The economist

Stephen Harper, September 2008“My own belief is if we were going to have some kind of big crash or recession, we probably would have had it by now.”

Stephen Harper, October 2008“I know economists will say well, we could run a small deficit but the problem is that once you cross that line as we see in the United States, nothing stops deficits from getting larger and larger and spiralling out of control.”

Stephen Harper, October 2008. “We’ll never go back into deficit.”

Stephen Harper, December 2008. “The truth is, I’ve never seen such uncertainty in terms of looking forward to the future … Obviously, we’re going to have to run a deficit.”

Stephen Harper, February 2009“Of course there’s all kinds of risks of inefficient, expanded government policies that will continue into the future. I’m not suggesting there aren’t long-term risks. But I was taught early in economics classes, the famous economist John Maynard Keynes said that, ‘At times like this, we remember that in the long run, we’re all dead.’ So right now, we worry about the short term. We are worried about the short term, and we’ve got to get things right now.”

Ian Brodie, former chief of staff to Stephen Harper, March 2009. “Despite economic evidence to the contrary, in my view the GST cut worked … It worked in the sense that by the end of the ’05-’06 campaign, voters identified the Conservative party as the party of lower taxes. It worked in the sense that it helped us to win.”

The Canadian Association for Business Economists, August 2010.  The Canadian Association for Business Economics says a poll suggests 74 per cent of its members think it’s bad policy to replace the obligatory long census with a voluntary survey. Seventy-one per cent anticipate the quality of data obtained from a voluntary survey will be poorer than that collected from the compulsory census. And 76 per cent believe the change will negatively affect the analysis done by their group or organization.

Stephen Harper, yesterday. “On the other hand, when things change as rapidly as they do, you can’t be locked in to the same answer in every situation. Obviously, the last two years required us, my judgment as an economist, required us to on a temporary basis spend an enormous amount of money and run a significant deficit. I think we were in the unusual situation where that’s actually the ideal economic policy.”