Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Things that can make the government work better

By any fair reading of the present federal deficit situation, it appears that Deficit Jim is in need of as much help as he can get:
The finance minister is coming under increasing pressure to explain how he will close the $50.2-billion deficit for the fiscal year ending March 31, 2010, that he projected earlier this month. That's $16.5-billion wider than Mr. Flaherty expected when he presented his budget at the end of January.
And a parliamentary committee wants to give it to him:
A Commons committee has recommended MPs give more money to the government's spending watchdog.

The parliamentary budget officer is woefully underfunded, the Library of Parliament committee said in a report released Tuesday. It's recommending his 2009-2010 budget be raised to $2.8 million from $1.86 million.

Kevin Page's current budget is $323,000 short of his projected spending for the fiscal year and well short of the $2.75 million he was supposed to get before his budget was cut.
Deficit Jim is quoted in the Globe report as stating that he's relying on a 2.5% economic growth rate to boost future government revenues and help get the government back into surplus. Page has previously expressed doubt about such prognostications from the government before, as recently as a February appearance before a parliamentary committee, and Page's skepticism has largely been proven correct.

At a time when the federal government is so clearly in deficit trouble, it is remarkable that the Conservatives continue to think it wise to underfund the Parliamentary Budget Office. More uncooperative governance and nonsensical policy from this government when their numbers have been shown to be so patently flawed.