But then I read this. Now, I do recognize the source, but considering this is a conservative writer taking a conservative finance department to task over what could be viewed as non-conservative financial dealings, I'm left scratching my head. Take this key piece of information for example:
"In a piece in yesterday’s National Post, TD Securities economist Eric Lascelles noted that there are no signs that credit has been withdrawn in Canada or the U.S. — in fact, mortgage lending has grown at 7.7% this year and personal loans are up 15.3% in this country."That really is mindboggling. Mortgage lending grew. Personal loans are up 15.3%. And yet banks are telling Ottawa they have no cash to lend: to business. "We have to get some of these debts off our books if you want us to lend to businesses who need money," say the banks. "After all it's your government's capitalization policies that prevent us from just throwing money at them." Or at least that's what they want us to believe.
So businesses are seen as risky lending ventures right now, but lending to the people who depend on them for their income, not so much. Disconnect? Me thinks there may be.
But what is the government to do when every other capitalist nation is spending like a drunken sailor from Havanna with a no-limit credit card? Acknowledgingly, I don't have too much exposed in this game right now. But in Canada, it really doesn't matter if I have cash in the markets, or cash in my mattress, because the DoF has the ability to grab whatever it needs of whatever I do have, whenever it needs to. So I care. And I think you should to.
I'm all for universal healthcare. I'm all for universal education. But I'm not for corporate welfare for businesses that sell products that people neither want nor can afford. Nor am I for businesses holding the taxpayer hostage crying foul because their cousins in the south and east have been given the tax-slavery proceeds of a nation wrapt in fear of losing their jobs and homes.
I don't want to see people lose their homes or jobs, which is exactly why I say to my government that today is the day that will deliver the least amount of pain. Throwing more money at the same problem doesn't solve it, it delays it and makes it worse. Why should the whole street have to pay for the bad purchasing choices of a few houses? Let those houses fall, and let smart, sensible, competent houses replace them.
For all of us, I hope I am wrong and the policy wonks at the DoF are right.
As an aside, for those of you reading this who want to attack the current government because of their ideology-driven policies, I feel it necessary to remind you that policies like what we have seen today are not dreamt up in some cabinet meeting by politicians, but emerge from the inner workings of departmental policy analysts and financial professionals--they present the government with choices, and you'd be amazed at how much influence the technocrats have with government in Canada, especially with the inexperienced ones.
More good thoughts, IMHO here.