In today’s Financial Post, Jackie Thorpe provides some much-needed perspective on the current debate in Ottawa over the Conservatives’ fiscal update, and specifically the need for a stimulus package to save the economy.
To anybody tempted to accuse the Tories of being do-nothing malingerers on the economic file, she presents chapter and verse on billions in planned tax cuts, a planned surge in infrastructure spending, and a $75 billion credit lifeline to ensure the banks can keep lending. The bottom line: there’s already plenty of stimulus in the pipeline. Now, everybody shut up and let it work.
JT makes a pretty persuasive case. I still maintain the CPC has been pretty awful at communicating a coherent message on the economy. I’d also argue that the move to cut off funding to the parties (though a sound idea in principle) just ended up looking incredibly petty and opportunistic. Their various climb-downs now make them look weak rather than collaborative. Nevertheless – this whole controversy is supposed to centre on the question of whether Ottawa is doing enough to support the economy. And on closer inspection it would seem that they probably are. It’s easy to run around and say “we need stimulus!” But it’s much harder to articulate exactly what we need that we haven’t already got coming.