Monday, November 24, 2008

Neo-Cons Have No New Ideas

The neo-con federal government of Harper and Flaherty have no new ideas, just the same old ideology. After lambasing Harper for his flip flop on the deficit, and his denial that Canada is in a recession, Don Martin in his column today says;

"Be it campaign deception or denial, having tens of thousands suddenly face the loss of jobs, savings and perhaps their homes has twisted Harper's old beliefs into policy pretzels. For this Conservative government, the age of ideology is over -- technically and realistically."

Unfortunately Don the Conservative Government has not given up on its neo-con ideology as we witness in this announcement by Jim Flaherty.

Flaherty aims to boost economy with P3 projects
Ottawa wants to build billions of dollars of bridges, hospitals and other infrastructure as a way to lessen the blow from the financial crisis, finance minister Jim Flaherty said Monday.
Speaking at a conference in Toronto, Mr. Flaherty said investments in infrastructure will be "a key part" of the government's strategy to stimulate the economy.
But some observers say there's a problem with the plan. The government wants to deliver the projects through so-called public private partnerships (P3) where projects are built and financed by the private sector but according the government's requirements. But while the P3 model has gained acceptance in much of the world, there is rising concern that the credit crunch has made it almost impossible to finance new P3s.
Because of the financial crisis, finding willing lenders has become a lot more difficult and when they can be found the cost of capital for even triple-A borrowers is much higher than even a few months ago, said Alban de La Selle, a senior executive at Dexia Credit Local SA, a leading European bank.
"Lenders [on infrastructure projects] have become significantly more cautious," according to a recent report by PricewaterhouseCoopers. "... infrastructure finance raising is likely to be challenging for some time to come and the business risk of these transactions is certainly higher."
But the financial turmoil may have thrown a monkey wrench into the mechanics of P3s by making the financing so much more difficult.
Mr. de La Selle said one way to overcome the problem would be for the government to provide the financing itself. Since governments are among the few players that can get the benefit of lower borrowing costs, that advantage could be brought into play in doing P3s, he said. For their part, the private sector partners would guarantee to repay the debt.

So instead of the government funding infrastructure projects, the Harpocrites want to fund the private sector to do it for them. Ironically currently P3's in Canada are funded by public pension money, there are very few private P3's.

The Harpocrites had an opportunity to build a P3 project; the National Porttrait Gallery but they canceled it last week.

Earth to Flaherty,hello we are in a recession if not a depression and companies are hoarding capital not spending it. So instead of expanding the public sector the government will be choosing winners and losers in the private sector to build infrastructure. And these companies will promise to repay the debt, which will only happen if they survive this depression. Throwing good money after bad.

And he made his announcement at a conference on P3's sponsored by the right wing business lobby the Fraser Institiute.

So much for the Harpocrites abandoning their neo-con ideology, even in this recession they scramble to keep faith with the right wing ideology that got us in this mess in the first place.

Speaking to a Fraser Institute dinner, the finance minister committed to increased spending by Ottawa, if it is needed. Flaherty stressed at the luncheon the importance of infrastructure spending by the federal government, notably in partnership with the private sector. He announced $1.25 billion in startup funding for P3 Canada Inc., an entity that will work on public-private projects.
Thank goodness for this opportune recession, even if it is still "technical," as Finance Minister Jim Flaherty insisted at a downtown conference yesterday. If it weren't for whatever it is, nothing would get done.
The legacy of good times lasting more than a decade is a mountain of unfunded priorities for public spending. It took recession, or perhaps only the vivid perception of it, to focus government attention on what it should have undertaken years ago.
Focus is too soft a word to describe the sudden conversion of our former fiscal conservatives to counter-cyclical spending. Yesterday, a previously dismissive Mr. Flaherty let the world know he was jumping into the pothole business with both feet.
Infrastructure spending "will be a key component of our future success," he told a conference on public-private partnerships, and a "key component" of his government's planned economic stimulus. Although ideological conservatives may worry about burdening future generations with unsustainable debt, real Conservatives are now committed to spending their way out of recession.
And nobody is cheering louder than the crowd that brought us collateralized debt obligations and credit default swaps. With the market for such innovative products seized up worse than a rusty Ford, government has become the only source of cheap credit for anything. Ergo, everybody loves infrastructure. Well-dressed converts flocked to Mr. Flaherty's speech yesterday like contrite sinners to a revival meeting.

Instead, governments should activate construction projects that are already on the drawing-boards, and have been waiting for funding. Canada's infrastructure suffered much depreciation during the fiscal restraint of the 1990s, and did not catch up in the balanced-budget period. The wear and tear are showing.

Your Pension Plan At Work
A Critique of P3's From The Right

Find blog posts, photos, events and more off-site about:
, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

No comments: