6

Once you cross that line


 

Stephen Harper, Oct. 7, 2008. “I know economists will say that we can run a small deficit, but the problem is once you cross that line, as we see in the United States, nothing stops deficits from getting larger and larger and spiralling out of control, and we want to avoid the kind of government, household and trade deficits we see in the United States.”

Jim Flaherty, Jan. 27, 2009. “There will be no long-running or permanent deficit … As the economy recovers, we fully expect to emerge from deficit and return to surplus within five years.”

Stephen Harper, July 10, 2009. “We will allow the deficit to persist if necessary. We will not, in order to meet some timetable, start raising taxes and cutting programs. That’s a very dumb policy … If the recession turns out to be longer than that, for example, or the recovery turns out to be shallower, then that will change the pattern of the recovery from the current deficit.”


 

Once you cross that line

  1. Again, with the retrospectives.

    The real problem here is that no one called out this kind of doctrinaire, anti-deficit BS for the fifteen years to the point that it so corrosively infected our discourse.

    How about, instead of castigating Harper, we give some credit to the progresssives who have always said that running deficits during a recession is good and necessary? Could it be because that a position to the left of the Liberals Party and the Canadian media isn't allowed to consider the possiblity that the right position on major issues may not lay somewhere between the current leaders of the Tories and the Grits?

    The story here isn't that Harper got it wrong; it's that BOTH the Libs and the Cons got it wrong.

  2. Again, with the retrospectives.

    The real problem here is that no one called out this kind of doctrinaire, anti-deficit BS for fifteen years to the point that it corrosively infected our discourse.

    How about, instead of castigating Harper, we give some credit to the progressives who have always said that running deficits during a recession is a good and necessary? Could it be because that's a position to the left of the Liberals Party and the Canadian media isn't allowed to consider the possibility that the right position on major issues may not lay somewhere between the current leaders of the Grits and the Tories?

    The story here isn't that Harper got it wrong; it's that BOTH the Libs and the Cons got it wrong.

    • yes. That's why Harper had to be led by the nose (by the Liberals) to stop lying to himself (and the country) and actually do something about the economy. What are you trying to do here, Ray? Doctor the "report card"?

      • Led by the Liberals? What on earth are you talking about?

        Stephane Dion and Jack Layton put together a coalition that threatened Stephen Harper with the genuine prospect of being defeated and replaced as prime minister. That threat–and only that threat–forced Harper to withdraw his dishonest, anti-stimulus mini-budget.

        Michael Ignatieff then came along, killed the coalition and now spends his days in the House of Commons voting FOR the Harper economic plan–not just abstaining, but voting for it! Ignatieff's finance critic–and longest standing caucus supporter–can't stop criticizing Harper over the size of the deficit and he keeps repeating the meme that "balanced budgets are in the Liberals' DNA". And even if all that weren't true, it wouldn't change the fact that before this current crisis it was the Liberals who were the country's biggest promoters of the idea that deficits are evil and that rather than trying to make Stephen Harper look foolish an intellectually honest critic would be decrying the record of both major parties on this subject.

    • Retrospectives???? You make it sound as if they were antiquated quotes.

      I know the word's strictest and most literal definition points to the past, but surely you can afford a little conservatism in that… As in, we can exclude what is considered to be recent, still breathing events. We are talking about October, January and now this week, not even a year.

    • Retrospectives???? You make it sound as if they were antiquated quotes.

      I know the word's strictest and most literal definition points to the past, but surely you can afford a little conservatism in that… As in, we can exclude what is considered to be recent, still breathing events. We are talking about October, January and now this week, not even a year.

      Even snakes don't shed their skin that quick!

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