Thursday, April 09, 2009

Boessenkool: Relax Cons, we're not doing THAT much to help the economy

The National Post ran an excerpt today of Ken Boessenkool's presentation to that Manning Centre shindig a few weeks back. The former senior Harper adviser, now lobbying for taser manufacturers and other clients for GCI Canada, waged an interesting defence of Conservative economic policy to the crowd of conservative partisans:

If you look at the non-bankrupt G7 states -- in other words, not Italy because they've got a huge debt problem, and not Japan because they are running massive deficits already --of the states that can do a stimulus package, only France has a smaller stimulus package than Canada. The United States is looking at a total stimulus package of 3.5% of GDP, Germany is looking at a total stimulus package of 3.2% GDP, the United Kingdom is looking at a total stimulus package of 3.4% GDP. And our Prime Minister has a stimulus package of 2.9% of GDP.
Or, in a nutshell: we're not doing THAT much to help the economy and protect jobs. In fact, we're doing the least of any country in the G7. So, yeah for Canada! I'm sure that's comforting to the 61,300 Canadians that lost their jobs in March, Ken.

This other bit from Ken was also amusing:
In the fall of 2007, he cut the GST an extra point in anticipation of the economic downturn -- a very significant conservative tax cut to prepare the economy for the coming hard times.
Ah, so now they're telling me the second cut to the GST had nothing to do with a coming election. Instead, it was all about a coming economic downturn that Harper totally foresaw? That's ridiculous in the extreme.

I need to go off to lunch, so I don't have a time to compile a list of every Harper comment that totally contradicts that statement and include links, so forgive me. But I seem to recall a quote from Harper during the 08 campaign to the effect in the downturn was going to come, if it was going to hurt Canada, it would have happened already. I seem to recall an economic update from Harper last fall that did absolutely nothing to address the economic situation.

Harper didn't see this downturn coming, and he kept his head in the sand until the downturn was already kicking Canadians in the nads. I know your audience here was conservative ideologues, Ken, and not Canadians at large, but even conservatives know better than that.

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