Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Budget madness

I'm still trying to process the federal budget. On the small scale, it doesn't seem to impact either myself or Cathy all that much. There appears to be a tax break in there for us, maybe. However, this really isn't a budget designed to significantly impact people in our position. We're both employed (well, I am until July when my contract expires, then we see) and we're both compensated well for our jobs. Even if my contract isn't renewed, we'll still be fine. We just have to tighten the belts a bit, which is doable.

This is more a budget for people who are fucked or who are feeling on the edge of religious terror because it looks like they're about to be well and truly fucked by the current economy. As for how good the budget looks to the, that is on a much larger, broader scope, so I do not know yet. This is big issue stuff. Most economists are talking out of their ass when they comment on the effectiveness of budgets like this; a humble blogger in the arctic with no economics background is in over his head and there are sharks swimming nearby.

Does part of me wince at seeing massive deficits again? Yes. One of the things I've enjoyed a lot over the past decade and more is the notion that we, as a country, got our spending back in shape. I like social programs and helping people who need a hand. I like supporting the arts, building infrastructure and all of those things. But I believe you live within your means when at all possible.

And to quote the old cliche, you make hay when the sun in shining. When the economy was doing well, it was good to run up surpluses and pay some money down on the debt. However, we're back in the rain, and this is what happens during those times. Big deficits.

If I have a problem, it's that I don't really trust Harper and the Conservatives to pull this off. Spending this much money, supporting arts programs and extending EI is hurting some serious mental muscles with this crowd. I just don't know if they can pull this off in the long run. I'm not saying more money needs to be spent, or more tax cuts or anything like that. I just don't know if the intelligence, creativity and willingness to take some big risks a government needs to have in times likes these exists in our current government.

Oh, and because I can't let a post about the budget pass without commenting on the Newfoundland political reaction. Danny, shut the fuck up already. God, in a long history of whinny premiers who blame Ottawa for everything and never accept responsibility for their own short-comings as a leader, Williams surely must take the crown.

Last Five
1. Good morning, good morning - The Beatles
2. I still haven't found what I'm looking for (live) - U2
3. Song with Rose - Elivs Costello and The Imposters
4. Hawmoon 269 - U2
5. Brimful of ashes - Fatboy Slim

5 comments:

KOTN said...

The thing that gets me is that our lack of defecit is one of the things that protected us from the worst of the economic collapse. Aren't we just setting ourselves up for that?

The Perfect Storm said...

I am greatly enjoying this budget. It is entertaining to see how each of the political leaders twists into pretzels to stake out their ground for the upcoming non-confidence vote.

I think I agree with the pundits that Iggy will pull the trigger in the fall, declaring that the government screwed up implementation and has had enough chance to hang itself. By then he will have polished his Trudeau impression sufficiently to take it out on the road.

On the other side of the ledger, the Conservatives I think will be counting on the Conference Board's opinion that ours will be a brief (albeit nasty) recession compared to the rest of the world, and after 2009 it will be only a memory. With a lifeline to the fall they will be in a position to declare they've saved Confederation and should be awarded their long coveted majority status.

Nothing pleases me more however than to see lamentable Jack Layton crying into his milk over the dream that would take him to illegitimate power. Gotta love a Toronto NDPer hoping to put one over on the RoC.

Iggy of course wishes Duceppe would find a new line of work and release his grip on the Liberals natural governing constituency in Quebec.

The four horsemen may be mounting up however. Our beloved Dalton is saying Ontario is "almost" being treated "fairly". I don't ever remember seeing so much distance between him and his beloved "poor Ontario" hobby horse. I see large tax hikes in my future to "take up" the meager cuts the feds will leave on the table.

Regards,
etc.

fopers o'grady said...

Crown?

Halo, surely.

precov said...

Danny needs to hear SHUT THE FUCK UP ALREADY more often.

Sure, he'll ignore it the first few hundred thousand times. Eventually the message might sink in though.

The Perfect Storm said...

What are folks' opinions on poor 'ol Bob Rae?

Do you think he must be thinking about right now "why me? why now? how the HELL did this manage to leave me so far behind?!" (not that he doesn't deserve it - the damage he did to Ontario can still be felt).

Between him, Dalton, and Danny, I think we have Canada's court jesters. Great entertainment for politicos.

Regards,
etc.