January 26, 2012

Tories sharpening budget knife

RY Exclusive

Thursday’s Globe and Mail online carried a series of reports on the Canadian, US and global economy that provide a snap-shot of the continued internal contradictions and struggles that capitalism is going through, which may be more protracted and serious than even the Marxists have thought to date.
The thought comes to mind that if Harper -- who has shown some wack musical “talent” in the past -- were to ditch the piano and write a Hip Hop song about the current budget, he’d have to sample a lot of sharpening knives... Anyway, here are the highlights.

Budget axe will hit deeper, sooner:

Rather than aiming for a 5 per cent cut overall and permanent savings of $4-billion a year – as outlined in the 2011 budget – the government is now clearly describing the 5 per cent cut as the low end of a targeted range....

Finance Minister Tony Clement at the Empire Club:
 “I have led a cabinet committee to review the plans of federal departments and agencies to achieve savings of between 5 and 10 per cent in their program budgets; in other words, reductions of anywhere between $4-billion and $8-billion.”

More chop, chop, chop:

The federal government is poised to transform immigration, pensions and research and development policy, Prime Minister Stephen Harper said Thursday. In a major speech to global movers and shakers at the World Economic Forum, he said the idea is to position Canada as a more competitive force in the global economy and to confront the pressures of an aging population.

Uncle Sam has bombs but not jobs:

When is a declining jobless rate a bad thing? Answer: When a big part of the drop is because people are abandoning the labour market, many without hope and too discouraged to look for work. That, unfortunately, is what’s happening in the United States.
Over the past year, the U.S. jobless rate has dropped to 8.5 per cent from 9.4 per cent.  The average length of unemployment is now 39.4 months, more than twice as long as it was in the 2001 recession.

Good luck, imperialism!

The founder of the annual World Economic Forum retreat in this Alpine town, Klaus Schwab, has appealed to global movers and shakers for a “great transformation” that would challenge the basic tenets of capitalism.

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