Paikin v. Flaherty


The host of the Agenda talks to the Finance Minister.

And then a bunch of smart people, including our Andrew Coyne, talk about the budget.


Paikin v. Flaherty

  1. I love the part where Jimbo says "no economist predicted the global recession". We know this isn't true. regardless of one's politics, such a claim is demonstrably false. Several economists pointed to both credit and housing bubbles, rising consumer debt, declining income as well as the effect of oil doubling in price in a very short timeframe … but they were ignored or shouted down by market cheerleaders. It reminds me of the canard, "Everyone though Saddam had WMD." Everyone except for the weapons inspectors, that is.

    Here in Canada, there were words of warning when the CPC spent down the surplus, eliminated the $3 bil contingency fund, cut consumption taxes (twice) and cut corporate income tax while simultaneously setting records for spending increases … all before the recession and before the stimulus.

    Jim was a fraudster in Ontario, he was a fraudster last year and he remains one today.

  2. Why aren't you posting on the Oscars? You should stick to things you know something about.

  3. Neither my memory nor Macleans achives go back that far, but wasn't Coyne's critical of Martin's surpluses?

  4. Really intersting Agenda piece. I had no idea S.Delacourt was so savvy – but then i may in a minority of libs who don't regularly read the star…she always that on?
    My ears perked up at the AC/Weir Timla section. I'm way behind on this issue. But i remember it being characterized by many when it came in in BC, as being a backdoor attempt by multis and big business to do an end run on local regulations, enviromental and otherwise. A further intrusion of some of the more odious WTO type investment extortion racket. I'm curious to know what AC's views are on that. And generally where the debate is. Sisyphus where art thou?

    • As far as I can see, there is no debate. There was one and now there's not.

      The Tall Foreheads would have us think that the Buy America agreement renders
      all moot. And if that doesn't the EU negotiations surely will.

      I suspect that most Americans aren't even aware that there is a Buy American agreement and
      those who do will give it the attention it deserves. At least until a Canadian province or municipality
      initiates a big infrastructure project. Whereupon things might get interesting.

      But the fiscal peacocks are going to make sure that doesn't happen for a while.

      • Thanks for that. I don't like to think how interconnected all this stuff may be. AC would probably dismiss it all as conspiratorial nonesense, but i'm not so sure. Certainly the lords of trade would like as many local obstacles removed as possible, to the smooth functioning of Big Daddy tradebucks knows what's best for you. One day we might just wake up and find our local sovereignty has vanished like the morning mist.

          • Not until he's prepared to expound on what he would prefer to see cut, what the effects of
            those cuts would be,who would be hurt, and why he thinks that would be a good thing.

            Until then, he's just another another Economics M.A. with a platform … make that several
            platforms … and an agenda.

          • Oh dear…i'm almost afraid to ask what you think that agenda might be.

            I hope he's a little more than that. The principle reason i pay him any attention is he at least acknowledges the desirability of ethics in our politics as a primary, not merely an ancillary requirement for the job.

          • i don't mean just personal ethics either…perhaps a moral politics is more the word, or two?

          • It might only have taken Sisyphus 5 secs…

            So you want to do it on the backs of the old, RDA, corp welfare, CBC and the trains eh…heartless, that's what you are. Aren't some of these choices still fraught with political landmines? Just making via pay its way. Have you taken a cross country trip lately? It's bloody expensive for a mere mortal like me [ granted there are good diiscounts if you book early; these make the trip merely moderately expensive, rather than prohibitively so] Remove the subs by all means…just don't be surprised if German tourists are the only ones riding the rails…ah but they have subs to ride too, don't they – hopefully we don't pay for them?

          • Granted. I could have searched and didn't …. because I was responding to a query from
            kcm and although I now remember reading the item you linked to, it apparently didn't
            make enough of an impression for me to remember it … imagine!

  5. Good for Andrew and Susan for stating the obvious. It's all well and good to criticize the Liberals for not voting against the budget, but the buck stops with Canadian voters. It would be folly for the Liberals to force an election as long as a majority of Canadians insist that they do not want one. As long as the NDP and Liberals are dividing their vote, and the effect of the block of votes that are available to only one province becomes even more significant, another election would simply produce the same result we have now. It's like doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result.

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