When it comes to managing the Canadian economy, Tom Walkom writes, the Harper government's prime directive is do nothing and let the American economy drag us along. The strategy is nothing new:
It is, in fact, a classic Canadian strategy. The Liberal government of Jean Chrétien and Paul Martin used it to great political effect during the downturn of the ’90s. But it requires the U.S. to play ball. The Americans, somehow, have to goose their own economy.
The problem this time is that Barack Obama faces a House of Representatives who believe in the same mythology which infects the Harperites. And the odds that Obama will be able to stimulate the American economy enough to revive our economy are slim. Even though U.S. unemployment numbers have improved:
Census figures reported by the New York Times show that median household income in the U.S., after adjustment for inflation, has not recovered since the recession. In fact it is 9 per cent lower than it was in 1999.
To even begin to solve America’s problems requires strong government action from Washington. But as Obama, in effect, admitted Tuesday, Washington remains dysfunctional.
The Republicans -- and their northern cousins, the Harperites -- continue to believe that the way to salvation lies in cutting spending and doing nothing. Hooverian economics is alive and well.
And all that really matters is re-election.