Friday, September 28, 2007

Harper's Deficit

Federal Finance Minister Jim Flaherty seems so pleased to announce his government has amassed another monster budgetary surplus.

He's like a CEO bragging about corporate profits.

But, of course, government surpluses are not like profits.

A surplus means the government is taking in so much of our money that even our bureaucrats and politicians, despite their best efforts, can't spend it all.

Now a truly conservative government would take all that extra money and give it back to the taxpayers in the form of tax cuts.

Yet that probably won't happen.

More likely Prime Minister Harper will take most of that surplus loot and use it to buy votes in places like Quebec.

Which just goes to show the Harper government actually does have a deficit when it comes to principle.


Matt said...

More likely Prime Minister Harper will take most of that surplus loot and use it to buy votes in places like Quebec.

Not that I'm about to defend the '07 budget, but since almost all of the surplus is being put towards the national debt I can't really find any reason to criticize that. However, the fact that we have a second annual monstrous "surplus" under a Conservative government is a great reason to criticize if we don't get widespread tax cuts and future budgets with minimal surpluses.

Anonymous said...

You are so wrong. I hate debt, so much so that I would do anything to pay it off, even if it means going with out for years.

What you are suggesting is much like a man who owes thousands on his charge card but still can't resist buying that extra special something he has wanted for some time. So, he makes his minimum payment each month but still continues to buy over and above his monthly payment.

Where's the sense in that?

Let's pay off the debt first then make the cuts to income tax. If I had my druthers, I would say, cut all needless spending and put $100 million against the debt each year before we add any more Liberal-like, stupid programs like gun registratiom, status of women and even home-town financed Festivals.
If they can't make it on their own, don't have them!!

Anonymous said...

I contend that the 1.4 billion saved in interest accumulated over a 3 year period , with even more pay down on the debt could bring a sustained 4 billion dollar tax relief program , that will even grow as we pay down the debt.

It's a good long term strategy , and doable.

Timothy Coderre

Eric said...

While I agree that large surpluses are a sign of over-taxation, isn't it prudent, indeed 'conservative', to pay down the national debt during times of plenty?

It seems to me that Harper's plan gives the best of both worlds. On one hand, we're getting nearly $1 billion in tax cuts and on the other we're paying down out debt by $14 billion.

If we were to funnel all $14 billion into tax cuts what would happen if the economy takes a downturn (as it is projected to)? The government would have to raise taxes or go into a deficit (and increase the national debt).

I'm not saying that Harper is perfect with regards to his conservative principles. But lets be frank, do you really expect Dion or Layton to adhere to any form of conservatism?

Anonymous said...

Didn't they already announce that it is being used for debt repayment?

Anonymous said...

When this was discussed on The National last night a statement was made that the CPC were no great heroes in putting it towards the debt because this was accepting accounting practice and is what should happen, made it sound like they had to do it. Any truth to this?

As far a paying the national debt down, I am all for it. Yes, I agree they overtaxed us, that's clear. I am not an economist but if we just continue to pay the interest instead of paying it down when we can isn't that a bad thing? Should we just leave the debt in place?

Maybe next year we can over tax ourselves to the tune of 467 billion and pay off the whole thing at once - I'm kidding.

Anonymous said...

I believe that Harper's putting it all to pay down the debt and, thanks to a law passed recently, the debt servicing (intrest payment) savings are passed on as tax cuts.

Also, I believe that this is the surplus from their first budget. I would expect something as large as the Canadian budget would need a tweak or two along the road before it becomes perfect.

Anonymous said...

Yes, very interesting that the Conservatives have just found an extra $14 billion of taxpayers' money lying about in Ottawa -- must have been all the intake on those income trusts.

One would hope that this would either go to paying down the national debt or tax refunds to the people who were over-taxed.

This might be a true test of principle for Harper's government, but as you do, I also suspect it will be belly-up-to-the-trough, boys, it's feeding time or as they say in Quebec...

zolton said...

I think there are more pressing matters the "tax cuts". What the 1% drop in GST isn't enough for you? LoL
Oh that happened at the same time our income tax went up!
And how about Harpers promise not to tax mutual funds!
He took 8 billion dollars of individual Canadians money and gave that power directly to corporatism's!
That 1% drop in GST means 15-30 dollars for you me but that 1% drop means what billions for Walmart!
The enviroment child poverty health care and homelessness initiatives I think should take priority!
I think Harper has shown his true stripes and they are red white and blue!

Robert McClelland said...

Now a truly conservative government would take all that extra money and give it back to the taxpayers in the form of tax cuts.

What part of it's required by law once the books are closed on the fiscal year that all surpluses be used to pay down the debt don't you understand?

And if you feel that these surpluses should be given back then why didn't you support Goodale's Surplus Allocation Act back in `05?

Anonymous said...

The debt charges may have many borrowers being owed in U.S. funds and the now above par dollar helps pay-off annually in American dollars .
The Liberals allowed the Lumber dispute to eat up about $2.5 Billion in losses from the held money that is now paid back as U.S. dollars at par rather than the $1.30+ average that went into the accounts , even pensioners have more buying power in Florida and Arizona when retiring but they still whine about the loss in Income-trusts .

Riddle me this Grand Pa , do you want the 40% loss on the exchange rate or the Trust-fund loss of 20%+ depending on the portfolio .

Typical canadians , they want the par dollar for vacations in Florida and the Trust profits while demanding a broad based health care system to cover everything after they spent money to help the US Economy.

Reminds me of the Unions that embrace Tourism with Cuba while boycotting Israel that never jailed Citizens for having Aids or being gay.

Unknown said...

Look, paying down the debt isn't something conservatives need to be freaking out over, but if paying down the debt is important enough to have tax dollars going into it, why not be honest about it and build it into the budget, rather than acting like heroes for setting low expectations?

When there's continuing over taxation on this scale, at the very least Harper/Flaherty could put the Liberal tax cut they reversed back in place.

zolton said...

If you guys get soo upset over some taxes! You must be irate over being overcharged on almost everything by the private industry since our dollar hit parity.
But how come no blind anger and fear directed towards that menace?
It either hasn't been systematized or you ignore the unfair charging to individual Canadians?