Monday, December 31, 2007

Harpie sounds nervous

This might actually turn out to be a very useful photo op. You know, of the "Mission Accomplished" variety. After all, we all know who's responsible for the GST cuts. He's got a 5% practically tattooed to his forehead just about now. And yet to mark what should be a brilliantly happy occasion, if they're so convinced they're doing the right thing, Harpie and Flaherty are somehow spinning like crazy, trying to lower expectations for economic performance this year.
"We know there is considerable uncertainty in the world economy, in the American economy, and we've seen very strong performance from our economy so far," he said Monday.

"So obviously, our wish for the year is we're able to sustain that momentum and shelter as best we can Canadians from any fallout of global economic problems."

Harper's comments marked another year-end warning from the Conservative government that the Canadian economy is headed for a year of turbulence, due to tighter financial markets and the fallout from a slowing U.S. economy.
Sounds like they're pretty freakin' nervous about the economic cushioning that they just jettisoned. The sensible approach might have been this:
Liberal finance critic John McCallum said the Conservatives should be cutting income taxes instead.

In an interview from San Francisco, McCallum said he thinks this announcement "is a triumph of political gimmickry over good policy because there's not an economist on the planet who would argue in favour of using $12 billion per year of valuable taxpayers' money to cut the GST."
But I guess Harpie's going to have to live with the consequences this year, whatever they may be. As his mentor taught him, "In politics, you take risks." We'll see if this is a beau risque or a blown risk.