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.
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