Just say no to tax cuts: Ignatieff


129465159_6e6b34d3ff_oToday’s edition of Le Devoir has what it bills as an “exclusive interview” with Michael Ignatieff in which the Liberal leader waxes politic about everything from the coalition to the upcoming budget. It’s hard to conceive of a situation in which he’d follow through on his threat to bring down the government, but Ignatieff certainly seems to have gotten the requisite pre-budget posturing routine down pat anyway.

Here’s what he had to say:

On the budget: “Mr. Harper is talking about broad-based tax cuts for the middle class, while I’m talking about targetting tax cuts for the less-fortunate… If I see in the budget a permanent reduction in the government’s fiscal capacity to create conditions of equality for everyone, I will vote against it… I’m afraid that broad-based tax cuts might put us in a deficit situation from which we wouldn’t be able to emerge.”

On going into an election: “I could lead the Liberal party in an election campaign at the end of January. The problem isn’t the Liberal party’s capacity to run a campaign. Our problems aren’t as big as people think.”

On the coalition: “No one wants an election. That’s why we have agreed to a coalition that provides a credible and viable alternative.”

On the Bloc: “I am a federalist, a proud Canadian, and I will never compromise the unity of my country. But I want to add that Bloc MPs are colleagues. They have been duly elected by the voters of Quebec. They are not traitors; they are not enemies of Canada. I profoundly disagree with their [goal of an independent Quebec] and always will. But to say, like Mr. Harper did, that you can’t negotiate make deals with them, that’s hypocritical, because he himself has often negotiated made deals with the Bloc. That made me really angry.”

[Photo: Matman4698]


Just say no to tax cuts: Ignatieff

  1. “But to say, like Mr. Harper did, that you can’t negotiate with them, that’s hypocritical, because he himself has often negotiated with the Bloc. That made me really angry.”
    Did Harper say that? “negotiate”

    • “Negotiate” was my translation. The word Iggy used was “traiter,” which I should probably have translated as “make deals with.”

    • So.. low income purchasing power you consider to be the middle class?

      I’m sure your to-be-Seigneur welcomes this opinion.

      • Try improving your reading skills. It’s really not that difficult. On Jan. 8, Ignatieff includes the middle class in his tax cut plans and one week later warns Harper not to put middle class tax cuts in the budget. You may read low income purchasing power on his Jan. 8 statement but it actually says low-and-middle income purchasing power.

        • Try improving yours. He didn’t say not to put the middle class in. He’s talking about Harper putting in tax cuts soley for the middle class.

          • So, you lump the middle-class earners in with low income earners? Funny how Michael Ignatieff didn’t do that on Jan.8 but you would have me believe that that is what he is doing on Jan. 15. And isn’t it really his distinction between low and middle income earners what really counts, not yours or mine?

          • Never mind. I see what you’re getting at. I just think he should have said it more clearly.

          • On that, we can be agreed. It seems Ignatieff has quickly picked up the trait of leaving lots of room for interpretation in his statements, and that can work both ways.

  2. “If I see in the budget a permanent reduction in the government’s fiscal capacity to create conditions of equality for everyone”

    That statement make me want to cringe. Sounds like a true communist.

    • SF
      You just have to get yourself an Iggy decoder or keep a copy of Orwells essays handy. It’s only the end result of a mind that’s been chained to a cloister pillar for too long. With Ignatieff we’ll all have to learn how to self edit so: ” If the budget fails to be fair to everyone…” And try not to throw the c word around, no one, outside of N. Korea, is listening any more.

      • I am particularly averse to anyone saying they wish to “create” equality. It really makes me want to cringe. I dislike progressive taxation, affirmative action, and any other so-called equalizer.

        I would like to see a flat tax like in many countries today. One of the perverse effects of progressive taxation if that it punishes those with incomes that are not steady. If you make 80 grand one year and 20 the next, then you are taxed more than if you made 50 grand each year.

        There are many other perverse effects, like the whole idea that all tax cuts must include cutting the lowest rate.

        The final result of cutting only the lowest rate is that you end up with a society in which half the poulation pays all of the taxes, like in the U.S. today, which is supposed to be fair somehow.

        • Create Equality does grate, Orwell must have been a chore for Michael, he just got to the pt so quickly and clearly; where’s the fun in that?
          I don’t really support you on cutting the lowest rate. however i would support a form of G Income if the whole supporting structure of the welfare state were rolled up, except for the ‘truly”needy. Failing that [no chance] a flat tax has some appeal. I like the fact that at say 10% you would pay tax o 100% of yr income. On the downside, the middle class would lose if you rolled back all of their equalization payments. A fair flat tax would only be fair or fairer if you ended the nice little write offs the well off currently enjoy. On the whole i think we’ve got it right in an imperfect world.

    • The preceding sentence which was not translated above, makes clear he was talking about equality of opportunity:

      “un gouvernement fédéral …qui travaille pour égaliser les chances de chacun. “

  3. This is getting interesting so the Igster is starting to develop a tast for his own shoe leather eh!

  4. Wayne, how’s the view from Harper’s backside? I think the only shoe leather Harper’s going to worry about is the one that kicks him out of office, and soon. But your idea of rewarding politicians of CON stripes for each lie is interesting.

    • If you seriously believe that Harper will be ‘ how did you say it .. kicked out ‘ or some such other non sense then anything you say is obviously worth … as the say in latin : Non Gradus Anus Rodentum! the Igster has about a year to deal with his party and get his act together and in the meantime he will be devouring more and more of his own shoe leather. The tricky bit will be how he distances himself from the coalition while at the same time keeping Jack on side or at least mollified while he tries to keep the card in play against Stevie. A good indicator of the strategies of all the players will be just after spring break and right before summer – the polling by then should have some intersting trend lines developing and more than likely determine whether the Igster will have any shoes left to go for a fall election – somehow I doubt it though.