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Photo: International Monetary Fund/flickr
| December 9, 2013

Theatre of the Fiscally Absurd: Auditions now open to run government finances

Photo: photoswebpm/flickr

Have you ever considered a career on stage? Do you like to manipulate peoples' emotions to make them fear catastrophe and then worship you when you save the day? Perhaps you should consider a career running the country's finances. 

As an aspiring actor, you no doubt admire the pomp and circumstance of the throne speech. But the political theatrics go far beyond that. These days the politics of the federal budget book are worthy of a Broadway spectacle.

Federal fiscal theatre has it all. There is anxiety-provoking drama, a valiant superhero and a (not so surprising) happy ending. This week's throne speech is just one more glamorous soliloquy to remind us who to credit when the hero triumphs just in time to enhance the Conservatives' fortunes in the next election.

| July 8, 2013
April 8, 2013 |
After four austerity budgets and lots of hide and seek, there are finally some answers about what services federal departments are going to cut.

Drinking the financial hemlock: Balancing public budgets to enrich the financial sector

Photo: d.neuman/Flickr

It's budget season everywhere, and it's all about debt and deficits and the elusive quest to balance the beast, which can only be done, it is said, by cutting services or raising taxes.

The burden of interest charges -- on the same scale as health or education in most provincial budgets -- doesn't get questioned because interest is fixed by the gods according to divine law, retribution from which we can only escape through harsher and harsher penance.

Or is it? Let's chew on a couple of startling points.

| April 5, 2013
| March 22, 2013
| March 22, 2013
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Little cause for workers to celebrate in federal budget

As expected, the federal Conservative government's budget for 2014-15, released Thursday, provided little in the way of new spending to improve employment in Canada. There is a few million here, a few million there for job training programs, but overall it is an austerity budget with very little direct job creation.


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