October 23, 2013

Perhaps the “starve the beast” plan is working

Filed under: Cancon, Economics, Government — Tags: , , , — Nicholas @ 07:05

In Maclean’s, Stephen Gordon provides an updated look at the Harper government’s ongoing “starve the beast” policy:

Canadian federal government revenues and expenditure, 1960-2013

Canadian federal government revenues and expenditure, 1960-2013

As I’ve written before, the Conservatives have applied the “starve the beast strategy“: First, cut taxes; second, cut spending in order to match lower revenues; third, obtain a balanced-budget for a smaller government. As the red line in the chart shows, the Harper government was temporarily thrown off this past by the financial crisis, which required emergency stimulus spending. They are, however, back on track.

Once again though, we need to be careful to see that the government’s revenues are back above expenditures (so the yearly deficit has been reduced over time), but the government’s outstanding debts are still quite substantial: $892 billion for 2012-13. As long as interest rates stay low, the debt should start to decline, but if-and-when interest rates rise, so will that big pile of accumulated debt.


  1. This is the hard part for the progressives to grasp. Spending less than you take is a good thing, no matter what papa trudeau said, and did. This is also boring stuff, and as such the media couldn’t give a tinker’s damn about this good news story. All they can focus on is the “senate scandal”. Really? Like this hasn’t happened before? And now Duffy is trying to crawl out from under the bus the CPC threw him under by dragging the PM into the fray. A he said, she said, and we know that the media will call the PM a liar before they call Duffy a liar, because that fits their attack plan on the CPC. I believe nothing the media tells me as the whole truth… they are driven by an agenda that is transparent.

    Comment by Dwayne — October 23, 2013 @ 09:26

  2. Duffy? Is he still around? I thought he’d have burned through his 15 minutes a long time ago. 😉

    Comment by Nicholas — October 23, 2013 @ 12:56

  3. The CBC and CTV will provide him a camera all day if he makes the PM look bad. 15 min turns into 15 months if they can keep the narative going…

    Comment by Dwayne — October 24, 2013 @ 10:32

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