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Defending Public Healthcare: Ontario’s answer to the deficit: 35 years of revenue cuts

In a recent long-term report on the economy, the Ontario government recognized that own-source Ontario government revenue as a percentage of gross domestic product (GDP) has declined over the last fifteen years.  The decline is equal to 2 percentage points of the province’s GDP. That is more than $14 billion.  With that revenue, the deficit would be gone and we would have money to spare.But the government also forecasts that own-source revenue  as a percentage of GDP will continue to decline over the next twenty years as well.   

The plan is to cut Ontario government revenue (Read more…) . . . → Read More: Defending Public Healthcare: Ontario’s answer to the deficit: 35 years of revenue cuts

Defending Public Healthcare: Rising inflation and a shrinking Ontario deficit?

Revenue prospects for this year:  An earlier post looked at poor job creation in Ontario and the impact that might have on obtaining the revenue goals the government has set for this year. Last week’s jobs report for July was  dreadful on a Canada-wide basis.  But the report noted Ontario saw some pick up in July, with 15,100 new jobs. However, the first seven months of 2014 still average only 43,000  more jobs than the first seven months of 2013, less than half the Ontario government’s goal of 100,000 new jobs in 2014.

Increasing inflation driving higher (Read more…) . . . → Read More: Defending Public Healthcare: Rising inflation and a shrinking Ontario deficit?

Defending Public Healthcare: Deficit? Public spending ain’t the cause. Revenue, however…

With the election over, pressure to cut public programs has become quite intense. In almost all of the corporate owned media someone is barking on about it. Another option — increasing revenue from the wealthy is not mentioned.  However, data clearly indicates that Ontario does not have an overspending problem compared to the other provinces. But the data also indicates Ontario has very low revenue   Ontario has the lowest public spending of all the provinces on a per capita basis (see the chart from the 2014 Ontario Budget below).  So there is little reason to suspect that we have (Read more…) . . . → Read More: Defending Public Healthcare: Deficit? Public spending ain’t the cause. Revenue, however…

Pushed to the Left and Loving It: Canada’s New Parliamentary Budget Officer Doesn’t Disappoint – Stephen Harper

After former Parliamentary budget officer Kevin Page locked horns with the Conservatives over their voodoo math, he was replaced by someone whose inexperience would be much easier to manipulate.

Not that Jean-Denis Frechette isn’t a nice man, but as Michael Warren noted of his appointment, in the Star: … the appointment of Jean-Denis Frechette as Page’s replacement should come as no surprise. Frechette, who was plucked from obscurity in the bowels of the Parliamentary Library, lacks almost any relevant experience. His appointment leaves the future of the PBO in doubt.

That’s a shame. From the outset Page showed the courage (Read more…)

The Sir Robert Bond Papers: How do they run things? Budget Lead-Up #nlpoli

Finance minister Charlene Johnson will read the new provincial budget speech on Thursday.

In keeping with the provincial Conservative tradition, though, they’ve been announcing bits and pieces of the budget already.  On Monday, for example, justice minister Darin King announced that the new budget would contain money for 20 new sheriff’s officer to provide court security and new lawyers and staff for the legal aid division. 

Both news releases specifically indicated that the money was from Budget 2014, that is, money that isn’t supposed to be announced until Thursday.  Reporters asked King if the finance minister would have money for these announcements.

(Read more…)

Writings of J. Todd Ring: The rise of Bitcoin: and the challenge to the global domination of big money

The following article was written on October 25. I wanted to read it over once more before publishing it, then got busy with other things and forgot about it. In the roughly six weeks that have passed since the writing of this article, the Bitcoin prices have gone from roughly $200 to over $700. There […]

Writings of J. Todd Ring: US government shutdown, and other fairy tales and political theatre

I’m not sure what to make of the hoopla going on in the US right now. I’m inclined to think it’s all just political theatre, as Gerald Celente calls it, designed to distract the people from the real issues – the central one being, who controls the government and the nation? Wall Street, the big […]

Progressive Proselytizing: Obama tries to regain the narrative on the Sequester

When Obama decided to give back 5% of his salary to the Treasury, he made a political move not done since Herbert Hoover. In so doing, he undoubtedly aims to reclaim the momentum and the narrative on the Sequester that has been lost over the last month.Before the Sequester was implemented, public opinion was largely on Obama’s side with enormous attention being given to the threat. Now that it is in place, however, that attention has waned, and there is little public pressure being put on either party to end the Sequester as soon as possible; Obama’s poll numbers have sharply . . . → Read More: Progressive Proselytizing: Obama tries to regain the narrative on the Sequester

The Canadian Progressive: Federal Budget 2013 Must Focus on Job Creation, Not Cutbacks, CAW Says

By: Canadian Auto Workers Union | Press Release TORONTO – The CAW is calling on federal Finance Minister Jim Flaherty to focus on job creation, not more spending cutbacks in his 2013 budget, to be unveiled tomorrow. “Canada’s public debt is small, relative to past history and to the debt problems faced in other [...]

The post Federal Budget 2013 Must Focus on Job Creation, Not Cutbacks, CAW Says appeared first on The Canadian Progressive.

The Canadian Progressive: Ontario’s 2012 austerity measures causing an economic slowdown: Report

Press Release | Posted Mar 18, 2013 Ontario’s experiment with austerity in 2012 is contributing to an economic slowdown that demands a different course of action in 2013, says a new report by the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives’ Ontario office (CCPA-Ontario). The report, by CCPA-Ontario Director Trish Hennessy and CAW economist Jim [...]

The Canadian Progressive: 2013 Alternative Fed Budget: Water crisis needs long-term plan, not cuts

By: Council of Canadians (Press Release) With the next federal budget fast approaching, the 2013 Alternative Federal Budget (AFB), Doing Better Together, released today, warns that the “Harper government’s cuts to the Experimental Lakes Area (ELA) and other critical environmental programs will hinder the ability to develop freshwater policies and respond to threats to [...]

The Scott Ross: How A Bad Economy Is Not Harper’s Fault

Canada’s economy is set to grow less than the government thought, but it’s not our Prime Minister’s fault.

True under Stephen Harper the World Bank has downgraded Canada from being the 4th most Business Friendly country in 2006 to 17th in 2013, but, as most Conservatives know, businesses have nothing to do with the Canadian economy.

Yes, Stephen Harper was Prime Minister when the World Economic Forum said Canada is becoming less competitive, dropping in global ranking from 9th place in 2009 to 14th place in 2013, but our government can’t be responsible for federal regulations,

. . . → Read More: The Scott Ross: How A Bad Economy Is Not Harper’s Fault

Song of the Watermelon: Some Thoughts on the BC Budget

Five months ago, I predicted that the Liberal government of British Columbia would fail in its effort to balance the 2013 budget. Notwithstanding this week’s boastful headlines to the contrary, the jury is still out.

I will not assert, as many others have done, that the surplus is purely fictional, but rather that, for the time being, we just don’t know. So many variables are at play, and the projected surplus is so razor-thin — $197 million in a $44 billion operational budget — that we will have to wait until well after the May election before we can be (Read more…)

The Sir Robert Bond Papers: If the next two years are bad… #nlpoli

No surprise that on the day after natural resources minister Jerome Kennedy talked about looming deficits of pre-1934 proportions that the ruling Conservatives did two things.

First, backbencher Paul Lane reinterpreted Kennedy’s comments on VOCM Open Line with Randy Simms.  There will only be big deficits, says Lane, if we don’t do anything about it. 

Second, Jerome Kennedy didn’t tell the people at his first pre-budget “consultation” anything of what he planned to do over the next few years. 

. . . → Read More: The Sir Robert Bond Papers: If the next two years are bad… #nlpoli

Defending Public Healthcare: Attack on free collective bargaining political, not fiscal

In December, it was predicted that outgoing finance minister Dwight Duncan would   reduce his deficit forecast just before his departure (for Bay Street).  Duncan had somehow estimated in his fall economic statement that the 2012-3 deficit would be  $14.4 billion, i.e. higher than the 2011-12 deficit  – and even higher than the 2010-11 deficit!

Sure enough, Duncan lopped another $2.5 billion off the deficit in January.

In 2010, the McGuinty / Duncan government started its campaign for a wage freeze in the provincial public sector, citing the state of the public books.  At that time they had estimated

. . . → Read More: Defending Public Healthcare: Attack on free collective bargaining political, not fiscal

The Scott Ross: If A Fiscal Cliff Kills, Canada Should Tax Death

“In this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes.” – Benjamin Franklin

The fiscal cliff in the United States did not just endanger its own country’s economy but the world’s, including Canada’s heavily dependent one. But in the American problem lies, at least partially, a Canadian solution: an estate tax.

The inability for Democrats and Republicans to prevent the fiscal cliff and the current uncertainty relating to the world’s largest economy is threatening the fledgling global recovery.

Canada, a country whose economy is always extremely vulnerable to external crises, is now only more so.

. . . → Read More: The Scott Ross: If A Fiscal Cliff Kills, Canada Should Tax Death

The Scott Ross: Canadian National Debt Growing Faster Than GDP

Canada’s debt is growing faster than our ability to pay for it. Since 2008 Canadian public debt has been growing faster than our GDP. Though there are many warning signs of economic trouble, there is no clearer caution of a potential crisis than when… . . . → Read More: The Scott Ross: Canadian National Debt Growing Faster Than GDP

The Scott Ross: Conservative Fiscal Deficits & Ignorant Surpluses

Though many would say that fiscal deficits from this Conservative government are the most worrying, their lack of economic knowledge is far more dangerous. Before showing the economic ignorance of Conservative MP Pierre Poilievre a quick introduction… . . . → Read More: The Scott Ross: Conservative Fiscal Deficits & Ignorant Surpluses

The Scott Ross: Now Americans Need To Follow Republican Lead

Voters showed the Republican Party doesn’t represent America, but in losing the election and now facing hard choices, for America’s sake, perhaps Republicans should. For today, after losing the Presidency, again, and additional senate seats, Republica… . . . → Read More: The Scott Ross: Now Americans Need To Follow Republican Lead

The Scott Ross: Conservatives Can’t Avoid Social Responsibility

There is no stronger conservative principle than personal responsibility, however this Conservative government has shown that when people are only responsible to themselves, social well-being suffers, eventually including the well-being of Conservatives.

This apparent contradiction is obvious in that though Conservatives believe in personal responsibility, they also claim the largest government deficits in Canadian history are not their fault, but the world’s.

Ignoring that this government has been in office for years, that it has cut billions of dollars in taxes which in turn were solely responsible for deficits in some years, this government has continued to spend beyond its

. . . → Read More: The Scott Ross: Conservatives Can’t Avoid Social Responsibility

The Scott Ross: Liberals, No One Forgets The Common Refrain

You don’t spread a message by only saying it once.

This Conservative government has created Canada’s largest deficits, the largest government and has spent more money than any other Canadian government before it.

On the most important things people don’t just speak up and than sit back down smug that they changed the world. No, when the Canadian economy is stagnating, when our productivity is in decline, when our own government is projecting to be in the red for years to come, after standing up, you don’t sit down, and you certainly don’t stop speaking.

This Conservative government has created

. . . → Read More: The Scott Ross: Liberals, No One Forgets The Common Refrain

Song of the Watermelon: The Folly of Balanced Budget Laws in BC

The news is out. Due to declining natural gas prices, the BC Liberal government is projecting a budget deficit of $1.14 billion this year — $173 million more than expected. And while the government still insists that it plans on finding enough savings to balance next year’s (election year) budget, I think it’s a safe bet to predict it will fail in that endeavour too. A 2013 deficit means it will have to amend its own balanced budget law a third time since 2009 — a pattern we are achingly familiar with here in British Columbia.

A little history.

. . . → Read More: Song of the Watermelon: The Folly of Balanced Budget Laws in BC

The Scott Ross: How Reducing The GST Increased Your Debt

With declining productivity, higher unemployment, and deficit after deficit, it should be obvious the Canadian government would do anything to strengthen the economy, however it is not so obvious what that same government has done to weaken it.

In a 2008 report it was predicted that the Conservative government in lowering the GST from 7% to 5% would increase the indebtedness of Canadians. Last week the repercussions of that decision six years ago became clearer; Moody’s warned that growing household debt could tip the Canadian economy back into recession.

Shortly after the federal government reduced the Goods and Services Tax

. . . → Read More: The Scott Ross: How Reducing The GST Increased Your Debt

An individual with opinions.: Underlooked Stephen Harper quotes P7: Stephen Harper likes Paul Martin and his onslaught and slashing of the public sector.

I’ve decided to add another part to my underlooked Harper series upon reflection with new information in mind. All of the Stephen Harper quotes, unless otherwise noted, are dug up from the leaked Harper database of controversial quotes. I’m covering them because these haven’t gotten the media or blogger attention I believe they deserve. You can (and should) read part one, two, three, four, five and six here.

“Whether I agree with what he’s doing or not, Paul Martin is obviously in the top of his area,” Harper says. “He has good support within his party, (Read more…)

An individual with opinions.: Canadian mythology: Bob Rae, NDP and socialists to blame for Ontario’s deficit.

One of Canada’s enduring mythologies is that during the NDP reign in Ontario from 1990 to 1995 a whole plethora of woe was inflicted as the result of Bob Rae and his mismanagement. Most people point to the fact that during that time the deficit of Ontario increased quite a bit – this is true.

A common article for the Toronto Sun outlines this: Rae tripled Ontario’s deficit to $9.7 billion and raised taxes in his first budget in 1991, saying he was proud to fight the recession rather than the deficit.

 But, to be fair, Rae was facing (Read more…)