Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Coming Soon to an Attack Ad Near You

Tax hike likely unavoidable, Liberal leader says



  • Ya I found that comment by Ignattief wierd.

    He just spent the last months ripping Conservatives for failing on stimulus, and when Conservatives finally start delivering stimulus, he says we will need more taxes to pay for the deficit.

    Ignattieff is oddly consistent, for a politician, here, and I think this sheds light on a general climate supportive of a tax and spend policy. At least this is what Ignattieff is betting on. It seems to be working for Obama at the moment, although Obama has always said he wanted to tax the rich and spend on everyone, and I imagine Ignattieff will tread the same path.

    Clearly the Conservatives will attempt to criticize the 'tax' part of the 'tax and spend' doctrine, but the acceptance of keynesian 'stimulus spending' sort of undermines the Conservatives view of taxes as hinderance to growth as well.

    Overall, being a Conservative myself, I think Ignattieff shows himself as having more integrity than Harper, who has already compromised his own ideals for power. Combine this fact with a potential swing of the canadian electorate towards a more keynesian economic outlook, and Harper looks like the underdog going into the next election, whenever it comes.

    Ignattieff now has the room to engage in honest 'plain talk', as exemplified in his recent talk of potentially needing to raise taxes. This owing the the fact that Harper has sold his integrity for power.

    Interesting times for sure.

    By Blogger James McKenzie, at 12:53 a.m.  

  • interesting move...

    chess/checkers analogy anyone?

    I sure hope he knows what he's doing.

    By Anonymous Mike G, at 1:06 a.m.  

  • "I sure hope he knows what he's doing."

    Probably not

    By Blogger James McKenzie, at 2:06 a.m.  

  • I don't see how Harper has any credibility left to attack anyone else's financial statements. Here is one of many exact quotes from Harper in October 2008:

    "We're not running a deficit. We have planned a realistic scenario. We've got conservative budget estimates. We've got a modest platform that doesn't even fill the existing fiscal room that we have and we have plenty of flexibility in how we phase it. So that's our policy. We're not going into deficit."Harper either was outright lying or he didn't have a clue about the financial situation from month to month, while the opposition was saying he was already going into deficit and the Budget Officer confirmed this later.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 5:09 a.m.  

  • Iggy's forthright admission that the Piper must be paid is heartening. Do I wish to pay more taxes? Course not. But reason dictates that we cannot continually shirk our obligation to dig ourselves out of the hole we are in - that is Bush Logic. Iggy's correct, no "honest politician" can claim that further tax cuts are in the best interests of this country. It's a matter of balance and fairness - tax hikes should be borne by all above the LICO cut-off and targeted not just towards the uber-wealthy. That being said, however, at the end of the day the economic elite must realize they will have to carry the heavy water on this one. After all, they have benefited disproportionately under the present system. One need look no further than to the % of wealth in this country that is controlled by the top 10% of wage earners - this inequity must be rectified. Tax us all to pay for our collective debt - but tax those most who can afford it. .

    By Blogger Scott MacNeil, at 6:24 a.m.  

  • That's the problem with voters - they don't think it out and have been brainwashed to only accept nice, pretty statements.

    For those CPC supporters who fall for the tax gig - Reagan tripled the US debt and had to raise taxes, G. W. Bush, Sr. (read my lips) had to raise taxes and Mulroney had to raise taxes - GST.

    Grow up folks. Either we pay now or we pay later - we still pay.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 7:47 a.m.  

  • The No. 1 Mistake of Canadian Politics: telling the public what they don't want to hear.

    The Rule Revealed by History: avoid discussing or deflect or ignore negative aspects of reality if you want to be elected.

    From the 1970's and Stanfield's Wage and Price Controls promise (which Trudeau campaigned against and then implemented) to Chretien's promised GST elimination (it took over a decade and a Conservative prime minister to start its elimination) to the last election when Harper lied about the Canadian deficit and Dion promised a carbon tax, THE SAD TRUTH IS THAT prime minister's are never elected when they speak austerity and/or gloomy reality.

    By Blogger MississaugaPeter, at 8:39 a.m.  

  • There's an argument to be made that taxes should be increased after the recession. After all, we've cut taxes so much over the past decade that it's not unreasonable to get some of it back, in order to get out of deficit...especially if the economy starts to get a bit over-heated.

    That said, if it won't be in the Liberal platform next election (and it won't), it seems kind of foolish to be bringing it up.

    By Blogger calgarygrit, at 9:05 a.m.  

  • Iggy let the cat out of the bag, eh?

    Tax, tax and tax...

    I thought so.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 9:30 a.m.  

  • The vast majority of the increased deficits come from increased infrastructure spending, which will, of course, expire relatively soon (it was spending that was going to happen anyway, now it is happening more cheaply than it would otherwise).

    The only reason you would need a tax hike is if you had specific plans to greatly increase government spending (which doesn't seem warranted - indeed, the Tories certainly haven't held back on that front).

    Ignatieff has a lot of room to waffle on the tax question, and he should have taken it. Now he is tagged as a tax hiker, even if the numbers in the next election do not lend themselves to a need for higher taxes, and even if he backs off (backing off would certainly add to the "flip-flopper" meme*).

    *I'm not saying Harper is a beacon of consistency, but that line of attack hasn't really been exploited by the Liberals. Indeed, Liberal criticisms of Harper since 2004 have been that he is a Bush lite inflexible ideologue, so right wing that he cannot be trusted.

    Tagging Harper as a flip-flopper (for which there is lots of fodder - more than the right wing ideologue thing) could actually help soften his image.

    By Blogger french wedding cat, at 9:49 a.m.  

  • H2H - I think you're right re: flip-flop. That's why I tend to think all the "Harper has sold out his Conservative principles" might help him with public (although not with base, obviously).

    And while a lot of the deficit is stimulus related, there was a structural deficit before that. So, the argument could be made that it's neccesary to raise taxes, especially if Liberals want to bring in more programs/spending than Tories (which I'd imagine they would).

    By Blogger calgarygrit, at 11:34 a.m.  

  • I disagree with these notions that taxes can't be cut.

    Cutting taxes, by definition, keeps money in the hands of those who generate wealth rather than moving it into the hands of those that don't.

    Cutting taxes means cutting services, which means reducing our dependency on Canadian taxpayers. In some cases, that's not a bad thing.

    And H2H is right, what's the better attack on Harper:
    1. A rigid social conservative.
    2. Someone who "sold out" on his conservative principles, and flip flopped to a more progressive stance to retain power.

    Plus, with Ignatieff and Obama in town, there won't be any more effective "Harper = USA" attacks.

    By Blogger Robert Vollman, at 11:38 a.m.  

  • "Cutting taxes, by definition, keeps money in the hands of those who generate wealth rather than moving it into the hands of those that don't."

    So you think the Sultan of Brunei, B.Gates and a Mexican industrialist should have all your wealth eventually?
    Coming soon to the lungs of Conservative's children, a pandemic unleashed by THC deprived Phillip.

    By Anonymous Phillip Huggan, at 3:05 p.m.  

  • Wow, thanks Phillip. I had no idea that an idea could be refuted by taking it to a ludicrous extreme.

    You're right, let's increase taxes on those that generate income, own property, make capital gains, etc, and give it all to people incapable of any of those because to do otherwise just means padding the wallets of the Sultan of Brunei.


    By Blogger Robert Vollman, at 5:33 p.m.  

  • "So, the argument could be made that it's neccesary to raise taxes, especially if Liberals want to bring in more programs/spending than Tories (which I'd imagine they would)."

    Just don't make that argument before you get elected. Have the federal Liberals learned nothing from McGuinty?

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 6:55 p.m.  

  • Why would anyone worry about what Ig says on a Tuesday? By Thursday, he'll be saying something which sounds rather the opposite. Which would only be troubling until Monday, when he finds yet a third choice to support with all the strength he can muster.

    I don't fault him - the Party under Dion sent out minions after the Fiscal Update last fall complaining that the government was spending too much money, while other minions were complaining the government wasn't spending enough. Eventually, the latter voices won the day and the former were forgotten.

    By Blogger Paul, at 9:12 p.m.  

  • “Cutting taxes, by definition, keeps money in the hands of those who generate wealth rather than moving it into the hands of those that don't.”

    That's standard right wing ideology.

    From the economic perspective, wealth is generated by lower interest rates, higher productivity and low barriers to innovation/trade.

    By Blogger JimTan, at 1:13 p.m.  

  • Cutting taxes keeps money in the hands of those who have money.

    Whether they generate wealth or not is an entirely different matter.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 2:55 p.m.  

  • The Record is hardly an accurate source for news.

    The actual quote comes in a context where a questioner asks about how to get out of this economic and deficit mess, gets the non-controversial Liberal plan, then asks "and what if that doesn't work". At that point, you get the long quote about needing to consider raising some taxes in an appropriate way, which becomes a soundbite as the Liberal plan.

    The Record then decides he flip-flops later based on hearing the same thing twice, but mishearing it one of the two times.

    This is the stuff of attack ads and Fox News. It also is the stuff, increasingly, of the Canadian media.

    By Anonymous Jeff Henry, at 11:33 p.m.  

  • I think everyone must read this.

    By Anonymous muebles en vizcaya, at 8:33 a.m.  

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