Monday, April 27, 2009

Cuts are coming - how deep, and where?

Columnist Dave Obee has an interesting- and accurate - piece in the Times Colonist warning that given the wild optimism of the February fiscal plan big cuts are coming in government after the election. Worth reading here.

5 comments:

Gazetteer said...

A most excellent piece Mr. W.

And a most important topic.

Please contratulate Mr. Obee on raising it so eloquently.

seth said...

New budget item:

Where to find a billion every year to pay Pirate power for electricity that we can't use and have to sell on the spot market at a 90% loss.

Anonymous said...

Genius comment Seth. 10% of something is better than 100% of nothing. Glad to see that NDP math skills are as finely honed as ever.

Anonymous said...

Annon 11:02 Where did you study economics? who pays the 90% in your Math? Oh must be the gnomes in the rockpile basement on line again.

Dawn Steele said...

Yes, genius, Anon 11:02! If we pay $100 and only get back $10, we're in the hole for another $90 for every transaction and we've got nothing in return to show for it! How is that different from just lining up one's buddies and distributing our tax dollars to them?

Kind of like the economic genius behind Premier Campbell's head-in-the-sand approach to the economy.
If revenues are clearly going to be way lower than projected and they won't run higher deficits, then it's equally clear that we need to very, very concerned about deep cuts to social services, education, health, and more layoffs at a time when people can't get jobs, etc. This is exactly what happened after the crash of 1929, when US President Herbert Hoover's disastrous decision to pursue fiscal restraint instead of fiscal stimulus brought on a downward economic spiral and caused the deep and lasting great depression of the 1930s.

Fiscal restraint at times like these just deepens the economic hole, not to mention the social misery, creating deep scars that will affect the health of our economy for many years to come. If people don't go camping, businesses that rely on campers will suffer, maybe fail; laid-off wardens will compete with the growing ranks of laid off mill workers, salespeople, construction workers etc.

If the NDP wants to offer a credible alternative, it needs to confront this transparently: set out more realistic revenue numbers and then outline what choices they would make instead.