Then, now and later on OAS


The Parliamentary Budget Officer suggests Old Age Security is sustainable in the long term (full report here). Meanwhile, the NDP busts the Conservatives for being against raising the retirement age before they were considering being for it.

In the thick of the 2004 election campaign, Stephen Harper’s Conservative Party sent out a “REALITY CHECK” titled: Paul Martin’s hidden seniors agenda. Conservatives claimed that Liberals were hiding a plan to raise the retirement age to 67 for Old Age Security (OAS). They ridiculed the idea of raising the eligibility age for OAS because “Canadians would have to work two years longer only to receive less from their public pension.” … 

In 2004, Conservative were ready to stand up for seniors. On Friday, Stephen Harper was asked about the possibility of raising the eligibility age by two years and replied “Absolutely, it’s being considered.” This government was elected on the promise that they would change Ottawa. They’ve become everything they used to oppose.


Then, now and later on OAS

  1. One day SH is going have to face his many contradictions and ask himself: ” Who am I?” Hopefully the answer that he finally comes up with is…
    “A politician; yes that’s who i am. And a damn good one too!”
    Or is that a little too Mulroneyesque?

    Perhaps in Steve’s case a little more…Look frankly, the opposition is always out to get me. You don’t expect me to be responsible for every policy statement? You can’t expect me to NOT say these things inthe heat of battle. You don’t think i meant all that accountability stuff back then! Really! Would you rather the Liberals had won? It’s not my fault!

    • What on earth makes you think that Mr. Harper will ever do anything of the sort? You’re suggesting a level of self-reflection and awareness that we have no evidence exists.

    • Sadly for Mr. Harper, he’s going to realize one day while looking in the mirror that the answer to that question is “I’m Jean Chretien”.  What he’s going to do then is beyond me, but he’s bound to come to that realization eventually.

      • Hope for your sake that’s true…if he should ever conclude he’s rather like Pet his head might explode.

        • I can see the Editorial cartoon now – A Vader helmeted P.E.T. extending an outstretched hand to a Harper helmeted Skywalker saying that infamous line…

          A ballooning deficit and debt; an ever-expanding bureaucracy; a tightly run, top-down P.M.O and P.C.O.; disdain for individual M.P.’s – it looks as if Harper has become everything he once denounced…

    • Obviously, Steve, obviously.

  2.  The difference is Stephen, the mere princeling vs. Stephen, the King.

  3. Please don’t confuse Harper’s pompom klan with facts and reason.

  4. I’m sure if you dig deep enough, you could find lots of CPC quotes from 8 or 10 or 20 years ago that are inconsistent with their current platform.  I’m sure you’d find the same for the Liebs, the Dips and the Rhinos as well.  It would be better for the Dips to focus less on finding inconsistencies between the pre-recession and post-recession financial positions of the other parties and more on their own proposals to deal with the looming demographic-based sustainability crisis.

    As for the Parliamentary Budget Officer’s report, if one bothers to read through the G & M piece, one comes upon the statement:  “However, there have been other expert reports that have argued there is a need for change.”  No economist am I, but it appears one explanation for why the PBO report’s conclusions differ from, for e.g., the McDonald-Laurier Institute report referenced is that the PBO report “…is based on the concept of a “fiscal gap” – essentially an estimate of the required changes to spending or revenues that would be needed to keep the debt-to-GDP ratio constant.”  If I understand this correctly, it means the PBO concept of “sustainability” is built around the assumption that the current debt-to-GDP ratio is just fine and, therefore, as long as the ratio stays approximately the same in the future, specific entitlement program spending can continue to go up up up.  On the other hand, if the assumption is the current debt-to-GDP ratio isn’t optimal, all bets are off.

    I’m once again struck by the irony of the proggie left belief that the Canadian economy needs to be structurally demolished because of “climate change”, but are in denial that anything needs to be done to deal with a far more scientifically sound and uncontroversial fact – our population is aging and our birth rates are at “non-replacement” levels.  

    • Perhaps because we can read graphs too and notice little things like the so called retirement crisis bulging out around 2030 and almost immediately declining due to another little inevitability called death?
      Perhaps we also know not to make idiotic comparisans between demographics and CC where the curve appears to be heading off the graph if we let it.

      “Structrually demolished”…that looks like a fine strawman you got there sir!   

      • So where did the McGill economics prof who authored the McDonald-Laurier Institution paper and concluded the opposite of the PBO report get it wrong?

        • I haven’t a clue, and i haven’t catagorically said he’s wrong, particularly since i haven’t read it [ and i’m unlikely too – like you i’m no economist and have no desire to be – witchcraft most of it in my ignorant opinion].
          I merely point out that the facts, such as they relate to the graph we’ve all seen, could lead to a different conclusion – namely there is no crisis.
          From that the very little i’ve seen the MLI has been, rather like the Fraser institute, idealogically driven. And no that doesn’t mean i think they’re always wrong, i’m just sceptical and wary.

          • Well, he’s also keen on privatizing health care, massive cutbacks to UI and the like….you know the talking points. Not to mention that he seems to have confused us with Japan on demographics.

            The MLI also claims that Stats can is wrong and that crime is rising, amongst other questionable things.

          • A demographer too!  Each day reveals yet another facet of your brilliance.  I’m intrigued – exactly how do we differ from Japan, demographically speaking?

        • @GreatWallsofFire:disqus 

          Doesn’t take much to look up our demographics and see how different our population in Canada is from Japan.

          Not everybody had a ‘baby boom’ or the ‘echo’ like we did.

          It would be nice if we ever got around to dealing with Canadian problems, based on Canadian situations…instead of relying on stats from other countries.

          • “It would be nice if we ever got around to dealing with Canadian problems, based on Canadian situations…instead of relying on stats from other countries. ”

            Agreed – the numerous references in the MLI study to “StatsCan” must be to the the statistical wing of the Climate Action Network.

          • Could be to the Man on the Moon for all you know.

    • Clever.   That 8 years seems so much longer when you turn it into “8 or 10 or 20”

       “It would be better for the Dips to focus less on finding inconsistencies between the pre-recession and post-recession”

      That’s odd, one of your fellow travellers on this board was telling us that everyone has know we’d have to make these changes for at leat 20 years.  That’s why the Cons didn’t mention it in their campaign – it was too obvious to mention! 

      “I’m once again struck by the irony of the proggie left belief that the
      Canadian economy needs to be structurally demolished because of “climate

      You’ve got that all mixed up.   Climate change will demolish the world’s economy.

  5. The OAS doesn’t have a problem, much less a crisis.  Harper is simply trying to scare people for his own political  purposes.

    Instead of all this ‘cutbacks-fear-factor’ stuff, he should be concentrating on growth.

    • You kidding me?

      Where else is he going to offset the gianormous structural deficit he’s created? He’s trying to find as much as he can right now, but my guess is that he can’t so he may as well take it from another bucket…

      • You’ll note that cancelling planes and prisons…or even getting rid of the senate….never gets mentioned under ‘cutbacks’.  LOL

  6. OAS is NOT the only social program contributing to the demographic challenge.  One cannot look at one program in isolation.  One has to look at all of them together.

    There is a pension challenge.  There is a training/lifetime-learning challenge.  There is the health care challenge.

    • There is Con bunkum…that’s about it.

  7. I had thought that the PBO , if he played his cards carefully, might be channeled into
    a future as a third-party administrator at DINA. I suspect even that is closed to him at
    this point. Independent forensic accountant operating out of a fourth floor walk-up over
    a fish market, maybe.

  8. This is the same PBO who’s been saying how wrong the government’s budget predictions are, just to find out that in fact it’s he who’s constantly wrong?

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