Saturday, August 23, 2008

Deficits and Tumbling Projections, Jim Flaherty Fails Again

Our precious Cons like to beep and squeak with mighty gusts from their hindward breezers about the power and certitude of the free market, solution to all of life's troubles. Anyone who has the will to look, has seen that indeed the market does act swiftly and surely when confronted with economic news, either dire or delighting. When a company exceeds projections there are bonuses and dividends, celebration and a commensurate increase in share value. Conversely, when a company fails to meet projections, loses ground and stumbles, well, that is when the heads roll, stock values tumble and the wolves begin to circle. That is when those that pilot the ship of commerce are vulnerable and likely to be tossed overboard.

Finance Minister Jim Flaherty fell in line with private economists Friday and cut his outlook for economic growth this year.
Mr. Flaherty used his department's monthly fiscal update to announce that the federal government has revised its working estimate for growth to 1.1 per cent from the 1.7 per cent forecast in the February budget.

In the actual free market, a drop of that scale in projections would be a flaming disaster. Flaherty has played at cutting taxes, thus diminishing revenues all as the American and global economies turned sour. Difficult to practice foresight with one's head tucked up the nether tube. That's the trouble with blinkered ideologues like Flaherty. All evidence to the contrary they will do what will not work because they are believers. Faith has never been kind to the foolish. Canada is now likely to record a budgetary deficit for the first time in over ten years. Any self respecting CEO would have tossed the ambulance chasing fool out onto the sidewalk and beaten him with a stapler for screwing the simple shit up, spend less than you bring in.

Mike Harris failed Ontario, a failure in which Jim Flaherty was instrumental. He proved to be a shifty, miniature suckweasel during that ugly reign and now Flaherty has moved onward and upward to suck and to fail on the big stage. Flaherty was among the furthest right of Harris's gang of used car salesmen. He seems right at home among Harper's pack of Canada hating miscreants. Flaherty was behind the scheme to give tax credits to Ontario parents for sending their little Bobbies and Betties to private and religious schools. He was only too happy to undermine his own provincial government's education policies and give the shank to then Ontario  Minister of Education Janet Ecker.

Flaherty is a theocon loon. Among his past clever plans, making homelessness illegal. As Harris's financial wizard, he wanted to privatize the LCBO, one of the province's success stories. Not only are alcohol products highly profitable, the provincial monopoly helps fill the coffers and allows for better enforcement of sales restrictions at the retail level. He couldn't be a true Con if he weren't trying to fix the unbroken. Flaherty is also in bed (so to speak) with the fetus fetishists and is a vocal supporter of anti-choice. As a socon fundie bastard, Flaherty is not a friend of sex but that didn't stop him from boning income trust investors. How is it that a guy this wrong, this often is in one of the most important portfolios in government? It really is okay to be an utterly helpless fuckwit if you're a Con.


Patrick Ross said...

Hmmmmm. Almost interesting. But it seems there's something missing here... what could it be?

Oh yeah. That.

LuLu said...

Of course, this couldn't possibly have anything to do with Big Daddy's magically reappearing surplus, now could it?

Those delusions of adequacy are acting up again, Patsy -- you should see someone about that.

Patrick Ross said...

No, it wouldn't, as that was money that was planned for spending, and now won't be.

If anything, that would impact on projected surpluses or deficits, not on revenue and spending receipts, which is what we're talking about here.

Then again, sucking it up and admitting that Lindsay is humiliatingly wrong would be just a little too honest for you, wouldn't it, Lulu?

How utterly typical of you to always respond in the most implicitly dishonest fashion possible.

Lindsay Stewart said...

"Harper gov't running surplus after small deficit"

"The government earlier reported it was $500 million in the red for the first two months of the year. That turned around in June with a surplus of $1.7 billion, the department's fiscal monitor said."

Well I stand somewhat corrected. Flaherty was in the red and now he's in the black. And while the economy slides and continues to underperform he has abandoned any margin for emergency should things become more dire. Given that Flaherty has thrown up his hands and blamed outside influences for his lacklustre circumstance he can't very well claim to be doing success now can he? He did just reduce his own projections by more than a third.

"John Williamson of the Canadian Taxpayers Federation wasn't buying that argument, saying the Tories have turned out to be profligate spenders.

"The Conservatives continue to claim they will still hit 3.4% in spending growth for the year, but they've proven throughout their term in office that they can't stop themselves from spending," he said."

So Patrick you dishonest, pinhead, where is it that I am so embarrassingly wrong? Flaherty did indeed record a deficit over a period of two months. Despite his own claims to the contrary, he and his party are spending at a rate that exceeds economic growth and they have cut revenue streams. As an Ontario resident, I clearly recall the heaps of bullshit that Flaherty and Harris shoveled out, claiming to be in the black when in actuality, they had sunk us into new debt by the billions and were hiding it in shifty book keeping.

"You're one to talk about fiscal responsibility Mr. Flaherty.

You didn't show it in Ontario when you lied and left the new government with a huge deficit to clean up, and in 2 short years you have burned through what the liberals had built up federally, after cleaning up the despicable mess left by the last conservative government."

"The federal government has started the new fiscal year in a rare deficit position, announcing yesterday it was $517 million in the red after two months as tax cuts and a slowing economy sliced into revenues."

"Few economists" predict the government will actually fall into deficit for the year as a whole, thanks in part to a $4.25-billion windfall from the sale of broadband spectrum to major telecom companies this month."

So all of that financial wizardry that would have seen this nation building debt was saved by a lucky stroke in the cell phone market. All hail Flaherty.

Patrick, how about you go rub your little exclusive somewhere else.

Lindsay Stewart said...

Oh and speaking of fucking dishonesty Patrick you waddling goober, please compare your comment...

"that would impact on projected surpluses or deficits, not on revenue and spending receipts, which is what we're talking about here"

with my title...

"Deficits and Tumbling Projections, Jim Flaherty Fails Again"

you may now return to your regularly scheduled fucking off. Jackass.

Romantic Heretic said...

It really is okay to be an utterly helpless fuckwit if you're a Con.

In a word, yes, it is.

Belief in their world is much more important than competence. God, or the free market, will fix all problems.

And if the problems aren't fixed, who gives a fuck? It won't be the aristocrats that suffer.

Mike said...

As a 40-year-old Ontarian, I'm having a deja vu.

I wonder how big the deficit for July and august will be?

Patrick Ross said...

Hmmmmmmmmmmm, Linsday. So...

Let's move those goalposts, baby... MOVE 'EM!

So suddenly, this isn't about whether or not there's going to be a deficit -- as it stands now, there is no deficit, and there won't be -- but about some of Flaherty's alleged past sins.

You can rant about that to your heart's content, Lindsay. It's not what I'm interested in here.

You posted this particular turd, suggesting that there was going to be a budgetary deficit after it's been revealled that there is no deficit. In fact, there's already a surplus through the first quarter of the fiscal year -- the very quarter of the fiscal year at which revenue receipts tend to be lowest.

And you can barely even admit it -- at least not without trying to make the entire argument about something else entirely.

Which is really my favourite thing about you: no matter how wrong you're proven to be, no matter how dishonest, somehow, in your mind, it always has to be the other person who's stupid and dishonest.

And maybe among your fellow hateful blinkering ideologues that holds water. But to the rest of us -- you know, people who actually use their brains as something other than what we use to keep our skulls from collapsing -- we'll always recognize you for precisely what you are.

Just another hateful demagogue.

Now why don't you go back to accusing conservatives of hating Canada? At least those embarrassing statements don't have to be built around actual facts.

Lindsay Stewart said...

"as it stands now, there is no deficit, and there won't be"

who's projecting now? minus the fortunate timing of the broadband sale little mr. flaherty would be well below the deficit line. but what i find galling is that you of all people should whinge about mobile goal posts. i offered a partial mea culpa because while i was correct, flaherty was running into deficit, he is no longer doing so. but the very fricking title of my post had to do with projections. the body of my post dealt with flaherty's past record. and now you seem to think that i'm pulling a fast one by addressing projections and flaherty's past record.

you have your own special reality patrick and you're welcome to it. for my part, i think i'll put you back in the ignore column. you aren't as clever as wish you were and i see no reason to feed your trolling. have a fucking off kind of day.

Patrick Ross said...

You find it galling that I, of all people, would "accuse you" of moving the goalposts?

Allow me to let you in on a little secret that you apparently just aren't honest enough to admit:

You do it all the fucking time, you pompous little clown.

And here's the ultimately amusing thing: is that once upon a time it looked as if Flaherty might run a deficit. But you dropped this particular turd after it was revealled the federal government is now running a surplus.

Not before, but after.

Thus, you weren't "correct". You were wrong, wrong, wrong. Anyone with a shread of honesty would be embarrassed to be quite this wrong.

Now, you expect us to forget about how amusingly wrong you were about that so you can pontificate on Flaherty's past record.

Nuh-uh, sparky. Not so fucking fast.

Like I said, I'm not here to discuss Flaherty's past record with you. I'm here to discuss your misrepresentation of the country's current budgetary status.

And by the way, Lindsay, you actually are precisely right to note that the revenue from the wireless spectra auction probably had something to do with the current surplus.

Know why?

Becuase that's how you fucking budget, moron. You project your revenues, and plan your spending accordingly.

Just like this government evidently did -- with a cool billion dollars to spare, and billions more still in the pockets of taxpayers.

I know that utterly offends you on a deep ideological level, but them's the breaks, big guy.

Red Tory said...

Doesn't the fact that the revenue from the wireless sale was considerably more than was anticipated (by several billions, in fact) kind of mitigate against the assertion that Flaherty had budgeted for this in his projections?

By the way, I'm not sure if that was accounted for as revenue for for the period in question, so the reversal in fortunes could be attributable to something else altogether. The fact of the matter is, that we don't know.

In any case, no matter how you slice it, Flaherty is cutting things awfully close to running a deficit (even though the government is back in the black in the moment) and it is a "worrisome trend" as Goodale stated back in July, especially in light of the reduced revenue from having cut the GST together with an increase in spending of 8.4% over the same period last year.

Considering Flaherty's past track record of flim-flammery when he was provincial Finance Minister, people are quite justified in being skeptical about his projections and confident assurances that the government won't be returning to a deficit position.

If he avoids a deficit, then good for him! That will be quite an achievement considering the slowdown in the economy the effects of which may not fully have been realized yet. I'm not holding my breath though. A small deficit is the more likely outcome, but even that wouldn't be altogether bad. I just hope he keeps it as low as possible.

Patrick Ross said...

Ah, but therein lies the rub:

That's your opinion, not an objective fact. As an opinion of something that might happen -- a prediction -- it's entirely legitimate.

But to treat it as fact, even after it's known to be counter-factual, is a different matter altogether.

If Lindsay wants to criticize Flaherty's past performance as a provincial finance minister, there's nothing in the world wrong with that. It's his perogative entirely.

But when I catch him trying to weasle out of making an obvious mistake by insisting that, by golly, somehow he's still correct, that's when his proverbial ass becomes mine.

When you mess with the bull, you get the horns, Lindsay. And unlike yourself and your cohorts, I don't have to sink to deepest depths of intellectual cowardice and dishonesty in order to do it.

Lindsay Stewart said...

How very right you are Splatrick, the first thing I think of when I think of you is bull. As for that sinking feeling, no, you don't have to sink deep at all. Now do be a dear and run along. Take a drama pill and go have a nice lie down. I'm sure you'll feel better.

Kristian Klima said...

Flaherty needs to realize that running a deficit is not a bad thing. It's much better option than letting a deficit to run government's finances.

Is it happening already?

"Finance Minister Jim Flaherty said Sunday he could not safely predict that the federal government will stay in the black."