Exit strategy

Globe and Mail, Sept. 10. Putting the best possible pre-election gloss on forecasts of deeper red ink for Ottawa, Finance Minister Jim Flaherty is assuring Canadians the light at the end of the deficit tunnel should be visible by 2015. Mr. Flaherty refused to promise when the Conservatives might balance the budget – blaming a murky economic outlook – but insisted the Tories are the only party that can be trusted to bring Ottawa back into surplus without raising taxes or cutting transfers to provinces … Although Mr. Flaherty had last week said he would lay out a path to balanced budgets – “how we will move back to surplus” – the effort presented Thursday fell well short of this. The Conservatives said detailed measures would have to wait until their economic crystal ball grows clearer.

Canwest, tonight. Prime Minister Stephen Harper warned Thursday night against having no “exit” strategy from high government deficit and debt levels, delivering his message to a U.S. business audience already jittery about Washington’s spending … he signalled that a failure of the U.S. government to move toward balancing its books could stifle longer-term economic expansion. “There must be plans put in place to exit from high levels of government deficits and debt so that capital investment in the private sector is not eventually crowded out,” Harper said.

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