Friday, 30 May 2014

We Didn't Need That Anyway

Andrew Coyne often has pretty smart things to say about politics, and in his recent column entitled Tim Hudaks' bogus Million Jobs plan is no reason not to vote for him he makes two valid points. First of all, if you ever thought that they government could actually concoct a plan to create a million jobs over the next eight years, you were fooling yourself, so the fact that it can't do so shouldn't affect much. That's true if cynical. Second, if lowering taxes and cutting the public sector are good ideas, then you should vote for the party who is doing to do that even if the numbers for how good the ideas are don't add up.

Well, he states it with a little more conclusiveness. He definitely thinks that lowering taxes and cutting the public service right now is a good idea, so there's no "if" about it.

Overall, his point is that you have to look beyond a math error and look at what that math error actually means. Economists, he notes, make math errors all the time, that's no reason to ignore economics entirely.

What Coyne missed is that there is more going on here than a math error.  When confronted with the error, Tim Hudak defended himself:
"I stand behind our numbers," he said at a furnace-making facility in Niagara Falls, Ont. "I simply believe that permanent tax reductions on job creators, more affordable energy is going to create jobs."
So with one fell swoop we've gone from, "Look at this spreadsheet," to, "I simply believe..."

None of this ever had anything to do with numbers, it all had to do with what Tim Hudak "simply believes." The fact is that if the numbers are trusted, which they shouldn't be, Tim Hudak is promising to eliminate more jobs than he creates.  At what point do we go from a minor error to admitting that the entire premise of the exercise is wrong.

The point is that Tim Hudak won't change that plan if 100% of Canada's economists come out and say it will have the exactly opposite effect that it is intended to have.  The point for Hudak only evidence that supports his thesis counts.  Having read this column, one has to wonder if Coyne is the same.

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