The Globe and Mail's John Ibbitson takes a look at the Conservative government and Liberal opposition positions on deficit control today. This comes on the heels of both parties staking out, or at least trying to stake out, their positions as "best fiscal managers". While laying out the respective positions, Ibbitson turned to MLI's Brian Crowley for his take, under the sub-title Who you gonna believe?
Brian Lee Crowley, of the Macdonald-Laurier Institute, an Ottawa think-tank, is "delighted that both parties want to reduce the deficit in very short order," because it shows that Canadians expect their governments to balance the books. As Mr. Crowley puts it: "No one wants to own the deficit."
But the real question, he points out, is what programs would each party cut or what taxes they would hike, if growth weakens below projections? That's a question no party is ready to answer.
As for the claim that the Liberal plan would wipe out 400,000 jobs, "all politicians make exaggerated claims about the damage their opponents' policies will do," Mr. Crowley observed. But it's an economic fact of life, he added, that lowering corporate taxes creates jobs, and freezing those taxes, as the Liberals propose, would keep those jobs from being created.
You can bet that MLI will be holding all politicians' feet to the fire when it comes to deficit reduction/elimination and debt control. After all, we wrote the book on it...The Canadian Century.