The Vancouver Scrum

On the move!

Agh! You’re still here? My new site and weblog, is now up and running; new posts are building up over there, never to be mirrored here. Go! What are you waiting for? All the stuff worth keeping has been migrated over to the new server, and I don’t anticipate making any more posts here.

Bloggers and webmasters: Update your links! Simply replace with in your blogrolls or bookmarks to point to the new site. Old posts will remain on this server for as long as the people at Blogger/Google allow them to remain; unfortunately, I’m not going to bother to come up with any way of converting permalinks on this blog to their corresponding posts on the new site. Yes, I plead laziness. I also realize the irony of switching away from Blogger just it starts to add features that the demanding blog nerds insist upon.

Thanks for reading and linking, and see you over at!

—Ian King, December 13, 2004

Wednesday, May 28, 2003

Fun with arithmetic

During his chat about how he differs from (or, according the the National Post, is better than) George W. Bush. Jean Chrétien played up how Bush’s right-wing government is running massive deficits.
“We still have surpluses. The Americans will have a $500-billion deficit this year and it is a right-wing government. If we were to equal that we would have to have a $75-billion deficit. Imagine!”
Well, back in the day (about 1999; that’s long enough in the political game doncha know) you could’ve run the numbers something like this: The US has ten times Canada’s population, but their dollar’s worth a buck-fifty, so a US government deficit of $500-billion divided by ten times one-and-a-half equals 75 billion loonies up here.

Do it today, and you might think that the surge in the dollar would make the Prime Minister look like an exaggerating blowhard. Maybe not, though. Indeed, a US dollar is now $1.38 Canadian, but the US’s population isn’t quite ten times Canada’s, either. The population clock on shows about 291 million down in those excited States, while StatsCan, not having yet written some sorta CGI thingy to make a population clock, pegs the Canadian population at around 31.4 million, give or take a Salmon Arm or two. Divide the big number by the small one and you get 9.267… close enough for work in government.

The new calculation is $500-billion x ($1.38 Cdn / $1 US) / 9.267 Yankees per Canuck = $74.5-billion.

How ‘bout that, eh?

Betcha that someone in the PMO ran those numbers before giving the Prime Minister that sweet little talking point that could possibly be interpreted as “Hey, lookit me! I'm a free-spendin’ liberal balancing the books, while that rock-ribbed conservative down south is blowing holes in the budget like nobody’s business!”

Or maybe I should get some sleep.
Comments: Post a Comment

Reports, opinions, columns, and anything else on this site, are © 2002-2003 Ian King unless otherwise noted. Permission granted to use material on this site for non-commercial purposes provided that the work is attributed to the original author. All other uses require specific permission of the original author. Contact weblog owner with any inquiries.

Feel free to link to this web log. The management likes getting lots of traffic.