Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Budget Review

You can find stories on the federal budget anywhere, so I'll refrain from linking. Overall, I like it. Like many economists, I wish we hadn't cut the GST, but what's done is done.

Frankly, what I was most afraid of was large handouts to manufacturing, and it looks like that was restrained to $250m. I don't mind at all the tax cuts, and even those are a drop in the bucket.

A fiscal trend that's starting to worry me is that all programs are now created with built-in expiry dates. For example, the Millenium Scholarships ran out the clock, to be replaced by something else. People who want these this year are going to be irritated. The prior allowance for accelerated depreciation expired this year, leaving business with imperfect spreadsheets, etc, etc.

The increasing level of uncertainty being built in to each budget is driving me nuts, especially since two years may not be sufficient time to evaluate a program that had to be created from scratch following budget day.

POSTSCRIPT: Rochester admit, with solid fellowship for five years.

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