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Not quite the conflagration we’d been banking on


 

I realize this will spoil a really great panic the opposition/press have worked themselves into, but…

Canada’s economy firm, RBC says

Economists at Canada’s largest bank have reduced their expectations for economic growth, while saying the domestic economy “remains firm.”

The Royal Bank of Canada now projects national growth this year of 0.9 per cent, down from its previous prediction of 1.4 per cent.

It cites “the persistent turmoil in financial markets and disappointing economic trends over the past two quarters.”

For 2009, the report released Wednesday sees a modest revival in gross domestic product with a growth rate of 1.5 per cent.

“The continued weakness in the U.S. economy is expected to dampen growth in Canada,” said Craig Wright, RBC’s chief economist.

“However, this pressure on our growth will be tempered by strong commodity prices which are contributing to robust export revenues and providing support to Canadian domestic spending via a boost to incomes.”

The report notes that Canada’s housing market “is showing signs of coming off the boil” after almost a decade of high activity.

“However, any weakening is expected to be more moderate compared to the U.S. experience as Canadian mortgage markets did not see the excesses that afflicted the U.S. housing sector,” RBC says.

It also notes “fatigue” in Canada’s labour market, with net job gains of only 87,000 in the first eight months of this year, after 320,000 new positions on average each year from 2002 to 2007.


 

Not quite the conflagration we’d been banking on

  1. Not only that, the US Fed is looking to the Canadian banks for rescue help.

    It’s hard to make a coherent argument that Harper hasn’t done a good job so far keeping the economy strong (compared to the rest of the G8).

    Now if he would just stoop shooting himself in the damn foot…

  2. I realize this will spoil a really great panic the opposition/press have worked themselves into, but…

    And we thank you, a government spokesperson, for calming the waters.

  3. Here come the dueling economists to muddy the waters. I wonder if Wright is willing to risk his own money and not just everyone else’s on his forecast.

  4. They’re cutting their outlook for growth by a third — not an optimistic scenario. Note also they’re calling for strong commodity prices to offset the weakness in the rest of the economy. With demand destruction worldwide, that’s a presumption that deserves some skepticism.

  5. “strong commodity prices”

    I’ve no clue about the likelihood, just thought it would be prudent to highlight what they’re hanging their hat on.

  6. Nice of them to share their prognostications with the great unwashed. But bank economists work for…… banks.
    On the other hand, aside from yesterday’s missive, today sees another open letter signed by 86 economists which will probably never see the light of day. Because they are designated as …..
    “progressive” economists.

  7. Commodity prices are expected to stay so strong that the commodity based companies on the TSX did what for the last few days? Shipping companies that move commodities like CN and CPR? They could be right, but if they really believe it, then RBC should be buying up some Canadian stocks like a hoover.

  8. Oh no …we’re clearly headed for disaster. I think I’ll vote for …Prime Minister Stephane Dion! He shares my concern/fear/outrage/panic. And besides he looks like he’s going to cry better than anyone! He’ll get to the bottom of this crisis. He’ll sit down these economists and he’ll decide which one is right. That is, of course, after the experts tell him which expert might be right. Then he can calm everyone down by telling them everything will be fine …after all, he cares. Liberals care.

  9. I get the impression that it might be hard to forecast the affect to consumer confidence of events that haven’t happened yet.

  10. None of this will matter. The freak out and misrepresentation has gone well beyond the facts’ ability to tether them. Now, we can only hope that the LIberals do with the Green Shift (looking, everyday, more catastrophic as commodity industries which have kept our economy afloat take a beating) what they have historically done with their platforms. Even then, they’d have to scrap even more of their campaign not to actually return us to 1970s like financing and stagflation.

    But hey, that’s groovy, cuz like he’s all empathetic right?

    Ugh.

  11. The freak out and misrepresentation has gone well beyond the facts’ ability to tether them.

    What facts?

  12. I blame George Bush for everything. And I heard Stephen Harper likes Bush? That’s what the Liberal ads are saying.

    What is really sickening is that the typical Canadian voter seems to be buying this crap.

    They say we get the government we deserve. But why do the rest of us have to pay the price?

  13. “What is really sickening is that the typical Canadian voter seems to be buying this crap.”

    The man does stand-up for the “get Clinton” crowd, something’s up.

  14. Oh God! I deal with RBC Dominion Securities! They’ve probably put me into some “commodities” mutual funds! Fortunately, I gambled with very little money.

    And I’ve never paid attention to this before, but have they just pulled a Kody? You know, make a prediction, have it turn out to be wrong, change the prediction (no offense to Kody meant, he didn’t really change his overall prediction) and still act like they should be believed. Like, by completely changing their forecast of the future, that gives them credibility.

    Francien may have been right–nobody knows what they’re talking about any better than I do. Strangely, I don’t feel better.

  15. I have yet to hear a cogent plan other than “Do Something”.

    We have a problem, our major export market is likely going into a demand slump. Can we do anything about that as a government? Not really, you could try cutting taxes or do direct subsidies to encourage domestic demand, maybe…but you governments dont exist to prop up the stock market.

    Most of the problem is outside our realm, the cause and the effect…thank goodness….we are the equivalnet of being on higher ground as the floodwaters rise. If they keep rising there isnt much we do, but being at higher ground is better than being below the levee or on the shore.

    So here is the scenario, if things calm down over the week, disaster is averted, stock markets either stop falling or gain back some of the losses what then is the discussion around the Turkey?

    Is the discussion about how panic, or about staying calm in a panic. Will it be about how Canadian finanical institutions are in now being asked to help, rather coming to the government for help? I see even Jean Chretien is now taking credit for Canadian Banks being in a good shape….hmmmmm….whose narrative does the evidence, the study AC quotes, JC’s comments and the request of the US fed, support? If the market goes to hell in a handbasket and there are major layoffs etc etc then its potentially the Libs and NDP….the evidence quoted above supports the Cons, including the buy low recommendation.

    The Libs and NDP are now invested in panic and doom, not a good place to be if it looks like house is still standing. Tories are invested in the broader position, things are ok and this too shall pass…too “land is strong for my taste”. Tories tried to make it about who can be best lead in uncertin times, but got painted into the happy corner, a mistake. They have a way out, but the libs and NDP are hammering at the he doesnt get you, he isnt that into you meme.

    Ultimately the problem for all parties, but particularly the Libs and NDP is placing your electoral fate in the hands of the stock market or the weather is that that both are subject to change at a moments notice.

  16. Why on earth is this story not on CBC, G&M, CTV websites? Canada’s largest bank saying that our economy remains strong in this environment is front page, above the fold news.

    Anyone?

  17. Well that was a short rally on the markets today. Who followed Pappy Steve’s advice and bought up some of those bargoons?

  18. Well spotted Andrew.

    Our financial system is stable, we have more oil in the bank than Saudi Arabia, we remain in surplus, wait times are reducing, large investments are budgeted for infrastructure upgrades, targeted investments are planned for manufacturing, income trusts provide good returns after those who initially panicked lost their shirts, taxes are going down, we have a cap and trade CO2 reduction system (ok maybe not the best, but we are insignificant contributors anyway). Isn’t Canada a great place to be when facing the possibility of a global recession? Shouldn’t we be appreciating and building on what we have, instead of tearing it down and replacing it with plans tabled to provide differentiation in an election, as opposed to responsible plans for strengthening Canada?

    Where is the media on this? Feeding and adjudicating a personality contest and trying to one-up their competitor’s headlines.

  19. Ti-Guy:

    The facts: that our economy is actually GROWING, yes, let’s say that again, G-R-O-W-I-N-G, not in recession, NOT as Mr Layton would have it, in Bennett like Depression.

    –that we are creating net jobs. Let me repeat: even now, in the last reports, Canada has made more jobs than it has lost: Again, this is called GROWTH.

    –that unlike the US, where annual deficits run over half a trillion, we are still in SURPLUS, let me spell that for you: S-U-R-P-L-U-S, not, as Mssrs Dion and Layton have both recklessly asserted in deficit.

    –that we have no mortgage crisis. There have been no NINJA (let me explain: “no income, no job, no assets”) mortagages, and virtually no subprime mortgages, of the kind which have eviscerated the US economy over the past 18 months. In fact, moves have recently been taken to reduce debt loads in this regard (eg. no more 40 year amortization, no more “no downpayment” mortgages, etc).

    –that unlike the situation in the US, the UK, Germany, Iceland and elsewhere, our banks are solid and well capitalized; there is, contrary again to the reckless and panic-inducing (and significantly so: such rhetoric actively contributes to the market uncertainty that drives prices down and costs the markets millions daily: thanks, guys!), no need here, as in Europe, Britain or the US, for the government to buy up failing banks for fear the financial system itself will collapse.

    These are facts; you’d scarcely know any of them given the ignorance and horse-racing default of the media and the self-serving, do something-to-show-you-care, posturing of Mssrs Dion and Harper, posturing which is costing people money, people with pensions, people with RRSPs and RESPs, etc.

    These are the facts I mean. Thanks for asking.

  20. The facts: that our economy is actually GROWING

    The fact: If you factor out the energy sector we are already in a recession. With the price of oil dropping like it has (down 40% in the past 6 months or so) the energy sector is not going to be able to keep our economy growing for much longer.

  21. Two major stories today reinforcing the relative strength of the Canadian economy: This one, and the Fed asking Canadian banks for rescue help.

    Neither story has made it to CBC, CTV, or G&M’s website.

    I’ve often complained that the bias in our media is not so much what gets written, but what gets left on the cutting room floor. This is about as blatant an example as possible.

    Any story that might possibly reinforce Harper’s “fundamentals are strong” message is being suppressed; regardless of its newsworthiness. Not running these stories at all, in an effort to continue the assault on Harper’s handling of the ecomony, is little more than journalistic malpractice.

  22. What are wealth managers telling their clients? the ones I have seen say hold on and ride it out. You have too think that this is the message being sent to many. Once again, whose narrative does that support?

    People’s information doesnt just come from the politicians, thank god, they seek other advice. And in this case it will be the wealth management people.

    Others will look to their own experience, friends, relatives or whether their job is gone. Right now there is lots of hatch buttoning etc.

    Advice to cons…keep hammering home the rigfht actions have been taken to protect us as much as possible to this point, higher ground is a decent analogy. ANd the last thing we need is more taxes and more uncertainty.

    Advice to Libs and Dippers….keep trying to hamer home the he doesnt get it, he doesnt think there is a problem. Keep the cons paionted into that corner and you have a winner, if you let Harper move to the best to deal with uncertainty and leadership issue you are in trouble. It should not be about what your plan is but why there is no plan, no action no acknowledgement from the government.

    But as I said before….markets go up and markets go down….tacking your flag too much to that could really do you in. Markets dont drop forever, and most people recognize that.

    Of course, the Liberals have yet to answer for their last proposal to eliminate downpayments on houses. But that might have been the Martin Liberals, so we need to be fair.

  23. Good points T. Woods! Yes indeed : the answer is good news don’t bleed – and if it bleeds it leads. Media types have to have the drama, the moment caught, deer in the headlights right before the crash and PM’s who maintain their cool and don’t panick at the last minute just don’t make the news unless the media can find a ‘ Narrative ‘ don’t you just love that word folks. I must admit though I much prefer the narrative that Harper has now rather than 2 weeks ago – then it was all how big is the majority and now it’s can he pull it off horse race stuff. I have to admit as well as I must be getting old as this is all feeling like a re-run from an old tv show as I have seen this so many times before!

  24. What about the announcement this morning of coordinated action with a bunch of Central Banks. I know our Central Bank is independent but do they take advice from PM. Can Harper use this as leadership example of doing something?

    As an aside, I went to my all candidates meeting last night and I think I know who our next Finance Minister should be. John Turmel is running in my riding this time and he cracked me up last night. He said he lives in Brantford, because he’s a professional gambler and lives across the street from the casino, and was railing against usury and something about how everyone should have access to Bank Of Canada cash, not just the banks. And he’s pro – drugs, gambling and prostitution.

  25. C’mon Andrew, don’t be disingenuous – if nobody is buying our products because their economies are in meltdown, it doesn’t matter how strong our fundamentals are, we are going to get hit hard. Ironically, it’s because our banking sector is so very anti-competitive and risk averse that Canada has not been sucked into this swirling vortex of illiquidity.

  26. jwl,

    they dont take advice from the PM…and shouldnt, no matter who is there.

    What the PM can take credit for is the fiscal environment that supports BoC policy and allows the governor to take these actions without concern.

    What would make the governor’s job more difficult would be large deficits and big spending by the government. You end up with policy incoherence.

    So Harper cant lay claim to the rate cut directly, I am sure he was told, I am sure he is supportive, but it isnt his decision.

    Harper can take credit for no deficit, lower taxes and no meddling. These are all good things at this stage that have left Canada in a fortified position superior to the US. Fundamentals being strong doesnt mean there isnt a storm, btw, it means you have a storng position to whether storms, ie your foundation isnt cracked and your beams arent rotting.

    Libs and Dippers have outmanouvered or outcommunicated him so far on this issue. Change that and you change the election.

  27. Thanks stephen. Surely they must communicate with one another but I can understand not taking advice from PM.

    I think you make a good point about fiscal environment and it’s one I think Harper should be talking about more. I follow UK news closely and Gordon Brown would be good example for Harper to contrast himself with. UK economy is about to go down the toilet but the Bank Of England can do little and what’s going to happen is a massive increase of the public debt.

  28. stephen, great post.

  29. stephen: I’m not entirely sure Harper can take credit for no deficit. I mean, he did what he could to take us there, but the surplus left by Martin was just too big for even Flaherty to blow all of it.

    Lower taxes? Remember Harper raised the base level income tax by half a percent from Martin’s budget. That made a hell of a lot more difference to me than the cuts to the GST. I came out behind, thanks, because I’m a responsible consumer.

    No meddling? The fastest increase in government spending in the history of Canada is no meddling? This is another case where the promises/ideas of what conservatives are supposed to be simply do not match the reality of Harper.

    Our foundation isn’t cracked because it was made *so* strong by Finance Minister Martin. The thing was like a tank before Free Spending Stevie got in. The only thing Harper can take credit for is the dysfunctional atmosphere in Parliament — considering he handed out the book on how to do it.

  30. Still waiting for the impact analysis on Dion’s budget – recall it is based on tax revenues increasing due to a 4.5% annual economic growth.

    4.5% ! 4.5% ?

    and the $12 billion in “savings” from the current budge . . . what will they cut out ?

    Let’s see, Transfers to Provinces – worked last time, Liberals get the credit and Provinces get the pain. Maybe cuts to Arts, R&D, The Canadian Forces ?

    Will anyone in the MSM expose this Liberal Budget Ponzi scheme ?

  31. Fred: you mean the Government of Canada GDP forecast, the one on which Flaherty based his budgeting decisions?

    I think it’s rather absurd for the CPC to be taking credit for the structural strength of Canada’s finances. From a fiscal perspective, they haven’t changed direction much from where the Liberals were taking us, and most of those course corrections were inferior policy choices. See cutting GST rather than income taxes. Criticized by just about everyone, partisan and non-partisan, as monumentally stupid.

  32. “Who followed Pappy Steve’s advice and bought up some of those bargoons?”

    Um – this decade’s Floyd Odlum? (described as “possibly the only man in the United States who made a great fortune out of the Depression” – wiki)

  33. Wasn’t this whole problem started because BANKS didn’t know what they were talking about?

  34. Thwim,

    Sure Martin brought us into surplus, because the GST spits cash and Mulroney put that in place….I mean how far do you take it back or do you assign responsibility to people for what happened on their watch. Tories are running a surplus and cut taxes, I dont know what else you can say.

    As for increasing spending, oh yeah they did that while they cut taxes and maintained a surplus…..hmmmm….which side of the street do you want to argue. That being said yes they will need to contain spending, but look at the cat wailing over 45 million.

    The Liberals complain that they dont get any respect for the surplus and that they really are good financial managers. Well, its the willingness to jump to the barricades over stuff like that makes people second guess them, just saying.

    That being said, the best attack line the Libs and Dips have is Harper doesnt get it or doesnt care. But that could evporate quickly if things seem to reach a plateau, i.e. a cliffledge in abyss.

    Toough times are coming in the real economy, no question. Too much readjustment, too much wealth reduction around the world for there not be visible effects. The question is, is the Green Shift the correct thing, come hell or high water…the plan has never been sold as a recovery plan, it is supposed to be a climate change plan.

    Is adding back 50 billion in business taxes the right answer? It was being done so there could be more government spending…I dont know if people will buy that, kind of old economy thinking.

    The elction comes down to whether people believe the worst of the storm is over or not.

    You need to really think about what Thanksgiving dinner conversations are going to be as families gather. We dont know, and much of it will be driven by events in the next couple of days. A sideways or upwards market means Harper is likely vindicated, a down market means Libs and Dippers have a narrative that makes more sense.

    The problem for the Libs and Dippers will be if they look like their cheering for bad news, and for the cons if they look pollyannaish. As I said at the beginning even if we see a bounce up in the next three days, there will be effects on the real economy that will unfold over the next 3 to 6 months. But that is all after election day.

  35. Since generally very smart people hang around this blog, what is the Bank of Canada likely to do with interest rates to stabilize things, both in the short and long term?

  36. You entirely ignored what I said about them raising income taxes didn’t you? Doesn’t fit into your lovely narrative?

    But which side of the fence do YOU want to argue? You were saying we can credit Mr. Harper for not meddling.. so do we do that, or do we credit him for meddling with faster increases in spending than any government previously? And even when they cut, it’s meddling, considering that Flaherty outright admitted that they were making the cuts based on their conservative ideology, not on market considerations. If that’s not meddling, I don’t know what is.

    So.. Harper doesn’t get credit for not meddling.
    I can’t give credit for having a surplus since he basically pissed it all away (and for all the increase in spending, I know I certainly haven’t seen any of it)

    And he really shouldn’t get credit for cutting taxes, unless you like giving credit for moves that pretty much everyone and their dog says was completely boneheaded — especially when coupled with how he increased income taxes to pay for it.

    Yeah, Harper happens to be at the helm for the start of this, and fortunately Canada was strong enough to withstand it with or without him. But to give him credit for it is like giving Nero credit for the Colloseum still standing.

  37. saskboy

    From today’s Report On Business (Globe):

    “Major central banks took the extraordinary step of deeply cutting interest rates in an emergency co-ordinated move Wednesday, underlining the deterioration of the world’s banking system and threatened global recession.

    Central banks in Canada, the United States, Britain, the European Union, Sweden and Switzerland cut key lending rates by half a percentage point. China’s central bank joined in by cutting its key interest rates 27 basis points as of Thursday.”

  38. Stephen:

    I haven’t seen any convincing analysis that suggests we would have reached a balanced budget without a change in fiscal policy from Mulroney status quo.

    The art cuts caused so much ire because they had nothing to do with fiscal prudence, and everything to do with shrewd, calculated politics. Don’t take my word for it, this is according to CPC Ministers.

    The Green Shift isn’t a sudden course change. It is a gradual change in incentives. It’s effects won’t be felt in a noteworthy way until after this recession is over (no change in gas taxes, no change in diesel taxes for two years, etc.).

    Just to be clear, the Liberals plan to cut income taxes for people and business more than the CPC do.

    I don’t think Harper is vindicated no matter what the market does. He said this summer that any correction that would have happened due to the credit crunch was behind us, and that Canadians aren’t/shouldn’t be worried about jobs, homes, savings. He sounded out-to-lunch.

  39. johng, the Globe has a story about the RBC report on the front page of its website. You might not have recognized it because the title is “RBC cuts Canada’s economic growth forecast” — which is, of course, accurate. Same headline on CTV’s front page.

    Don’t see it on CBC.

  40. Andrew,

    How come no media news outlet has discussed the impact of the economic crisis on Canada’s foreign policy?

    Since the U.S. is next to bancrupt, handling two wars, and likely to elect a trade protectionist president, where does that leave the rest of the world?

    Iceland goes belly up, and it asks Russia for help. Russia invades Georgia because it can. China buys up foreign debt. The void that the U.S. leaves as it retreats to its own shores will be filled by China and Russia. What will that do to Canada’s hopes for the arctic? Canada’s ties to Europe? and NATO?

    This financial crisis has a lot more influence in the world than just a few million mortgages in the U.S.

  41. And in 2009, when RBC is wrong, as bank predictions always are, no one will hold them to their earlier predictions.

    Economists are the only professional group that can be wrong 100 per cent of the time and still get pay raises. Like they do at RBC, think tanks, as Prime Minister of Canada…

    Meanwhile, key loaning rates will decline, our interest rates will increase and the banks will need to increase their fees to compensate for the revenue decline from a global downturn.

    Don’t worry be happy

  42. This is where Dion/Layton would take Canada;

    “Standard & Poor’s last night downgraded Iceland’s credit ratings after Haarde’s comments. The long-term sovereign rating was reduced to BBB+/A-2 from +/A-1, and the foreign currency rating to BBB/A-3 from A-/A-2.”

  43. Yeah Bruce. Iceland’s woes are caused by being largely energy self-reliant on renewables, and not by reckless financial deregulation.

  44. Thwim,

    Governments get credit or blasting for what happens on their watch….that was my point, for deeper background you can take it back to understand the roots of the situation…often a useful thing. So the facts of the matter are

    Canada entered a net and a operating budget deficit in Turners final budget. The operating budget deficit, continued until Wilson’s 1987 budget. At which point the budget deficit was solely due to finance charges on the enormous accumulated debt caused by approximately 16 years of operating budget deficits…12.5 were under Liberal administrations.

    The operating surplus remained in place even through the recession in the early 90’s. The major cause of the surplus, some spending control placed on by the cons and fought tooth and nail by all other parties (par for the course) something Mulroney has to answer for.

    Martin took over with an operating surplus and now falling interst rates, reduced financing charges. To his credit they acted and they implemented a good solid program review. Canada was on its was to becoming Argentina under Martin and Chretien without action, which the first budget didnt address.

    The crisis enabled Martin to do his cuts. The biggest benefit, Bush 41 raised taxes, Clinton continued and contained spending as well. This brought down interest rates and led to the boom.

    So Martin and Chretien get credit for dealing with the situation they had. Of course they kept spending as well, but thats another story.

    So Harper custs taxes, you can debate income versus consumption. But taxes were cut. Most economists would prefer consumption taxes over income taxes….I agree. I would rather they cut income taxes to zero, an econmists wet dream. But then most economists would put GST on food…I look forward to that in the next Liberal platform while we are letting economists drive the debate.

    Summary: Governments have to answer for results for the things they did. Chretien/Martin gets credit for the prgram review and not junking the GST. Muloney/Wilson/Mazinkowski get credit for ending operational deficits, implementing GST and Free Trade.

    Trudeau/Turner/Macechern and Chretien get blame for contnually building operational deficits year over year.

    Harper gets credit for cutting taxes (a consumption tax) while maintaining a surplus. As for the meddling part, yup spending is up and thats a fair debate. But like the late 80’s and early 90’s are the opposition parties saying the government is spending too much? The Liberal platform isnt about reducing spending nor is the NDP. So whats your point about spending? We should be doing less of it? More of it? or just a different type of it?

  45. You missed the point Andrew, the Dion “Green Shaft” would destroy the economy and along with it our currency and credit rating.

    Then again the Libtards would probably have no problem going hat in hand to the Russians for a bail out loan.

  46. No, my point is simply that giving Harper any credit at all for Canada’s financial stability is giving him too much credit.

  47. Andrew,

    Green Shift is a major change in tax policy at a number of levels. But more importtantly it is a mongrel of a policy, is it climate policy or social policy?

    The greens have a better handle on it IMHO. If you are going down this road then tax carbon…period. Dont mix in social policy goals. Carbon has the same effects whether it is emitted by a poor person or a rich person. So dont subsidize the poor so they can continue to emit carbon. If you want to subsidize certain things to enable them to invest in lower carbon emitting technologies thats a different approach.

    The fact that the Green Shift leaves out gas while taxing Diesel, is about all I need to know about what the point of the document is.

    If you arent going to do it right then regulation is probably your most direct route.

    But environmental tax plicies are a strange point of the spear. The Libs were using the carbon Tax as a way to raise revenue, not reduce carbon…thats my fundamental issue with the Green Shift, it is neither fish nor fowl.

  48. Thwim,

    Thats just partisan. He could have been like Bush and got the credit card out again. Only G7 country to be in surplus….they did something right, especially while doing what you call a boneheaded move and melting a major revenue source.

    So do you think the government should be spending or have spent less then?

  49. A Few more years of Harper and we will be in real trouble!

  50. Surely that can’t be right. I mean, partisan….. You must be speaking of some other blogs. Surely.

  51. jwl, thanks for that info, but that’s only half of the answer I’m seeking. What would have to happen for interest rates to hit the teens again like they did in the 1980s?

  52. Stephen: So the highest increase in spending in the history of Canada isn’t “pulling out the credit card”? 2.5 years, 12 billion gone. Again, the only reason that we’re not in deficit after a spending spree like that is because we were in such a good position already, and because we had record oil prices. And now Harper’s plan is “stay the course.”

    Think about that. He wants us to stay the course that blew away 12 billion with a projected surplus of only 3 billion and oil prices well off of their record level.

    Again, you’re praising Nero for the Colloseum not burning.

    Now should he spend more or spend less? To be honest, he shouldn’t do either, because he shouldn’t be elected — handcuffing BC’s lumber industry, talking down Ontario’s economy, handing out his handbook to make parliament dysfunctional, abusing confidence votes, wasting parliament’s time with useless fixed-election date legislation — the man needs to be removed from the party fast, and a real conservative put into power.

    Beyond that, I honestly don’t much care. I used to lean toward the Green policies before May swung them to the left, now I’m a voter without a home. But as mentioned elsewhere, I’m in Calgary, so what I vote doesn’t matter anyway.

  53. Bruce:

    “You missed the point Andrew, the Dion “Green Shaft” would destroy the economy and along with it our currency and credit rating.

    Then again the Libtards would probably have no problem going hat in hand to the Russians for a bail out loan.”

    No, I got your point. I just think it’s a stupid conclusion, and reveals a lack of any kind of sophisticated economic understanding.

    Do you support Harper’s determination to keep income taxes high? The Liberals are the party of income tax cuts.

  54. How much of that extra federal “spending” is increased transfer payments to the provinces. And how much of that was necessitated by Paul Martin’s draconian cuts to provincial transfer payments in the interests of balancing “his” budgets (provinces be d@mned??)??? I believe the number was around 40% cut out of the federal->provincial transfers during the liberal reign of Mssr’s Chretien and Martin? But of course Mike Harris got the final blame because he had to cut back to compensate for less federal monies…

  55. “Do you support Harper’s determination to keep income taxes high? The Liberals are the party of income tax cuts.”

    Uh, Andrew, what medication have you been taking?

  56. Bruce, read the platforms. Income taxes would be lower with Dion’s plan vs the CPC plan. Thus, supporting the CPC is tantamount to supporting higher income taxes.

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