Monthly Archives: February 2010

Spending ourselves silly

With a federal budget due Thursday I must harp on government fiscal irresponsibility. Wait a minute. This isn’t a harp. It’s a pitchfork. Where have you led us?

The Citizen assured us it’ll be steady-as-she-sinks for the feds, with “no new spending measures or tax cuts beyond what the Harper government has announced already in its plan to stimulate the economy, says a senior government official.” The newspaper reported that the government official’s comments “appear to douse speculation the Conservatives are transitioning to a period of serious belt tightening” — that, despite Treasury Board president Stockwell Day’s hints that the government would identify specific programs to be cut, “there will be no absolute spending cuts in the budget” (according, again, to that senior government official.)

Gosh, was that just rube bait? Continue reading

In defence of thrift

Can our financial problems really be so bad Jim Flaherty can help? The thought inspires panic.

So do the statistics. Apparently Canadian families took recent hard times as the ideal opportunity to make their own situation dramatically worse in the belief that … that … OK, what was the belief? Will someone tell me?

I’ll tell you the stats, courtesy of the Vanier Institute on the Family. The average Canadian family’s debt rose to $96,100 in 2009, setting a record debt-to-income ratio of 145 per cent. “Faster, Higher, Stronger” is the Olympic motto, not a debt strategy, people. The Institute study sociologized that “some 1.3 million households could have a vulnerable or dangerously high debt service load by 2011.” Continue reading