On the eve of Stephen Harper’s eighth anniversary in office, writer and statistics buff Alex Roberts has a must-read piece in the Ottawa Citizen, cleverly tagged, “Harper’s Economic Index.*” It casts a jaundiced numerical eye at how well he has managed the economy, the thing pundits constantly tell us he’s so good at.
A few samples:
- Estimated amount spent on taxpayer-funded advertisements since 2009 touting the “Economic Action Plan” and the government’s economic record : $113,000,000
- National unemployment rate in January, 2006: 6.6
- National unemployment rate in December, 2013: 7.2
- Number of consecutive annual federal budget deficits: 6
- Number of consecutive annual federal budget surpluses under the previous Liberal (Chrétien/Martin) governments: 9
- Number of budget deficit targets hit by Finance Minister Jim Flaherty: 0
- Amount added to the federal national debt since Conservatives took power in 2006: $123,500,000,000
On the bright side, the dollar’s up, and the TSX rose 16.1% (compared to 55.1% for the Dow).
Seriously, the whole piece is worth a read.
* Not to be confused with the Harpers Index.