It looks to me like Harper figured out that if he wrote a budget that pandered to the squirming base of extremists that form the core support for his party that he'd lose the bulk of the rest of his support. However, he didn't dare write a budget that spoke to the bulk of Canadians with real issues either, because he'd lose the support of his "base". (although where they'd end up voting is hard to guess - CHP perhaps?)
So, what does he do? Relatively little it seems. A few tax credits that are likely not worth the powder to blow them to hell in the long run (remember, a tax credit is usually only a percentage of the cash outlay that is claimed - 15% for medical expenseses over $2000 this year), and I suspect that like the medical expenses claim, the devil's in the details. They moved the floor on medical expenses up for 2010 - from $1745 to just over $2000, and oh yes, don't forget that anything the government deems "cosmetic" is no longer eligible.
Keeps government on track for a balanced budget within six years through the combination of economic growth and spending restraints. The end of the federal stimulus program, by itself, will cut the 2011-12 deficit to $27.6 billion from a revised $40.5 billion in 2010-11.
Economic growth (real gross domestic product) of 2.9 per cent, based on the average outlook of private sector economists.
Hmmm...economic growth of 2.9% ... that's a little optimistic. I don't budget my spending on the basis of getting a pay raise of a certain size each year. I always thought that Conservatives were the "live within your means" crowd - it's funny how every time they get into power the deficit goes ballooning out of control.