That headline, my friends, is the most important thought to keep in your minds when you hear anything to do with this ” independent economist” who was paid, very well in fact, to produce a report for the Liberals who have managed to get this province into a debt spiral that will be felt by generations to come.
(Hmmm.. which makes me wonder if…. an ‘ independent economist’ is the same thing as and ‘ independent fairness advisor.’ ? )
“The Sept. 1, 2009 headline in The Tyee said it all: “B.C. budget includes record $2.8 billion deficit, cuts, optimism.”
British Columbia will have a record deficit of $2.8 billion, according to a budget update Finance Minister Colin Hansen presented today. That’s five times greater than the $495 million projected in February and insisted upon by Premier Gordon Campbell during the election campaign.
Back to de Jong and 2013.
The Liberals are trying to make it look like they’re more fiscally responsible than the 1988 Socreds, 1996 NDP and 2009 Liberals. They even hired an expert! Tim O’Neill, a former BMO economist from the Maritimes! He’s independent! Shhh, don’t pay attention to the $25,000 he’s pocketing for less than a month’s work that resulted in a 22-page report, B.C. Budget 2013: Economic & Revenue Forecasts — Review and Assessment. Don’t dare suggest it’s just spin. Gosh, no. The government would never do that. Perish that thought!
Well, it’s 20 pages after the title page and disclaimer. The first and last pages are half each, so that’s really 19. The margins are wide and the print is big. The word count is 4,520. Hey, that’s better than $5.50 per word. Not a bad gig, eh?
The word expenditure is mentioned just once. The word expense is nowhere to be found.
The government paid for a report on what it will be taking in, not on what it will be paying out. A report on revenue only tells half the story.
Surprise, surprise, O’Neill has nothing really bad to say, except, perhaps the government is too bullish on natural gas. (A degree isn’t necessary to arrive at that conclusion; one need only have watched the throne speech).
“I have concluded that there are no glaring problems or inadequacies that need to be addressed,” wrote O’Neill. “There is ample evidence of professional competence, analytical rigour and appropriate caution applied in the work that goes into producing the revenue projections.”
There you have it. Voters beware! “