Rosie the Finance Minister - Macleans.ca

Rosie the Finance Minister

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In hindsight, the smartest thing Jim Flaherty said in the House when delivering the government’s fiscal update was this, a caveat offered immediately after he forecast economic growth of 0.3% in 2009.

“Given so much uncertainty, no one could unconditionally guarantee the fiscal projections contained in today’s statement.”

For the record, on the subject of economic growth, the Prime Minister said all of the following to ATV this week. “I suspect that 2009 will be a very tough year. I think we will see probably about zero growth, probably negative growth at the beginning of the year, hopefully a little better as the year goes on … I think we’ll just have to, I say in Canada, probably stick with a year of slow growth.”

“Negative growth” has to be one of the more remarkable phrases in politics. One for Andrew Sullivan’s semi-regular Orwellian watch.