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Scott's DiaTribes: Inconvenient comments from Conservatives on Budgets

Inconvenient comment #1:














Inconvenient Comment #2:

Former Conservative Finance Minister – the late Jim Flaherty – ruled out dipping into contingency fund last year to balance the books:

Flaherty told CBC News it would be “imprudent” to do so as the fund has frequently proven necessary. “If you do the arithmetic, we could have had a budget balanced by $100,000,” Flaherty said at the time. “I prefer to have a nice clean surplus.”

Inconvenient Comment #3:

Again from Jim Flaherty: this time rejecting dipping into the (Read more…)

Politics and its Discontents: Less Than Meets The Eye

So much for fiscal prudence. So long credibility.

Those words, written By Scott Clark and Peter DeVries, succinctly summarize the illusions, misdirection and magical thinking that Joe Oliver’s budget is based on.

As the authors point out, six ‘rabbits’ that Oliver pulled out of his hat on Tuesday conceal some disquieting truths: First, the government changed the methodology the Finance Department uses to forecast oil prices. Oliver is now forecasting that oil prices will increase in the coming years, averaging $54 a barrel in 2015, $67 in 2016, $75 in 2017 and $78 a barrel in 2018 and 2019.

(Read more…)

Political Eh-conomy: Budget 2015: A tale of austerity past, present and future

I’ve been banging the drum of “slow-motion austerity” for a while and little in the 2015 federal budget suggests any change from the pattern of death by a thousand cuts. This budget is another is a series of unspectacular austerity budgets. Taken together, however, the cuts rapidly add up and budgets become more remarkable for the tenacity with they’ve made us pay to get to the present.

A long-term view focused on austerity is very different from much of the mainstream coverage of the budget with a tawdry focus on “goodies” for this group or that. While the media should be (Read more…)

Montreal Simon: Stephen Harper’s Totally Disastrous Budget Launch

It was a frightening sight, and for a moment I thought Stephen Harper had finally gone off the deep end.For there he was, on the day when he was supposed to be celebrating the launch of his new budget, screaming at the opposition, waving his arms around wildly, trying to explain why he's trying to bribe the rich.While simultaneously trying to shrug off what Oily Joe Oliver had to say about his granddaughter. Read more »

Montreal Simon: Joe Oliver’s Monstrous Assault on the Future

It is without a doubt one of the most irresponsible statements I have ever heard, and it comes courtesy of the old Con zombie Joe Oliver.Who not content with delivering a smoke and mirrors budget worthy of a Con artist as I pointed out yesterday.A so called balanced budget which is intended only to give them an excuse to try to buy the next election, by bribing some of the wealthiest Canadians.Now says take the money, suck it up, and let future generations pay for it. Read more »

Politics and its Discontents: A Harper Dynasty?

That’s what the leaden-tongued Finance Minister seemed to be suggesting last night in discussing his budget. Either that, or the message was “Screw future generations.”

You decide:

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Montreal Simon: The Harper Regime and the Con Artist Budget

It won't happen of course, not in this corrupted Harperland, where decency goes to die.But if there was any justice, Boss Harper, Oily Joe Oliver, and the rest of the Con mob would be in a police lineup. Preparing to be charged with crimes against democracy and electoral fraud.For conspiring to bribe voters, and trying to con Canadians into believing that what they presented us with yesterday was a budget.When in fact it was nothing more, as John Geddes points out, than a 518-page campaign pamphlet. Read more »

Montreal Simon: Joe Oliver and the Ghastly Cinderella Budget Show

Well let's put it this way, his PMO handlers did their best to turn it into a glamorous photo-op, but it wasn't exactly Cinderella slipping on her dainty glass slipper.And it wasn't pretty.It was just Ol' Joe Oliver, pulling on his new pair of Made in America, New Balance running shoes with Con blue laces. But as bizarre as that spectacle was, it did mark the beginning of Stephen Harper's final push for another bloody majority. Read more »

Montreal Simon: Joe Oliver and the Con Plan to Kill Government

OK. I realize that Joe Oliver doesn't know what's he's doing. And that the budget he will finally deliver tomorrow was written in the PMO.But you'd think the Cons would have stopped promoting his absurd balanced budget bill, which would punish cabinet ministers with a five percent wage freeze if they dared run a deficit.After the NDP pointed out how much it would cost them and their Great Economist Buffoon Leader.

But no, since they are shameless, they're promoting it harder than ever. Read more »

Political Eh-conomy: The Conservatives’ balanced budget legislation: Silly economics, smart politics

I wrote up the Conservatives’ new balanced budget law for Ricochet. In short, the law is really silly in terms of economics, but simply pointing out its economic stupidity is not enough, because the whole point is to shift the political consensus. Politically, it’s not that dumb. So rather than play games about who cut better and balanced budgets faster as many are doing, we need to look at the balance of economic power that drives these moves. The full piece is below:

The Conservative government’s balanced budget legislation is a classic attempt to shift the boundaries of acceptable public (Read more…)

Montreal Simon: The NDP’s Brilliant Response to the Con Clown Joe Oliver

As you know, the thought that the old oil pimp Joe Oliver is Canada's Minister of Finance keeps me awake at night, with my wallet under my mattress.Because I don't think he knows what he's doing, or even what year it is.And his balanced budget proposal couldn't be more absurd. Joe Oliver won't table his next budget for two more weeks, but the federal finance minister announced today that he'll table a second bill this month — one to force future governments to keep their books in the black.Especially this part:Read more »

Babel-on-the-Bay: Legislating Ideology.

It is when you listen to the federal Finance Minister Joe Oliver that you realize what a breath of fresh air the late Finance Minister Jim Flaherty must have been in Mr. Harper’s Cabinet of Inadequate Ideologues. You can also imagine how he would have laughed at Joe Oliver’s suggestion that there be a law passed against deficit budgets. That would be like passing a law that says Canadians cannot have a mortgage or an auto loan.

The ability for a country to borrow is just one of the many strategies available to a finance minister to level out the (Read more…)

Montreal Simon: The BC Oil Spill and the Con Clown James Moore

It couldn't have been a more monstrous or absurd sight.A day after a ship leaked about 3,000 litres of bulk oil into Vancouver's beautiful English Bay, And a few hours after the province's premier and the city's mayor blasted the slow federal response.The monstrous Con beluga James Moore broke through the oily sheen to spout off at his critics. Read more »

Montreal Simon: The Return of Joe Oliver and the Latest Con Scam

Well as you may have heard Joe Oliver went missing from the House of Commons for almost a month. And on the few days when he did turn up, he seemed as Ralph Goodale described him, both "puzzled and muzzled." Staring into space while others read his PMO talking points.And while his aides insisted he was thinking about his long delayed budget, or searching for the surplus he gave away before he had it. Others wondered whether he was having some kind of breakdown.Or as Rick Mercer suggested, just doing nothing…Read more » - Alberta Politics: Prentice re-election budget tough on sinners, easy on corporations

OTTAWA, ONTARIO “If Alberta can deliver a budget, why can this minister of finance not,” Liberal MP Scott Brison asked of Finance Minister Joe Oliver, who was absent from the House of Commons today. Opposition Members of Parliament have been chastizing the Conservatives… Continue Reading →

Cowichan Conversations: Rafe: Joe Oliver says fracking is safe, so it must be

Rafe has seen the light!

Nice to see that Rafe Mair has come to his senses and is now backing the corporate toadies, aka the Harper Cabinet and the light headed Finance Minister Joe Oliver aka ‘Chuckles’.

They are all joyfully promoting LNG and spending our money doing it.

It is a comfort how given enough misinformation and then peering down the barrel of a C51 shotgun focuses the mind.

Is Rafe kidding? Has he really changed sides? Rafe, how could you?

Read his latest missive here in his tell all post from the Common Sense Canadian

. . . → Read More: Cowichan Conversations: Rafe: Joe Oliver says fracking is safe, so it must be

Montreal Simon: The Con Clowns and the Terrorist Menace

Well it was obvious that Stephen Harper and his Con regime would try to portray the video of that deranged Ottawa gunman, as proof that they were right all along.Michael Zehaf-Bibeau wasn't a mentally ill drug addict, a religious fanatic, a lone wolf with delusions or confusions of grandeur.He was a real Jihadi terrorist, or a real ‘mujahadeen.’Read more »

Accidental Deliberations: Sunday Morning Links

This and that for your Sunday reading.

- Doug Saunders observes that Syriza’s strong election victory may signal a sea change as to whether austerity is inevitable, while Adnan Al-Daini notes that the financial sector can no longer take for granted that its profits will be placed above the interests of actual people. Which means that Joe Oliver may get even more lonely lecturing Canada’s provinces that the economic beatings will continue until morale improves.

- Speaking of whom, Canadians for Tax Fairness highlights how Oliver has long known that the Cons’ income splitting plans represent nothing more than a (Read more…)

Montreal Simon: Joe Oliver, Stephen Harper, and the Baloney Cons

As you probably know, I've got a sinking feeling that Oily Joe Oliver is not going to save us from our present economic predicament.Not when he helped create the oily apocalypse. Not when he doesn't know what he's doing. And is not only a bumbling buffoon, but also a ghastly hypocrite. Read more »

Accidental Deliberations: Thursday Morning Links

This and that for your Thursday reading.

- Jim Stanford reminds us that any drama as to whether Canada’s budget will be balanced this year is entirely of the Cons’ own making through pointless tax slashing: Running spending cuts since 2011 now total more than $14-billion a year. Canadians experience real consequences from those cuts every day: shuttered veterans’ offices, deteriorating statistical data, questionable railway and food safety, ridiculous waits for statutory benefits and more. Federal government employment has plunged by 47,000 jobs since 2011 – explaining much of Canada’s lousy job-market performance. These sacrifices were not necessary. Worse yet, (Read more…)

Montreal Simon: Stephen Harper and the Fall of the Oily Messiah

For almost a decade he was able to fool countless Canadians into believing that he was the Oily Messiah.The Great Economist Leader who would lead us to prosperity down the tarry road to Greater Alberta.Even if he left the rest of the country in ruins, and the planet in flames.But yesterday that myth was officially shattered by the Governor of the Bank of Canada. Read more »

Montreal Simon: The Humiliation of Jason Kenney and the Desperation of the Cons

Yesterday I wrote about how Jason Kenney was embarrassed, when he claimed in a CTV interview that the government would use budget cuts to easily balance the budget. But wouldn't touch the rainy day fund set aside for emergencies, like natural disasters. Because you know, the Con regime is a RESPONSIBLE government, Only to have an anonymous Finance Department official say exactly the opposite. They're NOT planning budget cuts, but they ARE thinking of going after the rainy day fund.Which as I pointed out, left Kenney looking like an idiot or a dunce…Read more »

Accidental Deliberations: Monday Morning Links

Miscellaneous material to start your week.

- Paul Rosenberg writes about the high-priced effort to undermine public institutions and the collective good in the U.S. And Paul Krugman highlights how the Republicans’ stubborn belief in the impossibly of good government (regardless of large amounts of evidence that such a thing is possible and desirable) has produced the U.S.’ combination of waste and gridlock: On issues that range from monetary policy to the control of infectious disease, a big chunk of America’s body politic holds views that are completely at odds with, and completely unmovable by, actual experience. (Read more…)

Montreal Simon: Stephen Harper and the Issue that Will Destroy Him

Gosh. What a difference a day makes. Yesterday I wrote about that nightmarish Ipsos Reid poll that suggested that Stephen Harper had risen from his political grave, and was heading for another majority.And I said that I couldn't wait for another poll, to see if the numbers were more encouraging.And whether the sagging economy might take him down with it.And in that regard the news couldn't be better. Read more »

Montreal Simon: Stephen Harper and My Horrible Majority Nightmare

It was a horrible nightmare. There was Stephen Harper in the musty basement of his House of Pain.Chained to a chair by the young fanatics running the PMO, to prevent their beloved master from blowing apart at the seams, under the weight of all that bad economic news.Or stumbling out into the street in the middle of the night, dressed only in his pyjamas, screaming: "I'm STILL a Great Economist Leader. And I'm not CRAZY !!#@!!But then just as I'm thinking oh goody, at least he's restrained. And all that bad news will surely finish him off. (Read more…)