Friday, November 14, 2008

Typically Short Sighted

One of the things that has always irritated me about the modern neoConservative is how utterly myopic their policies and solutions to things are.

In a time of economic crisis, which may well plunge Canada back into deficit territory, we find Jim Flaherty musing about selling off assets to balance the books.

How utterly short sighted. First off, given the economic situation, nobody's going to be able to borrow the money to purchase those assets. Second, at that point, the only way to sell them will be at fire sale prices, which hardly does justice to the taxpayer's investment, does it?

Lastly, a government, just like an individual, needs a balance of liquid and non-liquid assets. My house is an asset. I use it to my advantage by controlling my cost of living month to month; similarly, there is merit in the government owning a certain amount of 'bricks-and-mortar' to house its operations - in part so that the costs of the governments operations can be kept under some control - not terribly complicated to understand, is it?

Selling off Canada's assets to 'the highest bidder' simply to avoid a deficit is foolish. There are other ways to achieve that goal that do not have the same long term consequences for taxpayers.

3 comments:

VĂ©ronique said...

Ye gods, that sounds like selling your stuff on eBay so you can pay your bills. It's a desperation move.

One problem is that this government has already tried to sell buildings in those arrangements where they sell them and lease them back. I don't know if the economics of those arrangements actually work or if they're purely ideologically driven despite added cost in the long run.

Sigh. I so want a strong and competitive Liberal Party.

MgS said...

From what I've come to understand, the taxpayer winds up paying for the building many times over - leases are always profit making endeavors, and the property companies know that.

These are little more than a retroactive "P3" deal (Public Private Partnership). They look good on the books only because the lease costs are not debt, they become operating expenses.

Anonymous said...

Oh heck, what's a little more debt and deficit??

Harper's wonderful gift of two cents off my TimmyHo's double-double makes up for it.

Let my kids and grand kids pay for it all.

You can bet that all of Harper's high rolling friends will pass on the 2% gst saving on their new Lexus or Mercedes to the CPC election war chest fund.