How can this be?
OTTAWA–Canada's long string of budget surpluses – a trend that has made Canadian leaders the envy of other industrialized nations during the global recession – came to an end on Friday.
With little fanfare, the Harper government announced that last year it recorded the first annual budget deficit – $5.8 billion – in more than a decade.
The 2008-09 shortfall is minuscule compared with the budget deficit forecast for the current fiscal year, which the government now says will hit $55.9 billion.
But the final numbers for last year are still significant because it's the first time Ottawa has been in the red on its annual budget since then-finance minister Paul Martin put an end to a series of yearly deficits by balancing the books in 1997.
And here's the fun part, where we find Stephen the Corrupt peeing all over Government of Canada websites and marking his territory:
On October 30, 2007, the Harper Government introduced $65 billion in permanent tax reductions, specifically designed to bolster Canada's economy for uncertain times.
These tax reductions took effect just at the moment they were most needed, when the U.S. entered recession in early 2008.
So ... how are those tax cuts working out for you, Steve? Oh:
Prime Minister Stephen Harper's government inherited a $13.2 billion surplus when it came to power in 2006.
But by last year, a combination of tax cuts and increased spending had left the fiscal cupboard nearly bare...
The Annual Financial Report identified falling corporate tax revenues as a major contributor to Ottawa's financial woes. As a result of corporate tax cuts and the recession's negative impact on business profits, corporate tax revenues last year nose-dived by $11.2 billion – or 27.4 per cent.
Another factor in the deficit was the one-percentage-point reduction in the Goods and Services Tax that came into effect Jan. 1, 2008, which contributed to a 14-per-cent drop in GST receipts last year.
Yeah, that didn't quite work out, did it, Steve? I'm sure it's all the Liberals' fault. It always is.
Stephen Harper: Idiot.