Thursday, July 09, 2015
Stephen Harper and the Disappearing Budget Surplus
Well he's still out there with his trusty sidekick the rhinestone Cowboy Jason Kenney, trying to put a brave face on the situation.
Still serving pancakes to the faithful, and judging from this photo, no doubt scoffing back a few of them himself.
But it's clear that the stress is getting to him. For it seems that every day brings more bad news, and yesterday was no exception.
Starting with two new polls.
For while this one by Abacus shows that it's still a tight race.
Our latest horserace “who would you vote for tomorrow” question has the NDP, at 32% followed by the Conservatives at 29 and the Liberals at 27%. Since February, the NDP have picked up 11 points while the Liberals have lost 7 and the Conservatives have shed 6.
Harper's Cons are still trending downwards, and approaching their lowest level of support since the Second World War.
While the NDP is still climbing, and to make matters worse stealing some of their voters.
The NDP is currently competitive among segments of the population where they have lagged in the past, including among men, older voters, and homeowners.
And this new Nanos poll is more bad news.
The NDP is seen as the party that offers the best-defined alternative to the Conservative government before an election in which Canadians will be asked to choose between political stability and renewal, a Globe and Mail/Nanos Research poll has found.
Fifty-two per cent of respondents said the NDP “represents the clearest change from the current Stephen Harper government.” The Liberal Party was far behind at 19 per cent, with the Green Party at 10 per cent.
Not just because at a time when the desire for change is so strong Mulcair now has the wind in his sails. But also because the more progressives flock to one candidate the less the chance they will split the vote.
And as for wearing the word MR STABILITY on his back, Harper can forget about that, now that the economy is either in, or teetering on the verge of a recession.
And he's teetering on the verge of being called MR DEFICIT.
For while as I pointed out yesterday, him and his hapless stooge Joe Oliver are still claiming that they did balance the budget, and will still deliver a surplus...
Their own budget documents make them look like fools or Con artists.
Joe Oliver insists that Canada’s economic downturn (just try to get him to say “recession”) hasn’t derailed his plans for a budget surplus this fiscal year. His own budget suggests otherwise.
The budget’s financial calculations were based on the average private-sector forecast of 2-per-cent growth in gross domestic product. With GDP having declined in the first quarter, and a growing number of private-sector economists now saying it probably shrank again in the second quarter, the economy will have to do more than simply reverse that in the second half of the year to meet that budget assumption. It will have to be positively booming – something in the order of a 4-per-cent annualized pace.
The phrase “fat chance” comes to mind.
Make their shiny budget surplus look more like a mirage...
What would growth a full percentage point below the budget assumption do to Ottawa’s finances? Well, conveniently, the budget documents tell us that, too. In a section outlining the “sensitivities” of the budget estimates to changes in key underlying economic conditions, the government estimated that a one-percentage-point drop in real GDP growth would translate to a $4.1-billion hit to the budget.
That would eat up not only the $1.4-billion projected surplus but also the $1-billion set aside for “contingencies,” with room to spare. Unless the second half of the year is much better than almost anyone expects, the government’s own calculations suggest that this surplus is well on its way to becoming a deficit.
And of course make Harper and Oliver look like idiots...
Or dangerously incompetent buffoons.
Who as Michael Harris helpfully suggests, should hire a comedian to write their speeches.
Oh boy. Isn't it nice to know with the election now only 100 days away, that Stephen Harper must be desperate?
Staring into the mirror of his future.
And not liking what he's seeing or hearing....
You know when so many Canadians hate Stephen Harper and his foul regime, it's bad enough.
But when they start laughing at them, while clutching their wallets.
You know it's almost over...
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