Like comparing apples to those gross reddish-yellow apples

So, those of you who aren’t paid to know what’s going on in Ottawa may not be as up on the details as those of us who are, but Finance Minister Jim Flaherty released his “Economic Update” today.

His big ticket promise is to eliminate the net national debt by 2021.

Early media reports screamed this in their headlines: “Tories to eliminate debt by 2021” etc.

Then Flaherty, who delivered the update in front of the finance committee, faced questions from the opposition, starting with Liberal John McCallum, a noted economist.

He basically yanked Flaherty’s pants down on the whole eradication of the debt thing. Turns out “net” is the operative word there. The “net” national debt is a lesser-known economic measure that factors in government assets. And by government, I mean all the levels of government, including them there provinces.

You know that $480-some-old-billion national debt that most of us consider our national debt? Yea, that won’t be eradicated by 2021.

The web media caught on pretty quickly but I was shocked to hear the World At Six (CBC radio) open with the news that the Tories plan to eradicate the national debt by 2021.

I’ll be interested to see what the papers say tomorrow.

Net. It aint just a Sandra Bullock flick.

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