To spend or not to spend

Harper recommends against a second round of stimulus spending—for now

Prime Minister Stephen Harper told reporters at the G8 summit in L’Aquila, Italy that he isn’t convinced world leaders need to be pondering a second round of stimulus spending before they’ve even spent the money from the first round. “That’s been our focus in Canada,” Harper said, “and I would encourage the same priority elsewhere.” In fact, Harper suggested the recession might be over as early as next year and figuring out a way to temper government spending may become a more pressing need than ramping it up, as British Prime Minister Gordon Brown has suggested. So far, his cautious approach appears to have found backers in Germany’s Angela Merkel and Russia’s Dmitri Medvedev. Meantime, the U.S. is taking a wait-and-see approach, promising to inject more money into the economy if the country’s employment situation continues to falter. “If there are steps that [U.S. President Barack Obama] thinks and his team thinks need to be taken to improve our economy, we won’t hesitate to do that,” said White House press secretary Robert Gibbs.

Toronto Star

The Globe and Mail