If the political pundits are correct then the Harper Government has thrown out the first few planks of their election platform with yesterday’s Budget 2011 (part 1) announcement (here is a link to the Budget 2011 Speech if you want to read Mr. Flaherty’s words too). I dub it part 1, since there will be another one, if there is an election. Budgets can be fun and exciting times, and no doubt our friend Larry MacDonald has been locked up with a bunch of other folks in the budget enclave, Larry always has interesting stories from those lock ups.
So what does this Jim Flaherty’s budget do for you and me? Remember, don’t get too excited, because if there is an election and the Harper Government doesn’t get a majority or is removed from power, then we will be enduring another budget cycle again this year (if not many more). What happens with yet another minority government? Let’s not speak of such, it means more of the same kind of Government again, and I for one would love to see any Majority in power for a while (within reason).
Given all opposition parties have said they will not support this budget, don’t get very excited about any of this however, some of the highlights from the Jim FlahertyHarper Government budget include:
A balanced budget pledge by 2015-16, this is good, stop spending money you don’t have Harper Government.
Lots of fun little tidbits of money going around like:
$5 Million to the Calgary Stampeded for their 100th anniversary
$5 Million to the Grey Cup for their centennial as well
$25 Million over 5 years for Toronto’s harbor front
Up to a $300 Tax Credit for those caring for a “disabled” loved one (how disability is interpreted is still unclear, whether it is disabled in CRA’s eyes, or another interpretation)
Children are now counted as active if they are taking Tuba Lessons (i.e. the Active Child credit will include the Arts as well). Hope that is Marching Tuba Lessons.
Elimination of mandatory retirement at age 65, for federally regulated jobs. Guess that means I can now work ’til I die? Maybe that wasn’t the exact idea behind it, but it may be how things end up.
Helping lower-income Seniors out a bit more, with a top up to their old age security payments. Can’t argue with that one, no Politician is going to say that is a bad idea, but they might say it isn’t enough.
More money for full and part-time students in Grants and Loans? Not clear on how that might help middle class folks, but it might. If you are a Doctor or a Nurse and go work in a remote area, your loans would be forgiven too (what is remote? Scarborough? Barrie?).
A well described Hodge Podge (or Dog’s Breakfast) of bits and pieces, but a little bit for everyone, and not much for anyone, fine and dandy.
Now let the fireworks commence, will the Tories survive the week? When will a Spring Election be? Is Jack Layton ready for a campaign with his dodgy hip? Will Mr. Duceppe wear a funny hair net? Will Michael Ignatief find another way to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory? Why do I keep asking questions I can’t answer?
Hold onto your hats, this Budget may be forgotten, but some of it might come back in the fall, depending on who gets into power.
Here in Canada we are flagelating our government because they are going to be running a budget deficit (they are going to spend more than they make this year) of over $50B, and rightfully so, given we have been runnnig surpluses for several years (i.e. making more than we spend), however we are humble overspenders compared to our brothers to the south (the USA). The estimate now is that this year the US Federal Government will run a deficit (remember that is overspending this year’s budget) of over $1 Trillion, wow.
That is effectively the same as giving every single human being on the earth (assuming the Trillion they are talking about is 10 to the power of 12) $140.00, this year. Canada’s deficit would only give every human a paultry $7 , as you can see we Canadians are small time in this overspending world.
How will this be remedied in either country. Some are arguing in both cases there are 1 time bail outs that do not reflect actual spending habits (Bank Bail outs, Car Company Bail outs, etc.,), and that may well be the case, but what is going to be the fall out trying to pay back this deficit? Canada had been paying back the National Debt (i.e. the money we owe, from accumulated deficits over the years) however this latest set back is not a good thing.
As with personal finance every time a deficit is run for a year, it will eventually need to be paid back, Live Now but you will Pay A Lot More Later.
Local Ponzi News
If you think Bernie Madoff is a uniquely American issue, think again, evidently a new collapsed Ponzi scheme has been uncovered in Montreal. Earl Jones, the advisor in question is missing, as is all of his “clients” money as well.
This begs the question, do you trust your financial advisor? Are you sure you know where all your money is, and why it’s there?
Opening this box, you find a card, a Library Card. The Library is our friend, because we can do our Personal Finance research without having to buy books to do it.
In Ottawa you can get books on CD, DVDs and a lot of on line information as well. Research is a cornerstone of your Personal Finance Journey, the more you read, the more you learn and the more you can apply to your financial planning.
If you are planning for next year (as you should in Advent), visit your Library and use your Library card.
In Ottawa our library is the best! You can put things on hold on line and there are so many on-line resources you can use, why aren’t you using it?
Personal Finance Advent Calendar
The complete Personal Finance Advent Calendar box postings.
I’m sorry I just could not resist the picture, since every time I think of the Throne Speech my mind naturally moves to the water closet.
The Speech From the Throne
You can find the complete speech on this link, have a read it’s a lot of fun to read something that implies so much and says so very little.
My Kind of Throne
A Fiscal statement is coming next week from Jim Flaherty (mini-budget? budget? whatever).
We are going to try not to run a deficit, but we make no promises.
Support of workers in transition. Does that mean they are going to give me an athletic supporter, money or training? Support is a generic term, training is implied, but not sure.
Quoted Warren Buffett, who quoted Wayne Gretzky who said we should “to skate to where the puck is going to be, not to where it has been.”, commenting about how we need a Dynamic economy. I always liked Yogi Berra’s “Hit ’em where they ain’t..” as a colloquialism.
More effective government, that’s kind of like promising to eat right, words are interesting, actions are the telling part of it.
One very interesting statement about Electric Power generation: “Our Government will set an objective that 90 percent of Canada’s electricity needs be provided by non-emitting sources such as hydro, nuclear, clean coal or wind power by 2020. ” Interesting target to have, given a lot is already Hydro and Nuclear how close are we to that number already?
Improving the UCCB, no real statement what that improvement might be, but I like that idea.
Lots of motherhood statements about funding the military and the police to keep us all safe (not bad things, just fairly standard stuff).
“May divine providence guide us in our deliberations.” Really not sure what that is supposed to mean, but it reads well, that is for sure.
I guess we shall wait until next week to hear what Mr. Flaherty has to say about programs, taxes, expenditures and the like. I smell a deficit coming, but we shall have to wait and see.
Now remember this is a historic view of the 2008 Election (Federal that is). Also when Google turned 10 years old, wild times.
Yup, time for another election folks, whoopee!! Who will come out on top? I don’t care, whoever it is, get the heck out of my bedroom and my wallet (to paraphrase Pierre Elliot Trudeau).
Stephen Harper dropped by the Governor Generals place at 9:00 AM on a Sunday (wonder if she was dressed by then) and the government was dissolved. All this and the poor woman couldn’t go to the Paralympics Games opening ceremonies.
My wife and I will be playing the fun game: “How many political party signs can we get on our front lawn”, you should try as well, if someone sends me a picture of their lawn with GENUINE political signs on their front lawn, I will post them (I promise).
The questions I will be asking anybody who shows up on my doorstep from any party:
What is your party’s status on income sharing between spouses who are younger than 55 years old and don’t have pension income?
How will your party help students attempting to not carry a crushing debt load when they graduate from University?
If I vote for your party, will you help me find a job in the government? Really, come on, give an unemployed guy a break!
What is your party’s stance on the Federal Government standardizing their databases so that Canadians are not “tracked” in more than 10 different Federal government databases?
Any other questions folks might want to ask, add them in, I’ll post the best of on Friday.
Google Turns 10!
Yup 10 years ago on Sunday Google was founded by Larry Page and Sergey Brin and now it is worth over $150 Billion dollars. How? They went where the money is, advertising, and they also innovated when others were attempting to only survive, way to go guys, now can you please increase my Adsense payments?
Another company that might have been good to buy, even after the RIDICULOUS IPO price (who knew?).