Saturday, June 20, 2009

Jim Flaherty Vows There Will be no Deficit on His Watch

Jim Flaherty has been called a fiscal conservative, devoted to lowering taxes and reducing spending.

He has also been called a complete windbag, with no morals and even less skill at managing anything, other than a kiosk on the beach.

OK those last comments were mine, but I stand by them.

Before entering politics he was a personal injury lawyer, which should be 'enough said', but I think his experiences, which would have been mostly combative, have left him distrustful and unbending. They have also given him the ability to sacrifice truth for gain.

Perhaps my opinion of his private practice might be a bit harsh, but when I think of personal injury lawyers, images come to mind of clients with white collars and canes in the courtroom, who shed those things once outside, and go hang gliding.

But my opinion of Flaherty sacrificing the truth for political gain is spot on. Let's just follow his little magic show since the last election campaign.

Flaherty vows there will be no deficit

TORONTO — There will be no deficit on his watch, even on a temporary basis, Finance Minister Jim Flaherty said Wednesday.

In responding to the worsening global financial crisis that has slowed economic growth in Canada and elsewhere, “we'll do what we have to do, so long as we remain economically prudent. We're sure not going to run a deficit ... We will maintain a surplus in Canada and we will continue to pay down debt.” ....

Now some might argue that he was forced by the big bad opposition to do a 180 ,but that's garbage. He always had a choice. Besides, according to those in the know, we were already in a deficit, possibly as much as a year before he fessed up.

Is Flaherty Hiding a Deficit Already?

I have to blog a bit about Flaherty and his past record in Ontario of selling property in an attempt to hide the deficit. David Graham in his blog “The World According to cdlu” points out a parallel move being done now by the federal government.

They are selling government properties and leasing it back. Who in their right mind would sell property they own only to lease it? Unless you are badly in need of short term cash influx. Exactly the same thing happened in Ontario and we found out afterwards that they hidden billions dollar deficit from everyone.

Flaherty poised to be 'Deficit Jim'

Before this economic downturn hits bottom, it's almost a given Mr. Flaherty will wear the Deficit Jim label as the Conservative who put the red back into Canada's budget books for the first time since they were balanced in the mid-1990s.

It's been almost two years since his most notorious flip-flop - the Halloween announcement the government would break its pre-election promise and start taxing income trusts - and now he's careening oward another big-gulp policy reversal. Mr. Flaherty, it seems certain, will have to renege on his hell-or-high-water vow that the Conservatives would not lurch into deficit.

He's now waffling on that campaign promise in the face of $10-billion deficit projections by some economists, a red tidal wave that could not be rebuffed with spending cuts or tax increases.

The problem is that when you lose your credibility, anything you say from there on in, sounds like the adults in the Peanuts cartoon: Waaaa, Waaaa, Waaaa, Waaaa, Waaaa.

Jim Flaherty and Lisa Raitt are speaking the same language and I no longer listen to either of them.

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