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.
Stephen Harper, thief.
A general critic of this blog, I have to admit this is a quality post. It really is too bad that such posts are so rare. My sense, (wrongly?/rightly?) is that are unwilling to sustain this kind of analysis... too often (in my opinion) you prefer to engage in attacks on cranially-challenged sophomoric Tory idiots who do warrant attention. That being said, I hope you keep these kind of posts coming, as this kind of 'on-point' focus is sorely missing in the blogosphere.
Oops, meant to say "too often (in my opinion) you prefer to engage in attacks on cranially-challenged sophomoric Tory idiots who do NOT warrant attention" - Sorry- its hard to post from MB NDP convention!
There are plenty of serious bloggers around, writing serious posts. There aren't nearly enough attacking the wingnuts relentlessly for their criminal idiocy.
Not that it matters, one way or the other. The rest of us have known for almost a year that Harper was already running a structural deficit and was lying about it. That, apparently, has only made him more popular.
Since the goal of the far right Conservative movement which is now the government of Canada has been to destroy the country as we know it, I'd say Stephen Harper has succeeded beyond his wildest expectations.
Sorry, I just can't be sophisticated about this. Stephen Harper: shitsack.
Yeah, lucky for us that Harper's an economist.
So am I to assume that spend it harder and faster is no longer the mantra?
What about the artists?
Libs scream, it's a recession, we need more spending to get us out(nothing new here)...and with reluctance the government sides with most of the world players and goes into debt. Get it, this was decided mutually by the main economic powerhouses to go that route, a Lib gov't would have done it as well, and probably spent more...so quit being obtuse.
@syncrodox and prairie dog:
If we hadn't been kneecapped by showboat tax cuts that were both uneccesary and predictably disastrous in the face of a recession that Steve Harper denied was happening, we wouldn't yet be in a deficit position, even WITH the stimulus spending.
A supposed economist managed to take the country from surplus to deficit even BEFORE the recession he claimed was not happening (although every actual, y'know, economist did) and ere the stimulus was ever thought of.
You'll forgive me if I am not persuaded that "a Lib gov't would have done it as well."
They'd have been working from a surplus, for starters.
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