Brian Topp goes there


The NDP leadership candidate talks taxes.

“I will be talking about income taxes and I think it’s time for our party to step up to that plate and to be pretty clear about that because then we’ll have a mandate to act if we’re elected,” Topp said in a wide-ranging interview. He also called for a hike in corporate taxes and did not rule out a sales tax increase “at some point,” once the fragile economy is on surer footing.


Brian Topp goes there

  1. Boy, it didn’t take long for the ‘make the rich pay’ meme to resurface did it……

  2. Congratulations to Brian Topp for acting like an adult and expecting the same from others.  We need to rise our collective level so that a politician talking about taxes isn’t an automatic repudiation.

    • That would be refreshing if Topp actually opened up a non-dumbed-down debate on the issue.  We’ll just have to wait and see on that.

      Re the GST, with that little musing on it, he may have just helped craft the Tories’ next anti-NDP attack ad . . . .

      I note that “waiting until the economy gets better” to do this or that was something that Liberals and Dippers were savaging the Conservatives for saying a while back.

    • If someone doesn’t share your policy preferences, they’re immature and lowly, then?

      • Trying to prove the point? 

        You’ll note that I am a Liberal.  You’ll note that Brian Topp is of the NDP. 

        • I think you’ve just proved mine, actually. And both the Liberals and NDP have longstanding bad habits of talking down to the electorate in precisely that way.

          • And Harper’s view that all taxes are evil is supposed to be mature, right

            Whenever liberals talk about universal daycare or a carbon tax they’re represented to the electorate as being some kind of a statist one world govt anti christ. You have no moral high ground to stand on at all bud once the water starts to rise.

      • I believe it’s if someone refuses to deal with tax policy beyond the simple mantra of “they need to be lowered” they’re immature and lowly.

        And I’d tend to agree.

        They don’t have to share the view, but we should at least have politicians who are open to considering whether it might be a reasonable way to go.

  3. It is mathematically impossible to expect increases in spending (prisons, untendered jets, new ships) without corresponding increases in revenue (a.k.a. taxes) and simultaneously run balanced budgets.

    That said, I’ll be honestly surprised if Topp talks about tax increases when the campaign shifts from an NDP leadership campaign to a federal election (assuming he wins, of course).  He’ll need to appeal for votes from a lot of people who are bad at math.

    • If he wants to argue for a tax increase to pay for all the goodies we’ve ordered, then fine…although politically it would make more sense for him to blame it on the Cons.

      However resurrecting the old socialist ‘make the rich pay’ isn’t going to do him the slightest bit of good.

      Not only has that been thoroughly debunked, it’s old ground again.

      If I were NDP, this alone would get him crossed off my list.

      • Are you calling Warren Buffet a socialist?

        • Buffet is calling for what Canada already has…progressive taxation.

          • So what is Brian Topp calling for, if not further progressive taxation?

          • He’s specifically targeting the rich….a long-debunked theory.

          • Emily, you are projecting.

    • Some folks are still believing in the Laffer curve idea of lowering taxes creates more revenue in total because it gets so many more people working that they make up the deficit created by lowering the rate.

      Of course, this is in the face of the evidence we have from the US, who, with even a higher corporate tax rate than ours took in less money when they lowered taxes. Now it’s true, the Laffer effect did in fact make up some of the deficit for the reduction, but nowhere near all of it.

      And for us, with our corporate rates already below that of the US, you’re correct. To expect balanced increases in spending with lower taxes is simple foolishness.

      • That’s why I mention revenues as opposed to strictly “taxes”.  I can see the Laffer curve working when tax rates are so high that there’s no possibility for a reasonable return on investment, or if they cause capital to flee to jurisdictions with lower taxes (or jurisdictions with higher public bribery of private capital).  But when the tax rates are competitive and the private capital is being grossly subsidized (as many provinces do to attract fly-by-night employers), the revenue increases promised by the Laffer curve must approach zero.

  4. http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/opinions/opinion/abolish-corporate-tax-it-has-been-a-worldwide-failure/article1987495/

    It’s probably smart for Topp to get out in front of this considering it’s been “occupying” the press so much right about now. Still i hope he isn’t just going to appeal to the robin hood crowd out there. Saunders make a strong case for not increasing CITs but for catching the tax dodgers at the top.[ probably much harder in Canada] .
    Where i’m more on side with the left is when it comes to tax credits[ Simpson had a good piece on this a day or so ago]. Here i think  the libs/ndp would be on much more solid ground with the public – some of the tax credits that litter the tax code are ludicrous. The tax breaks both federally and provincially for profitable big business are equally bizarre. It would be an interesting fight between the Toires and the left on the question of whether those that have need any more help in getting or staying there, and not one that Harper is bound to win, particularly if some of Topps message resonates with non voters – particularly the young. Bring it on i say. But please try and make it a semi- intelligent debate and not just a polarized mud fight between the right and the left.

  5. I’m encouraged by any effort that is made to talk openly about why we need taxes, and why they sometimes actually have to increase. I also think those who claim that taxing the rich more won’t produce big revenues are missing the main point, which is that social fairness demands that the rich pay more.   

    • We already have progressive taxation, and the rich pay more.

    • Another front that potentially opens up when you talk about rich vs poor is income vs. capital gains.  I’m actually surprised the NDP (especially its left wing) hasn’t jumped on this.  That accounts for a lot of the difference between the relative amount of tax paid by rich vs. poor people, both in Canada and the US (where the capital gains treatment is still better than in Canada for rich folks).

      Proposing increasing capital gains taxes would make the business community and related punditocracy and experts go ballistic, and understandably so, because there’s no question that there’s a close relationship between the attractiveness of a jurisdiction as a place to invest and capital gains treatment.  But the real fist-pumping eat-the-rich types on the left side of the NDP couldn’t care less about that sort of thing.

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