Wednesday, December 3, 2008

stimulus? - the facts

  • The IMF currently projects a contraction of output in all G7 economies EXCEPT CANADA in 2009.

  • According to StatsCan and surveys of private forecastors, final domestic demand in Canada continues to grow, "supported by the solid financial positions of both households and businesses"

  • According to the Department of Finance, "the decline in consumer confidence in Canada has been much less pronounced than in the U.S"
  • and "private sector forecasters have not significantly altered their medium-term economic outlook since Budget 2008"
  • Again according to Finance Canada, "housing activity has been solid, with housing starts so far in 2008 well above the average over the previous 30 years" and "none of the conditions that led to the U.S. housing and financial market collapse are present in Canada."
Consider this from the supposedly offending Update:

Yes, it is a Department of Finance graphic. But, no, I do not believe it should be dismissed as somehow partisan and unreliable. I worked at Finance and we did not just make things up.

See also this:

Apparently, somewhere in the above chart is massive unemployment, such that an massive change in government is needed to bring about a massive increase in government spending.

I don't see it. What we have here is a true opportunity to contain the growth of the size of government. And it follows from the fact Canadians don't like deficit spending. Irrational? Perhaps. But as someone who has run for office in Alberta, I can assure you that if you are a fiscal conservative, there is no political market for restrained spending when the government is flush with cash. Alberta is supposedly one of the most conservative jurisdictions in North America, yet it has increased per capita spending the most in recent years. That's because the public sees "fiscal conservatism" as being all about deficits.

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