Thursday, February 12, 2015

Caught In His Own Web


The plan was to ensnare the opposition in an economic web from which they could not escape. Instead, Stephen Harper finds that his economic strategy has come a cropper. Scott Clark and Peter Devries write:

It didn’t have to be this way. Prime Minister Harper had an opportunity a year ago to set his government up to sail through any pre-election downturn in the economy while smelling like a rose.

He blew it. Here’s how:

Eliminating the deficit by 2015-16 was never based on any economic logic. It was always a political commitment, no more or less. And setting political targets for fiscal measures is a very dangerous game to get into. Fiscal measures move; political commitments can’t. Not without a cost.

The budgetary balance is the difference between two very large numbers: budgetary revenues and total expenses. Slight errors or shifts in either of these two numbers can have a large impact on the budgetary balance. All aspects of budgetary revenues and total expenses are influenced by economic developments over which the governments have little or no control.

Mr. Harper operates on the theory that he is a great man. And, therefore, he can bend history to his will. If he understood history a little better, he would be in better shape:

Instead of trying to force the global economy to operate according to their political timetable, the Harper government could have taken a victory lap in 2014-15. Then, when oil prices went south, they’d still have the credibility to say that the government’s overall fiscal picture remained sound. They could have held on to the contingency fund for debt reduction. Instead of publicly scrambling to respond to events completely beyond their control, they would have looked like the kind of canny fiscal managers who had a Plan B all along.

He got caught up in his own ego which -- Dr. Freud could have told him -- is a complicated web, indeed.


Lorne said...

Unfortunately, Owen, Harper will be able to continue spinning his web of deception by issuing a rosy budget outlet, lies that will not be exposed until October of 2016, a year after the election. Unless Canadians do a better job of educating themselves, they could very well continued to be ensnared in the regime's manipulations.

Owen Gray said...

He's counting on public ignorance and apathy, Lorne. They are his two strongest allies.

ron wilton said...

Paul Wells in his book 'The Longer I'm Prime Minister' reveals that the PM ' most at home when he is either reading or commenting on memos, watching BNN(business news network) or Sun News Network or Fox News.......

I for one avoid all of those networks like the plague but from whaT I glean about their respective contents, ones interpretation of truth and reality would be at odds with the general consensus.

Perhaps his information intake is what puts him at such odds with most of us.

Owen Gray said...

Like the line from Paul Simon's song The Boxer, Ron, I suspect that Mr. Hasrper hears what he wants to hear and disregards the rest.

Rural said...

Somewhere I read that Harpers Economic aim was to leave any potential opposition government with no room to maneuver (he may have even said it himself). Now it seems he is, as said above, caught in his own web, let the lies and deceptions begin (continue!)

Anonymous said...

Yup, this was the guy our "enlightened" pundits like Chris Hall (CBC), Mark Kennedy (Postmedia?), and others too, if I am not mistaken, such as Paul Wells and Chantal Hebert had told us played chess and was always several moves ahead of his opponents.

I think we have enough evidence now to convince us that Harper actually isn't the brightest bulb in the room, eh? At least, economically speaking. Perhaps he may take the cake on unethical and devious.

He could so easily have declared victory last year by proclaiming the budget balanced (even though many of us would not have believed his numbers, but that is another story).

Would have allowed Flaherty, his hapless lieutenant, and loyal friend, to claim a balanced budget under his belt before he passed away. Now it looks like Flaherty has never truly balanced a budget in his career that was due to his own doing (if the budgets in 2006/2007 were truly balanced, it was due to what Paul Martin had left him).

Owen Gray said...

If he wanted to leave future governments no room to maneuver, Rural, it's only fitting that he start with himself.

The stuff has hit the fan.

the salamander said...

.. its not difficult to summarize the reality..
We elected a Parliament, somehow allowed a critically flawed minority government to attain a majority. Worse than being in over their heads, they are out of their heads, beyond our current control, unresponsive, arrogant, secretive, obstructive and deceitful. When Harper said 'you won't recognize it when I'm through with it.. he meant government.. and our Parliament. The vague differences of NDP & Liberals means squat right now, in such decisive and defining times.. aside from splitting votes to let Harper keep mauling Canada. Staring at a collective competant opposition determined to control him would only be in Canada's best interest.. Harper has gone rogue

Anonymous said...

What I don't get is? The resource money and foreigners wages are sent back to their own countries. Same with Harper's FIPA deal with China, they take the resources and the resource jobs to boot. That is a lot of lost revenue.

Premier Christy Clark got caught in her election lies too. She campaigned on 100,000 LNG jobs for BC people. And, her thousands of 6 figure wage mining jobs. Everyone wants one of those jobs. However, these wopper election lies Clark told are nothing new, by the BC Liberals

Ex BC Liberal Premier Gordon Campbell, Christy Clark and Harper are all traitors to Canada and the people, doing acts of treason for selling Canada to Communist China.

Owen Gray said...

The cynical among us might conclude, Anon, that lying gets you to the top.

Owen Gray said...

He truly has gone rogue, salamander. And he seems to believe the opposition won't be able to stop him.

Owen Gray said...

Harper has never been the brightest bulb in the room, Anon.

He had a high average in high school. But, when it comes to problem solving, human relations and balancing a budget, he's hopeless.