For all the luckless reporters heading into the lockup to read the budget, write their stories and listen to Andrew Coyne make his tut-tutting sounds, I dust off the list of Essential Budget Terms – as taken from Finance Canada – that I’ve been adding to over the years.
Alternative Minimum Tax The little-known process by which you can “pay your taxes” by allowing auditors to make out with your daughter.
Balance of Payments The formal term for rushing out to buy a new plasma after your wife admits she blew $600 on shoes.
Benchmark Bond The little-known brother of the famous spy, he was killed in a tragic securitization mishap.
Canada Foundation for Innovation Frankly, I’m not sure what this is, but I’m pretty confident we can rule out Stephen Harper’s barber as a member.
Capital Tax Compared with people in some other countries Canadians do not pay tax, they pay TAX.
Coercive Tied Selling The setting of unethical conditions, such as a bank suggesting it’ll approve your mortgage if you invest in its mutual funds. Or the Conservatives saying they’ll run the country, but only if Peter MacKay gets to be a minister.
Core Unemployment Rate The rate of joblessness among Canada’s apple farmers.*
Deflation A rare and complex phenomenon, most recently glimpsed acting on the hopes and dreams of Liberal supporters.
Dissaving What people on vacation begin doing immediately after deplaning.
Excess Capacity The term used by Finance Department officials to describe the state of their pants after Christmas dinner.
Family Trust What you have yet to regain after investing your kid’s college fund in Pets.com.
Frictional Unemployment The rate of joblessness among Canada’s call girls.
G7 What a typical MP might say when asked how many pages of Jim Flaherty’s 26-page budget speech he stayed awake for.
Income Testing The act of swiping your debit card, entering your PIN and hoping to God there’s enough cash in your account.
International Association of Insurance Supervisors A good organization to think about every time you begin to think your job is boring.
National Child Benefit Official secret name for my plan to abduct and forcibly confine all four members of The Wiggles.
Natural Rate of Unemployment How Canada’s economy looks with its makeup off.
Overcontribution Allowance No idea, but it sounds like something that every snowmobile club in Quebec will need to use this year.
Overnight Financing Rate The rate of interest charged for loans extended by smaller financial institutions, such as the Canadian Imperial Bank of That Guy Down at the Pool Hall, the One with a Hook for a Hand.
Per Capita A defenceman in the Swedish elite league.
Protectionism The act of donning a jock before informing the wife that you just blew the tax refund on a mini-bike.
Retiring Allowance Rollover What senior-aged women feel pressured to occasionally give their Viagra-fuelled husbands.
Schedule I Banks Cool banks.
Schedule II Banks Nerd banks.
Seasonal Adjustment The exact moment in May when Finance officials, acting on instincts refined over thousands of years of relentless inbreeding, know it’s time to switch from long-sleeved polyester dress shirts to short-sleeved polyester dress shirts.
Self-dealing What every young, budding economist has had his Mom walk in on while doing.
Twenty-One-Year Deemed Disposition Rule The formal global policy under which Billy Joel keeps trading in for younger girlfriends.
Wealth Tax Doesn’t really exist, but mentioning it every now and then keeps the poor folks quiet.
Zero-Rated Goods The official accounting designation for Adam Sandler’s last four movies.
* Thank you very much. You’ve been a great audience. Enjoy REO Speedwagon.