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Betting on a recovery, with little room for bad news

From Wednesday's Globe and Mail

Success of the Conservative stimulus plan may be a reasonable hope, but one fraught with risks ...Read the full article

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  1. Murray Richardson from Canada writes: Who are you gonna believe: Jim Flaherty or Craig Wright? My money's on Craig Wright. I don't know what world Flaherty's in, but it's not the same one as most of the rest of us occupy.
  2. CallofDuty . from Canada writes: Keep dreaming!
  3. Peter Kells from Bytown, Canada writes: Mr. Flaherty '....says the most painful effects for Canada will last just a year.'

    Hmm.....just 2 months ago this same man told us that there would be NO deficit. Methinks the man has little credibility but more importantly has learned nothing in the last two months about honesty. I guess its all politics all the time as usual for the New Government of Canada.
  4. FLUVIAL SEDIMENT from Canada writes: And if you believe that, I've got some great income trusts to sell you!
  5. warren standerwick from North Vancouver, Canada writes: This budget is about as credible as the fiscal update. It is primarily a political document. It still does not take seriously the preeminent need to provide quick and large stimulus.
  6. Bob the taxpayer from Ottawa, Canada writes: In October, a mere four months ago, Harper and company were preaching 'Don't worry, be happy, Canada will not be affected by the global economic crisis'. Then last week is was gloom and doom, and we should expect several years of deficits and economic woe. Now all is bright again and we will suffer a mere speed bump of economic trouble. This from a government whose economic policies of the last two years have robbed us of the contigency fund the Liberals had built into the budget, which was to pay off the national debt in good times and give the government some operating funds during bad times. Maybe the majority of Canadians who didn't vote for Harper need to re-think the need for an election, and this time don't waste their votes on parties which won't form the government.
  7. Denis Love from Victoria BC, Canada writes: The guy is smoking somthing that may not be legal. As mentioned by others, Harper and crew were telling us a couple of months ago that there would be no recession. How those characters even made it to a minority government makes a lot of folks shake their heads Heck, its only tax payers money. I will believe they are serious when they take a pay cut, or better still get booted out of office.
  8. Red Harris from Canada writes: It is dismaying to read that the so called finance minister continues to suggest that this recession will only last a year or so. It just shows that his grasp of reality is tenuous at best.
  9. Agent Smith from Canada writes: What is the point of giving tax breaks on borrowed money?

    If you're employed, then you're okay. If you're not, then what good is a tax break?
  10. aging oldtool from Canada writes: This sounds like the type of prediction Stephen Harper's finance boy was about to plunk on us late last year until the government, caught in it's own arrogance, was forced to hide for two months.

    One year and it's over. Sure!

    This is totally a political budget and ought to be defeated so that a government prepared to deal with real issues can step forward and if that means a coalition, like Harper had with the Bloc a year ago, then let's have it.

    Canada needs good government working for all, not just fat cats looking for more tax cuts.

    Shame, shame.
  11. J M M from Canada writes: A well thought out budget. The NDP don't like it and didn't before it was delivered so there is nothing different there, The Bloc can go to h-ll. The Liberals are going to think about it-thats good. We are certainly still better off than the US, Britain, Germany etc.
  12. al near lake huron . from Canada writes: Ten years minimum, not one year.

    All countries state this will last 10 years, to plan only for one is shameful.

    I am disgusted.
    200B to banks, why?
  13. J M M from Canada writes: Jack a$$ Layton still has a crush on Obama..he sounds so silly.
  14. Rick Brontus from Edmonton, Canada writes: Horse hockey, Flaherty!
    The lean mean deficit years of the late 80's are back.
    Hang onto your job while you can.
  15. J S from Canada writes: Ya, just ask Ontario how Mr. Flaherty's 'no deficit' budgets work... no deficit means several billion or more. Now that he says 'temporary deficit', I know it's permanent, and will be in the hundreds of billions...
  16. Silent Majority from Canada writes: For all you above who are against this budget I suggest you phone your MP and have him/ her vote this budget down so we can go to an election. I am sick and tired of the bullsh!t that continuously spews from the mouths of the left.
  17. J M M from Canada writes: The coalition told Don Newman if they go to G.G. she will allow them to rule without an election.. This not true at all.
  18. jack sprat from Canada writes: Tory times are bad times, really, really bad times.

    Where is the quick stimulus? You have to be able to afford the renovations in order to get the credit, therefore, thats a credit for those that are better off.

    As usual a budget with glorious spending but no specifics and remember what happened to the feebate and the sluchbreakers, all cancelled.

    A whopping deficit that our kids will be paying for, for years.

    A big thumbs down. This is a waste and not a stimulus at all.
  19. al near lake huron . from Canada writes: why is the 200B to the banks not included in the deficit ?
    they say 64B, but out of the gates 200B goes to banks?
  20. D G from Canada writes: Considering the exact opposite of whatever Flaherty says is usually the truth ......
  21. Chris Halford from Ottawa, Canada writes: Optimistic little bugger isn't he?
  22. Michele K from Ottawa, Canada writes: Why haven't Harper's and Flaherty's noses grown a la Pinnochio?

    ONE year of pain? Truly, have they NO shame?

    Glad I don't have children is all I can say, because man, our children and grandchildren will be paying for this - plus interest.
  23. don willer from Vancouver, Canada writes: Mr. Flaherty has presented a responsible budget, a budget by definition is contentious but given the current recession this budget is realistic, Canadians will support this budget. Good job P.M and good job Mr. Flaherty.
  24. J Kay from Canada writes: Al near lake huron: The money to the banks, which is $75 billion not $200, is an off balance sheet item, not an on-balance sheet one, as it is an asset/debt swap between the banks and the government. As such it will show up on the 2008-09 (off) balance sheet. As of the November fiscal update the Conservative government, as a result of the bank aid has increased the interest bearing debt by $72.8 billion or more than 10%.
  25. don willer from Vancouver, Canada writes: Michele K, you do not know how the National debt is dealt with, the debt is serviced by inflation, that old drivel about our grandchildren paying off the debt is tiresome.
  26. Joe Smith from Canada writes: coalition or the CPC.
  27. Alice Shiv In from Toronto, Canada writes:

    'One year of pain, and a quick recovery'?

    That's what they thought in Japan in the early 1990s. Their 'one-year recession' lasted 15 years despite low (and eventually zero) central bank interest rates and massive 'fiscal stimulae' (government spending to spur the economy). The end result? 15 years of recession and ballooning structural deficits.

    Am I the only person on this fricken thread that sees the similarity?

    I am so disappointed in Flaherty and Carney - two organ-grinding monkeys with their fingers on the fiscal and monetary policy switches of our nation.
  28. Tor Hill Sask. from Canada writes: The Liberals should vote the budget down for its flagrant lack of fiscal prudence. Tax cuts- not a drop of good but there's magic in the term. Home reno- not many homeowners eager to spend on that and even fewer jobless people eager to spend. But the idea must have resonated in the focus groups, all of which may have been held in the suburban Toronto area. It's bad manners to question the way the Globe runs its forums, but why does the Globe stop some forums dead in their tracks? It's just a website, these are just comments, some from people whose sense helps me a lot. It's just a website, for Pete's sake. The powers of darkness everywhere, I guess.
  29. Fractional Reserve Banking from Canada writes: Here's a stimulus, give me a 25% reduction in Capital Gains so I can get out of this craphole.

    I once thought Canada was quite the nation. Now, I can't wait to leave, it's not a place to make money and become wealthy, too many godamn taxes and endless bureaucracy. 47% income tax, 13% GST/PST, 50% Capital Gains (non RRSP), good god........ How the hell are you supposed to make money with those rates?

    Thought several times of closing up business & going somewhere where I can actually make money.

    mmmmmm, Dubai.......god that's tempting.

  30. bob saunders from Belleville, ON, Canada writes: J S from Canada writes: Ya, just ask Ontario how Mr. Flaherty's 'no deficit' budgets work... no deficit means several billion or more. Now that he says 'temporary deficit', I know it's permanent, and will be in the hundreds of billions... -------------------------------- So JS just how many budgets did Mr Flaherty present in his year and a half as Ontario's finance minister? AND YES THAT YEAR THERE WAS A SURPLUS.
  31. garlick toast from Canada writes: J M M from Canada writes: A well thought out budget. The NDP don't like it and didn't before it was delivered so there is nothing different there, The Bloc can go to h-ll. The Liberals are going to think about it-thats good. We are certainly still better off than the US, Britain, Germany etc.

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

    J M M, do you belive the recession will be over in a year? This would be a yes or no question.
    thanks
  32. Dev Mas from Regina, Canada writes: I am calling you on this Jim.

    Ontario loses its cash cow (very well paying jobs with little or no post-secondary education required) with no foreseeable increase in demand for new vehicles really (there are so many gently used vehicles in north america, and if you want i could explain why people will drive their cars for longer, instead of replacing a 2 year old vehicle, now that confidence is destroyed.

    Alberta is going to be hammered very hard as well in the next six months unless oil magically shoots up to $60-70/barrel (not inclluding depreciation of the USD). Their cost structure is so high right now. To produce light oil there costs way more than anywhere else on earth. This means nasty structural change (huge wage cuts, home price cuts, etc) if they want to remain competitve (i.e. not lose massive amounts of jobs).

    Toronto's financial industry is taking a large pay cut.

    Sask's resources are going for way less vs. a year ago (about a year).

    B.C.'s economy should do alright as olympic preparation will provide nice stimulus.

    CANADA WILL TURN AROUND IN A YEAR!?!?!?!?

    I want whatever you're on.
  33. Winston Smith from Canada writes: Throw some money at it. Maybe something will stick.
  34. al near lake huron . from Canada writes: what about a projection for decreased tax revenue?
    100B an extra year?

    why does the budget only cover the spending side, and not the decreased revenue side?

    plants closed, mines closed, layoff, all mean less tax revenue?
    will that add 100B a year ??????
  35. Ed Long from Canada writes: The only way to recover a deficit is through taxes, whether it be increased economic activity meaning more taxes available or if it is a static economy meaning raising the tax rates on a targeted basis.

    Governments can only tax, or reduce them, or spend. Governments do not put money away but declare "surpluses" for monies not spent below the deficit or budget amount.

    Now, to project a return to those crazy wonderful days of full speed economic activity in one year is, well, ....... yikes.

    Which means either/or more deficits and/or higher taxes. And the history of most modern recessions show an 8 - 9 year recovery with the 10th year being a return to generalized previous heights of economic activity.

    To plan on a return to peak prosperity, that we enjoyed for the last 4 to 6 years is like saying that time period was "normal".

    I don't think so.
  36. warren standerwick from North Vancouver, Canada writes: J M M from Canada writes: The coalition told Don Newman if they go to G.G. she will allow them to rule without an election.. This not true at all.

    And you know this how?
  37. Jason Roy from Central Nova - After October 14th AKA STILL Peter Mackay Country, Canada writes: garlick toast from Canada writes: J M M from Canada writes: A well thought out budget. The NDP don't like it and didn't before it was delivered so there is nothing different there, The Bloc can go to h-ll. The Liberals are going to think about it-thats good. We are certainly still better off than the US, Britain, Germany etc.

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

    J M M, do you belive the recession will be over in a year? This would be a yes or no question.
    thanks

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

    Noone knows for sure, however it is possible.

    Canada heading for recession, say economists

    http://www.cbc.ca/canada/story/2008/10/06/recession.html?ref=rss
  38. Joe Dick from Kingston, Canada writes: Man oh man, coalition times are tough times indeed.

    $1.95 ballooned to billions in a few short weeks.

    Your mad lust for power is now being felt by Canadians everywhere.

    Vile filth thou art, lefty scum.
  39. Alice Shiv In from Toronto, Canada writes:

    'don willer from Vancouver, Canada' wrote: "Michele K, you do not know how the National debt is dealt with, the debt is serviced by inflation, that old drivel about our grandchildren paying off the debt is tiresome."

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

    FYI: Inflation erodes one's ability to repay debt by reducing the value of one's currency on international money markets. Canada's national debt is held by foreign countries.

    Time to put down that copy of TV Guide and read a macro-economics text book.
  40. Comments closed, censored, hidden, deleted, disappeared from Mini Bush-Obamatieff village, Canada writes: "One year of pain, and a quick recovery..." --- So lies and deception persist! --- Yes... recovery is around the corner... It will likely be around the corner for years to come! --- Anybody prepared to believe the "one year" prediction deserves to be deceived... and will be. One can count on it.
  41. Ed Long from Canada writes: If a real estate sales person said I will increase my advertising spending this year because the market will return to its previous highs by next year, would that person be given medication and a nice room without windows?
  42. Doug Dewan from Canada writes: Four months ago Harper said there was no problem and there would be no deficit or recession. Now there is one and we are going to have a HUGE deficit. These clowns are out to lunch have no idea how to manage our money. I've lost confidence in their leadership to make the right decisions on fiscal matters. Boot em out.
  43. garlick toast from Canada writes: Today is two months to the day that Flaherty delivered his ''update''. He clearly said ''there will be no deficit''.
    So, who do you believe, the man who didn't see it coming or those who did. Because those who did ,and there are quite a few, are saying that we're in it for a long time, not a good time. Flaherty is a sprinter lined up to run a marathon and no one told him or he chose to ignore the information. Where's Ekers when he needs her?
  44. reason passion from Canada writes: Once again, Conservatives take Canada back deep into the red. They are unprincipled hypocrites in the extreme, claiming fiscal responsibility when campaigning, but acting irresponsibly in all matters economic since gaining their first mandate. As an excuse, they say they didn't create this 'economic crisis'. Well, they most certainly aided and abetted it, cutting government revenues by $15 billion annually trying to buy votes with their economically useless GST cuts, and spending more last year on everything including public opinion polls, than any federal government ever. They ignored and denied the warnings, choosing instead to play politics with their wasteful election and juvenile economic statement. Now they've become socialist converts. The only upside is that Conservatives will wear this deficit for years to come. The downside is that Canadians will be paying for it long after they've booted this incompetent minority from power, never to return again.
  45. Kerry H from Ordinary, Canada writes: Wait a minute.. I thought Harpo said Ordinary Canadians don.t care about the Arts??????

    Me thinks WERE SCREWED...
  46. Joe V from Canada writes: His Flatulency has spoken. We are fortunate that He can see the future so well, as exhibited by His track record.
  47. garlick toast from Canada writes: al near lake huron . from Canada writes: what about a projection for decreased tax revenue?

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

    My thoughts exactly. When I want a 15% tax break, I pay cash.
  48. Jason Roy from Central Nova - After October 14th AKA STILL Peter Mackay Country, Canada writes: reason passion from Canada writes: Once again, Conservatives take Canada back deep into the red

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

    ...and what do you think we would have gotten with a coalition stimulus - a booming surplus?

    As for once again...I highly suggest this link before you embarrass yourself any further:

    theglobeandmail.com

    Wake up, sheep!
  49. Flander Jones from Canada writes: Jason Roy from Central Nova - After October 14th AKA STILL Peter Mackay Country, Canada writes: Wake up, sheep!

    Why bother? Let them sleep. Perchance to dream.
    Same song, just a different band.
  50. don willer from Vancouver, Canada writes: Alice Shiv, I am quite aware how Canada's national debt is serviced, I'm trying to keep it simple for people who want the quick answer. Canada's $500 billion national debt is serviced by taxes, increased inflation increases government's revenue. Please tell me how much of our national debt that P.M Trudeau ran up in the 1970's has been paid off ? That should be simple enough for you. Do you really believe that Canada or the U.S is going to pay off its national debt ?
  51. Ro Mac from Toronto, Canada writes: I've heard sales jobs before but this ...

    ... and why didn't Flaherty choose big sparkly leprechaun shoes?
  52. Misty Morning from Canada writes: This an almost inaudible passage from Mr. Flaherty's speech.
    "canadians need to be confident that their government has the ability to respond to unforeseen crises. For that reason, our government proposes to give the Minister of Finanace the authority required to act quickly to protect the country's financial system, should it ever come under significant additional pressure.
    This will include the AUTHORITY TO PROVIDE LOANS AND LINES OF CREDIT, AND THE PROVISION AND PAYMENT OF GUARANTEES. aND IT WILL ENABLE THE GOVERNMENT TO INJECT CAPITAL DIRECTLY INTO FEDERAL FINANCIAL INSTITUTIONS, should such a measure ever be necessary. We do not foresee the need to use this authority."

    I don't think anyone in their right mind could vote yes to this! How dumb do they think we are? If this slips by as a poison pill we are nowhere near imagining what could happen.
  53. Jack Sprat from Calgary, Canada writes: Well, its official. We now have no right-of-center parties left in Canada. Its tax-and-spend spend spend time!

    I wonder how hard it is to emmigrate to China?
  54. J Kay from Canada writes: don Willer: Well don since you ask the bulk of the debt that Trudeau ran up during the 1970's has been paid off. The bulk of Canada's debt is long bonds from Mulroney's time in government, some from the Liberals time and short term treasuries currently issued by this government.

    Thank you come again.
  55. J Kay from Canada writes: don willer: Oh and don, Canada's national debt, or should I say the interest bearing portion, the part that we make interest payments on is currently $656.4 billion as of Nov 31, 2008 and is up $72.8 billion since April.
  56. R Barber from Calgary, Canada writes: but 4 months ago, in the midst of an election, we were not to have any deficits - now it is $60 billion - what will it be in another 4 months??

    sure glad i can budget better than that, but then again, i am already king of my house and don't need to fib to be reelected
  57. Roop Misir from Toronto, Canada writes: It never hurts to be optimistic!
  58. garlick toast from Canada writes: Blind optimism not based in reality is very dangerous to individuals and countries.
  59. Can't believe it from Canada writes: J M M from Canada writes: The coalition told Don Newman if they go to G.G. she will allow them to rule without an election.. This not true at all.
    ---------------------------------------
    I suggest you check that. There HAS been a precedent set that would permit this to happen...However in saying that it would be entirely up to the GG to determine the course....for the most part all that is required is the opposition parties to provide substance of support to govern this country. That intention is already made known....It just needs the GG's approval....that's fact..
  60. Just In from Canada writes: This is absolutely disgraceful. Throwing money every where, spending like a drunken sailor, and with nothing to show for it other than a huge deficit and/or hyper inflation down the road.

    Raising the personal income tax bracket does little when Canadian consumers will be caught with rising prices or interest rates. The same money if given as investment tax credits to improve industry productivity will make Canada more competitive in the global job market. It is very unfortunate at a time when the Liberals under a new leader Ignatieff are no longer keen on pushing Harper out, that Harper does not take advantage of the opportunity to have a non-political budget. Instead Harper Flaherty chose to buy votes.

    Just like Bush's stimulus last year, this tax break will not stimulate the economy. A temporary income tax credit when every one expects a recovery might accelerate a recovery. A permanent income tax cut when no one knows when the recession will end won't have the desired stimulus effect. People will just hoard the tax savings, waiting for some one else to spend first.
  61. old gristle from Canada writes: What one year of pain? There will be no quick recovery. Mr. Obama and Mr. Harper will preside over hurting. 2009 will be a year of decline not recovery. The bailouts have only slowed the process. Then Asia will be the next Phenix. So there.
  62. Mr Canoehead from Canada writes: Don

    Depends. Do you think that repayments are first-in, first-out, i.e. the first dollar of debt incurred is the 1st dollar paid back, or do you pay back the COns debt first - Clark, Mulroney?

    I doubt anything anyone says would change your mind, but the western world was dealing with an unprecedented phenomenon called stagflation during the 70's. The best minds of the time advised running up deficits to pull the economy out of a slump. Stagnant growth and rampant inflation were the result - unforeseen in advance, but very obvious looking back. Blame the man or blame the times. As much as I dislike Harper, I can't blame him for the current downturn and the massive deficits he is about to incur - this is the advice that world governments are receiving. Ditto Trudeau.
  63. Living Fossil from Edmonton, Canada writes: Silent Majority from Canada writes: "For all you above who are against this budget I suggest you phone your MP and have him/ her vote this budget down so we can go to an election. I am sick and tired of the bullsh!t that continuously spews from the mouths of the left."

    Well, I am sick and tired of the bullsh!t that continuously spews from the mouths of the Conservatives (and yes, I am embarrassed to admit that I voted for these turkeys).

    Speaking of turkeys, I read an article that said we are culling 60,000 turkeys. I never knew that we had that many current and living ex-politicians in Canada ...

    .
  64. Gabriel Allon from Canada writes:
    I guess Steve plans to have some very powerful prayer meetings.
  65. don willer from Vancouver, Canada writes: J Kay, The debt that Trudeau ran up has never been paid off, Mulroney serviced the national debt and passed it along to the Chretien crowd, Chretien reduced the deficit but none of the debt, Harper has made minor debt reductions but now is going to add to the national debt. Play with words all you want but Canada's National debt has increased over the last 40 years and will not be reduced ever.
  66. Helen Highwater from Qualicum Beach, Canada writes: I still can't figure out who would ever have voted for these guys. They apparently don't have a clue.
  67. J Kay from Canada writes: don willer: I'm sorry but you are incorrect. Granted I was being pedantic regarding Trudeau. While the debt Trudeau ran up has literally been paid off, it was done simply been paid off by issuing new debt. That said the Liberals DID pay of the debt. The reduced the interest bearing portion of the debt, again the part that debt servicing costs are paid on, by nearly $34 billion. The interest bearing debt peaked at $633.4 billion in 1995-96. The Liberals reduced it to $599 billion at the end of their time in power. Harper's government initially reduced the debt further to $581 billion until April of this year, wherein they started adding to it. It now sits at it's highest level in Canadian history $656.4 billion.

    The Liberals also reduced the gross debt, net debt and all other forms during their time in office after balancing the budget.
  68. Dick Dupa from Toronto, Canada writes: "It's very clear it doesn't help the most vulnerable. It's going to leave a lot of people behind, especially those unemployed," NDP Leader Jack Layton said."

    I am not "in love" with Layton, but he is 100% right here.
  69. Wilma Guywin from Allover Canada, Canada writes: garlick toast from Canada writes: J--------------------------------------------------

    J M M, do you belive the recession will be over in a year? This would be a yes or no question.
    thanks Not that you asked me but if liquidity returns worlwide or if most countries realize how stable Canada is compared to Europe, the US, Japan and the like yes.
  70. don willer from Vancouver, Canada writes: Mr. Canoehead, I support P.M Harper and agree with the deficit budget that was presented today, politics are the art of the possible, if he didn't put a budget deficit in place he would have been defeated and we would've got a budget deficit from Ignatieff. I have an open mind please tell me when you think Canada's national debt will be no more ?
  71. diane marie from Canada writes: J Kay:-- I believe that you will be able to answer this question. Alice Shiv (6:16 above) suggests that Canada's debt is held by foreigners. This has not been my impression. I was of the belief that about 70% of Canada's debt is held by residents, 10% by non-residents, and 20% by the BOC.
  72. reason passion from Canada writes: Sheep are those that follow their leader whether he heads east or west, north or south, right or left. Conservative posters who accuse others of being sheep should look themselves in the mirror. Because in a mirror, right is left, and their beloved Conservative party has now done that very about-face, deciding that government investment is the answer to 'problems' in the economy, and trying to replace the government-enabled real estate bubble with a new government-sponsored infrastructure bubble. People in the middle and upper tax brackets – who already pay more than their fair share of freight in this country for no other reason than they have earned more 'wealth' – will be saddled with this deficit more than anyone else, Except perhaps, Stephen Harper. The fact that self-proclaimed 'conservatives' continue to support and follow him is very sheepish of them indeed.
  73. don willer from Vancouver, Canada writes: Diane Marie, I think what you say is correct but the point I'm trying to make is that Canada's national debt has grown for 40 years, with the exception of the last couple of years, now P.M Harper is going to add to the national debt. We will service our debt but we won't reduce it significantly in the future.
  74. J A from Ottawa, Canada writes: What kind of talk is this? One year of recession only? It will be more like 10 to 15 years, like what Japan has gone through since the early 1990s.
  75. J Kay from Canada writes: diane marie: Hi diane. As of the 2007-07 debt management report direct foreign holdings (non-resident) of Canadian debt stood at 12.7%. The remainder is held by residents, domestic financial and insurance institutions, the bank of canada, and public sector pensions.
  76. J Birch from Hamilton, Canada writes:

    No long term deficits under the Con's aegis

    Yea sure

    Has a Con promise ever been kept

    Not many

    Lie made, lie kept is more like it

    Vote for Iggy, not the Piggy

    .
  77. Smoking Man from Canada writes: HEATHER SCOFFIELD constituently pounces on any good news for this economy, does she have a stuck bi-polar disorder to the negative.

    What’s really wrong with Canada’s economy?

    Hun could it be consumer confidence from overly sensationalize BAD NEWS from the media everyday for the last 4 months.

    I was watching dragons den on CBC the other night, The dragons were picking the best ways to spend the Billions of Dollars.

    No one came up with my idea.

    For a few Billion we could buy all the major print media and TV stations, instruct the editors to headline and sensationalize good economic news stories and trivialize the negative. Opposite of what’s happening now, Consumer confidence would increase and the economy would bounce back.
  78. Jason Roy from Central Nova - After October 14th AKA STILL Peter Mackay Country, Canada writes: reason passion from Canada writes: Sheep are those that follow their leader whether he heads east or west, north or south, right or left. Conservative posters who accuse others of being sheep should look themselves in the mirror. Because in a mirror, right is left, and their beloved Conservative party has now done that very about-face, deciding that government investment is the answer to 'problems' in the economy, and trying to replace the government-enabled real estate bubble with a new government-sponsored infrastructure bubble. People in the middle and upper tax brackets – who already pay more than their fair share of freight in this country for no other reason than they have earned more 'wealth' – will be saddled with this deficit more than anyone else, Except perhaps, Stephen Harper. The fact that self-proclaimed 'conservatives' continue to support and follow him is very sheepish of them indeed. ---------------------------------- ...and I've seen your posts displaying your admiration for Iggy. Liberal supporter logic - let's get this bunch that just brought in a stimulus budget/deficit out of office so we can replace them with a bunch that will bring in a stimulus budget/deficit... ...just like J Birch's post above...let's get this bunch of liars out of office so we can replace them with our bunch of liars! Yeah...that'll work!
  79. Luke Ellis from Sudbury, Canada writes: One year of pain and a quick lie
  80. Chris S. from Kitchener-Waterloo, Canada writes: What value to society is delivered by a deck on Flaherty's cottage in Muskoka? Way too much focus on the short-term and ignoring the whole point of this exercise in spending. Jobs and resource demand in the short-term are great but we need some sort of return where ever we spend to offset the debt and interest that will be paid for decades to come. Anything less is a betrayal of my generation and generations to come.

    I think McCallum got it right when he said there's no focus or theme to this budget, rather it's a grab bag of politically-motivated goodies aimed at voters the Harper Conservatives think they can woo. A real hodge-podge of spending that is gunning for instant gratification, ignoring future consequences. Quoting Yahoo News, this is a "rambling, make-shift budget". I couldn't have said it better myself.
  81. reason passion from Canada writes: Preference for one of the current federal parties or leaders over the other does not constitute and should not be mistaken for unqualified 'support' of that preference. Nevertheless, it is plainly evident to even the most casual observer that Ignatieff possesses more cerebral capacity and instills more confidence than the alternative. Which has Conservative hacks' hands shaking at the controls in the party's Ottawa media bunker, and the PM doing an about face quite unlike anything we've seen before.
  82. Wendy Stone from Canada writes: Sept. 15, 2008: "My own belief is if we were going to have some kind of crash or recession, we probably would have had it by now." Stephen Harper.

    Sept. 15, 2008: "The Canadian economy's fundamentals are solid." Stephen Harper.

    Sept. 26, 2008: "The only way there is going to be a recession is if they (the Liberals) are elected and that's why they're not going to be elected." Stephen Harper

    Oct. 6, 2008: "There's nothing on the horizon - notwithstanding the storm clouds, and they are significant - (that) indicates to me that we should immediately go into deficit." Stephen Harper

    Oct. 7, 2008: "I think there are probably some great buying opportunities emerging in the stock market as a consequence of all this panic."

    Oct. 11, 2008: "You're asking me to say what would Canada do if our economy went to hell in a handbasket. This government is running the economy so it can't go to hell in a handbasket."

    Jan. 27, 2009: "There will be no long-running or permanent deficit." Finance Minister Jim Flaherty.
  83. John Doe from Canada writes: Do they really think they're fooling us? Do they?
  84. Mr Canoehead from Canada writes: Don

    We will pay off our debt as soon as decide, as a country, that we need to start having revenues exceeding expenses. Until that happens, we will be wasting a significant amount of our collective funds on debt management, which is in the billions. During times of peace, prepare for wa; in times of war, prepare for peace. In other words, when the economy is doing well, tax more than you spend. In times like these, reverse course.

    Once we are out of the woods (1 year if you are an irrepressible optimist, 10 years if you are a depessed pessimist), we need to start addressing this via legislation. Very similar to a mortgage. Lets work together, right to left, and get it done. We are all Canadians, regardless of leanings, and we have proven in the past to be able to accomplish great things when we are united as a nation with a common goal. We need to get back to that.
  85. Comments closed, censored, hidden, deleted, disappeared from Mini Bush-Obamatieff village, Canada writes: Sick and broke after too much partying? --- Well, let's party some more, shall we? Let's party all day. Let's party all night. Let's party all week. Let's party all winter! Let's party all year!! Let's party this whole century!!! Let's party for ever: "And we'll party for ever and ever... forever and ever hallelujah hallelujah -- HAL-LEE-LUUUU-JAAAAAAAH!" --- Messiah! At last. Messianic economy.
  86. diane marie from Canada writes: Wendy Stone:-- And, on October 7th, Mr. Flaherty said that the CPC was not seeking a mandate for the purpose of taking 30 days to decide how to proceed.
  87. bill wilson from Taiwan writes: What a bunch of clowns. First they stimulate the economy (GST cuts etc) when the economy was already booming. Now they use all their ammunition at one time, when this is going to be a long recession. Unbelievably incompetent. This after 10 years of good fiscal management. Now totally destroyed in a blink of an eye.
  88. diane marie from Canada writes: J Kay:-- Sorry, I meant to say thank you for your reply. I was certain that you'd be able to answer that question. It came up a few days ago when one of the regular posters suggested that the government refinance all of its debt at lower interest rates and I pointed out that most of that debt is held by Canadians and that, even were this suggestion were possible, it might be somewhat counterproductive to reduce Canadians' investment income when they've already taken a bad hit in the markets.
  89. George MacFarlane from Canada writes: Think about it. All things considered, which political party would one want to be in charge during an international financial crisis?
  90. garlick toast from Canada writes: Wilma Guywin from Allover Canada, good evening. I think that the global debt is leveraged to the point where ''injected liquidity'' will be soaked up and vanish without making a difference, except to those who stand closest to the trough. As I posted earlier, who do you believe, the guy who didn't see it coming or those who did?
  91. garry heaps from Canada writes: what drugs has the evil leprechaun being taking?

    first no deficit.

    now huge deficit.

    when will this nightmare end.

    the exalted one is an eastern born and bred phoney.

    the smartest man in the room as long as it is a con caucus meeting.

    wake me up auntie ehm i want to go home.
  92. Chris Hay from Regina, SK, Canada writes: Mr Flaherty blew any remaining shred of competence with the fiscal update two short months ago. This budget does little else other than attempt to keep Mr Harper in office. Asking municpalities and Provincial governments to spend money in order to capitalize on infrastructure spending is asking a lot - Vancouver, with a new half billion dollar debt will have money to spend on repairs to existing infrastructure? Even the majority of the base tax exemption was already set to go into effect, leaving a meagre boost to be announced. We needed a budget that is good for Canada, not one that is good for Mr Harper!
  93. Comments closed, censored, hidden, deleted, disappeared from Mini Bush-Obamatieff village, Canada writes: ... and when it becomes clear that $$$orgy$$$ did not work... what will they do? --- Sell Rideau Hall? 24 Sussex Drive? --- Will they close Parliament one more time and sell the Parliament buildings? --- Would it not be wise for them to immediately send a delegation of our outstanding "parliamentarians" to all but officially bankrupt Iceland, for talks?
  94. Michael Hegan from Regina, writes: I sure hope this will only last a year......the problem about predicitons...is that folks will be looking for things to be sunny and happy at this time next year....and if they're not......Harper and the lads are in deep doo doo.

    Still ...I remain positive..and hope he's right
  95. Bob Dylan's Voice from Canada writes: Watching the coverage on CBC, almost all the comments were positive with the exception of Layton and Duceppe. Despite all the postings of the armchair policy wonks, it looks like the government has won over public sentiment and likely the Liberals who know how to sniff the wind. No one seems to be talking about Coalitions today and my guess is everyone will be taking credit for it tomorrow.

    Time to move forward Canada and get this economy going again.
  96. Don Portz from Trochu AB, Canada writes: I just reviewed the above comments and found the following results.
    - 60% opposed the budget and and the Govt.
    - 16% supported the Govt budget
    - 24% of comments were on other topics or non commital.
    Therefore all those opposed should contact the Liberals to vote the budget down (Those of other persusion should still phone Liberals as we all know the NDP & Bloc will vote against it. If you can manage to be successful we may then end up with a coalition or a new election.
    Are you allready for that?????
  97. Don Portz from Trochu AB, Canada writes: To J Kay; I am not disagreeing with you but you record all these numbers of what our deficit is while everything on TV suggest it is much smaller and that after this so called expected deficits in the next 5 yrs will onlt approach $500 billion not the existing $656 Billion that you state it alreadt is. So your information is better than that accepted by the economists thwe media interviewed???
  98. Bob Dylan's Voice from Canada writes: Don Portz,

    Glad you are calling people's bluff. No one wants further disarray whether its a coalition (who would then have to put together a budget that satisfies all 3 parties) or an election. Either would make the economic situation even worse.
  99. garlick toast from Canada writes: Why is Flaherty promoting more borrowing when the BoC has reported elevated levels of borrowing over the previous year in both the corporate and household level? Did he not believe the BoC report?
    It's leveraged debt that got us here. It certainly isn't the way out.
  100. Plus 8 from Mont Tremblant, Canada writes:

    LEVERAGED DEBT??

    ---------------
    garlick toast from Canada writes:
    It's leveraged debt that got us here. It certainly isn't the way out.

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

    What leveraged debt? Are you sure you are in the right country?

    end
  101. garlick toast from Canada writes: Sorry, I was speaking globally, like the abcp crap.
  102. Mud Lark from Canada writes: You can trash Layton and Duceppe all you want but they are the only two standing up for the 70% of Ontario workers who have paid into EI but cannot collect. Do you all hate working people as the Cons and Libs appear to do? It appears to be a case of blaming the victim.

    Already hard pressed municipalities will see huge increases in their welfare funding requirements, which can only come from increased local property taxes or funds earmarked for infrastructure.

    Layton's comments re funding revenue generating infrastructure made a lot of sense.

    Let's drop the partisanship and look at the budget realistically.
  103. dan donahue from Canada writes: If we chose to accept this as the beginning of a new age then perhaps, just perhaps, we might do alright provided vision triumphs over self interest.
    If all we do with this cash is perpetuate the past and politicize the present, then we've learned nothing and in 6 months our worst fears might well be realized.
  104. The Innocent Ghost Of Patrick Whelan from Canada writes: .
    “I think it's wishful thinking,” commented Jayson Myers, president of the Canadian Manufacturers and Exporters.
    ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    When the head of one of Canada's biggest business lobbies describes a Conservative economic forecast as "wishful thinking", you know somebody's trying to put lipstick on a pig.

    If Harpoon was dead wrong about the economy two months ago when every grade eight dropout knew what was going on, who will believe their predictions for next year?

    These guys couldn't predict the days of the week.

    They're so inept economically that they had to steal the Liberals' budget.

    Why would Canadians want ersayt Liberals when we've got so many of the real ones standing around doing nothing?
  105. J Kay from Canada writes: Don Portz: What I was referring to is the off balance sheet deficit and most of what you are reading in the newspaper is about on balance sheet items.

    Not only that but you need to distinguish between the different types of debt. The government most often refers to net accumulated deficit, which is the net debt minus the fixed assets of the government. Net debt itself is the gross debt of the government minus the fixed assets of the government. While you will have heard each year that the government paid X number of dollars toward the debt, often what has happened is that the government has increased the financial assets of the government and not paid down the actual debt.

    The numbers I was referring to above is the interest bearing debt. It is a portion of the gross debt and is larger than the net accumulated deficit which is the $457 billion figure you are probably familiar with. It was until April this year $581 billion. As of Nov 31, 2008, the interesting bearing debt stood at $565 billion, up $72.8 billion since April, largely due to the debt swap with financial institutions as well as about $20 billion of cash borrowing by the government.

    As others might attest, I assure you I am quite sure of these numbers.
  106. The Innocent Ghost Of Patrick Whelan from Canada writes: .

    garry heaps from Canada writes:

    "what drugs has the evil leprechaun being taking?

    the exalted one is an eastern born and bred phoney."
    ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    An eastern born and bred phoney?

    Now Garry, you know that this is really Harper's budget. Flaherty just reads it.

    Oh, Harper was eastern born and bred too!

    Makes a man ashamed to be an easterner.
    .
  107. Don Portz from Trochu AB, Canada writes: FINE J Kay; But the real reason you were spouting these figures were soley to confuse the issue and try to convert the masses. I have been in finance for some 55 yrs. but do not try to b-llsh-t me.
  108. North Star from Canada writes: There will be an election in less than a year and the pain of the Harper government will be over.
  109. Reality Check from Ottawa, Canada writes: Flip flop Flaherty. Can't believe a word he says.
  110. J Kay from Canada writes: Don Portz: Well I'm glad that you 55 years in finance somehow gives you the ability to know my motivations. Of course you're wrong but hey don't let that get in the way of your presumptions, especially since your 55 years in finance didn't give you the slightest bit of insight as to what I was talking about.

    The reason I mentioned the interest bearing debt is because it is the portion of the debt that we pay debt servicing costs on and those debt servicing costs show up on the balance sheet, so the $72 billion of off balance sheet deficit, that has been added to the debt, truly added to the debt, affects the on balance sheet budget, but again I guess with your 55 years of finance background you would have already know that.
  111. J Kay from Canada writes: Don Portz: I'm amazed really. I didn't know that your 55 years of finance background somehow gave you insight as to my motivations. That is impressive.

    In fact the real reason I referenced the interest bearing debt portion of the debt is that this is the portion of the debt that the debt servicing costs are calculated on and that the $72 billion of off balance sheet financing that has been added to the debt this year, truly added to the debt, affects the on balance sheet balance, though increased debt servicing costs, which I would assume with your 55 years of finance experience you would know about and understand or do you not believe that adding more than 10% to the portion of the debt that we pay interest on is irrelevant to the future budgets?

    Surely that can't be the case.
  112. Michael S from Canada writes: I haven't read all these comments. Say, has any bleeding-heart socialist blames Harper for all the world's problems yet? Probably, eh.
  113. Mach Machiavelli from Lethbridge, Canada writes: NO ONE BELIEVES THE LIES THAT ARE BEING TOLD-ALL FOR THE SURVIVAL OF FIREWALL HARPER.
    We, the people will pay for years. GST will be increased, so will everything else. Throw the bums out this week Iggy. You have the power. Firewall Harper is holding on with his fingernails only. Step on his fingers Iggy, and let him lose his grimy grip.
  114. Robert in and around Calgary from Calgary, Canada writes: North Star from Canada writes: There will be an election in less than a year and the pain of the Harper government will be over.

    Couldn't agree more. We will vote a majority in and the pain of minority conservative governments will finally be over. Iggy has no plan and will never be the PM.
  115. J Birch from Hamilton, Canada writes:

    I will go out on a bit of a limb and suggest Ignatieff will support the Budget with significant amendments, particularly to EI. The amendments will be significant enough to show he has not blinked and supports the Budget from a position of strength.

    The Cons will have to support it.

    Ignatieff will be able to cloak himself in the Canadian flag doing what's best for the country.

    Harper has emasculated himself and Iggy will keep the wounded Boor in power long enough to make him wear fully the whole deficit and then strike when the opportunity arises.

    Ignatieff might even be able to force an extension on Energy Trusts and then fix the whole Trust mess in a year or so when disillusioned Conservatives fall upon the self wounded Dictator and while their unity fractures, he brings down the Govt.

    Before all is said and done I see the honourific Rt Hon coming before his name - Ignatieff is bound for 24.

    Ignatieff is capable of winning it all.

    Fat-Boy has met his better.

    .
  116. Robert in and around Calgary from Calgary, Canada writes: Iggy will support it. he has no money, plan or vision that will catch with Canadians. He has been leader a month and an MP for 3 years. Hi flip flops have begun to show as he abandons his previous beliefs propogated over years as a prof to now as a politician.

    Lets see now:
    Afghanistan. Iggy and Harper agree
    Income Tax reductions. Iggya nd Harper agree
    Corporate tax reductions> Iggy and Harper agree
    Stimulus spending. Same

    Time for Iggy to step up and show his true mettle and vote as a red conservative. In a year from now the fiscal situation will have changed as Obama gets on board and the rest of the world cranks up consumer spending and stimulus packages kick in.

    I predict Bye Bye Jack and Gilles.
  117. Robert in and around Calgary from Calgary, Canada writes: Iggy, the man with the syrupy smile that resembles that of a snake oil salesman. As long as the G&M continue to strike fear in the hearts of Canadians with the "Great Depression" headlines we will believe anything. Even as far as trusting the LPC to run the country again. Same old appointment process as they forego electing their leaders and thumbing their fingers at the grassroots constituents. Same old tax and spend ideas. Same old diversionist tactics to split the country.

    I believe Harper may yet surprise the left as he stays in power. The mark of a true leader is to work through the problems and advance changes in direction when needed. There is no rule that says he cannot abandon some of his beliefs to the betterment of the nation. The tough decisions to be made know no partisan boundaries.
  118. diane marie from Canada writes: J Birch:-- I agree with your assessment of what will happen, but I have to admit to being a bit turned off by some of your other terminology. No doubt you meant boar, not boor. I doubt that most women voters enjoy hearing politics described in terms having to do with hunting animals and/or castration. Oh, well, maybe by the turn of the next century...;-).
  119. Robert in and around Calgary from Calgary, Canada writes: Boor
    Noun
    an ill-mannered, clumsy, or insensitive person

    I believe this is what he was meaning.
    perigrinations DM
  120. Rob McIntyre from Canada writes: One word... technology. What are the next generation economic drivers and how is Canada positioning itself?
  121. diane marie from Canada writes: Robert:-- Wounded doesn't quite go with boor, but it does with boar. I'm imagining an ill-mannered, clumsy person with a food-stained tie staggering around in the underbrush, fatally wounded by a snake-oil salesperson with a syrupy smile. :-).
  122. Robert in and around Calgary from Calgary, Canada writes: Perigrinations Diane Marie......

    Perhaps it is too abstract of me to request an explanation as to the origins, direction and definition of such a phrase as the one persistently attributed to me. It has flummoxed me to no end and I believe it to be a thinly veiled attempt at describing my fleeting and fanciful arguments that at times are directionless or poignant and piercing in effect. In the end though I feel honored that it has endured.

    perĀ·eĀ·griĀ·nate (pr-gr-nt)
    v. perĀ·eĀ·griĀ·natĀ·ed, perĀ·eĀ·griĀ·natĀ·ing, perĀ·eĀ·griĀ·nates
    To journey or travel from place to place, especially on foot.
    To travel through or over; traverse.
  123. J Birch from Hamilton, Canada writes:

    Hey Diane, no I meant Boor as in crass, feckless, ill-mannered lout.

    For that is what Steve is, a fat ill mannered lout who plays with sharp objects and as of December cut himself badly with his own sword - such is justice.

    Suggest you re read my missive above with that definition in mind.

    Best regards,

    JB

    .
  124. diane marie from Canada writes: Rob McIntyre:-- The whole thing does smack of treading water, if not just trying to keep noses above water. Very expensive water-wings.

    Robert Peregrinations:-- I was feeling a bit in the dumps this evening (not politics, but a family letter received) and you've put a smile on my face :-).
  125. diane marie from Canada writes: Robert In and Around:-- Nothing derogatory, indeed the opposite. It just seemed shorter and more exotic than "in and around Calgary". If you dislike it, I will cease and desist.

    J Birch:-- Gotcha.
  126. Robert in and around Calgary from Calgary, Canada writes: Ah such eloquent beauty in your descriptions.

    I await the accompanying grimace that such a wound would produce upon the boorish man described and yet there is none. The snake oil salesman has no glue with which stick and will soon see the folly in reading the scripts of past deeds as an attack position. In the house today the only rhetorical attack was that of indignation that the leopard in the bush has shed his spots for the tough hide of the said Boar and emerged into the light. Mr Harper has yet to be brought down and neither Jennings, Gilles or Jack seem capable at this short hour. But time will tell.
  127. Robert in and around Calgary from Calgary, Canada writes: diane marie from Canada writes: Robert In and Around:-- Nothing derogatory, indeed the opposite. It just seemed shorter and more exotic than "in and around Calgary". If you dislike it, I will cease and desist.

    Not at all. Great compacting of terms.
    Hope all is well in the personal.
    I mean that with much honesty despite the brutality of the post.
  128. Robert in and around Calgary from Calgary, Canada writes: I fear I am too late and must depart.

    gtg ttfn

    Much awaits in this session as it promises to be full of drama, intrigue and explosive change.

    Good bye Jack and Gilles.

    Hello Steve and Mike
  129. Robert perigrinations from Calgary, Canada writes: One more for the road DM
    Thanks for the moniker
  130. diane marie from Canada writes: Robert:-- Capitalize it - it will look more balanced? I am flattered. Think what you're single-handedly doing for the nation's vocabulary!
  131. Silver Standard (Harper hides behind the Queens skirt)) from Canada writes: What a joke..
  132. Kevin Desmoulin from TO, Canada writes: Let see how they think, First they said that this problem is totally the result of the market meltdown in the states, affecting the world, and we do not have too much control over that. But they bank their budget on the assumption that outside forces will correct this crisis. They say so much depends on the US and the rest. I can see when this fails, they will absolved themselves of responsibility by once again, blaming all this mess on forces beyond their control.

    WE have once again The Conservatives playing politics at the expense of everyone else here in Canada. They are not big enough people to lead us out of this crisis.
  133. Mrs. Whiggins from Canada writes: If this budget was a horse race it would have been shut down for fraud or poor sportsmanship at the least.

    Until Canadians get a look at the real numbers, the real books, all this is but straw.

    Horses can't eat straw.

    I don't know how stupid Harper thinks Canadians are, but I know how stupid I know Harper is.

    Rosy recovery for Canada = roses in the winner's circle = truth for Canadians = no other way to win.

    Now might be a good time for Stephen Harper to actually get his donkey OUT of the ring, even though he's dressed it up as a nine.

    I'm not buying that donkey no matter what sort of lipstick its wearing.

    Sincerely,

    Mrs. Whiggins
  134. Bryce Richards from Calgary, Canada writes: The credit card is all maxed out and still the infidels continue to print funny money in the gazzilions of dollars. Pretty soon the smallest bill in Canada will be the 100 million dollar note which will just buy about nothing. Inflation will climb into the stratus fear and jobs become impossible to find.
  135. J Birch from Hamilton, Canada writes:

    Mrs. Whiggins from Canada writes: If this budget was a horse race it would have been shut down for fraud or poor sportsmanship at the least.

    Until Canadians get a look at the real numbers, the real books, all this is but straw.

    Horses can't eat straw.

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

    Horses can't eat straw.

    But we know what passes out the other end ....

    Vote for Iggy, not the Piggy

    .
  136. little bowpeep from Down under, Canada writes: I could see someone voting conservative, if they were one dimensional after being flattened by rock for 100 million years.
  137. Dan xxxxxx from Canada writes: R Barber from Calgary, Canada writes: i am already king of my house


    I sure hope, for your sake, your wife doesn't read this! ;)
  138. Mrs. Whiggins from Canada writes: So! How's that heavy water from Chalk River going? Canadians choking it down. Like they can. Eh.

    Good thing Harper got rid of that dastardly watchdog!

    Nothing worse than a dog
    Barking a warning
    All night and
    Through the day.

    Just a wee bit o' HOT water
    Running by all night and day.

    If your kids or pet frogs start glowing
    Never fear
    Stephen Harper's got a handle
    On all things nuclear.
    .
  139. carole campeau from Canada writes: Harper gave in to the NDP and Liberals...Shame on him!!
  140. malcom thomas from Canada writes: Not a bad first attempt by the Conservatives in bringing down a socialist budget. EI needs to be dealt with in a more meaningful way.(training for non existent jobs and extending benefits for 5 weeks? The safety net needs urgent repair after decades of cutting and being pillaged.) The best we can hope for from the government is a cushioned landing. The downturn appears to be a zig zag marathon and we will need more cash for later in the race; if we are to ever see the finish line.
  141. Sober Second Thought from Toronto, Canada writes: I can't help but wonder, if all the global nations can mobilize their governments to supposedly save us from recession (which is a normal occurance in the capitalist system), how come we all can't mobilize to address real global crises like the 1 million deaths from malaria each year?
  142. Mike Glatt from Canada writes: If you look at this as a business decision it seems to make sense but it does carry some risk. The govt unlike the private sector can borrow money at the lowest rates we have seen in multiple generations therefore it makes sense to borrow in this type of environment. The risk of course is that the stimulus does not result in increased economic activity (read tax revenue) and therefore we are saddled with enormous debt and serious trouble down the road. If the time horizon is long enough (10 years at a minimum) then I think the risk is worth taking. I think the govt expectations of shorter time frames for recovery are pipe dreams.
  143. Don Quixote from The winterly Mosquito Belt, Ont., Canada writes: It's still a smoke and mirror budget.

    How can anyone stimulate instantly the economy by building new highways, bridges, commuter train lines and so on?

    Aside from instant repairs contracted out, all other projects, with our unmeasurable bureaucracy in place, will take years of planning, assessing, re-asessing before the first shovel hits the ground.

    How can anyone retrain laid off office workers, machinist, car assemblers to be professional concrete workers, structural steel erectors in only half a year or a year?

    There are more issues on this budget, the fastest way to get necessary basic spending still going on for people already laid off, or to be laid off, for collapsed businesses or the ones collapsing through the next half year is to pay an extended welfare income, based on basic means to continue buying food, paying for hydro and heat and the rent or apartment/house taxes until this misery is over.
  144. N. Ontarian from Canada writes: As we await His Royal Excellency Lord Iggy to hold court with his lapdogs - the ever-fawning MSM, we await with utter admiration and anticipation of each word of wisdom. Will it be His Lordship with Jack and Gilles in tow, or will he do what is right, necessary and good for the nation? As His Lordship was away for 30 years, and returned with the goal of the biggest job in the land, I'm betting His Lordship will take the "power at any cost" road.
  145. Nick Wright from Halifax, Canada writes: "If we need more," (Flaherty said), "we'll go back to the House of Commons and ask for more." This statement tells me that the budget is designed to achieve short-term goals, and is not one based on the most likely scenarios for the Canadian economy over the next, say, five years. The only short-term goals that makes any sense here are political; i.e., to keep the Harper Conservatives in power and to further their agenda of cutting taxes and reducing business costs.

    The sheer difficulty in tracking and determining the effect of so many different spending proposals on the recovery lets the Conservatives make the right-sounding noises with minimum risk of being found out if they drag their feet--just as they have done with the long-promised $3 billion in infrastructure spending. I hope Federal Auditor Sheila Fraser is hiring more staff.

    One also wonders how much the Conservatives listened in their much-ballyhooed "consultation process," given that it seems most economists don't have any faith in Flaherty's rosy projections of an almost complete recovery next year. It sounds incredible even to a layman like me; what information is he basing his projections on that other economists have overlooked or dismissed?

    I think we're being scammed (and bought off with tax breaks) to keep the Harper Conservatives in power as their first priority. Leopards don't change their spots after all. What a surprise.
  146. peter clarke from Toronto, Canada writes: Just NOT needed 15.243 Billion as follows: $12-billion credit facility to support vehicle and equipment financing. $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.
  147. The Innocent Ghost Of Patrick Whelan from Canada writes: . N. Ontarian from Canada writes: "As we await His Royal Excellency Lord Iggy to hold court with his lapdogs - the ever-fawning MSM, we await with utter admiration and anticipation of each word of wisdom." ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- What is it with conservatives and their constant rant against the MSM? Particularly the canard that the media ("MSM"!) favours a progressive/liberal point of view. Last time I looked, most of the media outlets in North America were owned by rich white men who hold conservative views. In Canada specifically no one could ever accuse the two national newspapers - the Globe & Mail and the National Post - of being in the pocket of left - they both endorsed the Torys in last two elections. The big networks? CTV has a decidedly pro-Tory spin to its newscasts - Mike Duffy was just made a Senator and Peter MacKay's girlfriend is the head of national news there. Radio? Talk Radio is heavily conservative. Magazines? MacLeans is heavily conservative. CBC TV? Last night I was watching the National and the three-person commentary panel consisted of Allen Gregg - long-time Tory pollster, conservative MacLeans editor Andrew Coyne and liberal Chantal Hebert. Methinks that conservatives love to accuse the "MSM" of being liberal as they are thin-skinned and can't bear the slightest criticism, even from their own. .
  148. Philosopher King from Canada writes: Don Quixote from The winterly Mosquito Belt, Ont., Canada writes: _"...How can anyone retrain laid off office workers, machinist, car assemblers to be professional concrete workers, structural steel erectors in only half a year or a year?..."_ In fact, this may create more jobs than can be filled, thus inflating the cost of labour in one subset, while doing nothing for others. The only thing 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.
  149. Philosopher King from Ivory Tower, Canada writes: Don Quixote from The winterly Mosquito Belt, Ont., Canada writes: "...How can anyone retrain laid off office workers, machinist, car assemblers to be professional concrete workers, structural steel erectors in only half a year or a year?..."

    In fact, this may create more jobs than can be filled, thus inflating the cost of labour in one subset, while doing nothing for others.

    The only thing 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.
  150. If I had a million lobsters from canbabwe, Canada writes: Well the good thing is there won't be any oversight so we can steal from the funds blindly with no recourse just the banks did.

    party on people. Fill yer boots cause someone is going to.
  151. Brian Jones from Vancouver,BC, Canada writes: We have all seen this play many times in the past. Run to government to fix everything, they pretend they are doing something, economy recovers when the rest of the world starts buying our goods again.
  152. Brian Jones from Vancouver,BC, Canada writes: Philosopher King from Ivory Tower, Canada , I couldn't agree more.
  153. chris vb from amherstburg, Canada writes: for the ones that question the economic "tac" change from 4 months ago till now , It is ignatieff that is responsible for the massisve spending plan . being held hostage and having the option between a "coalition" with quebec blackmailing the rest of canada or a "drunken sailer "spending spree demanded by the left , it was the lesser of two "weavils".
  154. diane marie from Canada writes: Philosopher King:-- It was said that Mr. Martin couldn't make decisions because he consulted too widely, and it seems as if this government succumbed to the same thing, but instead of not making decisions, it made too many useless, half-baked, and aimless ones.
  155. jack sprat from Canada writes: Chris vb, the deficit has nothing to do with iggy. Harper had to make the choices...it is his governments budget. If he believed in something different he should have gone ahead with it and let voters decide. This has nothing to do with anyone but Cons and harper.

    Interestingly, the budget was panned severely by every economist and business person interviewed in Calgary. Simply too political, no vision, no plan.

    It is way, way too much money and given the forecast of the IMF today, this will soon be over 100 billion.

    And for what.

    A stimulus was needed. what was provided was just a bunch of hap hazard spending, trying to please all.

    This will be a disaster and good thing iggy wants updates for canadians. He knows this thing will be a collossal failure but Canadians do not want an election, and we really cant afford another prorogue or delay.

    We waited how many weeks for this??

    Our kids will pay and pay and pay........
  156. jack sprat from Canada writes: diane marie, exactly right. Shotgun Steve just fired at everyhing. No original thought, no ideas, no plan.

    But what can you expect, on Nov. 6 he forecast a 100 million surplus and no deficit - ever.
  157. diane marie from Canada writes: jack sprat:-- I was out conducting business today and notice the main thread is messed up (again), but I think that Mr. Ignatieff did exactly the right thing. Many want this government gone - I do - but we are political junkies and follow this more closely than does the general public. They are just waking up to how badly this government has managed matters on their behalf and how uninspired and unimaginative it is (as I notice R. Carriere has been ranting about all day, and rightly so). Mr. Ignatieff has managed the challenges he faced perfectly, taken full advantage of the attention Canadians are naturally paying matters right now, and reminded Canadians that he has insisted that the government attend three confidence/probation appointments this year - the underlying message being that they have behaved as juvenile delinquents.
  158. My Name is Jack and Iggy Can't Be Trusted from Black Mud Creek, Canada writes: I am surprised that the conservatives presented the coalitions economic recovery stimulus plan as their budget. Even so NDP supporters will remember getting the shaft from creepy Iggy.
  159. ralph jacobs from Canada writes: The world is sailing in uncharted waters with this economic downturn, Canada is sailing in uncharted waters, I would challenge anyone to tell me what is really going to happen in the next six months.

    All Prime Minister Harper can do is make the best educated guess, factor in the pressure from the opposition, make economic decisions and hope things will work out.

    Harper has learned from his playing hardball experience, Ignatieff has put the economic crisis ahead of trying to grab power now, I hope than can co-operate in helping the country get out of this slowdown.

    As for Layton and Duceppe who has now stated its back to separation, maybe they should stay on the sidewalk and watch the window displays.

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