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Monday, March 24, 2014

Flaherty's greatest failures: It's not just me....

What's with all this praise for Jim Flaherty's record?

If you listen to the way some pundits are describing Jim Flaherty's long tenure as Finance Minister – how he used his "steady hand" to "steer Canada through some very challenging times" – you can be forgiven if you thought he paddled a canoe through a hurricane rather than drive a car into a ditch.
So let's correct the record.
Here are 10 things you need to know about Flaherty's real record:

#1 Didn't realize a recession was happening when the recession happened

Maybe Flaherty was in denial?
In the midst of the biggest economic crisis since the Great Depression, Flaherty released a fiscal update in 2008 that made no mention of stimulus spending and calmly projected a modest surplus. The rest of the world was freaking out, descending into financial chaos and taking unprecedented action to stabilize the global economy.
Flaherty's blasé reaction to the global financial crisis nearly triggered a vote of non-confidence. Harper prorogued Parliament instead.

#2 Mr. Fiscal Conservative ran record deficits

Ironically, for a guy who talks himself up as a "fiscal conservative" focused squarely on balancing the budget, he somehow managed to table seven deficit budgets and rack up $150 billion in debt.

#3 The one million jobs man? Nope

Flaherty bragged repeatedly that "one million net new jobs have been created since the depth of the recession in July 2009." Nice try – boasting about job creation since the depths of the recession.
But how about looking at the Conservative record since the beginning of the recession in September 2008 – instead of from the extreme low point – to judge how well he did?
Between September 2008 and September 2013, 653,400 jobs were added to the economy, and more than half of those new jobs (53.4%) were in sales and services, the lowest-paid occupational category.
Meanwhile, the employment rate, which is a better indicator of labour market performance because it measures the proportion of working-age Canadians with a job, is worse today than before the recession (standing at 66.5% compared to 68.3% in 2008).

#4 The top economy in the G7? Nope, again

Flaherty boasted, over and over again, that Canada's economic recovery is a success story, topping all G7 countries.
In actual fact, Canada's real GDP per capita growth puts us in the middle of the pack, behind Germany, Japan and the United States. And among 34 OECD countries, Canada stands at 16th spot when population growth and purchasing power are taken into account.

Yes there's more:

Also read.....

Meet Joe Oliver, front man for a file run by the PMO.

"For Oliver, Flaherty’s greatest failure is no academic consideration. The finance minister must worry that, with an election pending, the PMO plans to walk right past his desk in designing next year’s budget. He must also worry that he’ll have even less ability, less clout, than Flaherty to resist.

Everything about the way this week was handled would reinforce that fear. Despite Oliver’s obvious competence and deep exper...ience, he was kept conspicuously muted. There was no invitation to Rideau Hall to witness the swearing-in. No scrum with the Parliamentary press gallery. No rush to have the new finance minister declare his unhalted commitment to the government’s economic program. The substitution was done largely in darkness. Swift and silent, like a casino heist executed by Danny Ocean and his 10 sidekicks.

The intention of the PMO was unmistakable. It was to signal that Jim Flaherty’s loss was not a matter for concern. Because there is no finance minister. Not really. Certainly not now. There is only the prime minister. And he is the only one who matters."
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