Saturday, January 02, 2010

So how much is this costing us?

Given the recent funding cuts to the ecumenical social justice group KAIROS of all of $7 million over four years and how this was justified in the name of fiscal restraint, it behooves one to ask just how much of the taxpayer's money the Harper government has absolutely wasted. And I do mean wasted, so if anyone has the time and inclination, perhaps an accounting is in order.

Let's start with this latest prorogation. Playing fast and loose with numbers, if one simply uses the figures of 308 MPs * $100,000 salary * 1/6 year, one arrives at a wildly ballpark figure of around $5 million utterly wasted by that many MPs who will spend the next two months sitting on their hands. Naturally, this figure is not necessarily accurate, but it's a starting point. Add to that what was wasted in the previous prorogation and one realizes that one could have funded KAIROS quite comfortably over the next four years with that. But we're just getting started.

As most sane people know, when one prorogues Parliament (and at the risk of over-simplifying), all of the pending bills simply die and have to be restarted. Would anyone like to calculate how much time will have to be re-invested just to get back to where we were before? Surely that is not an insignificant amount. And, again, money simply wasted. But there's more.

Let's consider how much of the taxpayer's purse is going up in smoke due to the Harper government's intransigence in refusing to allow the return of Canadian citizens marooned overseas. Let's start with one Abousfian Abdelrazik. How much Parliamentary time was wasted debating this case, arguing it, litigating it? How much time that could have been spent doing more productive things was blown off due to the ridiculous racism of Stephen Harper and his cronies? Would anyone like to put a dollar value on that? And add to that what Abdelrazik might make in a massively-justified lawsuit, I'm guessing we're talking millions of dollars -- money that simply did not have to be spent. Toss in Suaad Hagi Mohamud and the total goes even higher.

I think you get the idea. For a government that prides itself on its economic smarts and fiscal conservatism, it would be hard to even imagine a more retarded approach to protecting the public purse. Would anyone like to do that accounting? I think it would be awesome to know just how much money these idiots have pissed away for absolutely no reason.

P.S. One is, of course, tempted to add in the cost of an unnecessary election (pro-rated, of course, based on how unnecessarily early it was). Seriously, is there someone who's willing to crunch the numbers? I think it would be depressingly funny to see the results.


sooey said...

The point that needs to be made to Canadians, though, is that the New Conservatives don't care about the financial waste because they don't believe government works, anyway. They are there to destroy all things perceived of as Canadian. That goal forms the basis of the Reform ideology.

Ti-Guy said...

Seriously, is there someone who's willing to crunch the numbers?

No. Even if someone is willing, deciphering government spending (or any corporate spending, for that matter) is a nightmare at the best of times (I was hired as a research assistant in grad school for six months just to find out whether spending for one particular program had increased or decreased in constant dollars over two decades). And now with Herr Harper in charge, someone who won't even allow the parliamentary budget officer to do his job and who's shut down the FOI request process, it's impossible. And that's not even taking into account the fact that the Harpies lie, all the time, about everything. They even lie when they don't really have to.

I generally settle for how well government is living within its means. That the Harpies had racked up a structural deficit before they engaged in debt-financed stimulus spending is proof that they don't know what they're doing. As if we needed any more proof that "Conservatives" are the worst financial managers there are.

Eric said...

Perhaps a ballpark number would suffice. As long as it is backed up with proper reasoning (such as done in this post) then I think you can get to a number that's somewhat close to the exact number.

Don't forget to include savings such as trips to Ottawa not made, lower electricty bill of the Hill etc, no dramatic savings but those will make the final $ number more trustworthy.