Wednesday, March 23, 2011

If the Conservatives Didn't Want an Election, Why Such a Crappy Budget?

Flaherty's (Mark Carney's Goldman-Sachs) budget was clearly an election budget in more ways than one.

There were enough little tidbits that they could campaign on, but with so much money going to the rich and so little to everyone else, it was also a budget they knew the opposition parties would never accept.
The Conservative budget was not a conservative budget at all, and was never intended to be. Instead, it was craftily designed with an election in mind, to position Stephen Harper in the political centre, into Liberal territory, allowing his candidates to enter the campaign as moderates, diligently managing the economy out of recession, helping the poor, helping the elderly, helping cities, helping children take art lessons, helping the Calgary Stampede celebrate its centennial. Of course, the document is more pastiche than an economic program. Call it the phony budget.
As David Olive said, it was a budget worth defeating.
To put this in perspective, the Tories rather magically found an extra $3 billion or so in unanticipated revenues with which to buy the support of Jack Layton and keep the Tories in office. Meanwhile, the Tories will forgo $6 billion in the next fiscal year from a further reduction in corporate taxes, already among the lowest in the OECD.

The stiffer prison sentencing sought by Harper – a dubious policy, as sentencing is not a proven deterrent to crime, the rates of which are in any case is falling – will cost an estimated $9 billion in future spending on new and expanded jails. Then there’s the whopping $29 billion cost of buying shiny new F-35 fighter jets from U.S. defence contractor Lockheed Martin Corp., as estimated by parliamentary budget officer Kevin Page. The plane is unsuited to many of the tasks required in Canada, and is a form of corporate welfare – this time to a foreign firm – since that aircraft program wouldn’t be possible unless many nations besides the U.S. placed orders. hat’s $45 billion in total dubious spending, eclipsing the $40-billion deficit the Finance Minister Jim Flaherty yesterday projected in his budget for the next fiscal year.
A $45 billion corporate budget with a mere $3 billion for the rest of us. Who's he trying to kid?

Definitely a Goldman Sachs budget.

Not one I would want to campaign on.

1 comment:

  1. I suspect they plan to be campaigning on headlines, like "NEW EI BENEFITS TO ENCOURAGE EMPLOYERS" and "CONSERVATIVES REACH OUT TO CAREGIVERS," rather than details, like "Cons give pitiful $1000 premium break on EI" or "Family caregivers worth only $300 deduction from their tax bill."

    In short, what they're gambling is that Canadians are too stupid to care for more than the first five seconds of a sound byte.