Wednesday, May 27, 2009

50 Billion, Why Does That Sound Familiar?

Something about Liberals and spending EI funds to pay down the deficit....Oh right the Supreme Court ruled on that.

The Supreme Court of Canada says that Ottawa illegally collected employment insurance contributions for three years under the former Liberal government.

The court, though, rejected union claims that Ottawa diverted money from deliberately-over-inflated EI surpluses to balance the federal budget and fund programs.

In a 7-0 decision, the court ruled EI premiums were inappropriately collected between 2002, 2003, and 2005. That's when the Liberal cabinet set EI rates directly without the authorization from Parliament and the employment insurance commission, a violation of the principle of no taxation without representation.

"This means that employment insurance premiums were collected unlawfully, without the necessary legislative authorization," Justice Louis LeBel wrote in the decision.

Now the Liberals are upset about a deficit that is being caused by a world wide recession? This, after they tried to form a coalition government so they could be in control of the spending with the NDP and Bloc?

Chretien raided the EI funds during boom times, 54 billion to be exact. Now in a recession, the Conservative government is spending money on roads and bridges, they are offering unemployed workers the ability to retrain and gain skills, they have a home reno program, all programs aimed at helping Canadians.

The debate over how EI premiums could be used began in the 1990s, when Paul Martin, then-prime minister Jean Chretien's finance minister, brought in new EI legislation.

New rules made it more difficult for laid off workers to be eligible for benefits, but they also brought in new training programs.

Critics had argued the government was raising EI premiums to fund the new programs, while cutting benefits for those out of work.

Well that's Liberals for you, stealing from hard working Canadians (where is that 40 million that went into the Liberal party coffers?), to gain votes.

They are trying it again, fire Flaherty they scream (read the comments, noone is buying it), he is the bad guy they shout, an increased deficit they moan.....DEFICIT! They know Conservatives hate deficits and debt. They know deficit is a dirty word to anyone who is fiscally conservative/liberal, but they fail to understand that a recession changes perceptions.

Run a deficit in good times like the Liberals did until Reform and the IMF clued them in, not a good thing. Run a deficit in bad times, and make no mistake, the media has been telling us this recession is worse than the Great Depression, and people will shrug.

The media is now the Liberals worse enemy, they pumped up the recession so much that Canadians now believe that big spending is necessary. Canadians have seen what Obama is spending in the US, so 34 or 50 or 80 billion spent by Canada just doesn't feel big, after all the US are talking 1.2 TRILLION.

Funny how CTV never covers question period live, but today they were right there covering the first three Liberal questions. Bet the Liberals phoned up their pals in the media and told them they were going to call for Flaherty's head. Too bad that PM Harper made Iggy look like an idiot. How does Iggy respond? He reverts to his American background and calls PM Harper....Nixon? Too funny. Iggy go home to Obama, he has some shoes that need to be shined....oh wait...Iggy was a big Bush supporter, no wonder he is up here now after 34 years. I suspect if you really did the math, Iggy was probably out of the country for more than 45 years of his live, but who's counting?


Southern Quebec said...

Nov 27 - $100 million surplus!
Dec 17 - "There will be a deficit"
Jan - $33 billion deficit
May 27 - $50 billion deficit

Sort of makes you wonder what's coming next, doesn't it? Isn't PMS Harper an economist? hahahahahaha

Southern Quebec said...

Your copy/paste button must be broken. On the first item you quoted, you left out the last paragraph:

"Canada's highest court ruled, however, that the federal government was within its rights to divert EI contributions to pay down the deficit from 1996-2001."

No problem, glad to help...

Fred said...

"Run a deficit in good times like the Liberals did

Not quite. Liberals .

Think Trudeaupia . . . money didn't matter, just increase the size and cost of government.

mystereeoso said...

When Jim Flaherty ran for leadership of the Conservative party in Ontario, one of his more intriguing ideas was to make homelessness illegal. I wonder if he still thinks about that when the opposition ask him about EI

Platty said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Platty said...

"Canada's highest court ruled, however, that the federal government was within its rights to divert EI contributions to pay down the deficit from 1996-2001."So, SQ, you think this justifies what the Liberals did?

Your morally right/wrong button must be broken.


Southern Quebec said...

There is nothing wrong with my morals. They paid down the debt with the money. Paying down the debt reduces interest payments. Surely even you could understand this...

mystereeoso said...

Platty, I think if you're going to stand in the playground - crying about things that happened in the past - there's little chance of moving forward. The Liberal diversion of EI paid down the 42 mill Mulroney deficit, did it not? Next!

The Liberals and others in opposition are asking for temporary easement of EI regulations under extraordinary economic conditions are they not? They are also asking why less than 6% of the stimulus package has been spent so far - are hockey rinks in select regions really more important right now than temporary help for the unemployed?

mystereeoso said...

uh - mil should be bil on that last one.

mystereeoso said...

The Mulroney deficit was 42 billion right? Now the question is what was the surplus left behind by Martin and what have Flaherty and PMSH gone and done with it?

mystereeoso said...

Just think about Flaherty and the criminalization of homelessness as part of a provincial election platform. Ontarians remember he didn't pledge to create an economy so healthy as to sustain and shelter everyone - much easier to make homelessness simply illegal.

mystereeoso said...

Now Flaherty holds the nation's purse strings and it looks like there's a hole in the bag - is he going to take the hard road or the easy road? Is he going to admit the government is wasting time and money on partisan frivolity and pre writ electioneering?
Will he apologize to unemployed Canadians who are putting their groceries on their credit cards till their EI comes through or they get another job? Will he apologize to Kevin Page?

Eskimo said...

Hey mystery meat, Flaherty made those comments in the past, so using your 'logic', maybe you better shut your pie hole.

Or do your rules only apply to thieving liberals? Never mind, I know the answer.

mystereeoso said...

Flaherty and his ideology, unlike the surplus achieved by Martin and Chretien are not in the past. The guy is the friggin' finance minister, genius.

mystereeoso said...

Who squandered that surplus?

mystereeoso said...

Pieholing doesn't do much to further the discussion, Eskobar. I mean you're a Conservative and you probably know more about the breadth of their MPs, but it wouldn't be so bad if PMSH pulled Flaherty out of the goal just now and put somebody else in net would it? Flaherty is looking pretty incompetent, rattled, embattled at the moment. Maybe someone else should be Finance Minister for awhile.

Or else, like I was saying, he could at least apologize for the way things look like they're going and tell Canadians he's sorry for wasting the surplus and why he and the Conservatives are moving so slowly with the stimulus spending - assuming they do have some money to spend anymore.

mystereeoso said...

Can you massively, wontonly increase expenditures, lower taxes AND balance the books? Stephen Harper should offer the Finance position to any one of his people who can actually answer that question or give over and say uncle.

Eskimo said...

While the court may have ruled the government was within its right to divert the EI funds the unanimous ruling also said this collection was done so unlawfully. Basically the court said that the government may do anything it wants but what they did was wrong.

Paul Martin's mystical surplus was just that; mystical. Overcharging on EI and starving the provinces of funding by offloading federal obligations on the provinces and municipalities.

Hospital wait times increased during the Chretien/Martin tenure, city infrastructure began to crumble, but to the crimianl liberals and thier supporters these are moot points because technically the books showed a surplus, even though they arrived at this black ink illegally.

Fast forward to 2008/09 and the 3 neo-communist opposition parties start crying for the government to spend more money or they will force an election. They even form an axis of weasels troika when the CPC muses with clawing back the government subsidy of political parties.

The Harper government obliges and opens the vault door and start trucking out billions of dollars and suddenly these 3 weasels are now wrapping themselves in a cloak of fiscal conservatism. Good Lord this would be funny if it weren't so blatently stupid.

Left-wingism at its finest folks.

Eskimo said...

Look mystery, Flaherty gave the opposition everything they wanted which was basically billions in new spending. Now you're calling for his head because he's spending too much? Get a grip.

mystereeoso said...

The Conservatives have barely spent any of that money. Less than six percent of it.

Gayle said...

"When Jim Flaherty ran for leadership of the Conservative party in Ontario, one of his more intriguing ideas was to make homelessness illegal."

Was that him? I remember reading about this and wondering if it were possible that anyone so stupid could really exist (I no longer wonder THAT anymore). Why not just make unemployment, mental illness or disabilities illegal too?

Gayle said...

"While the court may have ruled the government was within its right to divert the EI funds the unanimous ruling also said this collection was done so unlawfully."

It was a technicality. They set the rate in Cabinet when they should have set it in the House. As the LPC had a majority at the time the rate was set, there is no question it would have passed in the House.

Harper has the opportunity to give this money back to the workers or retroactively endorse the rate that was set in Cabinet - let us see what he does with it shall we?

Southern Quebec said...

PMS Harper...Nixonian..

"Canadians have never had a prime minister who has literally made his career attacking and undermining the legitimacy of Canadian institutions. Until now."
Dimitry Anastakis and Jeet Heer

Gayle: If they made mental illness illegal there would be no Blogging Tories...that's why!

mystereeoso said...

James Travers echoes the Nixonian thing: "By incremental steps and leaps of logic, the Prime Minister is taking advantage of public confusion to advance a political hybrid. Worse, it's being finessed with little public debate and no national consensus."

Toronto Star, May 16, 2009

Eskimo said...

Yes indeed Gayle, let's see what Harper does. I find it quite hypocritical that the liberals threaten an election unless changes are made to EI. What's especially hypocritical is they want changes made to EI policies put in place when the liberals were in poower. Might I also add that unemployment has been historically higher than it is now. This is hardly a crisis situation. It's simply pandering to the electorate that the liberals will give more benifits for less hours actually worked.

Funny that when Harper threatened to claw back the party subsidy they tried to blame the CPC for forcing an election that 'Canadians don't want'.

I'm quite confident that if the public were given the choice of going to the polls over minor EI tweaking versus the liberals demanding thier entitlements (party subsidies), you'd see a bigger turnout and backlash against the 'brown paper bag party' over party subsidies than EI. Adscam is still very fresh in the publics' mind.

I think a successful campign could be launced on a platform of a full criminal investigation into the sponsorship scandal. (I'd also throw in for good measure a look at the HRDC cluster@#$%, the Chretien hotel deal and the government money given to Canada Steamship Lines).

Some of the resident trolls might be tempted to moan that this is old news, but we'd just be returning the favour-just look at the Mulroney/Scrieber kangaroo court. I mean good Lord, most of the 'evidence' (20+ year old Airbuses) has worn out and are in the scrap heap now, having been replaced by new Boeings.

mystereeoso said...

Well, if Harper was so altruistic, why didn't he reallocate the surplus to EI as soon as he first took office? Why are we still waiting to see what he will do - NEWS FLASH - he didn't do it already! Hahahahah

Eskimo said...

Iggy is his own worst enemy. How ironic that he doesn't want to talk about his C.V. It's a liability to him.

The irony in this is delicious and the spin you Iggy apologists put on this is definitely cheap entertainment!

The Nixon analogy is pretty limp too. While Nixon made secret recordings, the videos of Iggy are all in the public domain.

It's a classic case of 'the truth hurts'. Spinning it into some 'vast right wing conspiracy'(tm) is nothing more than hiding under the bed avoiding the legitimate question of just who the hell Michael Ignatieff really is and fessing up to statements he's made in the past.

It's getting pretty bumpy walking over the rug that the liberals keep sweeping thier dust under.

Eskimo said...

Well, if Harper was so altruistic, why didn't he reallocate the surplus to EI as soon as he first took office?

Because changes to the EI program would need the confidence of the House....if you don't do what the liberals do and actually play by the rules that is. With the CPC being a minority government this could trigger (* "an election that Canadians don't want.")

Try to keep up, mysterymeat.

(* copyright, lieberal party of Canada)

mystereeoso said...

"Funny that when Harper threatened to claw back the party subsidy they tried to blame the CPC for forcing an election that 'Canadians don't want'."

Conservative pre-election spending, piddled away between June 2 to September 6 2008:


I think you are missing the point about PMSH and Nixon - while PMSH does seem to share Nixon's penchant for tapes, the main analogy is in a political style that seeks to undermine and corrode established public institutions.

Southern Quebec said...

From the Star:

"In a move described as "Nixonian," Prime Minister Stephen Harper suggested he would release potentially damaging videotapes of Michael Ignatieff after the Liberal leader called on Harper to fire Finance Minister Jim Flaherty.

During question period yesterday, Harper told the Commons he had lots of videotapes featuring Ignatieff, raising the spectre of using them to discredit the opposition leader before and during the next election campaign.

"I cannot fire the Leader of the Opposition and with all the tapes I have on him, I do not want to," he said. "

Stephen Harper = Richard Nixon (without the charisma)

East of Eden said...

A little humour in advance of Friday. If you've ever been part of a Baptist church, you'll understand this one.

Show and Tell:

A kindergarten teacher gave her class a "show and tell" assignment..

Each student was instructed to bring in an object to share with the class that represented their religion.

The first student got up in front of the class and said,
"My name is Benjamin and I am Jewish and this is a Star of David."

The second student got up in front of the class and said, "My name is Mary.
I'm a Catholic and this is a Rosary."

The third student got in up front of the class and said, "My name is Tommy.
I am Baptist, and this is a casserole."

Gayle said...

Eskimo - do you mean to tell me politicians are hypocrites? Really?

See, the difference between people like me and people like you is that I have never been naive about politics. I did not believe Harper when he said he would do things differently, and that he would be more accountable, and I was right not to.

People never want an election (they did not want the last one either). Parties will always try and force one when the timing is right for them to do so (like the last one).

If you want to moan and groan about the LPC and ignore Harper, then you are the one being hypocritical.

You think the EI change is pandering. Well if it is, it is pandering that will not cost the treasury billions and billions of dollars - you know, like reducing the GST even though virtually every single economist in Canada said it was stupid and that Harper was clearly only trying to buy votes - to the detriment of the financial stability of the country.

As for Adscam - go for it. I would absolutely LOVE it if Harper ran on that one again. As if he did not look desperate enough already...

Southern Quebec said...

I guess Dear Leader feels better giving Canadian taxpayer dollars to GM than helping the unemployed through EI. If it's good for General Motors...blah, blah, blah.

hunter said...

I can always tell when one of my posts hits a lefty nerve, my trolls can't stop themselves from coming here and posting irrelevant comments. Or they talk to themselves.

23 out of 33 comments are by my helpful little trolls trying to point out that the lefty way is the only way. Really I think SQ, my, and Gayle should start their own blog....I promise I will visit it everyday and leave Conservative style comments just so you don't miss my blog!

Gayle said...

And I can always tell when BT'ers have no argument - they always post personal attacks against a certain class of people rather than deal with the points raised by those people.

Ahhh, broad unsubstantiated generalizations are fun!!!

hunter said...

Wrong Gayle, I always blog about lefties and their lefty ideas gone bad.

Like this post, how is taking $54 Billion out of EI to cover a deficit a good idea by the Liberals? How is decreasing health care money to provinces like Martin did a good idea?

I don't care if the Supreme Court said it's legal, it was theft by misappropriation of funds that should have been available NOW but they aren't because the Liberals took them. We would have had $54 billion in the fund, but they are gone thanks to the Liberals.

mystereeoso said...

Hunter - what do you think about 20 billion dollars in Conservative spending of taxpayers money between June and September of last year? It sure didn't go toward paying down a deficit did it?

mystereeoso said...

There's another thirteen billion that should be available NOW but a politically expedient cut to GST took care of that money in short order too. Meanwhile, who's taxes are paying for PMSH's American PR helpers and who is paying for the researchers to dig up all these tapes HMPMillhouseHarper has on people?

hunter said...

my, the spending is going towards roads and bridges, tangible assets, not taking EI funds from Canadians to fund Liberal pet projects.

East of Eden said...

"rather than deal with the points raised by those people."

There's no reason for us to do so, Gayle. This is Hunter's blog and a Conservative blog. If you want to address issues, why don't you start your own blog. Your comments across the board are numerous enough to fill many a blog post. Go for it. I promise to visit and comment so that you, Gayle, can address the issues which I raise.

Oh, sorry, I forgot - you don't have a blog. Dang. Guess you don't really have any substantial ideas about which to blog. Double-dang.