Hello Cleveland!


The Iggy tour of Southwestern Ontario continues. Hamilton! Kent Bridge! Chatham! Brantford! Waterloo! Cambridge

And speaking of candour…

Federal taxes must go up to pay off Canada’s increasing debt, Liberal leader Michael Ignatieff said today. The challenge, he said, is to ensure the economic recovery is not hurt by raising the taxes, Ignatieff told about 100 people at a Cambridge Chamber of Commerce breakfast meeting.

Ignatieff’s comments were in response to a question from Cambridge business leader John Bell, who wanted to known when the federal debt will be paid back.  “We will have to raise taxes,” but not at the expense of hurting the recovery from this recession. He added that “an honest politician” cannot exclude a tax hike as an option. “I am not going to load a deficit onto your children or mine,” Ignatieff said.


Hello Cleveland!

  1. Oh dear! That’s going to leave a mark.

  2. Surprise surprise – NOT. So Iggy shoves his other shoe in his mouth I wonder what the problem is lately as he seems to be enjoying the taste of his won shoe leather.

    • So let us in on your secret. How do you get rid of a $100B debt, particularly when the PBO said we were heading into debt even before the crisis hit?

      • depends – if the price of oil goes up 2 dollars a barrel more than projected there will be no deficit and if we increase the amount we are selling which we are, should be 2 million barrels a day in awhile then presto – good times for all again.

        • Oil demand is falling at its fastest rate in 3 decades and they are expecting years of excess production. What’s plan B?

          • that was not what you asked

        • And if the price of oil doesn’t go up 2 bucks?

          • then 4 bucks even better

  3. “Oh dear! That’s going to leave a mark.”

    You’re telling me!

  4. Not only politically stupid, but obviously untrue. Getting out of deficit just requires not cutting taxes or increasing spending for a few years. This would be huge change from the previous decade.

    Paying off the debt is just a matter of telling the clowns who insist that any surplus is overtaxation to STFU, then let it disappear.

    • According to Terence Corcoran, writing on several occasions in the last year or so in the Financial Post, we don’t have to worry about paying down debt because paying down debt means that taxes could have been that much lower. Apparently, again from Mr. Corcoran’s fount of wisdom, paying down debt has no economic benefits, though running deficits is negative. Funny how that works. I don’t know… maybe he’s right… maybe no possible economic benefit could come from returning billions of dollars locked up in the federal treasury back to the investors who lent it in the first place and who would then be free to loan that money out for other uses. It’s not like Mr. Corcoran thinks the private sector is better at using capital productively than governments, right?

      So, you going to tell Mr. Corcoran that he’s a clown and to STFU?

      • If DR won’t, I will. We have to pay interest on that debt as long as we have it, and that’s dead weight on our future budgets.

  5. I thought new tax promises were kiss of death for pols. It’s my impression that parties/pols promising new taxes during election tend to lose, regardless of the merits of the tax being proposed.

    However, I wonder if a specific tax dedicated to paying down deficit might be more palatable to Canadians.

    • I personally am ready to at least have adult conversation about it.

      Contrast this to the US where both Obama and McCain pranced about focused on cutting taxes when that was obviously stupid in the middle of a war.

  6. Seems like an example of Ignatieff wanting to set his own terms for debate and not simply fitting into Harper’s. This is in contrast to the last election. I took some solace in Dion stressing that he would not cause a deficit, which coupled to his statements that Harper had already caused one, meant to me that we were going to have a deficit no matter who was elected. Still, it was all on Harper’s terms, which meant that even the Marxist-Leninists had to chant “no deficits” to pick up their 300 votes.

    Perhaps in the next round, we can actually discuss how we might get out of deficit and what is acceptable and what isn’t.

    • right! – nope sorry C it only sounds like Iggy placing shoe in mouth again he does that a lot and no doubt once the honeymoon is over and the shine on his crown he is having placed on his head at the convention has worn off people will start to get buyers remorse – no doubt about it!

      • nope sorry C it only sounds like Iggy placing shoe in mouth again

        Is this supposed to be a serious comment, or do you just like typing?

        • Has Wayne ever made a comment that deserved to be taken seriously?

  7. C’mon people. The only way to undo debt is to generate surpluses: revenue in excess of expenditures. OF COURSE taxes will necessarily be “excess”-ive in the future in order to pay off today’s stupidity. Lower spending? Ha! Harper couldn’t even handle the political hot potato of gently slightly ever-so-minimally curtailing the growth in arts spending, and look what happened in the last election. You think Iggy’s gonna run on spending cuts? Show me the planet on which that happens.

    What do you have left? Taxes. Extra taxes. Taxes that outgrow spending growth, à la Chretien-Martin (with a nod to Mulroney-Wilson). You do it real soon or you hit the next generation, just like this generation was thumped by the last (thanks for nothin’, PET). You do it to the “evil rich” because such a low percentage of people already contributes such a high percentage of government revenues, but they can afford the extra hit and they are the politically popular pinata because there are so few of them.

    There, disgusting as it is, is your political platform in a nutshell. Why is everyone surprised that taxes will have to go up in the future? Can’t we count?

    • Ah, MYL, in your relentless realism you forget the US model, whereby you just keep spending and spending and running ever huger deficits until at last the Rapture, in the form of the bond market, claims you to the sound of trumpets.

      • So, Jack, about the USA’s upcoming bankruptcy: will that be surgical? What’s good for GM is good for America, yada, yada…

        • Sobering question, MYL. I wonder what it will look like. I just can’t see them getting off the spending spree anytime soon: I mean, I guess the logic right now is that they need to spend in order to get the economy going again, but will they be willing to get back to zero deficits when it does? That would mean slashing the defense budget, raising taxes, etc. etc. I wonder if that’s even possible in the mental climate the US has been in for the last nine years and, barring some quite unforeseen tectonic shift, will still be in a decade hence. How long can it last, I wonder? Ten years? Twenty? Five?

          • All I know is:

            You definitely have a problem when the CHINESE COMMUNISTS are getting all antsy about the capitalist bonafides of the United States of America. Gee-zus.

            Obama’s White House put out some statement to the effect of: we’ll balance our budgets immediately after this one-time crucial investment in the nation’s economy. What an example of the heroin addict justifying this one last fix (and I really REALLY mean it this time!). It was posted here at Blog Central and I remember my comment: Riiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiight.

            Some will (have!) said that the USA isn’t that bad, because they’re only descending to levels similar to Western Europe’s capitalist economies. Sorry, folks. Western Europe has been freeloading on the USA for defence AND for economic growth since a very long time. It does most of the developed world no good for the *cough* shining beacon of capitalist democracy to be nationalizing private industry using not-yet-existant capital. Back to the original question I had here: Can’t we count?

  8. So the leader of the official opposition, possibly only a few months away from another election, drops a bombshell that he will raise taxes if elected.

    This is the top story on National Newswatch.

    CBC? No coverage of this important policy statement.
    CTV? Ditto.
    Globe and Mail? Ditto.
    TorStar? Ditto.
    Canadian Press? Ditto.

    Where the hell is the PPG? They’ve covered every single damn thing the guy says since being elected leader…then he drops a bombshell that he will raise taxes, and nobody wants to print a word of it. Why could this be?

    • John, that this would be a “bombshell” is just further evidence in support of my charge that we Canadians are innumerate.

      • Your math may be correct myl, but regardless of that, the leader of the official opposition saying in a stump speech that “we will have to raise taxes” is still a political bombshell.

        Our media has reported on virtually everything the guy has said since becoming leader. Why would this, of all things, not be worthy of mention?

        • Patience, John. See Aaron’s next post, 22:11, about a CanWest report.

          • Patience my a$$. He made the statement at a breakfast speech this morning. It’s now 11pm, and Canwest is the only major news outlet in the country to even mention it, in a tiny, no-byline article which did little more than reference the local media report and get one quote from Ignatieff’s office which contradicted the whole thing. The Canwest story is not visible on the National Post’s homepage.

            That’s all the coverage we’re getting of a promise from the leader of the opposition to raise taxes in a recession.

            It is absolutely shameful the depths that the media will go to protect the Liberals from the political fallout of their own stupidity.

          • And yet, here I am thinking the man is being honest and making some arithmetical sense. In fact, I think more highly of him for actually stating up front that drunken-sailor spending has future consequences.

            So, lambaste away, John, but be warned. Comments like Iggy’s today show the man has a brain.

          • Alas, MYL, Kim Campbell also made honest comments – a few of which sealed the fate of the PCs in the election.

  9. Sooner or later, you have to pay for what you get.
    But it seems we’d rather stay in debt.

    Realists know taxes must be raised
    But no one who says so will be praised

    Not any time soon

    • And yet, the NDP will be counted on to reliably inform us, whenever the combination of tax revenue gushes and spending freezes/cuts (heavy on former and negligible on the latter) leads to a surplus, that “now is certainly not the time to pay down the mortgage!” No, dippers, now never seems to be the time…

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