conservative government

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While some economists take great satisfaction when their forecasts come true, I am not in that camp.

As Terence Corcoran noted on this page Wednesday (On track for more deficits), for the past several years my colleagues and I have warned that the federal government's plan to balance the budget has been based on risky projections - optimistic forecasts of revenue growth (averaging 5.6% per year) and unrealistic plans for spending restraint (average increases of just 2.0% per year).

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With Alberta politics taking a turn to the right, it is guaranteed that Canadians soon will be hearing more fear-mongering about how Albertan fiscal conservatism is an imported U.S. creed, and thus somehow un-Canadian.

The term fiscal conservatism describes an attachment to property rights, the rule of law, free trade, sensible (and not overweening) regulation, light debt and a moderate tax structure. Such an orientation rejects the notion that every private problem can be solved through taxpayer money.