Health is the major drain in any budget, Harper and Clement refused to even mention it for 2 1/2 years.!
  40. gerhard beck from Canada writes: The logic of keeping power seems to be: Spend like hell, give taxbreaks, somebody in the furuture will pay, as long is King Stephen keeps his jobs. What a bunch of nitwits.
  41. Jason Roy from Central Nova - After October 14th AKA STILL Peter Mackay Country, Canada writes: cons suck don't want to have to say i told you so from Canada writes:

    What a joke this budget was. The same people that criticized Bob Rae's deficits in the recession of the early 90's are running deficits now. Of course conservative supporters will spin it. Conservative supporters vote conservative no matter what they do.

    --------------------------

    Don't have a clue how Canadian politics works, do you?

    Of course CPC supporters (most of them anyway as I have seen some posts from said people panning the budget) will support it.

    To counter your above point about Rae's deficits - funny the same people who were more than willing to bend over for a coalition deficit are criticising this one.

    It's the way Canadian politics goes. Of course LPC/NDP supporters are going to be largely critical of a CPC budget. CPC/NDP supporters would be equally critical of a Liberal budget that would be spun by LPC supporters and CPC/LPC supporters would be panning an NDP budget that was spun by NDP supporters.

    Wake up!
  42. gerhard beck from Canada writes: Canadian born Muslim from Ottawa, Allah may be great, Harper and his cons (including yourself) certainly aren't.
  43. Stephen Harrington from Toronto, Canada writes: Of course Harper can go back. He plans on it. This budget is a collective 'Ok, screw you then' to the opposition parties. You wanted a deficit? Here, now we have one. And guess who the conservatives will pin it on in the future? The Liberals.

    Over the next 5-10 years the conservatives will be able to once again make a real case for fiscal conservatism... ironically thanks to their own deficit budget, a budget for which they have no intention of taking credit in the long term.

    So spins the spin. Almost enough to make you lose your breakfast, isn't it?
  44. Another Opinion from Toronto, Canada writes: We're facing a recession that appears to be global in scope. That means we can count on two things:

    1. The government is going to spend big and go into the red to make it look like they're actually doing something to improve the economy.

    2. The government knows, as we all do deep down, that all their spending really isn't going to change anything.

    Given these two things we can count on, I would have liked to believe that a truly visionary government would take this carte blanche to spend and use it to help us upgrade. Call it Canada 2.0!

    We could have used this money to start this country on a path that would have had an impact years down the road. Instead, I'm watching a guy who is beginning to act and sound a lot like Chretien, which was what I had thought we were trying to get away from.

    Isn't there ANYONE in Canadian politics who wants something more for this country?
  45. AH Razorwit from Belleville, Canada writes: 'Co-operative Pragmatism,' I love it! Since when were Harpo and the other stooges 'Co-operative' with anyone? Pragmatic? This is an attempt to save Harper's a**, no more, no less. I hope Iggy and the boys decide to deep six the suckers and form a historic coalition government. Harpo would be relegated to Stornaway and can spend times cogitating to himself about what tuh hell went wrong with good ship Harpo...
  46. Doug MacGregor from Canada writes:
    Steve is sorta like lyin Brian, the 300,000 dollar man...without Brian's high morale standards.
  47. Percy from NL from Canada writes: The bottom line is that this is all about Stephen Harper remaining in power at all costs. He has been spending like a drunkened sailor ever since he formed his first minority government back in 2006. What I find quite interesting about the whole things is how Alberta's own man took the the right-wing ideology so dear to their hearts and just threw it in the trash.

    Right-wing Conservatism is dead in Canada for many years to come. I'm thinking that there is more than one Albertan right now who would love to have Paul Martin back.
  48. b l from Toronto, Canada writes: 'Tories have demonstrated that, when the circumstances warrant, they have an appetite for spending as large'

    This was not the conservative agenda... they dropped the ball the first time by cutting party funding in November's budget. This budget is to appease the opposition. I personally would have preferred to go back to the polls elect some majority any majority Liberal, NDP, Conservative and have a majority government take the fall for this budget if it fails. Let not forget this recession is everywhere not just in Canada.

    'Success has 100 parents, failure is an orphan'

    Hardcore conservatives are saying 'why did they cave then' it's simple because they want to stay in power... what little power they have.
  49. Anthony B from Maritimes, Canada writes: 'Harper spends big, but can he go back?'

    Why not? He's an expert at going back on things.

    Canadian born liberal-conservative Muslim from Ottawa, Canada writes ad nauseam: 'He did not want these deficits to happen. But when you got a party in minority territory being blackmailed by the leftist parties and being threatened of being toppled by them.....'

    Too funny. 'It's not my fault, the lefties made me do it.'

    Stephen Harper is a leader .....led by the nose.
  50. Bruce Hansen from Canada writes: What's the noise about - I just can't fathom why anyone would expect other than a political solution to a political problem.

    Yes meanwhile those pesky peasants may still not spend - (which is what a sane peasant would do)

    Invest? hmmm did I also just hear someone call out 'Trust Bernie Madoff'

    Meanwhile I do hope all those pesky peasants invest a little more in themselves.
  51. George Nikitin from Hamilton, Canada writes: Harper is a neocon follower...not a leader.
  52. lord cross of Blacks Harbour from BLACKS HARBOUR NB, Canada writes:
    b l from Toronto, Canada writes:

    Hardcore conservatives are saying 'why did they cave then' it's simple because they want to stay in power... what little power they have.

    *Canada is not some isolated community in this mess.*

    The innocents, who've lost jobs and are scratching around to find stability and solace ( if any is available ) can be forgiven for wanting to find a rest stop for their fury. Sample follows ...

    http://sootandashes.blogspot.com/2009/01/latest-video-from-icelandpanic-and.html

    Remember, the greedy groundwork for the financial mess was becoming apparent Jul-Aug '07 when the first indicators / failures were becoming visible. Harper / Flaherty were in denial up to the point of their famous [ E = FU ] statement in November.
  53. Henry Bollingbroke from Ottawa, Canada writes: One of the nice things for the Tories in this budget is that it gives them a cover for running the deficit that they were going to run anyway.

    Even without the surplus package -- despite Flaherty's denial -- this government's spending habits and absurd GST cut eliminated an enormous surplus.

    This global crisis has provided good cover for the Tories' economic mismanagement. And as an added bonus ---- they get to hand out billions of dollars in goodies.

    Too bad that back in the 90's Flaherty helped legislate that Onatario cities cannot run deficits. There's no way they will be able to afford to pay for their share of all this infrastructure money.

    I'd love to see Flaherty as a big city mayor -- where you can't spend your way out of trouble. You have to make tough decisions where the rubber hits the road.

    Unprotected by his $2 million office staff and unaccountable for his spending habits ---- me thinks Flaherty would resemble none other than Larry O'Brien ---- the worst mayor in Ottawa history!
  54. P Logan from Calgary, Canada writes: The story's suggestion of a change in position, assumes that there is some sort of economic or philosophical consistency underlying what we saw yesterday. There is not. It is a hodgepodge: a nest of contradictory policies and spending proposals running in all directions at once and having only one common purpose: to save Harper's bacon.
  55. A B from calgary, Canada writes: Budget Insult To Taxpayer Intelligence...AGAIN!!!
    What a farce this budget is. Flaherty taking credit for increases that were already there and items that had been promised before. Lets look at the claim of increasing the Basic Exemption from $9,600 to $10,320 - NO! this credit has already been established at $10,100 for 2009 and is in all published tax tables for 2009 as a cost of living adjustment. What the budget does is increase it by an extra $220 or 2.2%

    What about the increase in the upper limitstes for the 15% and 22% tax brackets up by 7.5%? NO!!!. these upper limits were already established through the 'NORMAL' cost of living increase of 2.5% to be $38,832 and $77,664 anyway. The added benefit is about $2,000 on each rate and the tax savings will be a maximum of about $140 until you exceed the $77,000 amount, i.e., $2,000 * 7% (22%-15%). On a weekly basis, this amounts to about $2.69.

    The Age Credit will amount to $150 for those with incomes up to $33,000. At that point the lovely CLAWBACK of Age credit kicks in and will wipe it out at the $70,000 level.

    Nothing in the budget for RRSP / RRIF or Trusts other than the item related to the 25% reduction in 2008 RRIF amounts.

    What an insult to a taxpayers intelligence!!!!
  56. a l from Toronto, Canada writes: Harper already blew the surplus before the economic crisis. He is not an economic leader and neither is his Finance Minister. Flaherty is the one who covered up a $6 billion deficit in Ontario during the election that sent the Harris Conservatives packing. Harper will leave a deficit of greater magnitude than the one Mulroney left for Chretien to clean up.
  57. P Martin from St. John's, Canada writes: Where does the GaM find these clueless writers? There is nothing in Harper's spending style, prior to yesterday's budget, that is small-c. Gone are the $12 billion dollar surplus. Burned through the $3 billion contingency fund. Increased government spending to record levels. Increased government spending at considerably more than the rate of inflation. Announced $19 billion in pre-election spending. And do not forget the nearly $25 billion non-budgetary deficit he had nearly a year ago.

    Get rid of this immoral, unethical, lying sociopath that is a say anything, do anything, butt-kissing sycophant.
  58. old gristle from Canada writes: Hello Alberta, this is Quebec. Cool it on the bellyaching and give me transfer payment. I can't afford my own things.
    ps. Mr. Harper is now deeply in the illegal coalition.
    On the good side, it looks like Mr. Harper can stay in that house in central Canada.
    Seeth in silent fury, Alberta or seeth and rant. Just send the nice bank transfer.
  59. Henry Bollingbroke from Ottawa, Canada writes: Jason Roy from Central Nova wrote:

    'Don't have a clue how Canadian politics works, do you? Of course CPC supporters will support it. It's the way Canadian politics goes. Of course LPC/NDP supporters are going to be largely critical of a CPC budget. Wake up!'

    Er, no.... You should re-read these posts, Jason.

    I don't read any Liberal posters who are critical of the CPC budget. Why would they? It's a Trudeau budget!

    The Liberal posters are writing about Stephen Harper's abandonment of his principles --- and the fact that during the past four months he has forsaken every small-c conservative principle he's ever had just to save his own skin: Appointed Senators / Fixed Election Dates / Deficits / Big Government (geez... the Southern Ontario Development Agency... $1 billion!... whouda thunk that one would come from Harper!) / Transparency...

    Wake-up, yourself! How do you feel about Harper's conversion!

    If Ignatieff turned into Ronald Reagan over night -- as a Liberal, I'd criticise him. I wouldn't swallow it whole like so many conservatives are doing right now.
  60. North Star from Canada writes: While it may still be named such, there is no longer a conservative party in Canada to vote for.
  61. CR VAN KRALINGEN from PORT COLBORNE, Canada writes: 'Mike Keith from Saskatoon, Canada writes: It's too late for Harper. His over spending and ineffective tax cuts have significantly increased the deficit we are forced to run and furthermore he is/was definately behind the curve in addressing the situation.'

    YOU SAID IT BROTHER!!!!!!!
  62. R Miller from Halifax, Canada writes: Well, it looks like it's up to we, the peasants...

    This particular peasant ain't spending future generations into the poorhouse... This peasant is putting my money in my sock like the Chinese...

    If all of these politicos won't show the necessary leadership... Hopefully, the public will...

    The market must be allowed to correct itself without these face saving interventions and partisan games of these politicos who really should have known better...

    Slainte Mhath
  63. Evelyn Campbell from Canada writes: Crusty Curmudgeon from Ottawa, Canada writes:

    It is easy to criticize when none of you are responsible for anything.
    **************************************8
    Crusty, most of us are responsible for many things, our families, our communities, our businessess, our employees, our employers etc.
    What has been created here is a huge amount of spending and when you look at the details the ones who will benefit the most from this are not ordinary Canadians, they are corporations.
    Completely lack of intelligence in this budget. Harper is neither a conservative, a liberal, a socialist or a capitalist. He is just blowing in the wind hoping somehow it will save his sorry a$$.
  64. lord cross of Blacks Harbour from BLACKS HARBOUR NB, Canada writes:
    Henry Bollingbroke from Ottawa, Canada writes:

    Among other things ...

    'Too bad that back in the 90's Flaherty helped legislate that Ontario cities cannot run deficits. There's no way they will be able to afford to pay for their share of all this infrastructure money. '

    Now, with the ' selective EI program, ' placing those with insufficient hours in a position where they must be tearing their hair out, we have no real definition of WHO WILL QUALIFY for training programs, or WHETHER IT'S PART OF ANY EI SCENARIO.

    Harris / Flairity / and the other discredited cohorts, arranged the 'downloading with Harris pinky swear regime,' where cities, municipalities and regions became responsible for welfare administration ... 20% of the total welfare bill. The Harris pinky-swear was not worth raising the wrong finger, ( which he did ) because it never was ... and was never intended to be, revenue neutral.

  65. North Star from Canada writes: Stephen Harrington from Toronto, Canada writes: Of course Harper can go back. He plans on it. This budget is a collective 'Ok, screw you then' to the opposition parties. You wanted a deficit? Here, now we have one. And guess who the conservatives will pin it on in the future? The Liberals.

    --------

    You propose that Harper is 'screwing' Canadians for the sake of a partisan 'I told you so' jab.

    The conservatives will have a hard time selling: vote for us, we do what other parties tell us to.
  66. Mike M from Toronto, Canada writes: Mr. Harper's current big spending spree does not mark a change in philosophy. From the moment he became Prime Minister, he has run the most expensive government in Canadian history (inflation and population adjusted). As far as I can tell, he has never had any real conservative principles to fritter away. The only surprise is that the 'stimulus' plan wasn't even bigger.
  67. North Star from Canada writes: Mr. Harper, the former Reformer, used his first three years in office to cut taxes in major ways, leading most experts to conclude that the conservative revolution he had in mind was to shrink Canadian government permanently.

    ------

    Harper appointed the largest cabinet of any parliamentary democracy in the world. Bush claimed he was for smaller government too and went on to create the largest.
  68. Zando Lee from Vancouver, Canada writes: ....Stevie's political philosophy is constantly being shaped by his intense personal fear of having to apply for UI.......
  69. CR VAN KRALINGEN from PORT COLBORNE, Canada writes: b l from Toronto, Canada writes:.

    'Success has 100 parents, failure is an orphan'

    what a great line!!!!!! l.o.l.
  70. Peter Kells from Bytown, Canada writes: This is not a philosphical change in the slightest. It is 20 billion dollars in permanent tax cuts camouflaged in a one time only stimulus package. So at the end of two years the Government of Canada has a big deficit on its hands coupled with reduced tax revenue to pay it off.

    Once that is accomplished watch programs and the presence of the Government shrink. There will then be the justification to privatize health care, sell off the CBC, introduce privately run prisons and on and on. As usual with Mr. Harper it is all politics all the time. That is all he knows .....
  71. Jason Roy from Central Nova - After October 14th AKA STILL Peter Mackay Country, Canada writes: Henry Bollingbroke from Ottawa, Canada writes: Jason Roy from Central Nova wrote: 'Don't have a clue how Canadian politics works, do you? Of course CPC supporters will support it. It's the way Canadian politics goes. Of course LPC/NDP supporters are going to be largely critical of a CPC budget. Wake up!' Er, no.... You should re-read these posts, Jason. ----------- With all due respect, re-read THE POST I responded to...in fact I'll put it here: 'What a joke this budget was. The same people that criticized Bob Rae's deficits in the recession of the early 90's are running deficits now. Of course conservative supporters will spin it. Conservative supporters vote conservative no matter what they do.' My point is the big overall picture...what is portrayed as bad policy by one party all of a sudden becomes good policy and sound management when implemented by the party(ies) that previously criticised it and the majority of party faithful start defending what they previously panned - and vice-versa. Take Conservative economic policies ranging from w/p controls, gas taxes, GST, NAFTA, IT decision over the years for example. Ridiculed, campaigned against, and governments defeated over them by the LPC - who then either left them in place or even more ironic implemented them themselves...and the LPC faithful go from screaming about ruinous these policies would have been to touting them as sound LPC fiscal prudence. As I said...it's the way Canadian politics works - always has been, always will be. When it boils down to it all the parties are the same - no morals or pricnciples, lies and bs and all that's left is for we the sheeple to pick our colour.
  72. Trev C from Orleans, Canada writes: There is a reason that the other parties are keeping their yap shut on any solutions to the current issue. They have no solutions either. There is nothing that the government can give that it doesn't take from somewhere else. If Harper cut all of the pork then the Libs and NDP would be screaming about it even louder and they would likely force an election. The other parties have nothing to contribute except finger-pointing and crying. This Liberal budget should have the liberals excited and the conservative screaming but we all know it's not about that. People want something for nothing and think the government should have all the answers. All of you that consume what you don't need with borrowed money have no one to blame but yourselves. If you can't pay the mortgage on a house you shouldn't have bought or a big flatscreen with surround sound that you didn't need get over it. Society owes you nothing!! And if nobody wants to buy what you produce why should I pay for it? Our government needs to protect our borders and our vulnerable, keep our infrastructure functioning, enforce the law and get out of the way. If the banks don't want to loan to people because they won't get the money back that's their call not the govts. The markets are trying to work to clean up the drug that has infected it but world governments are just injecting more heroine.
  73. garlick toast from Canada writes: So what's the message. TFSA says ''save'', the budget says ''spend''. It's a good thing this gang doesn't design traffic signals because the red and green would be on at the same time and there would be no amber.
  74. Blaque Jacque Shallaque from Canada writes: Meh, it's a pretty middle of the road budget. Could have been more austere. Could have been more wasteful.

    Isn't that what we want from out leaders? Pragmatism and compromise?
  75. Zando Lee from Vancouver, Canada writes: ....from a dour, exacting, penny-pinching, ideological, snarling, tax watch-dog to the warm & friendly, blue sweatered, Pollyanna of Plenty casting billions into the winds.......Stevie's metamorphosis.....what a guy!....suck it up cons.....
  76. garlick toast from Canada writes: It's a one year solution to a five year problem.
  77. Stephen Harrington from Toronto, Canada writes: Northstar wrote: 'You propose that Harper is 'screwing' Canadians for the sake of a partisan 'I told you so' jab.

    The conservatives will have a hard time selling: vote for us, we do what other parties tell us to.'

    Absolutely - they Harper was cornered. And he's a smart tactician. There was no sense inching along toward a big deficit spend and getting spanked by the opposition all the way. So they've found the silver lining.

    They will easily blame the opposition for this budget. They had no choice, right? Either way a deficit budget was going to be passed - and they can say they figure they were the best party to act as guardian over said budget.

    They can also claim that left alone they never would have dug us into such a hole. Either way they win. If this turns out to be a protracted downturn they can say they acted - if it turns around quickly they can claim they were forced to make a bad move.

    Ignatief has his work cut out for him.
  78. Zando Lee from Vancouver, Canada writes: ...ah yes, judging from the flavor of the postings by the Neocon sycophants, the common theme is that, since their leader has proven to be devoid of morals and principles, no other Canadian leaders have any....as if that somehow mitigates their free-spending ways....
  79. forty sum from Canada writes: Harper gained power with BS and lies, why would anybody expect anything else from him and his party. Flaherty, Clements, and Baird left Ontarrio with a 6 billion dollar debt, during the Ontario election campaign they lied saying the books were balanced after the election the liberals found the conservatives had fudged the figures to make it look like they had balanced the books.
  80. stan thomas from campbellford, ont, Canada writes: Here we go again beg borrow and steal to more debt. Waste more money on gov't pipe dreams. People are all maxed out and they want us to spend more. Give us a meaningful tax break today so we can pay down OUR debt and start to spend again. All levels of gov't are to blame they take 90% and give 5%.
  81. Midtown Bob from Toronto, Canada writes: Rick Jones from The Rock, Canada writes: If I compare this budget to my own life...

    Rick, you are comparing apples to oranges.

    Generally the budget is good, it could use a few tweaks but it should pass the vote. One major tweak would be instead of the Toronto - Montreal 3rd rail, how about a 3rd downtown Toronto subway line?
  82. Zando Lee from Vancouver, Canada writes: ....gee, there is a traffic-jam of Neocons on the Road to Damascus!!!......
  83. Gabriel Allon from Canada writes:
    Unfortunatley its the mantra of most politicians of all stripes to over promise and under deliver.
  84. Joe V from Canada writes: If this passes, I will be moving all of my remaining money out of the country within the next few years.

    As much as I want to fund socialism for the chosen few, I'm afraid that I'm going to have to decline. The interest payments to service this debt will imprison an entire generation of Canadians.

    I can just imagine how Jean Chretien must feel. All of his many years of work to pay down the debt are going to be wiped out at the hands of this Conservative-in-name-only Harper.
  85. Harper has to go from Canada writes: So why the surprise? Harper betrayed conservative principles, not to mention his own solemn pledge, six months into his tenure when he hiked taxes on Canadian income trust investors. He was a liar then, he is a liar now.
  86. Shawn Mckone from Calgary, Canada writes: He didn't change, he did it to stay in power. It's pretty simple actually.
  87. peter clarke from Toronto, Canada writes: Just NOT needed. 179 million for Forestry, $2-billion to repair post-secondary institutions. $50-million for the Institute for Quantum Computing in Waterloo, Ont. $500-million agricultural flexibility program. $50-million over three years to increase slaughterhouse capacity. $200-million over two years for the Canadian Television Fund. $60-million over two years for community theatres, libraries and museums. Increased funding for the National Arts Training Contribution program. $30-million over two years for magazines and community newspapers. $24-million to support cruise ship infrastructure along the Saint Lawrence and Saguenay rivers. $75-million over two years for Parks Canada facilities, and an additional $75-million for national historic sites. What is NEEDED, a 15% reduction in government employees, with 5% coming through early retirement. A freeze for four (4) years on all government and crown corporation employees. After two years, while the freeze remain, an adjustment would be made for the cost of living only ( based on our annual inflation rate) for the reaming 2 years. All banks would have to pay interest at the rate of 4% on annual deposits and credit card interest rates to be capped for all cards at 12%. Beginning in 2009 all federal, provincial and municipal politicians and government and crown employees pensions would be capped at 40% based on the average salaries for the last five years of employment. Governments at all levels would by law have to live within their means and not spend or budget any more than could be paid for out of annual revenues collected each year. This would be a budget for the majority of people and not a hand out.
  88. Mooney Pilot from Smartville, Canada writes: Harper will say anything to stay in power. Unfortunately we have 36-38% of canadians who eat this garbage right up!
  89. Mimi Williams from Edmonton, Canada writes: Canadian born liberal-conservative Muslim from Ottawa, Canada writes: Don't physically give students grants and scholarships. Let the government pay for the tuition and books. I was given $9,000 in scholarships and bursaries, not including the $4000 i got in loans =13,000. And my tuition plus books was $5000. Why? And i only had a 78% high school average entering. I wasn't bright but they treated me like I was the most brilliant guy in Canada.

    ___________________________________________________

    No such mistake here. The most brilliant guy in Canada would have figured out that the extra $8,000 was to pay for rent and food and maybe some new socks.
  90. Mimi Williams from Edmonton, Canada writes: Andrew LaCroix from Ottawa, Canada writes: I challenge Mr. Laghi's analysis. Basic economic theory (ala Keynes) says that you raise taxes and pay off the debt in boom times; lower taxes and stimulate the economy in recession. Running a deficit at this point is the only reasonable action.

    _______________________________________________
    Then I guess the problem might be that the Conservatives were cutting taxes and increasing spending during boom times and now have decided to continue doing the same during recession. Apparently, they only read half of Keynes' theory.
  91. Mimi Williams from Edmonton, Canada writes: Canadian born liberal-conservative Muslim from Ottawa, Canada writes: Alex Li... Stephen Harper made a promise to the Canadian populace during the 2006 election did he not? Remember, the promise of cutting the GST by 2 percentage points? Obviously, he knew cutting income taxes were the best choice (everyone who took ECON 101 knows this) but he made a promise... 'My party will cut the GST once elected'... and he did. Give him credit for fulfilling an election promise... something you dont see in politics. And for Layton and the lefties.... How does the political ideology of an elected government undermine the confidence of the House?? Should you not have confidence in those that elected Harper into office? _________________________________________________ Let me get this straight. We should give credit to Harper for fulfilling his promise to cut the GST even though it was the wrong thing to do? His own economists told him it was the wrong thing to do but he did it anyway. Itís like thanking the guy who stole your car because he promised to do it before hand. Sure, your car is all smashed up and you can't drive it but the guy did honour his commitment so you'll forgive him. See the problem? Your last two questions make no sense whatsoever so I wonít even try to answer them or comment except to say that the only people who elected Harper into office were voters in his Calgary constituency. The members of the Conservative party made him their leader. Not sure why, but thatís not my business.
  92. GK Cheese from Toronto, Canada writes: In the old days we would just sacrifice a virgin to make things right. As this is not possible in the age of Madonna, we instead throw $20Bil out the window.
  93. Zando Lee from Vancouver, Canada writes: GK Cheese from Toronto...there are no virgins in Ottawa....
  94. Tom Barak from Canada writes: It takes a world wide recession to get Harper to even think about big government and big public spending. With the Liberals, the wind blows, and the size of government and spending doubles.
  95. Sober Second Thought from Toronto, Canada writes: 'tax credit to help defray the cost of legal fees and other closing costs'

    Gee, I did not know that Lawyers needed a stimuls too!

    That should keep legal fees nice and high for a while.
  96. Henry Bollingbroke from Ottawa, Canada writes: Trev C: I can imagine you in your little house in the forest, living off the grid, pallets of canned goods in the basement... angry at the world and only thinking of yourself and what you deserve and what you should have to pay for and contribute to your community. If you had one.

    Come back to society and join us!
  97. William E. Demers from Toronto, Canada writes: Life-long supporters of the Conservatives, who continued to support Harper for the last three years, in spite of his left-of-centre tendencies, are fed up. We were promised a reduction in government spending, not outrageous expenditures as seen in the last two budgets. We were promised that sexual offenders and violent killers would be dealt with appropriately. We were promised that families and individuals would drive Canadian development, not a handful of special interests. To think that if they had just kept their mouth shut on a couple touchy items in the last election, these guys would have had a majority. Are there any real conservatives left in this world, or is it just Bush/Harper types who promise conservative policies and then implement liberal ones?
  98. Edward Palys from Pickering, Canada writes: Damned if you do and damned if you don't! Seems that Harper has succumbed to the oppositions' demand for spending his way out of the economic predicament. No matter how much he does, the 'other guys' won't be satisfied. Heaven help Canada if the 'other guys' take over and REALLY start to spend. We will end up in such a deficit that it will take years to get out of, if ever. As for fixing the EI, let's see what the libs will do to fix their own mess they got us into in the first place. It's about time for Canadians to slow down in demanding that the government take care of us for all the careless spending we do. Ever since handouts from the government started, and I don't mean just the feds, things have gotten worse. Now we have people demanding a lot more than they put into the system. It's about time we revert back to responsible economics. It doesn't take a rocket scientist to tell you that you cannot live a life on borrowed money from an endless pit.
  99. Sue Johnson from Canada writes: Damned if you do, and damned if you don't. Damned Harper.
  100. Jason Roy from Central Nova - After October 14th AKA STILL Peter Mackay Country, Canada writes: There ya go folks...Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty has just said Ontario has made significant progress on the budget and he looks forward to working with his federal and municiple partners in getting the money flowing and shovels in the ground...
  101. Henry Bollingbroke from Ottawa, Canada writes: William E. Demers writes: 'Are there any real conservatives left in this world, or is it just Bush/Harper types who promise conservative policies and then implement liberal ones?'

    Try Saudi Arabia -- they're not likely to flip-flop to liberal policies! And their beaches are great!
  102. Garibaldi III from TO from Canada writes: Canadian born liberal-conservative Muslim from Ottawa, Canada writes: I was wondering, if tax rates for incomes were fixed at 15% at the federal rate from everyone over an income over $25,000, would this be possible?
    -----
    Yes, that would be a good start, provided all other smoke and mirror tax shelters were removed... that includes off shore shelters.
    This will never happen as it would defeat the purpose of big government and not to mention that retirement home called the senate.
    Cheers
  103. Canada 1 from Montreal, Canada writes: Joe V from Canada writes: As much as I want to fund socialism for the chosen few, I'm afraid that I'm going to have to decline. The interest payments to service this debt will imprison an entire generation of Canadians.

    Which brings us to a pertinent question, to which an answer seems to be ever more illusive.....

    Who is 'lending' us all this $$$, and at what cost.
    Are we issuing new bonds, at what interest rate, and who is
    buying/investing in them.

    Is the list of all these 'entities' public, or is this an other
    'for your eyes only.


    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>
  104. F E from ottawa, Canada writes: A lot of debt for future generations and burden on future governments who will have to raise taxes. I guess Harper doesn't see himself as PM for very long
  105. Garibaldi III from TO from Canada writes: Troubled Youth from Everywhere, Canada writes: Alex Li , the Harper government had been addressing the economics of Canada from early on and feeding the banks,
    -------
    BULL.... and you know it.

    They were just buying back Flaherty's mistake in a lousy attempt to sweep it under the rug.

    Follow this link:

    theglobeandmail.com

    The untold story of how elements of the first
    Conservative budget in 2006 encouraged big U.S.
    players such as AIG to make a push into Canada,
    creating our version of subprime mortgages
  106. Tony . from Waterloo, Canada writes:
    HUGE Government and massive spending is absolute NOT new for this government.

    From 2006 through to 2008 the Conservatives have jacked up government spending a rate we haven't seen since Trudeau was in power. Spending has been running at 6-7% increases PER YEAR for the past 3 years already, this is WAY above anything Chretien or Martin ever spent!

    Now they've managed to top it off with a record-breaking spending increase. This isn't just Trudeau territory, they were already there BEFORE yesterday's budget. The current Conservatives are now in a league all of their own when it comes to BIG GOVERNMENT spending.

    Harper's Conservatives are the ultimate definition of 'Tax and Spend' government that we've ever seen in Canada.

    Ohh, but I'm sure somehow it's the 'Liberals fault'?
  107. AlbertaOilpatch is Great from Canada writes: North Star from Canada writes: While it may still be named such, there is no longer a conservative party in Canada to vote for.

    ==========================================

    What do you care, if you are not Jack Layton himself your left next to him. Lieberals and dipheads should be gushing over this budget. Low income affordable housing ($2 billion), is that fore shadowing or what.

    As to Alberta, we have our own Dion to get rid of, Stelmach a liberal if there ever was one. Ralph klein was too worried about the Lieberals and dipheads here, he forgot to look what had come into his own party.

    Down with debt and deficits, Harper should have cut spending and taxes on a massive scale. Start with the arts funding, the gun register, CBC, cut tranfer payments to the provinces and cut every other department by 20%. He should have laid off 300000 gov't workers. He should be announcing surplus for as far the eye can see.

    O wait that was Obama's over a trillion dollar deficits for as far as the eye can see.
  108. Auroran Bear from Montreal, Canada writes: Obviously after this budget, the conservatives can no longer pretend to lay claim to the concept of fiscal conservatism' not that they ever actually had the mantle.

    The true farce is the lie that they expect to recoup the deficits in five years.

    Governments don't make hard choices, they campaign to try and stay in power.

    Bottom line.....we lose.
  109. The Innocent Ghost Of Patrick Whelan from Canada writes: .

    Canada already has four centre-left party
    ies.

    Why do we need a fifth one?

    Oh, right, so the centre-left creationists will have a party of their own.
    .
  110. Auroran Bear from Montreal, Canada writes: AlbertaOilpatch is Great from Canada writes:
    Down with debt and deficits, Harper should have cut spending and taxes on a massive scale. Start with the arts funding, the gun register, CBC, cut tranfer payments to the provinces and cut every other department by 20%. He should have laid off 300000 gov't workers. He should be announcing surplus for as far the eye can see.

    O wait that was Obama's over a trillion dollar deficits for as far as the eye can see
    =================================================

    Why are you comparing Obama with Harper? Clearly you get that Harper has betrayed conservative philosophy here right?

    If you want to be angry, be angry with your party leadership that has now left you in an ideological desert.
  111. Marvin60 4q from Canada writes: Auroran Bear from Montreal, Canada writes: Obviously after this budget, the conservatives can no longer pretend to lay claim to the concept of fiscal conservatism' not that they ever actually had the mantle.
    -----------------------
    It's historical fact that, despite their claims, Conservative governments have traditionally spent more and created more debt than Liberal governments.

    This goes in the US too. When Republicans are in the White House, deficits skyrocket and it's left to Democrats to clean up the mess.

    That's not to say that all deficit spending is bad. There are things in this budget that I'd change, but overall I think it's a good balance. (For the record, I'm not a Conservative supporter.)

    But this bleating about how Conservatives are supposed to be the party of fiscal restraint and all the rest is just nonsense. Always has been.
  112. Michael Popowich from victoria, Canada writes: No vision, no future dreams. Sad
  113. Tom Thumb from Canada writes: Canadian born liberal-conservative Muslim from Ottawa, Canada writes: Alex Li,

    what the overwhelming majority of Canadians want. If you think about it, Harper is representing those at the centre as well and is representing a good 70- 75% of Canadians. So right now, we can see the NDP is the minority here. Tough luck for the socialists that voted for them.They dont have a voice. Kinda sucks to be a socialist in Canada doesn't it? Move to Scandinavia or anywhere else in Western Europe if you want social democracy in your lives.

    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

    You've got to be kidding right????

    Canada is a Social Parlimentary Democracy by definition. You do enjoy the socialized heathcare, education, and social safetynet don't you? If not, you are welcome to leave!!!

    You also failed to mention the PQ which represents 51 seats. The conservative also have a minority government and also only receive 39%(and that's of only the 55% that actually voted) of the popular vote.

    Get your facts straight as you are making it obvious you don't know what you are talking about. You amy want to go back and study Canadian politics and economics.
  114. Dave Jansen - The Progressive Centrist from Canada writes: .

    Still can't figure out what the conservatives actually stand for.

    If we're going to have a cheap immitation of the Liberals, might as well have the real Liberals instead, they're the only party in Canada's history to ever convert a deficit into a surplus.
  115. Michael Popowich from victoria, Canada writes: Treading water, hoping for a life jacket,
  116. agent sixtynine from Canada writes: Keep in mind that this is basically a liberal budget.
    What the heck, my grandchildren can pay it off.
    Thank you Iggy.
    Thank you Layton.
    Thank you Gille.
  117. Michael Popowich from victoria, Canada writes: Just maybe, a wealthy, very distant relative will pass on an inheritance
  118. Garibaldi III from TO from Canada writes: Now that Harper has figured out that He's a failure at Chess, I hope he has better luck at Horseshoe throwing and Handgranades.

    .
  119. Dave Jansen - The Progressive Centrist from Canada writes: .

    I love how conservatives think the only thing that will get the economy rolling are tax-cuts.

    Bush's tax-cuts of the last 8 years have really paid off haven't they?

    Harper's 2 cent GST tax-cut was followed by worsening economic conditions and a deficit. Boy that worked out great didn't it?
  120. Michael Popowich from victoria, Canada writes: Where have all the leaders gone
  121. The Innocent Ghost Of Patrick Whelan from Canada writes:
    .AlbertaOilpatch is Great from Canada writes:

    'Down with debt and deficits, Harper should have cut spending and taxes on a massive scale. Start with the arts funding, the gun register, CBC, cut tranfer payments to the provinces and cut every other department by 20%. He should have laid off 300000 gov't workers. He should be announcing surplus for as far the eye can see. '
    ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    So OilPatch, who are you going to vote for now that Harper has moved the Conservatives to the left of the Liberals?

    Five left-wing parties in Canada doesn't leave you many options.

    Iggy's going to stsrt looking pretty good to you.
    .
  122. L F from Canada writes: All through our political history politicians have willingly and unwillingly changed their course. I cannot believe that people still think that people will do what they say they will on the election campaign. Liberals promise GST will be cut and then they don’t Conservatives promise not to cut Income Trusts then they do. NDP promises job security then stab the workers in the back.
    No one does what they said they would except Mike Harris and we all know what the public whiners thought of him.
    Circumstances change and so do plans. If you lost your income tomorrow would you still be going out to dinner or would your plan change. This government listened to the opposition and the public at large and did what they thought would work for our country’s economy.. Let’s all see what happens. If it doesn’t work we can do what Paul Martin did and just get the feds to steal all the transfer payments back from the provinces to pay down the debt.
  123. Tom Thumb from Canada writes: agent sixtynine from Canada writes: Keep in mind that this is basically a liberal budget.
    What the heck, my grandchildren can pay it off.
    Thank you Iggy.
    Thank you Layton.
    Thank you Gille.

    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

    Thank Harper, he's the Prime Minister. It's his government that tabled this crap and no one made them do it. Quit trying to blame everyone else. They could have table what ever they wanted and put it to a confidence vote. If it wasn't supported, the voters can decide what best at the polls. The conservative way, blame everyone else.
  124. Garibaldi III from TO from Canada writes: gent sixtynine from Canada writes: Keep in mind that this is basically a liberal budget.
    What the heck, my grandchildren can pay it off.
    Thank you Iggy.
    Thank you Layton.
    Thank you Gille.
    ----------
    Thank you all Harper sheep for PUTTING UP SUCH big FIGHT for ALL your briefs.

    ...and that explains why The Emperor has no clothes.

    :-)
  125. Jason Roy from Central Nova - After October 14th AKA STILL Peter Mackay Country, Canada writes: Dave Jansen - The Progressive Centrist from Canada writes: .

    Still can't figure out what the conservatives actually stand for.

    If we're going to have a cheap immitation of the Liberals, might as well have the real Liberals instead, they're the only party in Canada's history to ever convert a deficit into a surplus.

    ---------------------------------

    No disrespect but I still can't figure out what the Liberals and NDP stand for either...party or supporters.

    Everybody was ready to take to the streets with torches and pitchforks in hand b/c the fall update didn't contain a stimulus plan.

    The coalition immediately put to paper a plan that called for stimulus resulting in four years of deficits with a return to surplus in the fifth - same as the government.

    Now that the government has done this they are being criticised for doing so.

    The NDP in the meanwhile whored themselves out for a share in power by agreeing to leave in place 50B in corporate tax cuts that they were so vehemiently opposed to previously.

    We're all equally guilty...
  126. Tom Thumb from Canada writes: Dave Jansen - The Progressive Centrist from Canada writes: .

    I love how conservatives think the only thing that will get the economy rolling are tax-cuts.

    Bush's tax-cuts of the last 8 years have really paid off haven't they?

    Harper's 2 cent GST tax-cut was followed by worsening economic conditions and a deficit. Boy that worked out great didn't it?

    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

    Exactly!!!!

    We would have a lot more money available if the GST wasn't cut and spending was controlled. Instead we're mortgaging the future. Great policy!
  127. Phil Craig from Toronto, Canada writes: Lewis Black , the comedian is playing Niagara ... but then with Harper and Flaherty in charge who needs to pay to laugh?
  128. Auroran Bear from Montreal, Canada writes: They ran the last election promising no deficits and now they are proudly running massive ones.

    I'd be mad as hell if I were a conservative waking up today and realizing that my party had abandoned me.
  129. The Innocent Ghost Of Patrick Whelan from Canada writes: .
    Tony . from Waterloo, Canada writes:

    'Harper's Conservatives are the ultimate definition of 'Tax and Spend' government that we've ever seen in Canada.'
    ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Gotta disagree with you on that Tony

    Harper's Conservatives are the ultimate definition of a 'Borrow And Spend' government.

    Good to see Harper completely betray all the basic economic principles that he has preached and campaigned on for years.

    Harper and the Conservatives have proven that they will abandon even their core beliefs to retain power.

    Would you trust your children's future to people that unscrupulous?
    .
  130. Garibaldi III from TO from Canada writes: The Innocent Ghost Of Patrick Whelan from Canada writes: .
    Tony . from Waterloo, Canada writes:
    'Harper's Conservatives are the ultimate definition of 'Tax and Spend' government that we've ever seen in Canada.'
    -------
    Gotta disagree with you on that Tony
    Harper's Conservatives are the ultimate definition of a 'Borrow And Spend' government.
    ..Would you trust your children's future to people that unscrupulous?
    --
    That's OK.... as per our Albertan Harper supporter friends, they will be paying for it.
    :-)
  131. Auroran Bear from Montreal, Canada writes: This budget is in the finest tradition of Brian Mulroney.

    A real leader would have presented a budget predicated on their beliefs and take his chances with the electorate had it failed in the house.

    Instead conservatives conveniently checked their philosophy at the door to stay in power.

    A recent poll (I forget by who) shows a majority of Canadians want the budget passed. That tells me there is a large swath of so-called conservatives who will also throw their beliefs out the window for a piece of the government pie.

    Were they even conservatives to begin with? Are they the same ones who thought we elected Harper PM?

    Maybe we really do get the government we deserve.
  132. Tony . from Waterloo, Canada writes: Crusty Curmudgeon from Ottawa, Canada writes: _'It is easy to criticize when none of you are responsible for anything.'-

    We're not responsible for anything? Who the heck do you think has to PAY for all this wasteful spending? We're taxpayers, it's OUR money that is being thrown around.

    I'm PERSONALLY responsible for about $1,500 of the $40B in NEW spending announced yesterday. That is the amount of EXTRA tax I will need to pay to cover the budget for this year alone! I'm definitely not rich either, I'm earning just a hair above the median income in this country. Some posters in here are going to have to pay a whole heck of a lot more.
  133. Tony . from Waterloo, Canada writes: Crusty Curmudgeon from Ottawa, Canada writes: _'It is easy to criticize when none of you are responsible for anything.'-

    We're not responsible for anything? Who the heck do you think has to PAY for all this wasteful spending? We're taxpayers, it's OUR money that is being thrown around.

    I'm PERSONALLY responsible for about $1,500 of the $40B in NEW spending announced yesterday. That is the amount of EXTRA tax I will need to pay to cover the budget for this year alone! I'm definitely not rich either, I'm earning just a hair above the median income in this country. Some posters in here are going to have to pay a whole heck of a lot more.
  134. G L from Thunder Bay ON., Canada writes: The majority of Canadians have clearly indicated their support of this budget. Just how large the deficit the Canadian Government incurs will depend on how quickly Mr Obama can turn the American economy around and get out of recession. They started it and there going to have to end it. Mr Flaherty has indicated that they will do whatever is necessary to minimize the effect of this Global recession on Canadians.However there is little that any Government can do to get the Auto and Forestry and sectors Jobs back until such time as the American economy recovers to the point where American consumers start buying Canadian made and assembled commodities that we export to that market.Even then some of these job losses are permanent and that's where the substantial funding for skills upgrading and in some cases getting the trade skills necessary to get back into the workplace will come into place. NO Government other than a Communist or socialist state can guarantee it's citizens a life long job{even then It's doubtful that they can do it) Our government has taken a step, a small one granted in the right direction,and hopefully Mr Obama is successful in getting the American economy turned around sooner rather than later.
  135. Michael Popowich from victoria, Canada writes: I had a dream, I was installing a new rug in my living room??
  136. marlene stobbart from High River, Canada writes: Viewing the proceedings yesterday, learning about the budget,at first one was hopeful for seemingly it addressed many concerns. Unfortunately, upon breaking it down it became readily apparent, to me at least, this bountiful fiscal package was a bounty for the kabal but not for the people. The gifts of sharing the wealth were only if you had wealth. The municipalities don't - they have to tax the residents. Most people don't have $10,000 to upgrade their homes - for which they get $1500. The tax benefits are meaningless for the sum gained is insignificant. Better the Conservatives had maintained their monetary policy and hadn't acquiesced to the demands of the Kabal. It would have forced the opposition to defeat the budget, therefore an election would be called. The financial chaos is global and no country is recession proof. I believe Harpers' gov't were well aware in November and wanted to wait until the dust settled, a much wiser move. The only necessary fiscal change was to the EI and allow people laid off or having lost their jobs to have only one or two weeks waiting period, and also to allow the recipients to top off EI with additional earnings, if work is found. This is a madhatters tea party draining the Conservatives of all the monetary gains made during their years of fiscal concern. I am a Conservative but glad I wasn't invited to this party. I know the gov't had to appease the kabal but, as an Irish Scot Canadian - no appeasement would have been the wiser course IMHO
  137. Midtown Bob from Toronto, Canada writes: Canada is the best country in the world and everyone still complains.

    Go move to Haiti and have a mudcake (made with real Haitian mud) for dinner tonight.
  138. Auroran Bear from Montreal, Canada writes: marlene stobbart from High River, Canada writes: I know the gov't had to appease the kabal but, as an Irish Scot Canadian - no appeasement would have been the wiser course IMHO
    =================================================

    Marlene, I could not disagree more. You govern by principle or you don't govern.

    If it requires another election so be it. Harper has surrendered and as as Irish Scot Canadian, you know that's not acceptable.
  139. Jason Roy from Central Nova - After October 14th AKA STILL Peter Mackay Country, Canada writes: Ignatieff to support budget but with conditions

    http://www.ctv.ca/servlet/ArticleNews/story/CTVNews/20090127/budgetliberals090128/20090128?hub=TopStories

    The conditions seem more than fair...
  140. Jason Roy from Central Nova - After October 14th AKA STILL Peter Mackay Country, Canada writes: Auroran Bear from Montreal, Canada writes:

    A recent poll (I forget by who) shows a majority of Canadians want the budget passed. That tells me there is a large swath of so-called conservatives who will also throw their beliefs out the window for a piece of the government pie.

    -------------------------------------

    Here ya go AB...

    50 per cent of Canadians approve of budget, poll finds

    http://www.ctv.ca/servlet/ArticleNews/story/CTVNews/20090128/budgetpoll090128/20090128?hub=TopStories

    ...and to answer your logic above about a government governing by principle in theory Canada should not have a government...
  141. Chris Hay from Regina, SK, Canada writes: As predicted, this budget was far more about keeping Mr Harper in office, than it was about helping the Country weather the economic storm. A scattergun approach to throwing money everywhere, in the faint hope some of it may stick, somewhere. Infrastructure spending - providing the provincial and municipal governments match spending, something that is not a sure thing. Tax cuts that amount to an average of LESS than one dollar a day per household; promises of a return to surplus positions made by a Finance Minister who has absolutely no remaining shred of credibility or competence left... the list goes on. As much as this budget should be voted down, the Opposition have just as little to present as credible alternatives. No vision, no plan, no clear idea of what to do, other than gain (keep) power. At a time when Canada needs clear vision, a government able to 'Stand up for Canada' , we get a group of politicians more interested in maintaining their lifestyle and perks than in assisting Canadians.
  142. Canada 1 from Montreal, Canada writes: >>>>>>>>>>>

    This budget is redundant, an other exercise in futility by
    yet an other conservative government.

    The presumption of all this $$ being thrown into the 'market'
    here and in the US is conditional on the consumer to start spending.

    Any Canadian from St.John's to Victoria who will increase his spending in the midst of this economic fiasco is either irresponsible,
    or a bloody fool.

    In the past 25 years the 'consumer' has been downsized,
    out sourced, globalized. His/hers savings/investment for retirement
    have been cut by 50% due to the markets and their never ending pyramid schemes, his/her house is loosing value, and his/her
    employment situation is uncertain at best.

    Should the government(s)/markets be counting on the consumer to bail this economy and the markets out, they are obviously dreaming in Fuji colour, and will be very disappointed.

    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>
  143. We are all Broken from Van, Canada writes: WEAK ARTICLE ALERT

    Its not about any change of philosophy. I am sure that Harper always felt that if he and his minority government was being held hostage by a 'coalition' that would not be good for Canada then he would always deal to stay in power for the good of the Nation.

    His budget reflects the age old adage 'pick your battles.' Thats it, thats all. Nice try though.
  144. Auroran Bear from Montreal, Canada writes: Joe Dick from Kingston, Canada writes: I love this. Harper is being accused of acting 'too liberal' and our resident moonbats are howling about it.

    I wonder how can an 'ideologue' be moving left?

    In one sentence, 2 retarded lib talking points shot full of holes.
    =================================================

    Careful talking about retarded libs since your leader is effectively becoming one.
  145. Auroran Bear from Montreal, Canada writes: The impacts of the deficit are predicated on the economy not getting materially worse.

    The IMF today put out projections that show the Canadian economy falling more sharply than the assumptions put out yesterday by the conservatives

    OTTAWA, Jan 28 (Reuters) - Canada's economy will shrink by 1.2 percent this year, the International Monetary Fund said on Wednesday, a day after Ottawa presented a budget based on a more optimistic assumption.

    Prime Minister Stephen Harper's Conservative government said it expected real gross domestic product to contract 0.8 percent this year, based on the average forecast of private sector economists.

    http://uk.reuters.com/article/marketsNewsUS/idUKN2851362620090128
  146. Have No Faith in Conservatives from Canada writes: Canadian born seems to conveniently ignore the truth:

    STEPHEN HARPER WAS RUNNING A MASSIVE DEFCIITS BEFORE ANY OPPOSITION PARTIES 'FORCED' HIM TO SPEND.....

    Please stop with the half-truths Cons, Harper was already massively in the red before any stimulus spending, and that is no ones fault but of the Conservative Party of Canada....

    Harper is the worst kind of scum politician...He excuses his massive deficit(which accounts for almost half of the 09 deficit), by blaming it on the opposisition forcing him to spend...What a crock!!!

    People who ignore this detail are no better than Harper and Flaherty....
  147. John Birch from Canada writes: Yet another Harper flip-flop.

    ...and the Globe said he was the one we could trust with the economy? What was the Editorial board smoking when they came up with that one?

    Well, at least we now know Harper thinks highly of the Senate, and fiscal prudence is a chimera. What else is he going to flip on? Why not set criminals free and the Cons can go for the big social trifecta?
  148. Auroran Bear from Montreal, Canada writes: We are all Broken from Van, Canada writes: WEAK ARTICLE ALERT

    Its not about any change of philosophy. I am sure that Harper always felt that if he and his minority government was being held hostage by a 'coalition' that would not be good for Canada then he would always deal to stay in power for the good of the Nation.

    His budget reflects the age old adage 'pick your battles.' Thats it, thats all. Nice try though.
    ================================================

    More like LAME DEFENSE ALERT

    Pick your battles? If you don't think that defending a core ideological belief (fiscal conservatism) is worth defending then you may want to look at what you actually do believe in.
  149. Troubled Youth from Everywhere, Canada writes: Garibaldi III, give the leftist talking points a rest will ya and read more than liberal media poli critics. The government changed course in that instance as soon as they saw their mistake. Everyone is a mastermind after the facts, eh!

    What are you going to call Iggy when he ok's the budget? Flip flopper, covering his tracks, liar, fat a$$, all the other trash you guys and gals from the left that have been throwing at Harper. Will you be consistant or do you have your excuse already to print for going easy on good old Iggy??
  150. G L from Thunder Bay ON., Canada writes: Jason Roy from Central Nova and we'll dispense with the rest of the garbage. Jason-I stand to be corrected of course but I do not believe Mr Ignatieff's amendments can not contain any additional monetary expenditures by the Government. assuming that there handled in the same manner as a eg; a private members bill. In that case the speaker would be required to reject such a amendment.at some stage of the readings. One of Mr Ignatieff's amendments re monitoring the effectiveness and expediting of the infrastructure funding seems reasonable enough and I would expect that the Government would comply.on that one,for sure.
  151. Jim Gray from Kingston, Canada writes: As loathsome as the GST is, it is the cheapest, least bureaucratic, most environmental tax to collect. You can't cut the GST and income taxes. Income taxes are expensive to collect. How about no income tax and only GST? Rebates to lower incomes. This budget is a clear indication that one, Stephen Harper will do anything to stay in power including using hypocrisy as a political tool. Where is the money going to come from? The oil sands? And two, the Prime Minister clearly has no idea what he is doing because if he had a vision another election and another budget would not be looming.
  152. Tony . from Waterloo, Canada writes: The Innocent Ghost Of Patrick Whelan from Canada writes: 'Harper's Conservatives are the ultimate definition of a 'Borrow And Spend' government.'

    Government borrowing is just deferred taxes. In this budget harper just raised my future taxes by $1,500 for this year alone (I'm very much a mid-income earner in Canada), and that's without even counting the extra interest or all the off-budget spending.

    I won't need to pay for these taxes now because Harper is deferring the taxes by virtue of running a deficit, but this huge tax increase will be paid for, and I'm young enough that I still have a LOT of years left to pay for it.
  153. Jesse Winger from Calgary Supports the Trudeau Budget, Canada writes: Yep, a real Trudeau budget fresh from the lips of Flaherty and Company.

    It was the right thing to do, despite the Conservatives having to sell their soul.
  154. Jason Roy from Central Nova - After October 14th AKA STILL Peter Mackay Country, Canada writes: John Birch from Canada writes: Yet another Harper flip-flop.

    ...and the Globe said he was the one we could trust with the economy? What was the Editorial board smoking when they came up with that one?

    Well, at least we now know Harper thinks highly of the Senate, and fiscal prudence is a chimera. What else is he going to flip on?

    ------------------------------------

    Like Dion's flipflop on a coalition and deficit?

    Like Layton's flipflop on a deficit and corporate tax breaks?

    Like Iggy's flipflop on a coalition?

    Like your flipflop on Dion for PM to your flipflop on Iggy for PM?
  155. Eager Beaver from Chatham, Canada writes: All this complaining by Libbies and guess what this budget will still not be sufficient to satiisfy Iggy-- he will ask for more and more- One thing you Libbies seem to enjoy doing is making personal attacks on our Prime Minister eg. con hack-ole fat a$$- Three faces- claims the prime minister has not shoulders, and Mrs Wiggins - nothing would ever suit her- Jason Roy's posts are the most honest, of all he tells it like it is and he doesn't stoop to belittling Iggy for his looks or any thing like these libbies seem to find power in pushing personal attacks. I think you can make comments but personal digs are only a way to show your own immaturatey in thinking.
  156. Tor Hill Sask. from Canada writes: As one poster mentioned last night, a very simple and necessary principle to follow regarding stimulus spending is: invest in areas where there is a greater chance of future return on investment. Of course, roads do allow some kind of return but it would be nice to see more concrete infrastructure investments that lead to more concrete returns (wind and solar energy). As it is, we have allowed a lobbyist in the door. A lobbyist who doesn't quite know yet how best to serve all the lobbyists who have replaced him in the job of lobbyist, rather than try to spend wisely for future returns to the public good. It's probably not a good idea to put a lobbyist at the helm.
  157. Anyone but Ignatieff; Rae and LeBlanc. or Duceppe for the new Liberal Leader. from Canada writes: What a piece of fiction.
  158. Jason Roy from Central Nova - After October 14th AKA STILL Peter Mackay Country, Canada writes: G L from Thunder Bay ON., Canada writes: Jason Roy from Central Nova and we'll dispense with the rest of the garbage. Jason-I stand to be corrected of course but I do not believe Mr Ignatieff's amendments can not contain any additional monetary expenditures by the Government. assuming that there handled in the same manner as a eg; a private members bill. In that case the speaker would be required to reject such a amendment.at some stage of the readings. One of Mr Ignatieff's amendments re monitoring the effectiveness and expediting of the infrastructure funding seems reasonable enough and I would expect that the Government would comply.on that one,for sure.

    ------------------------------------

    Something to look into G L...

    I read the proposed amendmants - update required on progress of budget and amendments to EI & infrastructure...

    ...as I said - they seem fair to me - on the surface anyway.
  159. Garibaldi III from TO from Canada writes: Troubled Youth from Everywhere, Canada writes: Garibaldi III, give the leftist talking points a rest will ya and read more than liberal media poli critics. The government changed course in that instance as soon as they saw their mistake. Everyone is a mastermind after the facts, eh!
    -----
    3 Things I know for sure....

    1- Harper even if he had them... has lost them!
    2- Mine are just fine.
    3- The Blue Kool-Aid is more expensive than the Red.
    Cheers
  160. John Lansing from Toronto, Canada writes: The verdict is in -- the neo-con era is over. Not even our most reform-y conservative political party could sustain the dogma when faced with a real challenge. It is time for some serious reconsideration of where one places the line in the sand for 'centrist' government in the coming decade; the old cliches will no longer do, and nobody in this country is interested in hearing from the few remaining neo-cons who cannot or will not evolve.

    When the likes of Harris/Eves era Jim Flaherty and Diane Francis have pulled public 180s on their neo-con fantasies, you know the winds have shifted for real.
  161. Ian St. John from Canada writes: 'Tor Hill Sask. from Canada writes: As one poster mentioned last night, a very simple and necessary principle to follow regarding stimulus spending is: invest in areas where there is a greater chance of future return on investment.' Exactly. Harpers 'handouts' will probably consists of real reductions in corporate taxes ( thus setting up endlesss deficits even if the economy recovers) along with a lot of 'small change' with big exposure and everything else tied up in red tape. That is typically how things turn out under his watch.He is ensuring his 'big money contributors' will continue to finance his regressive conservatives by big corporate cuts and assistance. And using the economy to stifle debate as a 'take it or leave it' choice. A real response would focus on 'priming the pump' with targetted investments, and some 'help for the jobless' and retired that are most hit by the downturn. It is the CONSUMER that is not spending because he isn't working (or expects not to be working soon). No 'tax reductions' are going to get him to spend money he isn't earning! Nothing here to stop any of that. This is mostly just a 'bucket brigade fire drill' with money, very inefficient and ineffective. it also avoids help to cities where most infrastructure needs are.
  162. Compos Mentis from in the Darwinian, Wild West..., Canada writes: lord cross of Blacks Harbour from BLACKS HARBOUR NB, Canada writes: 'Pretty thoughtful pork-barrel budget ... Monte Solberg's ( Medicine Hat ) riding gets $6,400 to hold a zither concert. 'Course for Monte ( jazzname Monterey Sooouuuuullllberg ) that'll renew his credibility among the folks he, Harper and Flairity lied to, with their Income Trust Betrayal....'

    Far be it for me to get in the way of anyone's rant against the Conservatives, but I thought I should point out that Monte Solberg did not run in the last election (i.e. he is no longer an MP, and therefore does not represent Medicine Hat).

    You might wish to repost this and substitute Monte's name with LeVar Payne (current Medicine Hat Conservative MP), although I don't think his name will work quite as well as Monte's.
  163. Bob Macdonald from Liverpool, United Kingdom writes: Get ready for a lot of waste, political correctness and corruption: want to see your future, look at the UK: they did this Big Spend starting in 2000. It has come to a crashing halt and it is ugly.

    I fear Canadians have not taken the journey necesary to use any of this money wisely. The sense of direction in the country, or design, taste, passion - none of it is really there yet. And most Canadians are ill-served by the financial media: puffed up life style pieces passing as finance journalism. They didn't see this big crash coming, and they can barely comprehend what to do.

    Get ready for the country's currency to go down the toilet and for everyone to feel poorer.
  164. Philosopher King from Canada writes: You know, for once I was hoping the CPC tendency for standing its ground might actually help Canadians. I mean let's be serious. The last guy I know who tried to spend his way out of a recession was Bob Rae. That worked out great didn't it? LOL We can spend until we're blue in the face, but until there is serious and trusted oversight of the institutions that fabricated or bought into the tens of trillions of dollars of valueless commercial papers created in the wake of their poorly considered lending practices, the economy can't recover. After all, investment and lending are the backbone of our new economy, and no one's going to take the risks out there today without huge payback and some people not at all. Meanwhile, we're playing the little Dutch-boy with our fingers in the dike.
  165. Philosopher King from Canada writes: You know, for once I was hoping the CPC tendency for standing its ground might actually help Canadians. I mean let's be serious. The last guy I know who tried to spend his way out of a recession was Bob Rae. That worked out great didn't it? LOL We can spend until we're blue in the face, but until there is serious and trusted oversight of the institutions that fabricated or bought into the tens of trillions of dollars of valueless commercial papers created in the wake of their poorly considered lending practices, the economy can't recover. After all, investment and lending are the backbone of our new economy, and no one's going to take the risks out there today without huge payback and some people not at all. Meanwhile, we're playing the little Dutch-boy with our fingers in the dike.
  166. Philosopher King from Canada writes: Alright, where'd the paragraphs go and why did the comment appear twice?
  167. elizabeth vann from victoria, b.c., Canada writes: Yes, the Prime Minister can and will go back. These measures are targeted and temporary. But wait, we have the NDP and BLOC in the wings. So they may be permanent, unless Jack & Gilles fade away and Michael waivers.

    Thank whomever in the skies the coalition is history, er, gone er, dead.
  168. Philosopher King from Ivory Tower, Canada writes: I call this the BINGE AND PURGE budget.

    The Conservatives ran around for a month getting input so leftwing they eventually threw it up on the floor of parliament.

    There you go folks, a budget.

    No vision, no leadership.

    The only things I wanted to see were a much more improved EI system, increased GST rebates for the poor and SOME dollars for 21st century improvements to 20th century infrastructure. These things help people survive until the economy can recover.

    Instead we have a meaningless hodge podge of dipper crap.

    I really thought that for once we'd have the right type of spending but well contained by fiscal conservative ideology.

    Instead I need to call a carpet cleaner with strong deodourizers.
  169. Steve I'm Not an Alberta Redneck from Calgary, Canada writes: William E. Demers writes: 'Are there any real conservatives left in this world, or is it just Bush/Harper types who promise conservative policies and then implement liberal ones?'

    What liberal policies - what conservatives. Dubya, Harpo and Reagan were right wing trash. They only call themselves conservative because pollsters and focus groups said this would work. The policies they push are those that cater to their financial backers - the specualtors. This is to run massive deficits while they give the these parasites tax breaks and funnel trillions into the military industrial complex.

    The other politicians don't do this.The exception was mainly in the 1970's when, for a few years, it was conventional wisdom that this would work. Eventually, under Jimmy Carter, the folly of his was exposed and the policy was changed. Reagan got the benefit of this, when it eventually succeeded, but quickly changed to the policies of the right wing trash - Hitler's policies BTW.

    And man did the political contributions flow in thereafter.
  170. John Smith from Orleans, Canada writes: Steve I'm Not an Alberta Redneck from Calgary, Canada writes: (See above)

    Thank you, Steve. And amen. You defined it well.
  171. New Party Please from Canada writes: The Harper Liberals have succeeded in blending the only two parties that ever get elected in this political wasteland. When is the leadership conven..er...election to see which liberal gets to rape our country.
  172. Norman Petit from Calgary, Canada writes: Short answer: No.
  173. MR. oz from Canada writes: Isn't it amazing how far politicians would go in order to get at the through or stay at it? they are ready to bankrupt the country in order to be in power. It seems to make no difference whether they are of the conservative, the liberal, the communist or of the separatist ilk.
    after all it is not their money they are blowing!
    No wonder people do not want to vote, because whomever they are voting for, can not be trusted not to buy themselves a place at the proverbial through with our money, no matter how much it costs us. on top of it all, they want you to call them the " honorable" in order to make themselves look good, after they spent OUR billions to stay in power or to get there or to stay there.
  174. michel desormeaux from london, Canada writes: i'm looking forward to the day where someone who got screwed by government and it's banking friends and as lost all hope,decides to grab his gun in the basement and settle a few scores with them..it will happen sooner than later.
  175. michel desormeaux from london, Canada writes: i'm looking forward to the day where someone who got screwed by government and it's banking friends and as lost all hope,decides to grab his gun in the basement and settle a few scores..it will happen sooner than later.
  176. garlick toast from Canada writes: What a nasty, nihilistic piece of garbage, they should have delivered it in a Glad bag. If Canadians spend, spend, spend, they'll be sorry, sorry, sorry because Canada is broke, broke broke.
    They could have invested in Canada, instead they invested in themselves. They pandered to the worst instincts of middle class Canadians. Now we do have a coalition government. We are well on our way to being a one party state.
  177. Curly Maple from havenotsville, Canada writes: LOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOL!!!

    I am so* enjoying reading the angry conservative posters who feel betrayed by "fiscal conservative" (and pseudo-economist) Harpo. Ha ha ha!!!
    First of all, market oriented solutions have failed *spectacularly
    , and will fail into eternity. You've been totally duped by the Reform dopes. See Presto Manning's op-ed piece in last Friday's Globe. Secondly, If you want it formulatized (and because I cannot draw you pictures), try dusting off James O'Connor's treatise "The Fiscal Crisis Of the State", and then read Arthur Adams"Analyses Of Business Cycles". Or, you can simply read Marx.

    HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!
    ta ra
  178. Garibaldi III from TO from Canada writes: Philosopher King from Canada writes:
    LOL We can spend until we're blue in the face,
    ------
    You got it!
  179. garlick toast from Canada writes: No, we can and will spend until our children are blue in the face.
  180. Garibaldi III from TO from Canada writes: garlick toast from Canada writes: No, we can and will spend until our children are blue in the face.
    -----
    These guys have me turning RED!
    :-)
  181. mike sty the Coalition Centrist from Canada writes: michel desormeaux from london, Canada writes: i'm looking forward to the day where someone who got screwed by government and it's banking friends and as lost all hope,decides to grab his gun in the basement and settle a few scores..it will happen sooner than later.
    ----------------

    Do you have a gun in your basement , michel ????
  182. mike sty the Coalition Centrist from Canada writes: elizabeth vann from victoria, b.c., Canada writes: Yes, the Prime Minister can and will go back. These measures are targeted and temporary. But wait, we have the NDP and BLOC in the wings. So they may be permanent, unless Jack & Gilles fade away and Michael waivers.

    Thank whomever in the skies the coalition is history, er, gone er, dead.
    -------------------

    Fraid of that coalition ...eh ?? michael
  183. michel desormeaux from london, Canada writes: i don't have a basement
  184. rick from river city from Canada writes: Harper spends big, but can he go back? In the blink of an eye. Extraordinary times calls for extraordinary actions. In two years there will be public support for smaller government again. Otherwise the debt never disappears.
  185. rick from river city from Canada writes: Percy from NL from Canada writes: Right-wing Conservatism is dead in Canada for many years to come. I'm thinking that there is more than one Albertan right now who would love to have Paul Martin back.

    diane marie and mike sty the lie guy, there is two for you Percy. Conservatism in Canada is alive, well and in full control of the center and the right. I can see were that may be less obvious in the NL of dannydom. As Jack and Gilles retreat back to the left and Ignotenuff begins the laborious process of yanking the Liberals back from Dions left wing urban-only stance it will be the schizo-liberal sheep who are still years from a united stance. You have been listening to too much of dannybulls Im OK, Youre not OK schtick.
  186. George Scott from Canada writes: It seems most posters who look back with longing at the brilliant liberal leadership of the past are forgetting Trudeau was the" King of deficits " and Martin got rid of them by drastic cuts to, for example, transfer payments and by shifting costs to other levels of government. Seems we are still trying to catch up with neglected infrastructure etc. And there is always only one taxpayer . Lets hope these world wide stimulus packages work for Canada is most certainly not alone in this economic turmoil.
  187. 1 i from northish gta, Canada writes: I hope Mr. Harper is a better manager than he is an economist. My overall impression of this goverment is that they are unprofessional, amateurs. What is the likely outcome when the people who actually do the work are told to spend money, lots of it, and quickly ? Look to our neighbour's experience in Iraq for some clues, or our own experience in PQ in the 90s. It would be difficult to think of a more bitter silver bullet than their own stimulscam for the government to bear. Based on history, it's a scandal waiting to happen. Look for a sudden run on project managers with accounting backgrounds, and a healthy blue pedigree.
  188. Steve French from Windsor (Flint, North), Canada writes: Wrong! The 'small c' fiscal conservatives will spend until YOUR children turn blue, their children will be just fine. Now STFU and pay tribute to the great management skills of our fearless leaders.
  189. lord cross of Blacks Harbour from BLACKS HARBOUR NB, Canada writes:
    Compos Mentis from in the Darwinian, Wild West ...

    Posted 28/01/09 at 2:58 PM EST

    Monterey Soooouuuuulllberg, as a savant, JAZZ specialist now poses as a man-on-the-street providing social comment of highly questionable value. The last electronic encounter had him extolling / examining, the social advantages of wearing "crocs." ( footwear )

    I immediately sent an e-mail to the Polymorph Conservative Reform Alliance Party [ P-CRAP to one and all ] originator of the favouring piece, to inform them of their glaring inaccuracies. His ability was foremost in the delivery of CROCK'S and incompetence.

    I once captured Monterey, en flagrante, wearing a helmet, in a LAV III. Sadly, the photo depiction has been rendered to the land of NEVERMORE ... At the time, I thought it was a big insult to our military. As to who has replaced him, I use the operative acronym D.I.L.L.I.G.A.S. It's not important to me to be accurate in bobblehead coverage.
  190. John Doucette from Manotick, Canada writes: Lets wake up stupidos! The modern conservative, from Thatcher to Reagan through Bullroney to Harpey, all decry deficits while building them larger and larger. What better way to make future funding of social programs impossible? What better way to desperate the proles from the good folks? What better way to keep inherited wealth where it belongs?
  191. Mitch hourigan from Sask, Canada writes: Throughout this recent economic "crisis" there is talk of helping business, at the same time legislating people back to work. Minions get to work your corporate lords are in charge. So the 10 yr trend of management gaining prosperity and blue collar workers losing ground to inflation continues, and is accelerated.
  192. Ob Server from Canada writes: Before everybody goes nuts just consider that even if Canada were to spend $85Billion to get out of this mess our national debt would climb to just over $14,000 per person.
    I wouldn't call that a disaster or even large when compared to every other G8 country and certainly not vs the US whose per capita debt may well exceed $60,000 very soon....
    We've got lots of room.
  193. Jason Roy from Central Nova - After October 14th AKA STILL Peter Mackay Country, Canada writes: mike sty the Coalition Centrist from Canada writes: elizabeth vann from victoria, b.c., Canada writes: Yes, the Prime Minister can and will go back. These measures are targeted and temporary. But wait, we have the NDP and BLOC in the wings. So they may be permanent, unless Jack & Gilles fade away and Michael waivers.

    Thank whomever in the skies the coalition is history, er, gone er, dead.
    -------------------

    Fraid of that coalition ...eh ?? michael

    ------------------------------------

    The coalition is dead, brain cell...you can change your name back to mike sty the Liberal apologist...
  194. Ann Ig Norant from Canada writes: If Harper wouldn't change his convictions (does he have any?) faster than I change my clothes he might had a majority. This way? Forget it.
    To all politicians, if you run on a platform stick to it. Too late now.
  195. Richard Wright from Canada writes: "Stephen Harrington from Toronto, Canada writes:

    They will easily blame the opposition for this budget. They had no choice, right? Either way a deficit budget was going to be passed - and they can say they figure they were the best party to act as guardian over said budget."

    They had no choice? How are they going to sell that? What you just said is:
    1. Harper does whatever it takes to stay in power, regardless of his beliefs
    2. Harper does whatever the opposition wants

    How are you going to sell that to Canadians? This no-choice BS is BS at it's best. IF Harper had no choice then why do we need Harper? If he had no choice it means he isn't really the one in power. so why should I vote for him?

    It makes no sense. Your logic is flawed. Try to sell this and it only blows up in your face.
  196. Freedom Rider from Edmonton, Canada writes: Ann Ig Norant from Canada writes: If Harper wouldn't change his convictions (does he have any?) faster than I change my clothes he might had a majority. This way? Forget it.
    To all politicians, if you run on a platform stick to it. Too late now.

    I would much rather vote for a politician who is a least flexible and smart enough to reconsider things as necessary. This is the main reason I have always considered the Liberals a flexible and interesting party to watch.

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