Thursday, August 6, 2015

No wonder Gwyn Morgan hates big government

Gwyn had himself a snappy little paean to  Big Steve in yesterday's Globe and Mail, titled Some vital perspective on the economic record. Oddly enough, it appeared just as a recent research paper by economist Jim Stanford was getting some traction. Stanford's conclusion?

The Harper gang have been the worst stewards of Canada's economy in the post-war era.

Now if there's one thing Mr. Morgan hates almost as much as big government, it's lefty economists. Gywn comes to Harper's rescue by claiming that the hoo-ha over Harper's long-promised surplus having, at the eleventh hour, become a deficit, is taking a tiny tiny deficit and blowing it out of all perspective. "How significant is a $2.9 billion change in an $890 billion budget? The answer is that it amounts to less than a third of one percent," Gwyn dismissively informs us.

Except Gwyn has one little fact wrong; the federal budget is about $620 billion less than the imaginary number he made up for his article. So that $2.9 billion trifle is over one percent, not "less than one third of 1 per cent."

That's the problem with folks who see "big government" as a monster hiding under the bed; it gets so much bigger in the imagination than it actually is in reality. Or maybe there's some "unreported budget" coming from the same wizards who invented that Harperite stroke of genius, the increase in "unreported crime."

Be that as it may, Gwyn does bring us some perspective. He's obviously a big-picture guy who doesn't fuss too much about the accuracy of the details... maybe that explains how tens of millions in bribe money wafted out of the SNC-Lavalin accounts while he was chair of the board of directors.

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