Friday, September 30, 2011

Fun with Jim Flaherty's debt lessons

Mucho chutzpah from Jim Flaherty today:
...Flaherty told the Tory blue lunch crowd that Liberal Leader Dalton McGuinty’s government has doubled the debt.

Before the Liberal government came to power, the surplus was $117 million, said Flaherty, who is married to Ontario PC Deputy Leader Christine Elliott.

This year the deficit is $16 billion, he said.

In 2002-2003 the Ontario net debt was $132.6 billion and this year it is $241.2 billion.

The financial situation of the province makes it difficult to attract foreign investment, he said to a mostly Tory blue crowd.

“There are dangers in these facts,” he said.

The Liberal war room was quick to say that Flaherty is the “pot calling the kettle black” as his federal deficit tripled in July from a year earlier.
Yes, there are dangers in these facts! Namely the $5 plus billion deficit Flaherty left Ontario that he misrepresents above by claiming Ontario inherited a surplus! Yikes.

And here's a chart for Flaherty comparing Ontario's net debt and Canada's:

See the silliness Flaherty was peddling today? Remarkable. Ontario was hard hit by the recession and spent to stimulate the economy. As did Canada. Our debt levels are quite comparable and manageable compared to many leading western economies.

So do we think Flaherty has any lessons to give Ontarians? Nope. Probably about firming up the Conservative base at this point. And a reminder to the rest of Ontario that we don't need three levels of Conservative government.

Jim Flaherty giving debt lessons is like Tony Hayward conducting environmental clean up seminars...

Update (5:40 p.m.): Just saw this headline on the latest reporting of federal deficit figures, i.e., Jim Flaherty's domain: "Canada’s Budget Deficit Triples in July to C$1.6 Billion." Great timing on that one.