Christian Conservative Christian "Independent"

I'm an evangelical Christian, member of the CPC, but presently & unjustly exiled to wander the political wilderness.
All opinions expressed here are solely my own.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Iggy LIES about his responsiblity for the HST

Liberal Leader Michael Ignatieff was caught lying to reporters this weekend in B.C., when he tried to imply that the Federal Liberals were not responsible for the looming HST.

From the Metro News Vancouver... "When asked, Ignatieff said the federal Liberals are not to blame for the looming harmonized sales tax."

Perhaps someone has forgotten about this...
The Government remains committed to working with provinces that still have RSTs to identify and evaluate potential areas where changes to the current framework for federal-provincial harmonization could facilitate provincial movement towards the creation of a fully modernized and efficient consumption tax system in Canada.
Where is that from, you may ask? Well, you see, it's from Page 262 of the 2009 Federal Budget... which Liberal Leader Michael Ignatieff voted IN FAVOUR of on February 3, 2009. (You might recall that well publicized vote, it was the first major rebellion within the Liberal Party after he became Leader, where six of his Newfoundland MP's rebelled and voted against it)

So you can see quite clearly, Michael Ignatieff has either completely forgotten his own voting record, or he deliberately lied to reporters this weekend in BC in an effort to try and cover his own political hide.

Forgive me if I'm wrong Mr. Ignatieff, but I don't think that voters in B.C. are going to appreciate being lied to.

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  • At Mon. Jun. 21, 11:00:00 a.m. EDT, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    If you really want to get technical, wasn't it Mr. Chretien and Mr. Martin who started it all by introducing the HST in the maritimes. I believe Liberal Party can take credit of the birth of the HST.

  • At Mon. Jun. 21, 12:11:00 p.m. EDT, Blogger Ted Betts said…

    Um, no, Anon.

    If you really want to get technical, it was Mr. Harper and Mr. Flaherty who started this round by pushing hard for the HST in BC and Ontario over many years and offering them HUGE cash incentives for doing it. I believe Conservative Party can take credit of the birth of the HST in BC and Ontario.

    And credit they should since the HST makes a heck of a lot more sense for a province than split PST/GST.

    But it is astonishing how desperate the Conservatives are to say it is the federal Liberals. That is the biggest lie, of all. You even had Conservative MPs claim that the federal Conservatives had nothing to do with this! I guess the principle is: the bigger the lie, the less likely someone may be to question it?

    Why this government doesn't show leadership and cowers from taking responsibility for its own actions is quite curious for a group that tries to pretend that taking personal responsibility is part of their ideology.

    Once again proving the Conservative adagage that "our principles don't apply to us".

  • At Mon. Jun. 21, 12:21:00 p.m. EDT, Blogger Christian Conservative said…

    Ted... I, for the record, have never once tried to pass the buck on the HST... I am in support of it. What I oppose, however, is the way the McGuinty Liberals have completely botched the implementation of it... as have the Campbell Liberals.

    This post isn't about trying to "pass the buck" or blame the Liberals... this post is about Iffy's revisionist history on his role in bringing in the HST. He voted in favour of pursing this path when he supported the 2009 Budget, and he knows it. He's the one trying to pass the buck and save his own political skin by denying his involvement.

    He just got caught.

  • At Mon. Jun. 21, 12:44:00 p.m. EDT, Blogger Ted Betts said…

    Not sure how an opposition party that votes for a budget in the middle of a recession rather than force an election over a new tax the federal government wants to bring in with two provincial governments in agreement... means that Ignatieff is responsible or that saying he's not the one to blame is in the remotest sense accurate.

    Typical bait and switch really. The Conservatives push for the new tax. The Conservatives encourage Ontario and BC with huge cash incentives from taxes raised from all provinces. The Conservatives threatened an election if the budget wasn't supported in full. The Conservatives said the budget was desperately needed as is to fight the election.

    But now it is turning into a major catastrophe, in BC at least, so better share the blame.

    We truly are leaderless in Ottawa.

    As for botching the implementation, I don't know the details about BC though it seems they more or less tried to sneak it in or hope no one noticed too much.

    In Ontario, though, I fail to see how they "botched" it. You can't force someone to read the newspapers or watch/listen to ads or go to the dedicated website, but there is no way you can argue they have been trying to hide the implementation.

    On the contrary, McGuinty & co. have been out doing roadshows on the advantages of the HST. Rather than hope no one notices, they are out promoting it. I've been surprisingly impressed with their efforts and, yes, leadership on this. The government makes a difficult and controversial decision that it thinks is in the best interest of its constituency and then stands strongly and publicly behind its decision, explaining the benefits, acknowledging the controversies and negatives but explaining with the benefits outweigh.

    If we had a little bit of that kind of leadership, responsibility and openness with voters in our federal government, the Conservatives would have had a majority eons ago.

  • At Mon. Jun. 21, 01:05:00 p.m. EDT, Blogger Christian Conservative said…

    Ted, in regards of botching it, I'm not referring to the ON Liberals "roadshow" to sell the HST... I'm talking about the what's taxed vs. what's not, the wacky exemptions on this and that, the double taxation on gasoline, and the fact that they say it isn't a "tax grab" when it clearly is... if it wasn't, they would have reduced the provincial portion by 1-2 percent, instead of keeping it at 13%.

  • At Mon. Jun. 21, 01:22:00 p.m. EDT, Blogger Ted Betts said…

    OK, I see your point on that.

    I still don't see the "botched" part of this. The HST is incredibly complicated, and the whole structure of exemptions and reduced rates and zero rated etc, is an unbelievable inaccessible maze. But, believe it or not, much less so than the old PST/GST regime.

    They have to make decisions on these types of things and, no doubt, out of the literally millions of products and services that are or could be taxed, they'll get some wrong. The GST implementation is still an ongoing thing. We once had a case where the fight was over how a toy should be classified for tax purposes: it was one of those Fischer Price/Playmobil type animal farms and the issue was whether it figurine (the farmers), animals (the cows, etc.), a representational (the farm and field), a plastics toy (it was all plastic) or - and yes this was one of the arguments - a child art display. Each of those would have put the toy into a different classification with potentially different tax implications.

    But these are all to the sidelines of the main part of the GST. I.E. You wouldn't throw out the GST or conclude it was "botched" just because these kinds of issues.

    As for "tax grab", was the GST a tax grab? It certainly had that short-term effect but it was not the design or purpose of the tax.

    I don't see how not reducing the rate has any bearing on indicating whether it was a tax grab or not. Currently, we pay 13% on most goods and 0% on necessary goods like groceries. Starting July 1, we will pay 13% on most goods and 0% on necessary goods like groceries. Reducing the rate may or may not be a good idea, but it certainly is unrelated to the discussion of whether it is a tax grab or not and a rate reduction would certainly have been a calamity in terms of balancing the budget.

    I'll quote a former very conservative Minister of Finance under Harris and Eves on the concept of reducing the PST/GST:

    “Hon Mr Flaherty: The member opposite again raises the question of reducing the sales tax. I must say that with respect to tax cuts, I agree with Paul Martin. With respect to reducing the GST federally and the RST provincially, I also agree with the federal minister, and we’ve talked about this. All you get is a short-term hit, quite frankly. You accelerate spending. You pull it ahead by a month or two. It has no long-term positive gain for the economy.

    On this side of the House — and I say this with respect to the member opposite — we’re interested in long-term, sustainable economic growth and the creation of permanent jobs in Ontario. That’s what grows the economy. That’s what helps people. That’s what helps retailers in Ontario, not short-term, knee-jerk actions.”

    Of course, that was before the 2006 election when politics needed to override good policy in order to get power.

  • At Mon. Jun. 21, 03:20:00 p.m. EDT, Blogger Ted Betts said…

    Like what McGuinty is doing or not, but this is the kind of political leadership and openness and accountability that we are sorely sorely lacking in Ottawa.

    First of all, leadership requires tough decisions on controversial issues. No question the HST is controversial, but McGuinty (and Campbell) made the decision that it was in the best interest of his province to adopt it so he made the call.

    Second, he doesn’t shirk or hide or avoid the issue or avoid his bosses (us, the voters and taxpayers). He comes right out to state his case, taking ownership the issue and responsibility for the decision.

    Third, he is treating the voters and taxpayers as adults. He is not spending any time, let alone most of his time, attacking his critics or opposing parties. It’s a short ad so there is no detail in the ad (which can be found on the website), but he is explaining his decision without emotional blackmail or scaremongering or attacking anyone.

    By contrast, in Ottawa, there is a lack of leadership on the big issues of the day: nothing on healthcare, for example; opposition to bank regulations and then flip flopping and trying to take credit for existing bank regulations.

    The little bit of leadership that is forced upon the government - eg. doing something about the economy (note: I’m not saying spending was forced on them, Harper was already the by far biggest spending PM in our history, but he denied the recession would come and then had no answer when it did)- is used as an opportunity to attack and make partisan gains and even attack opposition leaders on the world stage at G8 meetings abroad.

    Could you ever see Harper make an ad like this explaining his decision to flip flop and recognize “nation” or on his Afghanistan policy or his record shattering spending spree or his decision to break his campaign promise to have fixed election dates or tax income trusts?

    On the contrary, Harper doesn’t like to communicate with Canadians. His messages are only highly partisan and contrived like the end-of-year photo of him in the Commons or the multi-million dollar do-over photo op in the Arctic.

    And THAT is why he doesn’t have a majority.

    Canadians, by and large, are not political partisans the way us political junkies are, and they do not like the constant me, me, me of petty partisanship, especially when they use our taxdollars for THEIR gain. And especially when they continually practice the politics of small and petty.

    (And THAT is why the opposition parties, especially the Liberals, have not gained any more traction despite the lack of popularity of Harper and the Conservatives.)

    There is no real leadership in Ottawa.


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