Will we ever get a balanced budget?
One says white, the other...
Two men, two ways of seeing the same budget.
For Stephen Harper the objective is to get re-elected in 2015.
For his finance minister, Jim Flaherty, what matters is to balance the budget as soon as possible.
Flaherty is obsessed with it. For six years, Flaherty has never once managed to balance his budget. Year after year, no balanced budgets.
Until recently Flaherty seemed to believe that a balanced budget is not coming soon, but lately, after Harper whispered some wise words to him, Flaherty began singing a different tune.
Now he's at least giving the impression he agrees with Harper.
Flaherty even announced in the Commons that he now believes the budget can be balanced in three years'time.
Meanwhile, the national debt keeps rising. It is beyond $ 655 billion this year. Flaherty's reputation is at stake - the finance minister who was never able to balance his budgets.
But yesterday Flaherty said he now believes he can reach his goal in 2015.
"I would like to achieve this in 2015, he said yesterday." I want to finish what I started "
A lot of people remember Paul Martin, the Liberal minister who knew how to balance his budgets, and even left a $ 12 billion surplus for Flaherty, who promptly went through it in less than a year.
Flaherty now predicts his deficit will be $ 18.7 billion this year, $ 6.6 billion in 2014, and a beautiful zero in 2015, just in time for Harper's elections.
But then Flaherty added on television that nobody can be sure of the future. Ooops, another backward step.
Flaherty asks us to wait just a little longer - until 2016-2017 for a balanced budget.