I posted on the alarming unemployment situation, the worst since the recession hit, but if you expected a response from Herr Harper, other than "I don't want an election" you'd be waiting a very long time.
Paul Jay wrote an excellent column about Harper's preaching of austerity while building prisons, spending over a billion dollars to beat up anyone who disagrees with him, and still going through with massive corporate tax cuts.
"Tax the rich" says Paul.
Harper just got a few more grey hairs. He'd never tax the rich. It's not the neocon way. He'll pass it on the the poor and tell us not to feel sorry for the unemployed, so long as he still has a job.
Statistics Canada said on Friday that the country lost 9,300 jobs in July, the first decline this year, with the official unemployment rate rising to 8 percent from 7.9 percent. This puts Canada's unemployment rate only 1.5 percent behind the U.S. official rate. Prime Minister Harper said, "The global recovery remains fragile." So what does he plan to do about it? He says there is a "strong indication the government's focus should be on reducing the deficit.
.... As we prepare to take on the deficit, let's not forget Harper's plan to spend 10 billion on prisons. Defying all logic, this is supposed to lower the crime rate . . . that's by the way, at a historic low. On the other hand, if the one thousand dangerous criminals that were arrested at the G20 protest is anything to go by, perhaps once all the austerity measures really hit, we will need more prisons after all.
Put that together with the purchase of 65 new F-35 Joint Strike Fighter Jets estimated to be around 16 billion once the maintenance costs are factored in. One does start to wonder just what all the deficit mania is about. Clearly, it's quite ok to spend on beefing up the RCMP's capacity to quell angry citizens and on the military (and just who are these Fighters going to be fighting anyways?).
Paul suggests that we heed the advice of the late Bob Blair: "Ask rich Canadians to step up and voluntarily pay down the deficit. If they don't give it, then tax it."
Sounds good to me.