Wednesday, June 17, 2009

The definition of Insanity

Were in a hell of a mess in Alberta and Ricardo Acuña of the Parkland Institute explains how the governing Tories are ideologically incapable of getting us out of it or even realizing how we got in it.

Provincial Finance Minister Iris Evans told media last week that current economic conditions will make it difficult for the provincial government to meet the targets it established for itself in this year's provincial budget.

The problem, according to Minister Evans, is that despite improving oil prices, government revenues from oil and gas are still significantly lower than what was expected. Natural gas prices are still far below the government's budget projections, and the rising Canadian dollar is further eroding government revenues from energy exports, which are sold internationally in US dollars.

That reality is aggravated, explained Evans, by the fact that revenues from corporate and individual taxes are also down significantly from what the government had projected.

In short, energy revenues are down, tax revenues are not high enough to replace them and we seem to have no other significant sources of revenue. In short, we're screwed.

It's mindboggling that the finance minister would be so genuinely surprised by a dynamic that is the direct—and entirely predictable—result of her government's own policies. It's even more shocking that when faced with the clear failure of the fiscal and economic policies they've put in place over the last 16 years, this government has not shown the slightest indication that they plan to change any of those policies.

It has been said that the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. The last economic bust in this province came about as a result of our provincial economy being so over-dependant on the oil and gas sector that when prices collapsed our entire economy collapsed along with them.

1 comment:

Mike said...

Hey, Jim Flaherty did this same thing in Ontario under Mike Harris and now is doing it nationally, yet he too doesn't seem to understand he is at fault. Somehow after 3 years of record spend and tax cuts, its the Liberal's fault.

Or something...

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