Sunday, July 04, 2010

Just How Stupid is Stephen Harper? Ask the Pharoahs.

Stephen Harper truly exemplifies what happens when dogma trumps reality. The clown prince is so doctrinaire that he can't help himself, even on the basics, even with a graduate degree in economics (albeit from the University of Calgary).

Prime Minister StupidStick revealed all when he slashed the GST upon coming to power. That move was not only breathtakingly stupid, it offended the very wisdom of the Pharoahs. Let me explain.

The Pharoahs built a mighty Egyptian empire replete with temples, palaces, the pyramids, and a massive, all-powerful army. All of that was based on just a few things - grain, silos and the good common sense to store a surplus of the first safely in the second. The operative word here is "surplus" which means being more than or in excess of what is needed or required.

When he became Jean Chretien's finance minister, Paul Martin understood the wisdom of the Pharoahs and put it into practice. He balanced the budget, began paying down debt and kept taxes high enough to amass a healthy surplus. There it is again, that word "surplus."

Why is having a surplus so important? When you're amassing that surplus the importance may not be obvious. It's importance becomes apparent, even to stupid people like Harper, only when something goes wrong, only when it's needed.

The Pharoahs established state-run silos to hold all that surplus grain so they had plenty on hand in the event of a crop failure or when needed to feed workers building those stone edifices or when they wanted to send an army to conquer the neighbours. It kept everybody happy and productive and, before long, Egypt had an enormous and powerful empire. Without that surplus grain securely tucked away in those silos, the Pharoah's Egypt would have probably resembled an ancient version of today's Egypt, only without all the great monuments and pyramids.

When Pharoah Steve came to the throne in Ottawa, however, he looked on the brimming silos he inherited from Martin with disdain. He declared that the state had no right to a surplus, to take more or in excess of what is needed or required, and so he cut the GST, once and once again, and began emptying the silos. Then, just as the silos approached empty, a great and powerful global meltdown swept in from the south. Steve had no grain to feed his people and so he went begging to those who had full silos and began borrowing to make good the advantages he had squandered.

If the ancient Pharoahs were to behold our poor Stephen, what would they think? I expect not much at all.


Anonymous said...

thank gawd you are a liberal . . . you are just so smart, write so well and have such a complete mastery of history, we are all in awe of your powers and only the Liberal Party of Canada deserves you.

Anonymous said...

All I can say is, better start moving that ten ton stone, or it's off to the crocodiles with you, lowly slave.

The Phantom said...

Is it me, or was ancient Egypt an absolute monarchy/theocracy? I'm thinking it was, right? Everything in the kingdom pretty much belonged to Pharaoh, eh?

But since this is Canada, isn't this MY money you're so blithely asserting government ownership of? Harper should have kept on taking MY money like Martin and Chretien before him , so he could give it back to me as a stimulus project now that times are tough?

Isn't that what BANKS are meant for? I save MY money so I have some when I need it?

Mark Peters said...

All this and not even one fleeting thought about reducing the size of government on all levels.


Anonymous said...

More Eastern condescension: "even with a graduate degree in economics (albeit from the University of Calgary". I and many others like me have had it with the Eastern snobs, their arrogance and their assumed right to rule. When Stelmach had gone and the Wildrose Alliance rules Alberta, you are going to see the most powerful surge of separatism. To quote a famous phrase - "freeze in the dark, Eastern Bastards!

Anonymous said...

I thought Martin and the Liberals got their surplus by downloading the problems onto the backs of the provinces and the municipalities who had to do the spending cuts. Also by taking in too much unemployment insurance deductions from taxpayers.

Smarter than you, clearly said...

It feels rude to pile on, but really - do you not remember who it was that made the spending of massive amounts of money on stimulus the basis of the stupidest coalition of all time? Really? Your memory is that short?

Anonymous said...

So tell me, would you vote for Harper if he declares himself a dictator, hoards food, amasses a large invading army, builds temples (to himself) and imprisons slaves for centuries?

Anonymous said...

I just found the song that sums up your entire philosophy, Einstein:

The Mound of Sound said...

Ah, where to begin?

Fred, what can I say except that I parted company with the LPC some time ago. Perhaps the Libs do deserve me but I'm not on the market right now.

Phantom, you're absolutely correct, ancient Egypt was a totalitarian state. One man rule. Sound at all familiar? It shoud.

Mark, your point is utterly off topic. Nice try though.

Anon 7:01, I reside on Vancouver Island. Moved here from the Lower Mainland. "Eastern condescension"? Get a map and, when you're finished with that, bite me. To me, you're the Easterner.

Anon 7:10, try to read more.

Anon 7:24, congratulations! You make your namesake 7:10 sound informed. That's no mean feat.

Sounder, think about what you wrote. You are, of course, describing the most autocratic ruler Canada has seen in three generations. And a lousy theocrat to boot!

Anon 7:48, I'm sure your Youtube link is insanely prescient. Sorry but I've already wasted far too much time with you Con troll simps. However, thanks for playing. BTW, is this doggerel the best you Tories can come up with? Really? That's it? Not one of you has even attempted to refute the grain/silo/surplus idea. I suppose that's because it's the very thing that has advanced civilization for about 5,000 years.

Okie said...

Peeing on a nest of yellow jackets always makes them swarm Mound.

Anonymous said...

"being more than or in excess of what is needed or required."

Mound I am so glad you feel this way. Do you have RSP's or a savings account, I used all mine up after being unemployed now for close to 18 months. I need $2500 to cover my bills and mortage this month to avoid foreclosure - I get my first pay check from my new job in mid August, and since you have a surplus and I don't, I'm sure you wouldn't mind sharing it with me - I'm serious - contact me. Thank you for your assistance.

Anonymous said...

"being more than or in excess of what is needed or required."

Mound I am so glad you feel this way. Do you have RSP's or a savings account, I used all mine up after being unemployed now for close to 18 months. I need $2500 to cover my bills and mortage this month to avoid foreclosure - I get my first pay check from my new job in mid August, and since you have a surplus and I don't, I'm sure you wouldn't mind sharing it with me - I'm serious - contact me. Thank you for your assistance.

Anonymous said...

I'm the one who needs the $2500 - my email is all one word: tincupandloonies at

Anonymous said...

Dont include the and part in my email address above just one word tincuploonies the "at" sign Anyone else who likes to share their surplus can also contact me at the email address given. I do not want to be homeless.

Neo Conservative said...

oh my gawd... it's cherniak... he's back.

c'mon jason... i thought you promised to stay in the alien abduction end of the pool.


Ed said...

Mound of Sound, are you under the impression that the leader of a minority government is exerting dictatorial powers? Or even behaving in such a manner?

Please correct me if I am mistaken about your position and have set up a strawman, because either option above is false on its face: simply not possible for the leader of a minority government.

Secondly, nobody is arguing against saving during the good times to ride out the bad. Such advice is excellent, particularly on an individual level. The Pharaohs weren't the only ones practicing that either - the whole "Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat" part of the Bible is about precisely that idea. And as Phantom mentioned, that is [part] of what banks are for.

The problem with government doing it is that it usually doesn't save the money. What usually happens instead is that politicians dream up new programs on which to spend - each new program is more votes at re-election time, you see.

And each of those new programs becomes entrenched. When poor economic times inevitably return, the howls of protest at the mere suggestion of budget cuts to anything echo across the land.

So the surplus evaporates. Not all at once, mind you. Spending simply increases. And then you have the regularly occurring economic downturn, and the tax collection drops, and poof you've got a deficit.

The sane thing for a government to do really is to take in no more than it needs to spend, and use any excess to pay off the debt or return it to the taxpayers. Really. It allows average people to pay less taxes and save more for themselves. If the government then finds itself in a huge bind, well a debt-free nation would have a pretty good credit rating, yes?

Compare how Canada has handled this recession compared to the USA, or Greece, or England or anywhere else, really.

Bear in mind that Harper is an anomaly among world leaders, being an economist - most of the rest are lawyers. When world leaders take advice from experts, the advice Harper receives is viewed through the eyes of economist, and the others view their advice through the eyes of a lawyer. It does make a difference.

The backhanded compliment ("even if it is from the University of Calgary") doesn't make much sense. The UofC has the same accreditation as UBC or SFU or McGill. If you believe that the UofC is not a credible university, it's probably a completely different blog post.

Anonymous said...

Removing the social engineering leavers from future Lib/NDP masters of the universe by slashing the GST was a brilliant move. The most efficiently spent dollar is done by him/her who earned it. Cutting it another point or two would be perfect. Kudos to PMSH. Extraordinary how some people can think otherwise.

Agent Smith

The Mound of Sound said...

Anon 8:23, I have known what it is to be skint but I had the advantages of birth to take it in stride. I expect that would be true of you also if you were to be remotely honest enough to admit it.

I won't respond to the rest of this nonsense except to say, to Ed, that you're entirely correct to note that Harper has at all times operated in a minority. What you overlooked was that he operated in a minority but with an opposition that was paralytic. Isn't that the principle that all schoolyard bullies employ - until they're called out.

What I can assure you is that will be coming. If for no other reason it will be coming because you're such a bunch of dead-enders, nihilists and dogmatics that mainstream Canada won't put up with you for very much longer, especially if you lie your way into a majority led by idiots who believe the earth is 6,000 years old.

Goodnight now kids.

Anonymous said...

Nonsense. If it was physically possible to borrow grain from future generations of slaves pharoahs would have been all over that like white on rice. They weren't any smarter they just happened to have a survival instinct.

Best solution: Have the pharoah keep his grubby hands off the damn grain in the first place.

On that note, happy Independence Day.

Anonymous said...

My memory might be a bit hazy, but I recall Iggy telling Harper at the beginning of the crash that he was borrowing too much. And in the next breath criticizing him for not spending enough. And Harper's the stupid one?

I do, however, agree that the GST shouldn't have been cut. Payroll taxes should have been cut instead. Economy works better that way.

As for the opposition being "paralytic", not so. They almost brought the government down a couple times and it was they who pushed Harper into stimulus spending against his better judgement. (He'll take credit for it now because, after all, the voters like the idea of government spending money if they think it gives/saves them jobs. Politics, you know.) But the only thing paralitic about the opposition was the fact that they didn't think they could win an election so they didn't defeat the government. Harper has to be cautious because there are some issues over which they would most certainly unite to bring him down, such as government funding for their political parties. They forced him to back down on that one, remember? So why didn't they do the same on all those economic issues you consider Harper to be so stupid about?

As for Harper being "theocratic" - HUH?? Your imagination is working overtime on that one.

Anonymous said...

Nice to see the Conservative brain trust came here to spew their garbage... Luckily for them we can't remove the right to vote for being utterly stupid...

Harper is responsible for the largest deficit in Canadian history and yet these morons cheer him on...

Martin set up the government finances so that there was a surplus, ensure that banks did not follow the American example.

The GST, in spite of all advice to the contrary was cut as a populist move. It helped the rich more than the poor

Okie said...

Anon 10:04 p.m. wrote;
"They weren't any smarter they just happened to have a survival instinct.

Best solution: Have the pharoah keep his grubby hands off the damn grain in the first place.

On that note, happy Independence Day."

I guess you have never heard of General Mills and Monsanto then.

You have a truly odd view of Independence. The right to defend oneself against the new Pharoah's in a horribly lopsided court action might be a better description.

Definition of Republican / Reformer. Grown in dark, large white bulbous head which talks, full of air and water. Has skinny shaft which shrinks quickly when brought into the light.

Okie said...

Reformers talking fiscal conservatism in the wake of the Billion dollar boondoggle. Prattling on about government creating surplus' to spend on programs, while their guys piss away a cool Billion plus plus that they didn't have. Borrowed money to be exact. Principal and interest to be paid later

Some people just don't know when to keep quiet.

bookstopper said...

"The Pharoahs established state-run silos to hold all that surplus grain so they had plenty on hand in the event of a crop failure or"

Using the analogy of grain to money as a starting point, I will show you appear to be harder on Steven Harper than your logic allows.

Right now, we are in a genuine recession. The ancient Egyptian grain economy equivalent for this would be a famine or blight. During this time, a Pharaoh might reasonably cut his grain tax or start giving rations of food to some of his workers, or both. This is essentially what Stephen Harper should be doing with money.

During a time of recession, it's reasonable to cut taxes on people, whose incomes are already being stressed by the decreased economy, releasing some of the burden on families who are suddenly struggling to make ends meet.

Anonymous said...

The liberals bitched that Harper wasn't spending enough then had a baby when he spent more.

Standard liberal culture war tactics.
Urge one course of action then condemn him for following that advice, all with the help of the liberal media.

LeDaro said...

Harper is a moron. No question about it. MoS, you said nothing about the attention hungry moron who spent $1.2 billion of taxpayers money for his photo-op at G8 G20. US media made fun of that especially the $2 million fake lake. French President Sarkozy made fun of it. Will he get anymore stupid?

LeDaro said...

My o my! I read some of the comments left by Cons. There are bigger morons than I can imagine. At least you and I equally criticize Iggy. These people worship their idiot hero Harper.

Have they never heard of a metaphor and that is all pharaoh example was about.

Anonymous said...

The liberals bitched that Harper wasn't spending enough then had a baby when he spent more.
Oink Oink... Conservative pigs to the rescue...

No one forced Harper to spend - this is his to own up to... Typical conservatives never taking responsibility for the consequences of their actions....

The Mound of Sound said...

Bookstopper, you completely missed the point. The idea is to act prudently as successful leaders have done for thousands of years. Don't defund the treasury, the silo. Keep a rainy day surplus on hand for the troubles that inevitably occur from time to time. Harper defunded the treasury, cut the GST, and then, when money was needed, he had to fall back on the markets and borrow the funding. We get to pay that back, with interest, in future tax levies. A good measure of that deficit never had to be.

BTW, I too find it awkward for Libs to criticize Harp for stimulus spending they demanded, and supported. I fault both parties, but particularly the one that claims to be in power, for a truly stupid stimulus/recovery budget that squandered billions rather than investing it in infrastructure projects that would return dividends for decades to come.

Ed said...

I must note that Martin did not in fact generate any sort of a surplus. Canada hasn't had a surplus since I was an infant back in 1968 (hmm what happened that year?). Canada won't have a surplus until after the $600 billion debt is paid off.

KURSK said...

The Liberals 'gained' their surplus on the backs of Canadians by slashing social transfers, gutting the military and raiding the EI fund.

The Conservatives paid down the national debt by 30 billion dollars ( something the Liberals did not even attempt to do, with 13 years of majority govt in any meaningful way) in fact, they created an even bigger hole for Canadians to try to climb out of.

Spare me the tears of your anguish over PM Harper's 'authoritarian' style of leadership.

You leftists all know as well as I do that your boys can try to defeat the Conservatives at any time, but simply refuse to do so. Your projection and spite is all a result of your leader's lack of courage in their convictions.

Also, for those in fear of the 'dictator' Harper, please write me when you are in the gulag breaking rocks..then we'll talk.

The Mound of Sound said...

Kursk, you're a moron. The Libs didn't pay down the debt "in any meaningful way"? Try $563-billion in 1997 down to 467 by 2006-7. In case you're feeling argumentative, those are your man Harper's own numbers. Just because you enjoy some alternate reality doesn't make it real chump.

And Ed, if we're going to have a genuine grown up discussion, how about we stick to generally accepted terminology. A surplus is a current account surplus whether it's Paul Martin of your Furious Leader talking. It is from the current account surplus that funds are found to pay down debt. Your naivete is positively childlike.

Anonymous said...

Why can't I read all the comments? Only six are listed. Cheers, Anyong

The Mound of Sound said...

I honestly have no idea. There were about 30-comments at one point but now I'm just showing 7. No idea where the others went. Sorry.

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

This idiot forgot that Canada multicultural country now, and he can't act this way. Has to keep neutrality, no personal emotions. Israel, Ukraine, Russia... Does taxpayers care too much in Canada about his love to Western Ukrainians (Banderas)? How much cost this trip to Ukraine to kiss ass to Nazi? To support mad croud and illegitimate highly corrupted criminal government of UA? That's shame for him! Let him pay from his pocket for this trip, like Redwater obligated. Ukraine is different, and many on opposite side of his Cold War. Cold Warrier. You has to ask multicultural Canadian Community what to do and say. Not aloud. He forgot that except of Western Ukrainians (he grew up in western UA community that's why) in Canada also existing Eastern Ukrainians, Russians, and the others. Now, only Ukrainians will be wotting for him. Not me. Cheers!