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Parallel universes.

Another American bank fails in the US:

Washington Mutual, the giant lender that came to symbolize the excesses of the mortgage boom, was seized by federal regulators on Thursday night in the largest bank failure in American history.

So another bank fails and gets nationalized by the US government, on top of what’s gone on down there already.  Since all of these failures that have occurred, Barack Obama’s fortunes have risen and John McCain’s stock has fallen. In addition, polls have shown the American public blames the Republicans for this economic mess, and believe Obama and Democrats in general would be better at managing the economy.

Meanwhile in Canada, we have a Conservative Government that has managed to squander a 12 billion $ surplus down to almost nothing in less then 3 years, with warning signs that our own economy is going to get worse, and yet not only does Harper make the astounding claim only he and his Conservative party are the only ones that can be good economic stewards on the impending economic crisis,  the Canadian public is somehow buying that line, if you read polling on the issue.

In my opinion, the counter-message to Harper’s claims on the economy on this isn’t being sent out enough or properly. The one Liberal ad going after Harper on the economy is a good start, but in my opinion, we need a lot more of those.

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12 comments to Parallel universes.

  • Ted

    http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=9C0DE7DB153EF933A0575AC0A96F958260

    A 1999 New York Times article that is very revealing concerning fannie and freddie

  • kwittet

    The reason why canadians right now trust harper more than dion is that not long ago dion stated that the green shaft was a work in progress. so that statement to me says that he is not sure…so who do you trust? Any i know that you looney libs seem to think that big goverments control economies but in a free market like ours we the consumers control it. if there is good wages and left over cash we buy things and that keeps the economy going. i know you loonies like to blame harper for the current economic woes we now face and i’m sure it will get worse but get real. they have very little control over it.

    QUOTE!!
    Most Canadians win big under the Shift and it puts them to work doing useful things like renovating homes. The CEC panel which was set up as part of NAFTA to look at trilateral trade issues says that up to 70% of the energy used in homes can be saved and that it’s the “low hanging fruit” of energy savings.

    obviously you didnt read my post a few weeks ago where i stated my “income tax break” was about 66 dollars. I notice in the green shift website it says NOTHING….NOTHING about how much carbon tax is going to be added onto things like ELECTRICITY…GASOLINE…DIESEL…HOME HEATING OIL…NATURAL GAS….

    so… i use 4 of the 5…if my meager savings in income tax gets taken over by the increases in all of the above..and dont kid yourselves..i am in the trucking industry…and the companies are already saying that they will pass this cost increase along..so now EVERYTHING…EVERYTHING we purchase comes by truck…are you so thick you cant figure that out that the cost of everything is going to INCREASE?
    Right now jobs are disappearing and we are on an economic downturn. do we really need a small token income tax decrease under dion so the cost of all
    products we use every day is going to increase?? I HOPE NOT!!

  • paul

    Canadians trust the Conservatives more than the Liberals for a few good reasons. One of the biggest is that the Liberals can’t even manage their own party finances. The Conservatives can.

    I’m not making this up and
    it is fair!

  • http://www.ctv.ca/servlet/ArticleNews/story/CTVNews/20080926/ottawa_surplus_080926/20080926?hub=Canada

    “Still, the year-to-date surplus pales compared to last year at this time when Ottawa was $6.7 billion in the black and on its way to a $10 billion surplus for the entire fiscal year.”

    If this ends up being true, do you promise to eat your foot?

  • Craig Hubley

    It’s ’squandering the surplus’ if the tax cuts do nothing to encourage saving, investment and wise longer term spending.

    GST cuts encouraged wasteful spending. A retail tax cut that could have perhaps encouraged wiser longer term spending was a more-than-token discount on energy efficient appliances, vehicles and homes.

    Yes “we know when money is going into our pockets or not”, income tax credits are pretty obvious clear accounting on the bottom line. Trying to suppress that side of The Green Shift shows the Conservatives’ deep weakness. If their voters knew about the income tax cuts they would be sure to shift sides, but the wall of lies is to keep them from finding out about the income tax cuts.

    Most Conservatives want income tax cuts more than big oil subsidies and massive military spending to get us into more global conflicts and big jails to keep more potheads in public food and housing.

    The spending that makes sense under The Green Shift is to invest in efficiency so someone else pays the carbon tax not you. The size of the income tax credit is big enough to cut anyone’s household energy bill by thirty to fifty percent – unless they’ve already done all they can do (insulation, home control, appliances made in this millenium) in which case the income tax cut grossly outweights the carbon tax. The math is very simple.

    Most Canadians win big under the Shift and it puts them to work doing useful things like renovating homes. The CEC panel which was set up as part of NAFTA to look at trilateral trade issues says that up to 70% of the energy used in homes can be saved and that it’s the “low hanging fruit” of energy savings.

    The astonishing thing about the bailouts is that no one has mentioned actually making the housing stock affordable to operate by hiring people to improve its efficiency. Fundamental value is ignored in favour of absurd arguments about the confidence of confidence men.

  • I’ll retract what I wrote above. According to sources I’ve read since, “some” of WaMu’s assets were sold and the government is now “operating” the bank. That would be nationalization.

  • Frunger

    The reason voters still see Harper as the best to handle the economy is that they don’t agree with your characterization of ‘squandering the surplus’ Everyone knows the surplus is largely gone due to tax cuts, and not foolishly spending.

    ‘Squandering a surplus’ would be blowing it all on spending that ends up in the hands of a relatively small group of special interests. As stupid as Lizzie May thinks Canadians are, we know when money is going into our pockets or not. We REALLY notice when it gets taken out. We can feel the Liberal’s knuckles rub against our ass.

  • ALW

    Mike,

    What? Spending went up? That must be news to the entire Liberal blogosphere, who have been painting Harper as a slash-and-burn ideologue who’s been gutting social spending to finance tax cuts to his friends(!) on Bay St.

    Do you suppose that the Liberal and NDP’s penchant for fiscal prudence and deficit avoidance would hold up if the economy really took a spill? Really?

    And iIf you want me to pretend I’m thrilled with spending going up the way it has under Harper, fat chance. But I’m merely pointing out that Harper’s critic’s can’t have it both ways, accusing him of both being a spendthrift and also a tightwad. The argument that Harper has somehow squandered an obvious opportunity to inoculate Canada from an American economic meltdown is totally ridiculous.

  • “If the answer is “spend it in a different way”, wouldn’t that just have increased total expenditures, which, should the economy turn and revenues fall, ultimately lead to deficit or necessitate cuts?”

    Aaron, that’s EXACTLY what Harper did. He DID increase total expenditures. Under the Conservatives, not only were taxes cut this year (because in the first year, I paid for the GST cut with an increase in income taxes), but program spending is up something like 8.4% over the previous year which (if memory serves) was up 7% over the previous year where a Liberal minority beholden to the NDP for its survival increased spending by 9.9%.

    So Harper has increased program spending while cutting taxes. And it was Harper that was in deficit this spring, only to be saved by high oil prices (=more tax revenue) and an unexpected winfall in the spectrum auction.

    You want to know why we are having an election now? Because Harper and Deficit Jim Flaherty know that when the economy slows down and bottoms out, we will be in deficit again by January.

    Please, don’t try to sell the “fiscal conservative” nonsense – Harper has increased program spending just like the Liberals.

  • I don’t think it’s correct to say that WaMu was nationalized. Its deposits and branches have been sold to JPMorgan Chase & Co. at fire sale prices.

  • ALW

    A serious question: if Harper “squandered” the surplus by using it on tax relief, what would have been the appropriate way to use it in preparation for the coming economic storm?

    *If the answer is “spend it in a different way”, wouldn’t that just have increased total expenditures, which, should the economy turn and revenues fall, ultimately lead to deficit or necessitate cuts?

    I ask because everyone speaks as if something could be “done” to inoculate ourselves from the US economic crisis. I would love to hear precisely what, within the last year or two, that might be.

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