Greetings from Phoenix

For the millions of Canadians who make a trip across the border to the U.S. each year, it is certainly easy to notice some huge pain, and some big differences, in the economies of our two countries. Here are just a few things:

There are some seriously great travel deals to be had south of the border: For my holiday, I am staying at the Marriott in Scottsdale, Arizona for $28 a night. Yes, you read that right, thanks to priceline.com, and the place is still only about a third full, from what I can see.

Here in Arizona, the state legislature is actually considering selling the state capitol building and leasing it back. They’re looking to fund the current deficit. Not to put it on the debt – just the deficit. If you sell your home to pay OFF the mortgage and bills – that’s often a great deal. But we’re talking about selling to pay this year’s utility bills and payments. But then, there’ll be a lifetime of lease payments which will make the budget worse in perpetuity. That’s nuts! But that’s how many politicians think: Worry about today, because years from now, they won’t be there to deal with the mess in the future.

Coincidentally, MSNBC, which is generally a soft liberal TV network, called this mornings’ two-hour program “sticking it to the kids.” It was a show discussing the $12 trillion national debt, the $1 billion health-care proposals, and that Medicare is already in a deficit right now.

I’ll share some more insights from south of the border in the coming weeks.

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