Wintery Knight

…integrating Christian faith and knowledge in the public square

Conservative Party of Canada on track to deliver budget surplus in 2015

Prime Minister Stephen Harper

Prime Minister Stephen Harper (Conservative Party)

Story from Yahoo News about the results delivered by the Conservative Party of Canada.

Note: To understand the numbers in the article, simply multiple the numbers by 10 to compare with American numbers – Canada’s economy is about 1/10 the size of ours. For example, our GDP is $15.7 trillion and theirs is $1.8 trillion. Our national debt is $17 trillion, while their’s is $1.2 trillion.

Excerpt:

Canada’s Conservative government looks set to comfortably balance its books in 2015 or even sooner, its latest budget showed on Tuesday, with cuts in spending on the public service more than offsetting a series of modest new expenditures.

The low-key spending plan leaves Prime Minister Stephen Harper well-positioned to offer tax breaks and other initiatives in the runup to an election scheduled for October next year.

“Some people will say this budget is boring,” Finance Minister Jim Flaherty told reporters ahead of the budget speech. “Boring is good.”

The budget shows a deficit of C$2.9 billion ($2.63 billion)in the 2014-15 fiscal year, up from the previous estimate of C$5.5 billion. That balance includes a C$3 billion contingency fund, which in fact reveals an underlying surplus that year.

Flaherty acknowledged the budget would be narrowly balanced this coming year without the contingency fund, but said he preferred to have a “nice clean surplus next year”.

The government estimates a bigger-than-expected C$6.4 billion surplus in 2015-16. In the year ending March 31 of this year, the deficit is pegged at C$16.6 billion.

[…]Flaherty, who is 64 and battling a rare skin disease, has staked his reputation on eliminating Canada’ small deficit, equivalent to about 1 percent of gross domestic product (GDP), and restoring the reputation the country had before the global financial crisis as having the strongest fiscal record in the Group of Seven major economies.

Germany is currently the only G7 country running a surplus, but Canada’s ratio of debt to GDP is substantially less and it is one of a handful of countries with a triple-A rating from rating agencies.

Canada is beating us in debt to GDP:

G7 Debt to GDP as of 2013

G7 % Debt to GDP as of 2012 (lower is better)

Canada is beating us in economic growth:

G7 GDP growth for 2013

G7 % GDP growth from 2007 to 2012 (higher is better)

Source: BBC Business

The next Canadian election is in 2015. I know that the Liberal Party is currently leading in the polls, but I found some good news. The Canadians just redistricted after their census, and there are 30 new electoral districts. If the same turnout occurs in 2015 which occurred in the 2011 election, then the Conservative Party of Canada would get 22 out of 30 of those new seats. However, I am concerned. I want Harper to keep his majority, as he and Tony Abbott (Australia) are two bright conservative stars who show people what conservatives can do. 

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Conservative Party MP Pierre Poilievre explains how Canada escaped the recession

Conservative M.P. Pierre Poilevre (Nepean-Carleton), a member of the majority government in Canada, explains how Canada embraced the free entreprise system that America has rejected, and the results they got.

Here is the speech that went viral on Youtube:

And here is his article in the liberal Huffington Post.

Excerpt:

In a few days the “fiscal cliff” deadline will arrive and potentially bring massive automatic spending cuts and tax increases. Even if Congress and the President agree to avoid the cliff, the next crisis awaits. Treasury Secretary, Timothy Geithner, wrote the Senate this week to report that the “statutory debt limit will be reached on December 31, 2012,” which will require extraordinary measures to prevent a mass default. These measures will give the government 60 days before it runs out of money and Uncle Sam’s head smashes into the so-called “debt ceiling.”

It has long been said that when the U.S. sneezes, Canada catches a cold. So why have these debt-related ailments in the U.S. not afflicted the Canadian government?

The answer is that Canada has been practicing what the U.S. always preached: free markets, low taxes and minimal state interference. And it is working.

For example, Canada avoided the interventionist policies that led the U.S. to the sub-prime crisis.

In an attempt to expand home ownership, administrations from Carter to Bush Jr. forced banks to offer mortgages to people who would otherwise not qualify for them. Washington then ordered government-sponsored enterprises such as Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae to insure these “sub-prime” mortgages.

According to a 2010 Report on the U.S. Financial Crisis by the World Bank’s Development Research Group, Freddie and Fannie bought an estimated 47 per cent of these toxic mortgages. Harvard financial historian Niall Ferguson indicates that the amount of mortgage debt backed by these government-sponsored enterprises grew from $200-million in 1980 to $4-trillion in 2007.(1) The government pumped so much air into the housing bubble that it burst in 2008. The resulting financial crisis led to government bailouts of the banking sector.

Big government caused the economic crisis. So we are told the solution is more big government. Funny how the problem becomes the solution.

Because the Canadian government did not impose sub-prime mortgages on the country’s charter banks, we avoided the crisis and did not bailout a single financial institution. To keep it that way, Canada’s Finance Minister has ended all government-backed insurance of low-down payment and long-amortization mortgages. In other words, if you want to take on risky debt, taxpayers will not insure you.

Governments must lead by example when managing their own debt and spending. Low debt is the result of low spending. Federal government spending as a share of the overall economy is 15 per cent in Canada (2) and 24 per cent in the U.S. (3). The numbers are not merely the result of prodigious U.S. military spending, though that is certainly a factor. Non-military federal government spending is 14 per cent of Canada’s economy (4), and 18 per cent of America’s (5).

Take a look at some of these graphs from earlier in the year about the Canadian 2012 budget. (This is straight from their government’s web site – they have new transparency/anti=corruption measures now, so the citizens know everything that government does). When comparing the deficit and debt of Canada to the United States, always multiply the Canadian number by 10 to get a benchmark to compare. For example, Canadian GDP is 1.7 trillion, and the US GDP is 15 trillion.

Canada’s budget deficit is around 30 billion, but ours is 1.2 trillion:

Canada Federal Budget Deficit / Surplus 2012

Canada Federal Budget Deficit / Surplus 2012

If we were doing as well as Canada, our deficit would be about $300 billion. But we have run up about 6 trillion in debt over 4 years! Not only that, but Canada’s national debt is only $600 billion. If we multiple that by 10, we would expect ours about $6 trillion. And it was that – during the Bush Presidency. But then the Democrats took over the House and Senate in 2007 and everything went wrong and we packed trillions and trillions onto the debt, including about $6 trillion during Obama’s first term.

Canada’s Debt to GDP ratio is 34%:

Canada vs US Debt to GDP

Canada vs US Debt to GDP

But things are even worse for the United States, now. The current United States Debt to GDP is 105%, according to official U.S. government figures. We are due for yet another credit downgrade, and should see Greece-like levels of Debt to GDP during Obama’s second term. We are spending too much, and we aren’t going to be able to make up trillion dollar deficits even if we confiscate every penny that rich people earn. (And they won’t be daft enough to keep working as hard if we did that – they would move, and probably to Canada)

What is happening to us here in the United States is self-inflicted. We are – and have been – voting to impoverish ourselves and generations of children born and unborn, by punishing those who work hard and play by the rules, and rewarding those who don’t work and don’t play by the rules. It didn’t have to be this way. We could have elected a President who actually knew something about business and economics. Knowledge matters. We can’t just choose a President who gives us the “tingles” and then expect him to perform the actual duties of being President. Competence is more important than confidence. Substance is more important than style.

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Stephen Harper’s Conservative Party cuts federal spending by 6.2%

Prime Minister Stephen Harper

Prime Minister Stephen Harper

More news from up north. (H/T Ben)

Excerpt:

Federal government expenditures are set to fall next fiscal year by $16.5-billion, or 6.2%, with big cuts to regional development and environment programs, according to documents tabled Tuesday.

That would leave total expenditures for the 2011-12 year at $250-billion, with the bulk taken up by transfer payments to individuals and governments, and operating costs. Just over $30-billion of that expense is attributed to refinancing Canada’s debt.

The figures, contained in spending estimates provided by the Treasury Board, sees budget increases for departments entrusted with security and law enforcement – such as a 21% boost to jails — but cuts of roughly 20% to Environment Canada, Natural Resources Canada and Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada.

Government is supposed to be concerned with security and law enforcement, not with environmentalist wastefulness.

Here’s Paul Ryan. He would like to cut our budget by 6.2% – and maybe even more.

If Canada is cutting their government waste, then why can’t we?

There are a lot of programs that we could be cutting.

Excerpt:

The federal government could save billions in taxpayer dollars annually by consolidating duplicative government programs, according to a new report.

The newly-released report from the Government Accountability Office “makes us all look like jackasses,” Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) told reporters Monday night.

The conservative senator said the report — which identifies redundancies in more than 546 individual programs — reveals why the United States is $14 trillion in debt.

“Anybody who says we don’t look like fools up here hasn’t read the report,” he said.

[…]The GAO reviewed 34 areas (among them agriculture, defense and social services) where agencies, offices or initiatives have similar or overlapping objectives. The report also looked at 47 additional cost-saving opportunities related to more general government efficiency. For instance, the report said, “Improved corrosion prevention and control practices could help [the Defense Department] avoid billions in unnecessary costs over time.”

Addressing duplicative efforts on even a single issue could save billions, the report found. For instance, the GAO says the government could save up to $5.7 billion annually by addressing potentially duplicative policies designed to boost domestic ethanol production. Additionally, the Defense Department could save $460 million annually by making broader changes to the governance of its military health care system.

The report finds that there are 15 agencies involved in food safety, 80 programs involved in economic development and more than 100 involved in surface transportation. There are 10 agencies and 82 programs involved in teacher quality, and more than 20 agencies and about 56 programs involved in financial literacy efforts. There are about 2,300 investments across the Defense Department to modernize its business operations.

House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) said today that in order to foster long term economic growth, “we’re going to deal with the pressing issues of regulatory waste in our agencies, as well as long term issues facing our country with entitlement programs.”

This is why we have to stop giving private sector money to government. They don’t earn any money by making things or helping people – they don’t sell anything useful. They just steal money from the productive workers and businesses and then they waste it and run up trillion dollar deficits. This kind of corruption, fraud and waste would not survive in small businesses, and probably not even in big businesses. Business have to be efficient or they go bankrupt. They have to perform or their competitors will have them for lunch. The consumer is king in the private sector.

Related posts

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Off-duty policeman murders five Christians in Egypt

Yahoo News has the story.

Excerpt:

An off-duty policeman boarded a train and opened fire on Tuesday, killing a 71-year-old Christian man and wounding his wife and four others, the Interior Ministry said. The attack, less than two weeks after the suicide bombing of a church killed 21, sparked new demonstrations by enraged Christians who pelted police with stones in southern Egypt.

The church attack on worshippers leaving a New Year’s Mass in the Mediterranean port of Alexandria touched off three days of riots and demonstrations by furious Christians who criticized the government for failing to protect them and vented over what they see as persistent discrimination.

All of the casualties in the latest attack were Christians — four of them women — raising concerns it will ignite a new wave of protests by a community still traumatized by the suicide bombing.

[…]The ministry statement identified the policeman as Amer Ashour Abdel-Zaher, a 23-year-old Muslim, and said he boarded the Cairo-bound train at the town of Samalout in Minya province and opened fire on the passengers with a handgun.

This is actually happening a lot recently. The article continues:

In January 2010, gunmen opened fire on worshippers leaving a Coptic Christmas Eve church service in southern Egypt, killing six Christians and a Muslim guard.

Many Christians charge that the authorities are not doing enough to protect them and in fact allege some members of the security services turn a blind eye to anti-Christian incidents.

Do you know who isn’t afraid to side with Egyptian Christians against terrorists? Stephen Harper, the prime minister of Canada.

Excerpt:

Prime Minister Stephen Harper participated in a round table discussion on security with Coptic Christian leaders.

A deadly suicide bombing in Egypt on New Year’s Day claimed the lives of some 21 worshippers.

And nearly 100 people were wounded in the attack as they left a midnight mass at an Alexandria church.

Harper condemned the attacks, saying the international community must stay vigilant against such violence against Coptic Christians.

Harper met with several priests at the Church Of the Virgin Mary and St. Athanasius in Mississauga Thursday.

He says he wants Coptic Christians in Canada to know the country stands behind their right to safely practice their faith.

Harper is a member of the Conservative Party of Canada. The conservatives in Canada are actually pretty outspoken about the plight of Coptic Christians.

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