Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Soyons Clair

Hat Tip to Jason Cherniak for showing me the error of my ways. As per his suggestion, I will now be "blogging accordingly" to my Liberal affiliation.

With that in mind, here are a few random thoughts I have on the election:

1. When talking about his virtual elimination of the capital gains tax today, Mr. Harper stated "there is a lot of misinformation here. Only half of those who pay this tax earn above the average income." (Stephen Harper, St. Pauls, January 18, 2006)

It's true, there is a lot of misinformation and spin on this issue, and it's coming from Mr. Harper. Did you know that 95 per cent of tax filers do not even claim capital gains? That two-thirds of the total capital gains are claimed by the 140,000 Canadians earning more than $100,000?

In the last debates, Mr. Harper claimed his strength wasn't 'spin'. Could have fooled me.

2. Stephen Harper's New Deal = No Deal!

Today in Toronto, Stephen Harper confirmed the New Deal for Cities and Communities would be stalled under a Conservative government. Stephen Harper says he will 'honour' what the Paul Martin government has already put in place, but that's it - no more!

3. Jack Layton is consistent in one thing: he ALWAYS puts politics before people.

UPDATE: Scott Feschuck has a great blog post here.

FACT CHECK: Maybe this was a tad dry, but it seems very few people caught on that this was a word for word rehashing of Liberal talking points... I don't even understand what I posted on the Capital Gains Tax.


  • That's it CG, that's the spirit! You're being very "oppositional", exactly what the Libs need in their upcoming careers on the opposition benches. You know what they say, democracy requires an effective, loyal, opposition.

    By Anonymous Feisty, at 6:19 PM  

  • The lady with the kool-aid tray will be stopping by everyone's seats shortly. Please, it will make this all go much quicker if you already have in mind your preferred flavour -- we've got cherry, raspberry, and strawberry.

    By Anonymous Mike, at 6:28 PM  

  • I think this might get lost on a few of the usual comments trolls, but I got a kick out of it. LOL.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 6:29 PM  

  • What the heck is wrong with you, you used to be a blogger that i could respect and read, and now you are just another Martin stooge. First you tell me to vote for these band of criminals and clowns and now you are parroting talking points. Shame on you Calgary Grit, I will laugh while you wallow in your own misery on Monday night, you and your criminal brethren will no longer get their brown envelopes. No more blogging grants for you, you crook. Grow a brain, and pull your head out of your @^*

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 6:34 PM  

  • As for the capital gains taxes, right you are. Although most of us lowly middle-class Canadians seem to have capital losses far more often. Maybe they should be refundable? :-)

    On a related topic, I've been quite bewildered by the fact that nobody has been plugging away at Harper's separatist leanings. It's not hard to do a bit of research on what he was saying in his National Citizen's Coalition days (and how he even got chastised in the National Post back in early 2002, by Warren Kinsella :-) ).

    And, it goes beyond "Fortress Alberta," in my view. All of us would be well-advised to have a read through "Separation, Alberta-style: It is time to seek a new relationship with Canada," in the December 8, 2000 issue of the National Post. Among other things, Harper said "The latest dribblings from the mouth of Canada's Prime Minister suggest Alberta's wealth can be attributed to the federal government. While there is clearly no merit to the claim, we must not ignore the implied threat: If Ottawa giveth, then Ottawa can taketh away.

    This is just one more reason why Westerners, but Albertans in particular, need to think hard about their future in this country. After sober reflection, Albertans should decide that it is time to seek a new relationship with Canada.
    " and "Westerners, but especially Albertans, founded the Reform/ Alliance to get "in" to Canada. The rest of the country has responded by telling us in no uncertain terms that we do not share their "Canadian values." Fine. Let us build a society on Alberta values." What should lead us to believe he thinks much differently now?

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 6:35 PM  

  • Calgary, you're not even close to being right.

    Most Canadians invest in capital and likely don't even know it, apparantly including you Calgary.

    How many of us have mutual funds? You know what that is? It's investing in capital (ownership in stocks of a collective of companies). When you sell a mutual fund at a profit you get capital gain.

    5% was probably the number a few decades ago. Now its the vast majority of canadians that invest in capital (and correspondingly recieve gains therefrom).

    Care to revise your post, or am I going to have to get details with embarrasing links to facts to back that up?

    I think when you think about it, you'll realize your wrong.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 6:48 PM  

  • CG, investors are not going to keep re-investing capital gains in perpetutiy. At some point the investor is going to want to cash out for whatever purpose. At that point, the investor will have to pay taxes on the gains; actually the tax bill will be even higher (if he's a smart investor).

    Also, if you re-invest within 6 months you will not be able to claim capital gain losses. Only 50% of the capital gains are taxed to begin with; only half of the losses are allowed to be used to offset gains.

    In the short term the government may not realize as much tax revenue from the sale of assets, but in the long term, tax payers will pay more in taxes because investors will use the short term tax gains to increase their investments.

    Also, this policy stimulates productivity as the market has more money flowing in the system. In the end, this is a good policy because it 1) increases investments, 2)increases productivity, and 3) foreign investors have incentive to keep their money in Canada.

    By Anonymous m.k. braaten, at 6:48 PM  

  • Okay, here goes, from the Parliamentary Report of the Standing Committe of Banking and Finance:

    "Vern Krishna reported that in 1997, although only 17 percent of individuals with capital gains were in income brackets above $70,000, 37 percent of the value of the gains accrued to individuals with income more than $250,000.(46) Herb Grubel argued, however, that this is a misleading figure because realised capital gains are included in income. Consider, for example, someone earning below $50,000 annually but who saves a portion of income in equity shares over a 30 year period, or small business owners who depend on the future proceeds from the sale of their business for retirement purposes. When these assets are sold, the individual might realise a substantial amount of capital gains, which would considerably boost reported income for that particular year. Fifty one percent of all capital gains taxes are paid by taxpayers earning less than $50,000 on average. The income of these taxpayers looks high in the years in which capital gains are reported because of the infrequent impact of capital gains realisations(47). Vern Krishna referred to this as the "bunching effect", which he believes is skewing the above figures."

    Vern Krishna is the foremost authority on Taxation in Canada. Note also that the above refers to amounts, not numbers of taxpayers, which would be much higher.

    So, in short, you're wrong Calgary.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 7:04 PM  

  • You, CG are a missinformed idiot! There are plenty more than 140000 people making over that $100,000 income a year. Most of your CAW union boys are making upwards of $70,000. As for these people NOT paying capital gains tax, you are an outright liar! Read the income tax act you fool! As for people who do earn capital gains, I'm one of them. I started with $1,000 and in 10 years have managed to grow that to $350,000, inside my RRSP ass**le. I save my money jerk, just like everybody else can save money. Use the f/n income tax laws to your advantage and quit your bitching, you crybaby! Money doesn't grow on trees, you have to WORK to get some of it, which is something you jerkoff liberal/NDP crybabies can't even spell!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 7:11 PM  

  • Anonymous (right above me), I think you might find that people tend to not listen to your points when you start off by calling them "idiots".

    Anyways.... OBVIOUSLY most capital gains taxes are going to be paid by wealthier people, they have more money to invest. Regardless, this plan awards people who REINVEST their money back into the market, which will help EVERYONE. Business' with money = more jobs. Capital markets with more money = more jobs. And to all of us middle class people out there with our tiny portfolio's, rich people plowing more and more money back into investments = our stocks worth more.

    FINALLY, this isn't even a tax cut, it's a tax deferral. People can't avoid paying taxes forever, either they stop investing, or they die. Either way, the government gets it's cut. The difference is that in the meanwhile, those same people were able to put full amounts of money to use in the markets rather than investing only what's left after taxes. If the markets continue to move up at a measured pace as they have for the past 2 centuries (7-8%/year), we should encourage people to keep defferring taxes as much as they can, because in the end that will lead to a MUCH bigger tax intake by the government, and a MUCH more wealth for the investor. It's WIN-WIN.

    This is the reason I hate the NDP. They can't logically think about any plan that may ever "help the rich", because they are too busy smearing anyone who wishes to make money in our CAPITALISTIC society. This will benefit everyone, it's a great plan, and 10 times more worthwhile and helpful for the long term growth of our economy than all the other nonsense in the Tory plan which got 100 times more media time (like that GST cut). Bravo Harper for this idea, whether you win or lose, I hope this policy gets implemented (and keep in mind I am a "poor" student with no money to invest, but I know this will help me and everyone else in the long run).

    By Anonymous Meany, at 7:30 PM  

  • Federal intrusion into cities is not a welcome proposition. This is the juridiction of the provincial governments.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 7:43 PM  

  • What are you so defensive for? Feeling guilty?

    I hope you realize that I am just pulling your chain.

    By Blogger Jason Cherniak, at 7:59 PM  

  • Oh for Christ's sake Jason.

    The only one getting his chain pulled 'round here is you.

    By Anonymous Matthew, at 8:05 PM  

  • If those are the only complaints you have about the Tory election campaign then you either (a) never were a Liberal, or (b) have been completely brainwashed by living in Calgary and are no longer a Liberal.

    As I said in another comment, you are as much a Liberal as Lieberman is a Democrat.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 8:12 PM  

  • Careful CG,

    the more boringly Liberal you get, the more traffic will drop!

    By Blogger Chuckercanuck, at 8:31 PM  

  • As I said in another comment, you are as much a Liberal as Lieberman is a Democrat.

    And its because of attitudes like that (and a few other reasons)that the Liberal Party is in the state it's in today. And I say that as a member and volunteer for the past ten-plus years.

    I think Akaash Maharaj put it quite well in his blog recently:

    "I realise that Paul Martin, as my Party's leader, has staked out a contrary position. I also realise that there will be those who will argue that loyalty to our Party sometimes demands that we stifle our principles. However, I believe that we serve our Party best by serving our country first.

    If Paul were surrounded by people willing to tell him what he needs to know, rather than simply what they think he wants to hear, the central campaign would undoubtedly agree."

    Keep on keepin on, CalgaryGrit.

    By Blogger A BCer in Toronto, at 8:37 PM  

  • Holy Crap, these johnny come lately to your blog just don't get it.

    If you have to explain the joke, I guess it wasn't that funny (sorry CG)

    To Bcer in TO, I could not agree any more with Akaash Change our Party to Any Party and you've got it exactly right.

    I realise we are in the middle of an election, but where was layton today to speak out against Buzz. Too busy worrying about his Party rather than what is best for the country.

    I know I am being idealistic, altruistic, naive take your pick. That being said, when I lose my naivete, stick a fork in me I'm done.

    Also CG, I concur with Bcer keep up what you do.

    Ken in Cgy NH

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 8:59 PM  

  • CG, as an Albertan, (and a Liberal no less) how do you feel about Martin and Buzz insinuating, if not blatantly claiming Albertan's don't share Canadian values? Can an Albertan be PM in this country without being labelled a radical redneck that wants to dismantle the Canadian state? Does it not piss you off in any way? Just curious, I live in downtown Toronto, the Liberal fortress.

    By Anonymous Scott, at 9:29 PM  

  • Scott,

    That depiction (from Buzz and Martin) seems really quite accurate in light of the article I cited earlier. Don't forget who the architect (well, one of them) of the open letter on "Fortress Alberta" was. Same goes for the National Post piece... "Fine. Let us build a society on Alberta values," under the headline (let's pray he didn't write that) "Separation, Alberta Style..."

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 9:53 PM  

  • There is such a thing as too much irony.

    Nah. Just kidding. Dryest post of the campaign. Superb.


    By Blogger Alan, at 10:17 PM  

  • Brilliant - and the comments (the first few) add to it.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 10:33 PM  

  • You don't get it, Bart. Sometimes the best course of action is to say nothing rather than stab your compatriots in the back and become a tool to be used by your political opponents.

    By Blogger Robert McClelland, at 10:53 PM  

  • 1000 people brave the weather to attend a rally for Stephen Harper.

    In Montreal

    In Quebec

    In Canada

    5 days before the election

    I'm not making this up.

    By Anonymous CalgarySW cpc, at 11:01 PM  

  • "...rather than stab your compatriots in the back..."

    Like Buzz Hargrove?

    "...and become a tool..."

    I defer to the master.

    By Blogger deaner, at 11:38 PM  

  • Mike Said: The lady with the kool-aid tray will be stopping by everyone's seats shortly. Please, it will make this all go much quicker if you already have in mind your preferred flavour -- we've got cherry, raspberry, and strawberry.

    ::laughing:: Mike, you are most awesome!

    By Blogger Canadian Perasma, at 11:44 PM  

  • This is a bit off-topic, but what's the etymology of the "kool-aid" insult? Of course I can understand the general meaning, considering the context, but I'm curious if there is something more subtle that I'm missing. It seems a bit over-used, to be honest.

    By Anonymous Ian, at 1:39 AM  

  • Wow, the CG has appeared to changed his stripes in the last quarter of the game.

    Why not ante up and take some of the responsibility of the Martin fiasco CG? Your blog came out just as anti-Martin as your pal Kinsella. At least Kinsella's loyal to his convictions.

    You sound like either you've heard from the braintrust of the war room or have had your wings clipped now that the Liberal backs are agaist the wall.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 7:11 AM  

  • From Wikipedia:

    "...'drinking the kool-aid' is a reference to the 1978 cult mass-suicide in Jonestown, Guyana. Jim Jones, the leader of the group, convinced his followers to move to Jonestown. Late in the year he then ordered his flock to commit suicide by drinking grape-flavored Flavor Aid laced with potassium cyanide."
    Hope that helps.

    Anyhoo, onwards we go...

    Robert said:
    "You don't get it, Bart. Sometimes the best course of action is to say nothing rather than stab your compatriots in the back and become a tool to be used by your political opponents. "

    That would only apply if one were to subscribe to the notion that what's best for the Liberal party is also best for Canada, rather than the other way 'round. Canada will be better served by a Liberal party in Opposition, so that just maybe they can purge the elements that got them in this mess and emerge in the next election as a real choice.

    By Anonymous Matthew, at 7:11 AM  

  • Reading these posts is always done, "At your own risk" and this post is no different. Opinions are opinions but facts are what we should be making our decisions on. The majority of persons declaring dividends in Canada according to the CRA website are retired persons who buy and sell bonds or income stream producing benefits on a yearly basis. The amount of money collected from these taxes is barely $3 billion dollars or about 1/4 of the gains not reported by traders or guys living in their parent's basement trading stocks. Yeah...Harper really has it wrong. Lets take more money from retirees so we can build more golf courses in Liberal ridings. Get your facts straight and stop relying on sound bites.

    By Blogger Peter, at 10:23 AM  

  • I love that this turned into a discussion about Kool-Aid.

    I'm also a fan of "TinFoil Hat" and "Off His/Her Meds".

    By Blogger Toronto Tory, at 10:23 AM  

  • Speaking of kool-aid, I've always been partial to Purplesaurus-Rex myself. It's great straight, or with vodka. Good stuff.

    By Blogger A BCer in Toronto, at 10:35 AM  

  • CG, I'd just like to say thanks for your blog. It is helpful to know there are Liberals out there who don't slavishly tow the party line like Cherniak and actually have a sense of humour.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 11:25 AM  

  • "It is helpful to know there are Liberals out there who don't slavishly tow the party line..."

    Amen to that! I also appreciate the blog, Bart, even though for your trouble you are routinely accused of "not being a real Liberal" or "going over to the enemy."

    btw, to anonymous - it's "toe the line" - from turning out in formation, toes on a line to ensure exact alignment; but it is an easy slip.

    By Blogger deaner, at 12:33 PM  

  • "I think Akaash Maharaj put it quite well in his blog recently"

    And let's not forget Akaash was the senior Liberal who warned Paul Martin there was something fishy and untoward happening in Quebec in something we like to call the Sponsorship scandal.

    While my preference would be for the smoldering Liberal ruin to be left out in the desert for the buzzards to feed on its carcass, I'm also hopeful that someday they will have a leader with the integrity of Akaash Maharaj.

    By Blogger Patrick, at 8:53 PM  

  • Nice blog post dude I really appreciate it.

    By Anonymous belvedere shoes, at 1:51 AM  

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