Saturday, September 27, 2008

Harpernomics Reality Check...Part 1


The Stephen Harper fabrication machine continued churning out misinformation today by telling reporters that Stéphane Dion has refused to rule out running a deficit if elected Prime Minister.


•A Liberal government will never put Canada into deficit. Period.

•The Prime Minister has deliberately ignored a public commitment Mr. Dion has already made to continue the long Liberal tradition of sound economic management that includes balanced budgets and a contingency reserve of $3 billion a year to be applied to the debt if it’s not used.

•If, at the end of the fiscal year, that $3-billion reserve is not used, a Liberal government will put all of it towards debt reduction.

•In his February 15, 2008 speech to the Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM), Mr. Dion said:

“A Liberal government will ensure that the federal budget has a contingency reserve of $3 billion each year to help keep us out of deficit in times of economic challenges, and to ensure that the government has resources available in times of urgent need, such as when our country has faced floods, SARS or the ice storm.”

•In his June 1, 2008 speech, again to the FCM, Mr. Dion reiterated this:

“We will invest any surpluses (beyond a contingency reserve) in infrastructure, starting with sustainable infrastructure as a priority.”

•The irony of this Prime Minister criticizing Liberals for bad fiscal management should not be lost on anyone. It is another example of his distorted ‘Harpernomics.’

•This is the same Prime Minister who:

a)in just 30 months in office, squandered the $13-billion surplus he inherited from the previous Liberal government, and ran a deficit in the first two quarters of this year;

b)irresponsibly ended the prudent Liberal practice of maintaining a $3-billion contingency reserve in order to pay for his inefficient tax cuts and bloated spending promises;

c)heads the highest-spending government in Canadian history, despite his promises to the contrary. The 2009-2010 spending projection in their last budget represented a 25 per cent increase from when they took office. They made $19.2 billion in pre-election spending promises alone (between June and September 2008);

d)has overseen the worst economic growth and productivity growth since 1990 – the Mulroney days. We are the worst-performing economy in the G8; and

e)has sat idly by and watched, real stable full-time jobs being replaced by unstable part-time jobs. A whopping 154,000 manufacturing jobs have been lost.

•Compare that to the Liberal record:

1.Liberal governments delivered eight consecutive balanced budgets – a first for any government since Confederation. The Conservatives are quickly unravelling Canada’s once sound economic record.

2.When the Liberal government took office in 1993, the previous Conservative government had run up an annual deficit of $43 billion in 2005 dollars. The Liberal government was able to turn Canada’s fiscal situation around and balanced the budget in four years. During this period Canada was the only country in the G7 to record total budget surpluses.

3.Allowing for inflation, the average Canadian family’s income was 20 per cent higher in 2004 than in 1993. Between 1993 and 2005, the Canadian economy grew by almost 300,000 new jobs every year.

Fiscal discipline is part of the Liberal DNA. We were the party that turned a huge deficit into eight years of surpluses, and we will continue to put fiscal responsibility first. And that's your reality check.


WesternGrit said...

Unfortunately, James, when you have tons of money, you can "buy" a lot of votes with a slick media campaign... And you don't have to be honest about it, if you're a Harper Conservative.

This election is quickly becoming a matter of economics... Unfortunately it's not the Canadian economy that is being properly discussed and debated, but the political party economics vis-a-vis WHO has the money to run ads for 2 years straight (I still want to know if that is even legal - though political ads were only allowed during the writ - that's the way it SHOULD be, if it isn't). We did a horrible job of fundraising, and while efforts have picked up since Spring, it's too little, and Harpo probably knew that when he called the snap election...

Going forward, we need to get everyone more involved in the fundraising part of politics. Unfortunately the Reform system of $5 in a tin cup from every farmer at every rally and stump speech - like a church collection plate - has been able to handle the new campaign financing laws the best...

We have to update our fund-raising system - ton ensure this doesn't happen again. We are on the path - probably only needed a few more months.

Sad reality, but these days parties need a lot of money to run a winning campaign. If Canada TRULY wants a fair system, we need to:

1) set limits that are attainable by ALL parties - during a finite "election period".

2) eliminate 3rd party ads. Period.

3) eliminate government ads thinly veiled as "psa's".

If a progressive party is elected to government, we NEED to ensure we do this one thing - even if it takes a coalition to do this...

Carrie said...

Passed a candidate's SUV today. Black, big, covered - literally covered - in professional signage saying Elect Mary Lou! along with her website,

She was also parachuted in.

It's disgusting.

James Curran said...

Like the one Dean Allison of Niagara West Glanbrook drives? A big Hummer?

Oldschool said...

Sure bought my vote . . . got the first tax relief in 30 years . . .
Why would any intelligent person . . . in Canada . . . want his money sitting in a bank account in Ottawa waiting for some dopy politician to come up with a way of giving it to someone else?
Any economist with his brain engaged will tell you that in order to have an expanding, healthy economy . . . people have to keep most of what they earn.
Unfortunately . . . too many Canadians are sitting with their hands out . . . wanting to share in my accomplishments . . . that is called Socialism, it didn't work in the soviet union, it doesn't work well in Europe . . . and under the Liberals it didn't work well here either.
Why do you think many businesses moved out of Canada in the last 15 years to greener pastures? Cause the tax-grabbing lefites bled them white!!!

James Curran said...

You mean like when all of Quebec was a ghost town under Mulroney?