The Conservatives have not liked how the Parliamentary Budget Officer (PBO) has been doing his job. They have gone so far as to limit the information they give him, yet despite attempts to kneecap him, he has been on the mark most of the time, and certainly more so than the current Finance Minister, Jim Flaherty.
Take note, PBO Kevin Page pointed out that he can't envision a five-year return to surplus without a government move to significantly cut spending or increase revenue. That was in June of 2009. Flaherty's response to the PBO was this...
"He's wrong," Flaherty told journalists in a conference call from a G8 finance ministers' meeting in Lecce, Italy. "Because he says growth rates likely will be slower than I had predicted. Now, if you make an assumption with respect to lower growth rates, then you get the results that he postulates. "But anybody can do that." - Cumberland NewsAnybody but the current Finance Minister.
The Conservatives have consistently been out of sync even with their friends in the banking business. All I can add is that if Prime Minister Stephen Harper is a trained economist, he must have skipped a few lectures.
Flaherty says budget officer wrong to predict long-term deficits