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What I like is "independent private sector economists". That must mean people not paid by employers for their economic expertise (because surely that would make them not independent)?

Maybe I'll qualify - I'm not public sector and I'm certainly independent (when it comes to economics anyway). Now if only I could get the "economist" bit I'd be off to the races.

And you gotta wonder how objective those private sector economists are going to be when the idea gets floated about throwing tens of billions of dollars of public money at their employers. As it is, their opinions about monetary policy can't be taken at face value: regardless of the situation, they never seem to think that increasing interest rates would be a good idea.

Perhaps he just meant non-government economists - which I suppose would encompass academics? I at least hope so.

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So what's the objective Stephen Gordon? Further reduce Dion's chances of winning seats?

And while we're at it, is John McCallum, former economics professor from McGill University and current Liberal MP and former Liberal cabinent minister all that useful?

The clown was defending reduced taxes on income trusts the other day. His politics are as or more cynical than some of the self-serving populist ideas "Trust me, I'm an economist" Stephan Harper comes out with: cut the GST, reduce taxes on diesel, $5,000 giveaway to new home owners, carbon taxes will cause recession.

Pretty much off-topic, but still relating to economics. Stephen, do you know of any links to easy access breakdowns of government spending. This probably sounds a bit silly, but I'm interested in even seeing some as simple as a couple of pie charts that show where the bulk of revenues come from and the major expenditures. I get the feeling that even though people say that the Conservatives are about better economics and smaller government, that the majority of government budgets would remain the same. That's not to say that policy can't effect things, but during this election (and others) the discussion is rarely about policy.

cheers

Maybe this?

Doug:
This is slightly outdated (2006), but here's a nice page from the Canada Revenue Agency with pie charts showing where the money comes from/ goes to.


http://www.fin.gc.ca/taxdollar06/text/html/taxdollar06_e.html

or this one for 2005 from Finances:
http://www.fin.gc.ca/TaxDollar/taxdollar_e.html

Actually, here a link for 2007 info:
http://www.fin.gc.ca/access/ecfisce.html

or, even better, the 2008 budget pdf at
http://www.budget.gc.ca/2008/pdf/plan-eng.pdf

revenue outlook = page 200 (wow.. GST is only 27 billion. I never realized how much 40 billion $ (the carbon tax) really meant.

spending outlook = page 205.


just in case I don't understand how the budgets and spending relate to elections, would the 2007 info be a result of the Conservative minority government?

In Budget 2008 (p 242), it says that "As in past years, market participants were consulted as part of the process of developing the debt strategy."

Sounds like Dion's brand new idea. Were university economists consulted then?

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