Monday, November 14, 2005

The guy I'm really looking for, wink, is Mr. Bribe, wink, wink

I'm really not a big fan of tax cuts so Ralph's budget economic update doesn't have me exceedingly thrilled. I also find it odd that Harper's 18 billion dollar tax cut package was attacked as a recipe for deficit last campaign and now Goodale is ready to dish out 30 billion in tax breaks.

That said, this is definitely a budget that will appeal to a lot of voters out there and it gives the Liberals some substance to campaign on. It's also very good news for the NDP who will be able to play up the "Liberals and Conservatives: different logo, same party" angle.

UPDATE: The tax proposals contain a retroactive tax cut for 2005. Very clever indeed. Now the Liberals can go around saying that forcing the early election will cost each and every Canadian 325$. Say what you want about them, but when it comes to winning elections, no one does it better than the big red machine.

Oh, and just so I don't sound completely negative, there is 2.75 billion for post-secondary education and 3.5 billion for job training in the package which I think is money well spent. I'm still not big on the tax cuts though...


  • More back-loaded budgetting I see.

    By Blogger Andrew, at 5:19 p.m.  

  • I think Harper's plan involved immediate tax cuts in one year along with $10 billion in military spending. Quite different as far as affordability is concerned.

    By Blogger Jason Cherniak, at 5:25 p.m.  

  • Yeah, I'm not a fan either. But when you are in the minority, facing an uncertain election, you have to do the painful things. It'd be nice if we can get back to a majority so we can actually do things right instead of having to compromise with the lefties and the wingnuts.

    On a slightly unrelated matter, I'm watching Goodale try to talk and Rona Ambrose, who I get down on my hands and knees and prey every day will be defeated in the next election, asks him a question and then keeps interrupting him. I hope they show that on the news because it just shows you how ignorant the CPCers are.

    By Blogger Hishighness, at 5:32 p.m.  

  • Thank you for pointing out the ridiculous hypocrisy of the Liberal attacks in regard to the feasibility of the proposed Conservative tax cuts last election. The Conservatives said the Liberals were hiding the surplus, and suprise(!) they were.

    Last election it was "the evil Conservatives will slash taxes", this time it will be "the evil Conservatives want to take away our tax cuts".

    Martin is a rampant flip-flopper, the only thing he can make up his mind on is trying to cling to power.

    By Blogger Chris, at 5:40 p.m.  

  • You mean 30 billion not 30 million right ?

    By Blogger KevinG, at 5:45 p.m.  

  • ya he does

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 5:49 p.m.  

  • Guys
    You gotta give Goodale credit, no one can say that no politician is looking for bribes. Every politician wants to bribe all voters. Goodale's package makes things better for me...hey good policy on his side. I like it I'll vote for him, his done a lot of good stuff for Regina, and I love it

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 6:00 p.m.  

  • It's been a very interesting day, to say in the least, and I enjoyed seeing Martin brush off the NDP compromise proposal as "non-confidence lite" and the subsequent NDP squabbles about how the Liberals don't want to meet the compromise. Here's a free piece of advice for the Dippers: those who enjoy the luxury of operating from a position of strength (which, as the government, the Liberals do regardless of the minority situation) don't have to compromise to meet your needs, and it's not immoral or "arrogant" or indicative of a "culture of entitlement" to behave as they see fit.
    Let's not forget something here: it's the government's job to ensure its own continuity, pass legislation to that effect, and govern according to its mandate. That's what the Liberals are doing, some may misinterpret that as "Paul Martin will do anything to stay in power," but the government is doing its job.

    By Blogger RGM, at 6:12 p.m.  

  • Kevin; Err...yeah 30 billion. A 30 million dollar tax cut wouldn't be that impressive, to put it mildly.

    Richard; Yeah, even though I think the January election is a reasonable compromise, I think Martin did a good job selling his position today.

    By Blogger calgarygrit, at 6:24 p.m.  

  • Hishighness wrote: "Yeah, I'm not a fan either. But when you are in the minority, facing an uncertain election, you have to do the painful things. It'd be nice if we can get back to a majority so we can actually do things right instead of having to compromise with the lefties and the wingnuts."

    Um, which lefties and wingnuts were behind today's budget. Last time I checked the NDP wasn't dealing with the Libs anymore.

    This budget is all Liberal.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 6:25 p.m.  

  • Budget! Ralph said this was an update not a budget folks.

    And if the govts job is to keep governing it is the oppositions job to keep opposing. In a minority parliament that means forcing an election after the governing party has been found resposible for electoral fraud in consecutive elections.

    If someone were to actually vote for these crooks again it shows what a sorry state of affairs our country is in.

    But as all good liberals say: people are entitled to their entitlements!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 6:39 p.m.  

  • QUOTE: "Here's a free piece of advice for the Dippers: those who enjoy the luxury of operating from a position of strength (which, as the government, the Liberals do regardless of the minority situation) don't have to compromise to meet your needs, and it's not immoral or "arrogant" or indicative of a "culture of entitlement" to behave as they see fit."

    Man I hope the Liberals use this line on the campaign trail. Over an over.

    David Dingwall couldn't have said it better himself.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 8:54 p.m.  

  • HisHighness,

    You may want to learn how to spell simple words like "pray" before accusing any group of being ignorant.

    I may not be a fan of the Harper Tories, but Rona Ambrose is one of the most intelligent and affable MPs in parliament. She garners respect across party lines.

    I'd suggest praying for more incompetent MPs to lose their seats, like Stockwell Day (dreaming is free), Jean Lapierre, Ujjal Dosanjh, etc.

    As for getting back to a majority, no amount of prayer is likely to bring that. Junior and Lapierre have scorched the Liberals' chances of making significant gains in Quebec for years to come.

    It makes me all warm and fuzzy as a Canadian to think that we'll be condemned to minority governments until:

    a) Quebec seperates.

    b) We rid ourselves of Martin or Harper or both.


    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 9:17 p.m.  

  • Um, Chris, better re-check the new releases and reports from last year's election. The Conservatives were criticized for their tax cuts by the NDP; the Liberals criticized them for "American style" tax cuts, i.e. huge tax cuts that benefit the richest at the expense of a balanced budget. The CPC tax cut plan of 2004 together with their spending promises (far bigger than the Libs) were ludicrous and economically dangerous for the country.

    The Liberals have always had tax cuts as part of their plan and they have implemented tax cuts in the past.


    By Blogger Ted Betts, at 11:35 p.m.  

  • 1. Cerberus: kindly explain how the $30B Lib cuts are any different from '05 Tory policy (short answer: they're not!).

    2. Telling me I won't get a $350 cheque (per CBC re. a single income earner @ ~$50k/yr) if I don't elect the Libs and their retroactive tax cuts aren't implemented is BRIBING!! It's not future tax policy, or promises of program spending (still dubious, but prospective and therefore legitimate governance), but the government telling me if I vote for them, they send me a cheque. It's wrong and anti-democratic and would look out of place in Azerbaijan, much less Ottawa. I threw up a little bit in my mouth when I listened to Craig Oliver and Keith Boage (sp?) spin it.

    3. Three budgets in nine months? What's up with that? Will there be another before the campaign?

    By Blogger matt, at 12:37 a.m.  

  • i.e. huge tax cuts that benefit the richest

    I wasn't aware that people with incomes between $35,000 and $70,000 qualified as "the richest."

    The CPC tax cut plan of 2004 together with their spending promises (far bigger than the Libs) were ludicrous and economically dangerous for the country.

    The Conservative tax cuts plus spending were within the Conservative predictions for future surpluses, but greater than the Liberals' predictions. It all hinges on whose predictions are more accurate.

    Who's doing the best so far? Well, for the 2003-04 fiscal year, the Liberals predicted a $1.9 billion surplus, while the Conservatives predicted $5.7 billion. The real number? $9.1 billion.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 1:02 a.m.  

  • I did some digging on and found the figures for the 2004-05 fiscal year.

    2004-05 Revenue / Expenses (in billions)
    Liberal prediction: 195.8 / 158.1
    Tory prediction: 187.2 / 142.5 (*)
    Actual numbers: 198.2 / 162.7

    (*) From their 2004 election platform

    The Conservatives would have taken $3.7 billion for spending increases in 2004-05 (this would be added to their above expense prediction; their tax cuts wouldn't have started until 2005-06). This means that the Liberals spent $16.5 billion more in 04-05 than the Tories would have ($162.7 - (142.5 + 3.7) = $16.5). Who's the reckless spender again?

    Unfortunately, we can't really compare the Liberal and Conservative revenue estimates, since the Liberal ones are from February 2005, while the Conservatives' are from May 2004. (We can still note that the Conservatives' can't be considered "ludicrously high" by any stretch of the imagination.) Does anyone know where I could find what revenues the Liberals were predicting for 2004-05 during the 2004 election?

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 2:03 a.m.  

  • I am happy with Mr. Goodale's announcement to reduce the tax rate on the lower income levels from 16% to 15%. The Liberals have done this once before when they reduced the tax rate upon the same group of Canadians from 17% imposed by the Conservatives, to the current 16%.

    I am also very angry that the Conservatives have not learned their lesson in doing deals with Separatists, some that Mulroney did with Bouchard the Separatist. And they now propose to join forces with the NDP Socialists to bring down the government over Christmas instead of making the minority Parliament work for some pretty reasonable proposals, such as the tax reductions for ordinary Canadians.

    Finally, for all the BS that Harper has been saying about "liberal corruption", he is not even prepared to wait for Mr. Justice Gomery to issue his report, and is instead embarked upon a smear campaign, and is doing that right in the middle of the Christmas Season.

    These Opposition Politicians are like turkeys looking forward to Thanksgiving.

    By Blogger Joe Green, at 4:30 a.m.  

  • Re: Anonymous,

    It's got nothing to do with Dingwall, and everything to do with realpolitik

    By Blogger RGM, at 7:34 a.m.  

  • Goodale's economic status update actually reminds me why I'm still Liberal despite Gomery and dithering. When it comes to policy, they just get the right balance between spending and investment and planning.

    If you look at the economic and social policies of the Liberal Party over the last 60 years, you will see a lot of left and right, policy seemingly all over the map, no doubt about it. The last decade has seen more of the same: SSM here, balanced budget there, expanded healthcare transfer payments here, tax cuts there, national early learning and child care plan here, debt reduction there. A little bit of the so-called right, a little bit of the so-called left, and not often in terribly big extremes. Sometimes they go it wrong - OK, maybe a lot of times - but generally it's been a balance of moderated left and right, tossed together with a dash of pragmatism and responding to the desires of Canadians.

    I'd argue this is not too far off the spectrum from where ordinary Canadians sit. After all, your average Canadian doesn't see themselves in such left-right dichotomies; only the pundits and bloggers do. Most of us just want some sound policy and pragmatism.

    In the short-term, the Prime Minister's plan frees up cash for ordinary Canadians when they need and want it to pay for higher debt burdens and higher gas prices. In the medium-term, it puts money into our future, allowing young minds to grow and blossom at our higher learning centres which will drive innovation and productivity.

    In the long-term, it pays down the debt and reduces our annual toilet flush of money toward interest payments. To date, we've saved over $60 billion in interest as a result of the Liberal payments on the debt. Now, Goodale is setting a new target for lowering the country's debt load, saying the new benchmark would put the ratio of debt to gross domestic product at 1970s levels and lower servicing costs. The Liberals intend to lower the debt-to-GDP ratio to 20 percent by 2020. It is no hyperbole to say that that is truly astounding. The only G8 country to be paying down debt and the Conservatives are critical of this, and you seem to be too!

    OK, there are my thoughts. Rant and "spin" over. I won't take up more of CG's space on this: more of my thoughts on this over here.


    By Blogger Ted Betts, at 10:32 a.m.  

  • Please stop over taxing me and all other Canadians to the tune of billions of dollars every year. Please...I can't take it anymore

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 10:33 a.m.  

  • Last month Mr Goodale shot his mouth off about double taxing certain mutual funds, causing my retirement fund to drop in value by some $15,000. This month he says if I re-elect him, I get a $325 bribe. I have two words for Ralphie, and it's not Merry Christmas.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 2:07 p.m.  

  • re: Mr. Joe Green's post


    we all saw the testimony and we received the first report that indicated that the Liberal party was rife with corruption.

    Liberal MP's won with the aid of dirty money.

    But the thin scope of the finely crafted Gomery inquiry (meant from the get go to shift all blame onto Jean Chretien and his inner circle) found that Mr. Martin conviently didn't know anything...

    Oh yeah, OJ is innocent and Michael Jackson doesn't like young boys either.

    btw....think Junior's hands are clean then do a quick google for "Earnscliffe, Paul Martin, Canada Steamship and scandal." you'll get some hits...

    By Blogger NorthBayTrapper, at 2:20 p.m.  

  • Gag.
    Bunch of useless twits applauding the latest deception perpetrated on the Canadian public.
    Anyone who votes for the Liberals deserve the results.
    There will come a time when this house of cards comes tumbling down. The Liberals will continue to lie, steal, cheat and bumble around.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 3:43 p.m.  

  • Anonymous said

    "Please stop over taxing me and all other Canadians to the tune of billions of dollars every year. Please...I can't take it anymore

    I don't know wether to laugh, cry or roll my eyes at this comment.

    Please tell me more about your suffering. Why can't you take it anymore? Are your kids going hungry? Are you unable to make morgage payments? Are you having difficulty making ends meet because you are overtaxed?

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 6:16 p.m.  

  • Anonymous sounds like an overpaid CEO of a Canadian Bank, bleating about how his salary of $14M is not enough to meet his family needs, and how his $35M in stock options should not face any capital gains taxes at all.

    Cry me a river! Anonymous is like the old Robber Barrons wearing their masks to prevent the public from knowing who they are.

    His kind are lucky that I am not making the rules because if I were, he would not only be taxed, he would be punished for his greed and selfishness, and made to share with others.

    And then there is northbaytrapper who is prepared to listen to Conservative propaganda instead of a Canadian Judge report officially on alleged corruption in the Liberal Quebec Wing of the Party.

    From what I have been able to learn, this is much less about "corruption" then its about a pissing contest between two factions inside the Liberal Party. Certainly there is no where near the corrupt practices of the Mulroney neocons that sank Canada into $650+ BILLION into public debt.

    In fact, with the "scandals" over the golf courses (Chretien) and the other "conflicts" in Mr Martin's companies, that report "discrepancies"; its almost a wonderful relief after the Mulroney Years where he promised and delivered Tory Patronage at unprecedented levels, particularly in Quebec.

    For all I know, Mr. Justice Gomery is going to implicate the Conservatives from Mulroney's time in his second volume, because that also would not surprise me.

    Even Separatists were on the take, and that tells me that "neocon" Conservatives could not be far behind.

    By Blogger Joe Green, at 2:19 a.m.  

  • Is it true the only reason you don't favour tax cuts is because you don't make enough to pay taxes?

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