Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Oh, did you need that stimulus now?

It’s clearer now than ever that Jack Layton was entirely right not to support Harper's throne speech over the Conservatives asleep-at-the-switch response to the economic downturn.

The old adage about the mechanic’s car being in the worst state of repair rings true when you look at how poorly the federal government is meeting the challenge of reassuring markets and stimulating the economy with economist Stephen Harper at the helm.
Exactly. Where is the sense of urgency?

In the US, hundreds of billions have been announced in bail outs and stimulus – with another $600 billion today. The Labour government in the UK announced $39 billion in measures yesterday. Yet in Canada, the finance minister wakes from his mid afternoon nap to tell a business audience that they shouldn’t expect a dime in stimulus in Thursday’s economic statement!

As though to demonstrate that he may have retained something he read in the Report on Business that morning, Flaherty adds that he might be open to taking the bold step of moving the federal budget a few days earlier in the spring … you know, if things get bad. Because a 40 percent drop in stock market and predictions of unemployment at 7.5 percent aren’t signs of “bad” at all.

The question is where precisely is the presumed economic credibility of the Harper Conservatives right now? It’s no where to be seen. Heck, the Tories can’t even see where consumers are getting gouged. (see the fourth last paragraph in Wheery’s blog here)

Layton and the New Democrats appear the only ones in Ottawa who get the urgency for a plan to get us to the other side of this mess.

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