Dan Gardner on yesterday’s remarks from Ian Brodie.

Of course it’s not news to anyone that the Conservatives put politics ahead of good policy on this, but to see it stated so baldly, so flatly, so defiantly—it is quite literally stomach-churning. Remember this when we look back and ask, “so what did we [do] with all that good fortune?”

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  1. Wow. So, sure the GST cut was probably bad for the economy (or at the very least neutral) but it never had anything to do with the economy in the first place, it was just a naked ploy to get elected.

    It’s actually not shocking in the least, in fact, it’s rather self evident.

    However, it also tends to be the sort of thing that political operatives never say out loud.

  2. ah, the good ol’ days.

  3. “Of course it’s not news to anyone that the Conservatives put politics ahead of good policy on this, but to see it stated so baldly, so flatly, so defiantly—it is quite literally stomach-churning.”

    I think Dan should rename his blog Pollyannaville if he is going to write sentences like that. Does he really believe that Cons are the only political party to put politics ahead of good policy or is he just expressing his bias?

    • I think he’s just shocked that Brodie would admit it so starkly.

      Seems to me there are two ways to take Brodie’s statement. One is to welcome it as a breath of fresh air, i.e. we all know our politicians lie about their motives and here’s the proof so let’s move on. The other is to cringe in horror at the fact that they no longer care to hide it, i.e. they can bamboozle the public and crow about it and it doesn’t matter. I take the latter as an indictment not only of Brodie and politicos generally but, first and foremost, of ourselves.

      • Whereas jwl is a realist, everyone fails to live up to the ideal – so why make a fuss. After all we should expect no better anyway.

      • Meh, actually take an interest in broadening your constituency and make room for people to have a home in your party, and it won’t be a problem.

        As long as the left is so parochial and believes they should be telling people how to “become more like them” instead of actually wanting to represent a broad array of interests, then the Tories will feel secure in their base.

    • But, but, but… this is Canada’s NEW government!!!

      I know, I know, I never bought it either. Then again, I didn’t vote Tory.

    • I’d say it’s his bias.

      • How do such bias and ridiculous opinions come out of that cute baby’s mouth? I’d say if you’re trying to ruin that child’s future of being taken seriously, just post the birthday suit point and be done with it.

  4. Stomach churning! Today’s reprint in the Globe and Mail of an article by C.E.S. Franks illustrating Harper’s contempt for the Governor General, Quebec, truth, the Constitution, Parliament and on and on..
    Focus, page 3.

  5. This is such baloney that the GST cut was bad policy.

    Whether or not I pay less in income tax or I pay less in sales tax, at the end of the day I have the same disposable income available afterwards. And not only that, sales taxes are the least progressive, a cut in sales tax benefits everyone, regardless of income, regardless of status.

    Not only that, when the tax was put in place, replacing the old manufacture sales tax, everyone hated it, and the most important thing in the world was to get rid of it. Now it’s gone full circle, the sales tax is supposed to be untouchable. This is just the media acting as the Liberal part fan club once again.

    • Many of us who hated the gst have come to realize it’s benefits – kudos to Mulroney, although there was an arguement at the time that this constituted a massive tax shift onto taxpayers, i’m not a tax expert myself so ???
      A cut in sales tax is regressive – i and countless other Canadians felt almost no benefit from this cut. However folks who reside at the top of the income bracket did notice a benefit, as i imagine did medium to large business – not a bad thing necessarily – but hardly an equitable benefit to all. But the loss to the treasury was certainly noticeable. Dumb politically driven cut!!

      • “Felt almost no benefit”

        Just like you feel absolutely no benefit when they take 2 points off the lowest bracket.

        Anyway, your statement is the classic non-sequitur that every partisan dishonest person trots out.

        You claim that
        -you cannot notice the difference, it is so SMALL
        -when the government collects the money, it is so BIG
        -a SMALL amount that is collected to form a larger amount is only a BIG amount when in the hands of the government,
        -when the same SMALL amounts are measured for their collective effects in the economy in the hands of many, it remains a SMALL amount
        -collecting a bunch of SMALL amounts results in a BIG amount only when the government is doing the collecting
        -when the government’s BIG amount is spent, thus being split up into small amounts again, the effect is BIG, but if you cut out the government as the middleman, the effect is SMALL
        -when the goverment takes a cut of the the money to pay themselves, that has no effect at all, the collective amount remains much BIGGER than before

        That’s liberal math for ya.

        • Biggie Smalls! Biggie Smalls! Biggie Smalls!

          • Mo’ money, mo’ problems.

  6. “Of course it’s not news to anyone that the Conservatives put politics ahead of good policy on this”

    No, Dan, they put feminism and straight commie rawlsianism ahead of good economic policy.

    First, the federal government’s budget, and all programs and initiatives, are audited to see if they will adversely affect women in any way by bureaucrats whose job it is to do that. They produce pre-budget reports and such addressing how policy issues of the day might affect women.

    At the time Mr. Harper proposed the GST cut the number of female tax filers did not pay any federal income tax was 39%, for men it was 19%. Mr. Harper explained this during the 2006 leaders debate on national TV, this is not news. An income tax cut does nothing to help those women, and any proposal to cut income taxes when a GST cut of a similar amount is far, far more equitable for women would be vetoed by SOW bureaucrats, and even if it weren’t we are still left with a tax cut that greatly favours men.

    And you and Dan Gardner call this stomach-churning? Your lack of empathy for women might seem stomach-churning for some. And the poor, and students, and the young and elderly, few of whom pay income tax, all of who benefitted from the GST cut. WHO IS THE BAD GUY NOW AARON?????????

    Are we clear now? An income tax cut massively favours men, a GST cut is far more equitable to women, the elderly, students, and the young. I as a conservative don’t have a problem with that, but the feminist bureaucracy you geniuses have installed and the feminist and student and senior lobbies certainly do. You don’t want smart economics, you want to pander to special interest groups. Well, reap what you SOW, smart guys.

    • I don’t think that’s a fair statement. First off, even were that so, it is doubtful that a cut in the GST would have the effect you think was desired in terms of public relations- I don’t think that, during the 2006 election, anyone, pundit or person, was saying ‘this is a feminist tax cut’ so any hypothetical jump in support amongst female voters was not significant enough to be noticed. Therefore, if what you are saying is true, then it was a failed policy both from an economical and political standpoint.
      However, if you look at it as Mr. Brodie does, as merely a tool to get elected- well, then it was moderately successful, in terms of short-term gains but it was obviously not as successful as was hoped, as the Tories still got a minority. Also, by 2008 it was largely forgotten by the average citizen, at least until the deficit and economic crises. Really, it failed on a long-term political benefit, economic benefit, and wasn’t particularly successful in terms of short-term political benefit.

      • Yes, if this is a case of ‘feminist-targeted tax cut’ as you’re weakly try to put forth (or maybe its Harper’s weak example, but he is a so-called leader after all), then the crux of it all should have been taking the tax off completely from such items as feminine hygene and birth control items. That would have scored big time… But wait, maybe that’s how Harper hopes to score big with the chicks in 2009! Nah, he knows women wouldn’t fall for it.

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