Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Post Budget Rutabagas

Thinking about yesterdays vigorous budget presentation by God's Own Finance Minister:

The pay equity issue is huge for me and others. Unfortunately Michael Ignatieff has not mentioned it. Is this important to the Liberal Party? Please tell me it is. Denying pay equity resolution shows Harper is small minded, parochial and petty. Old news. Harper probably doesn't care that this issue is not going away and justice delayed is more expensive later on.

Flaherty kept pronouncing leverage to rhyme with beaverage not beverage. Drove me nuts. How about we leeeeeverage you into the opposition.

Iris Evans, voted the Alberta Legislature's best dressed MLA, doesn't like the budget but admits she has not examined it in detail. Iris has a vague feeling Alberta is being screwed. I wouldn't worry, this feeling is bred into Alberta PC's DNA. They can't get elected without it. It does play well with the yobs doesn't it. After several rounds of personal and corporate tax cuts, after reducing energy royalties, the Alberta Government now demands the Canadian tax payer throw them a bone. Even after repeated and bizarre accusations the rest of Canada just wants to steal Alberta's money. Truly surreal.

The Mayor of Calgary likes the budget because like all of Alberta, Calgary is 10 years behind on infrastructure. Bronconnier needs Federal money because the Alberta Premier plays games with provincial taxation sharing for merely petty reasons.

The Calgary Chamber of Commerce thinks the budget is OK, but wonders how we're going to get people to spend more money. They never ask the question what money? Also, the human side of our economy is that gratuitous spending and over-consumption on credit is one of the reasons we got here.

A news outlet in Calgary is quoting Jack Mintz as cautiously optimistic of the budget. They identify him as an academic at the University of Calgary, which he is. They failed to mention he was on Flaherty's advisory panel. Bizarre non-disclosure, though its possible they don't know about the panel.

The tax breaks are inconclusive in terms of stimulus. Similarly home renovation credit only target a group of people who a) benefit from a tax credit b) have money to do renovations. Flaherty has no business referring to any economic policy as permanent. Here today, hopefully gone tomorrow.

No mention of child care, elder care, or mental health. Do you think the need for mental health care will go up or down in the next couple of years?

This one thing I remember from eight years of Mulroney and 30 years of Alberta Tories. Infrastructure spending is political influence peddling. I would expect every penny of it to go into Conservative Ridings. Conservative MP's will now fan out to their ridings with those large cardboard cheques.

Many Conservative bloggers and columnists are rejecting the budget as too liberal. Straying off the dogma is rather odd for them so I think there is a story there. Could be they realize that Harper wants power with our without conservative principles intact. Please recommend this post

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