Mixed Messages

I was working away here at the computer with the TV on in the background.  I have CBC Power and Politics on in the background which is full of incongruent information presented by Conservative politicians that can never seem to answer a question.  It is always the same scripted answers that are based on the premise that if they say it enough times it becomes truth.

My attention was pulled away from what I was doing on the computer when I heard one of the Power Panel speakers explaining how the Harper government is complimenting the electorate by telling them what a great job we’ve done tightening our belts and getting our finances in shape.  Did we have a choice and did we really accomplish that much?

How seriously do I take this compliment when the total Canadian debt increased 47.5% between 1999 to 2005 but still managed to leave the Harper government a $13 billion surplus when the Conservatives came to power?  Since 2006 under the “strong fiscal management” of the Harper government our national debt has increased another 22.2% or $116.6 billion dollars.  This in a period of what we are constantly told is belt tightening.  Now am I the only one who sees a very mixed message here.

And now the government is expressing concern over the ballooning Canadian credit card debt.  Well if we are doing so well with our budgeting why did Finance Minister Jim Flaherty announce, amid warnings about Canadian household debt levels, that the federal government would make it tougher for people to get a mortgage.

Then this past February Industry Minister Tony Clements was calling the high unemployment rate “unacceptable”.  After how many billion in stimulus spending, I would expect a little more then “unacceptable” when talking about the unemployment rate.  With this “unacceptable” level of unemployment why all of the Draconian changes to EI that will supposedly “benefit” everyone!

Recently in the Financial Post they stated “After years of running billion-dollar surpluses, the Canadian Federation of Independent Businesses estimates the federal government’s EI fund will reach a deficit of $14.7 billion by 2012.”  So to deal with this Ottawa went ahead and increase in EI premiums that could cost another 200,000 jobs.  Every time there is an EI or CPP increase employer expenses also go up.  I know a lot of people who have no understanding of employer costs but the long and short of it are if you are being paid $20/hr it is costing the employer $22/hr.  Those costs add up quickly especially for small businesses.

Now I may not be Spock but there is a certain twist in logic here.  What kind of message is the government trying to send because I am very confused?  Based on the contradictory thought process this government is showing, well it is not exactly a trust builder with me.

Conservatives support in Quebec and the Maritimes is dropping faster than a dying mans blood pressure and yet this government continues to close down service centres in those areas faster than the disappearance of Zeller stores.  So in closing is it only me or is this suspicious?


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