Lunch Lady Premier has stepped in it now. Alberta is set to post a $5.9B deficit this year.
Rachel Notley's NDP government is forecasting to end the year with a $5.9-billion deficit, $814 million more than forecast in the March 2015 budget, which was introduced but never passed by the previous Progressive Conservative government.As always, since NDP losers aren't good at math, if they say $5.9-6.5 billion, expect it to top $7B at the lowest.
However, this forecast was finalized on July 30 before the price of WTI crude started dropping well below the $57.94 US a barrel average in April, May and June.
"It is clear that the revenues have dipped even further in these past weeks," said Finance Minister Joe Ceci, who presented the financial update in the Alberta Legislature. "If current conditions continue, the final deficit will be in the range of $6.5 billion."
Ceci may be the least stupid of the NDP cabinet, but he's still stupid. Let's look at all the stupid things he uses as an excuse.
"The previous conservative governments weren't able to balance Alberta's budget in five of the last six years when oil was averaging about $90 a barrel," he said.First off, of course, "diversifying the economy" isn't the job of any level of government. Even if it was, of course, such diversification has already largely happened by private sector activity. Secondly, as we've hammered home many a time, a flat tax is the only tax system that has people pay their fair share. Third and finally, while Alberta could be said to be "not saving for a rainy day" that's just as much on the spend-happy opposition NDP who, when times were good, suddenly forgot who this "Keynes" guy was and simply demanded more spending. Let's remember that Alberta had a socialist Premier (Ed Stelmach, Red Redford, now Rachel Arab) for most of the past decade, and no wonder the government kept spending money as fast as they could save it.
"They failed to diversify the economy, failed to ensure that those that could were paying their fair share and failed to save for a rainy day."
So will Ceci start saving? Will he promise to slash public sector expenditures (including wages) whenever Alberta isn't in a recession? Or will he just keep racking up the province's debt, wasting it on lazy unionized nurses and teachers?