Thursday, February 19, 2009

Budget, third thoughts

Attorney General Wally Oppal has a tougher time staying on message than most politicians. His candour, or lack of preparation can lead to blurts and admissions in the public interest. Of course, that means political staffers cringe in terror whenever he stands up to speak.
This week, Oppal raised questions about how real the numbers are in years two and three of the budget plan — the ones that show the path to a return to balanced bnudgets.
Confronted with the fact that the budget calls for staff cuts in the justice system just as the public is concerned about gang crime, Oppal said there is nothing to worry about. The numbers are just projections anyway. If they need to spend more, they will.
But that's not what the budget is supposed to be. It's supposed to be prudent and an accurate forecast of government plans. Unless, of course, that got lost in the rush to paint a picture that showed only two, small deficits.


Declan said...

I'd give credit to Oppal for not buying in to the mass-game of let's pretend where we all ignore the fact that the economic models that are used to predict economic growth don't work, never have, and this has been shown over and over again in study after study.

(they do no better than naive strategies such as 'next year's growth will be the same as this year's growth' or 'next year's growth will be halfway between this year's growth and the long run average')

See here for more details on how these models 'work'

Declan said...

Although, leaving the models aside, you're right that forecasts of *government spending* should be able to be a little more accurate than our forecasts of economic growth.

I missed your meaning a bit in my first read through.