Is the long, hard analytical look at income-splitting over?

A new adjective to describe income-splitting


The transcript of his post-caucus scrum yesterday has Tony Clement saying of income-splitting that “we will not comment on specific policies when we’re not in a balanced budget situation,” but here is the Prime Minister in Question Period yesterday afternoon, taking a question from Liberal MP John McCallum.

Mr. Speaker, as I said yesterday. As I said in Stouffville a couple of weeks ago and as I said during the election campaign, we think income splitting would be an excellent policy for Canadian families, just as it has been an excellent policy for Canadian seniors.

This marks an improvement over Tuesday’s assessment that it was a “good” policy.

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Is the long, hard analytical look at income-splitting over?

  1. Specific policies? Naw that’s not what all the cool kids are doing these days. What’s in is Justin’s “make economy good” stance. Which is way better than “make economy bad”…so he, like, totally has my vote dude.

    • Harper….income splitting….focus, Charles.

      • Ya but the constantly changing positions Harper is taking makes him look kind of scattered. Why would Biff want to focus on that?

        • True….Harpo is all over the map these days….kinda hard to defend the leader’s position when he keeps changing it!

    • What’s truly hilarious about this is that the Liberals and NDP are now promoting a Conservative policy as good policy. Funnier yet, they’re all talking about how the Conservatives will cut taxes, while the NDP and Liberals are talking about how they’ll spend the country back into deficit.

      I don’t think the analogy that Harper’s playing chess while everybody else is playing checkers is very apt anymore. Since Trudeau’s come onto the scene, it’s more like Harper’s the guy with a laser pointer and the opposition is a cat. Just when they think they’ve caught that damn dot, it’s on the other side of the room.

      • How on earth are the libs/ndp promoting a Con policy as good policy, when they’re stressing the down sides? Unless your implying ordinary Canadians are too dumb to figure out for themselves how income splitting may advantage a few and disadvantage many others in the process.
        Too much cat nip there Ricky.

      • Um, no.

        They are pointing out that Harper may be reneging on his campaign promise, but it looks like he is now unreneging.

        I am sure the opposition really wants him to continue with this policy, since it is a terrible one.

    • Avoiding bad policy is sometimes as good as implementing a workable one.

  2. Given the SG analysis that the $2 billion + needed to fund this targeted tax cut has to come from austerity(layoffs, attrition, cut in spending programs), this seems like a fairly transparent transfer of wealth.

    • Sorry Smithers…what do you mean by $2 billion needed to fund this? This is a tax cut, and whether one approves of it or not, it is clearly not a new expenditure. That means the government will forego revenues, rather than collect and spend them.
      As for a transfer of wealth, your comment makes no sense whatsoever. This allows families to keep their earnings, and reduces the transfer of wealth.

      • You cut spending by $2 billion. You could use that to pay down debt surplus). Instead you give a tax cut to a narrow group of individuals.

        As a result it costs debt repayment (affects all and future generations) in favor of a narrow group of individuals so that Skippy and his sister can go to a better summer camp.

        • Effectively then, every government spending decision, or one to take in less revenue, meets your qualification for new spending then. Are you planning to return your tax credits or turn down any future tax cuts out of goodwill so that current and future generations burdened by “government spending”?
          I think there is a strong and reasonable argument to made for putting the extra dollars towards debt repayment. However, pinning the blame on one particular tax cut and calling it spending is not useful.
          For what it’s worth, both the Libs and NDP are proposing to spend surplus revenues, and then some more. The NDP at least propose to find new sources of revenue to fund new spending. Neither has proposed to reduce our overall debt burden, indeed, they want to increase it.

          • Indded, when a government plans its finances, a tax cut is the same as a spending program.

          • If a tax cut is the same thing as spending, then is a tax hike the same thing as cutting spending? Do you see how that doesn’t make any sense at all? If it does make sense, then you’re probably a Dipper.

          • Accounting 101. Double entry on the balance sheet.

            Debit X, credit Y.

            The tax cut is conditional upon a surplus – attained through austerity. Why my comments are valid. Because there is a huge debt liability on the balance sheet, sensitive to rising interest rates in the future (affecting operating budgets), its an important issue.

            You implicitly are suggesting that raising taxes vs cutting in spending is less desirable due to dynamic effects on the economy. Could be true, generally. But peripheral.

          • This is a really dumb comment. You needn’t have wasted 300 words on it.

      • . “That means the government will forego revenues, rather than collect and spend them.”

        But when you “forgo revenues” something else has to give if you wish to avoid deficits, no? In essence Smithers is correct since there will be no new sources of revenues to cover this proposed tax credit.

        • My point was that it not new spending and it is most definitely not a”wealth transfer”. Governments shift spending from one priority to another all the time. In this case, they propose to not spend elsewhere and tax a particular group of families less. There is no spending and no incremental wealth transfer (it is in fact the exact opposite of spending and wealth redistribution).

          • I’m not taking issue with your first point. At the risk of not knowing what i’m talking about[ always possible with economics] i’d say your missing the point. The 5 billion or so that IS would remove from existing federal/provincial budgets has to be accounted for if you aren’t going to borrow it. IOWs it can’t be spent on other perhaps more worthwhile projects. So, what project or service would you like to cut or forgo?

          • The proposal is based on reducing surplus revenues by providing tax cuts to a select group of families. The tax cuts are not going financed by new borrowing. Whether it could be spent on some other project is irrelevant. Every government will make decisions supported by its own base, and this was part of their last election platform. You and I may not like it, but that’s is what they were elected on.
            I don’t think you are arguing that no spending program should ever be cut or must always be replaced with new spending, otherwise we would never get tax cuts of any sort. In my case, I’d rather see the debt reduced or broad-based tax cuts. I don’t consider either one of these spending. Reducing the debt is simply payback for previous spending (ie correction of previous revenue imbalance), and tax cuts would merely reduce the surplus so that government revenues are brought back into balance.
            For example, the Liberal began the trend of corporate and income tax cuts over 15 yrs ago after several years of reducing spending to the point where they had revenue surpluses. Would you say that those tax cuts were new spending? Maybe we’re talking semantics here, but I don’t see how taking in less money equates to spending more?

          • Perhaps we are talking right past each other here. If we factor in the surplus that Flaherty says we will get after 15, then i see your point – essentially IS would be budgeting for, no, yes?
            The problem is of course how you arrive at that budget surplus and what is sacrificed along the way to get there, and from my perspective as a liberal what future programmes will have to die because of IS.
            This before we address the basic inequity of IS. There are other sectors of the tax paying public that also face inequities in levels of taxation.

          • I do get your point, and yes, if done properly, IS would bring us part way to revenue balance, but every decision to spending or not-spending or tax or not-tax is balanced against another. We could be arguing about another $300 billion the government is not spending….but we could both agree that it would not be fruitful.
            All I’m saying is that the federal government will be in a revenue positive position if nothing is done. They will avoid this by allowing IS. It is not my preferred tax, but it is also not spending in any sense of the word.

          • We’re on the same page now i think. My bad for overlooking the so called surplus to come. I say so called because there is a question of it just being a politically convenient surplus. The govt essentially refuses to show its workings, leading others to speculate the cuts to reach that surplus aren’t justified. If that is the case it can indeed be said IS will occur on the backs of either lost jobs or reduced programmes – in fact this is already happening. I’m not adverse to budget cutting as a process that is open and clearly fair. This is not currently the case at all.
            Lastly a component of IS will have to come from provincial budgets not simply federal surplus. How is this to be accounted for out of non existing surplus?

          • How about using surplus revenues to reduce the $160 billion in debt accumulated in the last 8 years?

          • If you read above, you will see that that is my preference!

          • More cuts to federal government public service PSAC positions ought to do the trick.

        • So doing less of two things (spending, taxing) is equated with tax expenditure?
          Mind blowing really, if you think of all the spending we’re not doing and all the taxing, gasp, that we’re not doing (to make up for all the non-spending)!

      • Uh.. he never said it was a new expenditure. That was you. You’re arguing with yourself on that point.. which means that either way, you lose.

        And yes, it’s a transfer of wealth, because the people who were taking advantage of whatever program was cut in order to afford this taxation cut are now getting less wealth.

        Now, you can argue that it’s a transfer back to the original owners, and you’d have a reasonable case. But saying it’s not a transfer is ignoring the situation as it stands.

        • No. For a “transfer of wealth” to happen, you have to take wealth from one place, and give it to another. In this case that’s not happening, they’re simply allowing someone to keep their own wealth.

          In other words, the act of ending a transfer scheme is not in itself a transfer scheme.

          • Baiting the Left

            Scramble their
            Brains (more likely Fire and Forget)

            1. You cannot legislate
            the poor into prosperity by legislating the wealthy out of

            2. What one person receives without working for,
            another person must work for without receiving.

            3. The
            government cannot give to anybody anything that the government does
            not first take from somebody else.

            4. You cannot multiply
            wealth by dividing it!

            5. When half of the people get the idea
            that they do not have to work because the other half is going to take
            care of them, and when the other half gets the idea that it does no
            good to work because somebody else is going to get what they work
            for, that is the beginning of the end of any nation

          • Note that Billy Bob’s “contribution” here is a cut-and-paste from Small Dead Animals.

            Nice company you keep, buddy.

          • So why not give everyone a $3000 tax cut? Why just a tax cut for married couples with large income differences and young children. Either that or reduce the government services these families consume by $3000.

            Selective tax cuts place the remaining burdens on those not selected for the cut. That is a transfer of wealth.

      • If you don’t cut spending to accommodate this tax cut, you’re increasing the debt. Borrowing to fund a tax cut is costing somebody.

    • *Liberal-appointed senator allegedly an ‘aggressive stalker,’ tried to kiss, grope women

      • In 2001, the NATO Parliamentary Assembly wrote a letter complaining
        about Kenny making frequent phone calls to a female intern and female
        staff member, attention that Simon Lunn, then the secretary general to
        the NATO Parliamentary Assembly, referred to as “unwelcome” and

        Lunn asked the head of the Canadian delegation, then-Liberal MP
        Carolyn Parrish, that Kenny be taken off the Canadian delegation. Kenny
        later quit.

    • So WTF does this have to do with income splitting? Find an appropriate location to discuss this; stay on topic or go away.

      • Can’t. Once you’ve gotten your marching orders from conbot central it’s post or walk the plank.

        • CBC news broke this story, which was very surprising, guess Hubert Lacroix is getting nervous about his and others ineligible expense claims at the mother corp.

          Keep on posting your mindless drivel oh thou who is perpetually aground on that lee shore.

      • Find an appropriate location to discuss this

        Be happy to once someone at Maclean’s has the guts to post it. I would have thought being a Senator it would fall to the “Parliamentary Reporter”.

        • It might be an amusing exercise to see if you devote equal time to demanding whoever the PR is at Sun toward covering stories that are deemed to reflect poorly on the CPC.

          • Your glossing over of human rights is duly noted.

          • And your inability to grasp the essentials of due process. You might want to change your avatar? May i suggest the red Queen?

          • Of course! Poinnting out your flaws can ONLY mean that kcm2 does not care about human rights.

            Sheesh. When are you going to turn into a REAL conservative and demonstrate some of that accountability you are demanding from McLeans.

            (that’s OK, I know you will cling onto your hypocrisy until your dying breath…)

          • The Liberal Party, the party of equality between men and women……………..not.

      • I’ll post what ever I feel like posting : )

        • And prove you’re a trolling spammer rather than someone who wants to seriously contribute to the topic at hand.

          • I see you lefties go off topic all the time, but that’s OK when you’re a lefty.


          • right

    • He was aware, and his office was involved in covering it up.

      • Proof?

        • Read the CBC article.

          Liberals have been covering for Liberal Senator Kenny for years, up to and including Turdeau 2.

          • I read the article. There isn’t any reference to Trudeau’s office “covering up” Kenny’s behaviour.

            Say, Billy Boob, isn’t Wherry’s piece about income-splitting? If you and your fellow Con trolls would rather talk about something else, I vote for Harper’s own senate cover-up.

          • You stupid dawg

          • You dumb Boob (see, if I force myself, I can be as infantile as you).

            Tell me again what this has to do with income-splitting.

          • Income splitting will not be extended to families until the budget is balanced, a Liberal Senators, possibly criminal, behaviour is THE news right now.

            Even if Liberal supporters wished it would all just go away.

          • If we get to pick topics we prefer over the ones that are addressed in the MacLean’s blog (in this case, Wherry’s on income-splitting), I think I’d rather talk about Rob Ford…or Bruce Carson.

          • Fill your boots

          • I’m a dawg. I’d rather fill yours.

          • OK, if an allegation in a Con blog is “proof” that Trudeau’s office was “covering it up”, I can adduce enough “proof” from anti-Con blogs about Harper’s conduct to put him behind bars.

          • Senator Kenny says sexual harassment allegations are ‘without merit’

            KIM MACKRAEL

            Senator Colin Kenny has withdrawn from the Liberal caucus amid allegations that he sexually harassed a former Senate staffer.

            Senate has opened an investigation into Mr. Kenny’s conduct but a
            spokeswoman refused to comment on the nature of the complaint against
            him. The allegations – which Mr. Kenny denies — come after months of
            controversy over improper expense claims by some senators and growing
            questions about the relevance and independence of the Red Chamber.

          • And the proof that Trudeau’s office has been “covering up” Kenny’s behaviour is where?

            And what’s this got to do again with Wherry’s post on income-splitting?

          • Kenny informed the Liberal caucus, MP’s and Senators, last November that because of the allegations against he was withdrawing from caucus, Liberal Senator Kenny’s sick behaviour has been common knowledge in Liberal circles from as far back as 2001.

          • A lot of things have been “common knowledge” around the Hill for years. It has rumour mills about the rumour mills. If a juicy one isn’t percolating on any given day, somebody will make one up.

            I’m still waiting for proof that “Trudeau’s office” was “covering it up”.

          • You are really too stupid for words.

          • Great source – the psycho Con where the real crazies hang out.

    • Seems progressive to me.

  3. “The women describe a pattern of phone calls, several times a day or
    late at night. One woman says Kenny would turn up uninvited at her home.
    “Two or three times a day, calling, persistent, consistent,” one woman said.
    “He turned into a pretty aggressive stalker…. He would just come to my house,” she added. “He would try to grab my breasts and I would push him away… He wouldn’t take no for an answer.”

    Another woman told CBC News that “on one occasion, he grabbed my buttocks… [he] would try to peer down your blouse,” she said.

    A third woman said Kenny would comment on what she was wearing and suggest she add high heels to her wardrobe. “I was hanging posters in the window and I was up on a ladder,” she said, describing one alleged incident. “He came up behind me and the way he secured the ladder was by holding my … behind. And I quickly came down.” This woman, after having worked in one of Kenny’s tanning salons, was offered a summer job at the Senate by Kenny.

    Another woman said Kenny parked outside her house and followed her. “He tried to kiss me and grope me. He was stalking me. It was non-stop,” she said.


    All of this is alleged behavior of a Former Former Liberal Senator, that our alleged “Parliamentary Reporter” doesn’t think is worth mentioning here.

    This same Senator, mind you, took occasion in August 2012 to write this about harassment at the RCMP.

    “How serious is gender discrimination? Think of men bullying women – or
    showing overt contempt for women – simply because they are women and
    therefore deemed to inherently lack the qualities needed to be a tough

    “Unwanted sexual advances? They’re bad – terrible, really.”

    No…you don’t say.

    What is wrong with you people? Who could write something like what he wrote after all this? This “Senator” is a freaking psychopath. Why are there not 100 journalists demanding Kenny’s head?

    Is it so important to our media class that Duffy/Brazeau/Wallin remain the poster children for bad Senate behaviour that you will ignore stuff like this? Because we’re way beyond abuse of expenses here.

    • What has any of that to do with this post? Oh i forgot it’s your site not AWs. It’s being covered elsewhere as your moronic side kick below points out. I hope you aren’t implying we should just skip to the sentencing John?

      • This is very problematic not only for Turdeau 2, but this is the entire party covering for one of their own, this goes all the way back to Chretien/Martin and the rest of the ADSCAMMERS.

      • It has nothing to do with it, but john and BB find typing words like “breasts” and “sexual advances” titillating — probably typing with one hand, if you know what I mean. Honest to Pete, what on earth could anyone discuss about these creepy allegations, fellas? Or do you just not know anything about income splitting to add to this policy conversation? Feel a burning need to add something but unsure what? Surely there’s an article about this over at Sun — why not heave over there and have a go?

        • Another example of a sick Leftist.

    • Wrong thread john. You turning into another Con spammer?

      • I wonder how much success i might have if i head over to Sun and stamp my little hooves demanding they cover sh*t about Harper they may have conveniently overlooked or fudged? I wonder if John ever bothers…in the name of balance in the media of course?

        • Do you really believe you are doing Aaron Wherry a favor by comparing him to the guys at Sun Media? Who does he compare favorably with…Ezra?

          • Not my intention. Can you suggest another way of making my point?

          • There are some media outlets that are considered notoriously left or right wing (ie: MSNBC and FOX News). Sun Media is also one but I do not believe, Malceans online wants to be seen that way. Hence, if the CBC is running a story that is of significance and Macleans is not, there will be questions asked why Macleans is not running the story.

      • Not your call to make KB, there is this thing called freedom speech, but with you lefties it only applies if others agree with you.

          • Of course you would rather talk about the weather than the serious allegations and cover up of Liberal Senator Kenny’s dirty deeds.

    • “Is it so important to our media class that Duffy/Brazeau/Wallin remain the poster children for bad Senate behaviour that you will ignore stuff like this?”

      And your evidence for this is an extensive cut and paste FROM THE GODDAM CBC. For the love of god johng, the Kenney story is getting plenty of coverage throughout the Canadian media. Are you seriously showing up to comment on a blog post about income splitting and grousing that it should be about something else? And then claiming it’s a media conspiracy?


        • Considering that link doesn’t even include the CBC report that you yourself referred to, I’m disinclined to believe it’s a complete representation of the media coverage on Kenney.

  4. “This marks an improvement over Tuesday’s assessment that it was a “good” policy.”

    Who knows, with Harper it might well be back to the ONLY policy in a couple more weeks.
    And Tony will be back to bussing at Steve’s table come lunch time.

  5. Playing peek-a-boo on income splitting for the next 18 months emphasizes that the Conservatives are for cutting taxes on middle class families in some form, while the Liberals and the NDP are for raising them, or for borrowing billions of dollars and raising them sometime in the future.

    • Yup. And meanwhile Justin Trudeau is running around the country trying to convince people that their finances have gotten much worse under the Conservative, despite the fact that all the statistics say otherwise. It reminds me a lot of Ignatieff going around telling everybody in Canada who would listen that the Canadian economy was in the crapper. Hardly looks “Primeministerial”.

      • Or Harper running around the country telling people to fear for their safety even though crime has been going down?

        • When did Harper ever tell anyone to fear for their safety? Or say that Canada isn’t safe, for that matter?

          • Pretty much all the time. Isn’t that the whole point on the tough-on-crime agenda? And the whole “unreported crime” meme when it gets pointed out the numbers don’t match their words?

          • That’s not income splitting, doh!

          • Follow up the chain… we did get a bit off track, but there’s a natural progression.

          • Now you want that to be the topic – lol.

          • Remember the trouble lap-lap-lapping on our shores?

      • Not “all” the statistics – there is an internal government report that backs Trudeau’s claims.

        Two completely different sets of numbers from the very same government – makes me wonder what other double-book-keeping might be going on…

    • Oh sure – this zigzagging is just another example of Steve’s talent for strategy. Nothing to do with the blowback MP’s received back in their riding last week or Flaherty saying he might not run again while he was in Australia.