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Harper and his government are claiming that “90% of the stimulus money has already been pledged”. Stimulus money is referring to Canada’s Economic Action Plan – you know, the thing that Harper’s government is paying millions of dollars to try and promote that this government is doing something on TV. The Liberals dispute that – Gerard Kennedy’s study says that in reality, only 12% of the stimulus money has gotten out the door so far. I’m no economist, but I’d think that the latest statistics on Canada’s Gross Domestic Product shows the Liberals are much closer to the truth and the mark then the Conservatives:

After a 0.1 per cent increase in June, Canada’s gross domestic product was flat in July, dashing expectations of a 0.5 per cent gain. “We’re not talking about a shot across the bow of the optimists,” BMO chief economist Sherry Cooper said. “This is more like a torpedo through the hull.” Strength in manufacturing, wholesale trade, accomodation and food services was offset by declines in mining, utilities and the retail sector, Statistics Canada said.

“Flat” means 0.0 % movement, in case you’re wondering. Quite frankly, if the Conservatives have “spent” 90% of the economic action plan stimulus, for a net result of 0.1% growth the past 2 months, then we’re in more trouble then we think. More likely though, the fact is that they haven’t gotten the spending out the door, as Gerard Kennedy’s excellent research has shown. If it hasn’t gotten out the door, then its effect of “stimulating” the economy has been non-existent to this point, which shows the Conservatives have been rather deficient in their newly discovered role as reluctant Keynesian economists (and as the Gerard Kennedy study also shows, what they have spent has gone to mostly Conservative ridings in a classic pork-barrel politics move).

In my opinion, it’s time the Liberals came out with some more hard-hitting political ads, pointing out these fallacies of the Conservatives. We don’t need to be mean or take personal attacks at anyone – pointing out the hard truth is all that needs to be done. The facts can speak for themselves to the ineptness and cronyism that the Harper government is engaging in with regards to the economy.

(H/T: CanPolitico)


6 comments to Hmm..

  • Frunger

    The difference in the numbers is simple. Note the language use.

    Harper – ‘money pledged’
    Kennedy – ‘money spent’

    Of course the numbers don’t match. When talking about construction projects you don’t pay the contractor 100% up front unless you want to get hosed. They could very well be billions of $$ in projects underway, or in the late planning stages. I wouldn’t be paying the rebar guys anything until they finish the job properly.

    When the Liberals say ‘it’s not getting spent fast enough’ it just shows how poor with money they really are. The goal isn’t to spend money, the goal is to build stuff. The money will be spent when it is done and not before, but it doesn’t mean the stuff ain’t getting built.

    Isn’t spending money without getting anything in return the whole reason they aren’t the government anymore?

    Argue that the work isn’t being started, not that the cheques haven’t been written.

    Kennedy has to give it a rest. Liberals deal in cash anyway.

  • Roll Tide

    “Gerard Kennedy’s study says that in reality, only 12% of the stimulus money has gotten out the door so far”

    I only wish this is true.

    The less stimulus money, the better. Joe taxpayer has to foot the bill regardless.
    If Liberals are going to complain that the government is not fast enough in handing out the taxpayers money, it will further damage Ignatieff’s already incompetent tax and spend image.

    • kwittet

      @Roll Tide, Scott and all the other die hard liberals are screaming about a 50 billion deficit yet they complain that Harper isnt spending fast enough? I am so confused????

      So which is it liberals? Spend and run up the deficit or dont?

      Gerard Kennedy’s study is biased right off the bat being a liberal. Find someone who can fairly audit the books that has no political axe to grind and I will believe that study.

      • Jon Pertwee

        @kwittet, I hate to tell you this but any study written by any person will contain some degree of bias. It’s not as much about being a Liberal as much as being human. We all tend to interject elements of personal bias into things we do, read and say. The whole nature of a study without political bias merely boils down to you (the reader) finding an article who’s bias fits your own. You believe the truth you find that suits your ideology.

        So a conservative study is just as biased as a liberal or NDP study.

        I think the problem that you are trying to foist on the liberals is off the mark. The point is how and more likely is this stimulus money actually being spent. How much of it is being spent on advertising? The deficit only gets others screaming when its wasted on propaganda style advertising and pork barrel spending. Hmmm… it sure looks like that’s the way its happening. Why is it that Conservative ridings in BC are 13 times more likely to have received stimulus spending than non conservative ridings? That doesn’t seem very fair or Canadian to me.

        just my two cents.. but I’m right about the bias. You find the truth you believe in.

  • I’m not sure that this is an appropriate metric to use. While I am inclined to believe that less has been spent than the Harper government is claiming, it’s difficult to infer that just from GDP numbers. The Conservatives might claim, not unrealistically, that GDP would have significantly decreased in the absence of “action plan” spending. The real key to knowing how much is out the door is to audit the government’s books.

  • Ted

    And according to article in the Post (interestingly, it is on the front page of the print edition but I had to hunt it down in the online edition), nothing – as in a big fat whopping zero – has been spent on the auto-bailout plan. And this is included in Harper’s 90% out the door.

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