Friday, August 24, 2007

Another "surplus"

The federal government "surplus" was predicted by Finance Minister Flaherty to be $3 billion. But it's more than double that at $6.4 billion.

I've already blogged a billion times about how government "surpluses" shouldn't be called that, but "overtaxation amount". When are middle and lower income folks going to get a break?

My inside sources tell me that Conservative MPs are quietly pushing for broad-based tax cuts in the next budget.

Canadians are way overtaxed. Enough of the social-engineering targeted tax cuts. Many Conservatives were very disappointed with the last budget where no income tax cuts existed, all to fix the so-called "fiscal imbalance" with the provinces. I just don't think that will ever please every province.

And I don't want to see a measly 1% cut for the lower or middle bracket. While I understand that can have an affect on inflation, how about a 1-2% reduction every year for the next 5 to 10 years? That would force preceding governments to look for ways to become more efficient.

But alas, Harper promised eventually to cut the GST to 5%. My guess is that's where things are going instead of income tax, but why not both? Why not?

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

1998 was not the hottest year on record. 1934 was.

Environazis often site NASA's claim that 1998 was the hottest on record as proof that our increased SUV-driving ways are causing man-made global warming.

However, Toronto blogger and skeptic Stephen McIntyre redid the math and submitted his findings to NASA. (From the Toronto Star:)

A former mining executive who runs the blog, McIntyre, 59, earned attention in 2003 when he put out data challenging the so-called "hockey stick" graph depicting a spike in global temperatures.

This time, he sifted NASA's use of temperature anomalies, which measure how much warmer or colder a place is at a given time compared with its 30-year average.

Puzzled by a bizarre "jump" in the U.S. anomalies from 1999 to 2000, McIntyre discovered the data after 1999 wasn't being fractionally adjusted to allow for the times of day that readings were taken or the locations of the monitoring stations.

McIntyre emailed his finding to NASA's Goddard Institute, triggering the data review.

"They moved pretty fast on this," McIntyre said. "There must have been some long faces."

I wonder how the optics of Canada signing onto the Kyoto Accord around that time would have been if 1998 wasn't so trumped-up as the hottest on record. It now appears that the political air was.