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The $6-billion conundrum


 

The Liberals say the Conservative plan to reduce the corporate tax rate amounts to a $6-billion tax cut.

But economist Stephen Gordon says they’re wrong.

But the Conservatives say the Liberal plan to raise the corporate tax rate amounts to a $6-billion tax hike.

But in a new attack ad, the Conservatives use a quote from this debunking the $6-billion figure to suggest the Liberals are mistaken.

But the Liberals say the Conservatives’ own words substantiate their projections.


 

The $6-billion conundrum

  1. I can't believe we're quibbling over a measly $6 billion when the USA is running a $1.5 trillion deficit. This $6 billlion is for families. *Families*. Doesn't family mean anything anymore?

    Besides, wasn't anyone listening when Dick Cheney told us that deficits don't matter?

  2. I think the costing of the Liberal platform will be a major issue in this campaign, in part because most independent experts seem to be saying that it just doesn't add up.

    A lot of fun has been made of post-dated Tory election promises. But, put everything together, and the Conservative narrative starts to be in play, doesn't it? That it's steady as she goes, changes only when we can afford them, versus a risky new tax and spend Liberal program, which will only get costlier if propped up by the NDP and the Bloc, of course.

  3. I can't believe we're quibbling over a measly $6 billion when the USA is running a $1.5 trillion deficit. This $6 billlion is for families. *Families*. Doesn't family mean anything anymore?

    Besides, wasn't anyone listening when Dick Cheney told us that deficits don't matter?

    • For the record, all the parties say that they're platforms are for "families." The Liberals certainly don't hold a monopoly in that regard.

      I'm also not sure if your argument will hold sway with Canadians: Who cares about $6 billion? Dick Cheney certainly didn't.

      • I doubt my argument *would* hold sway with Canadians, Dennis_F.

        • I can never tell when you guys are kidding anymore.

  4. I think the costing of the Liberal platform will be a major issue in this campaign, in part because most independent experts seem to be saying that it just doesn't add up.

    A lot of fun has been made of post-dated Tory election promises. But, put everything together, and the Conservative narrative starts to be in play, doesn't it? That it's steady as she goes, changes only when we can afford them, versus a risky new tax and spend Liberal program, which will only get costlier if propped up by the NDP and the Bloc, of course.

    • The Libs seem to claim that their number comes form Conservative numbers. So they're both wrong? It's probably true, but I don't see how it benefits one or the other.

      I'm curious why Stephen Harper is releasing his platform for the 2015 election. Anyone else wondering what he plans to do for the next four years, given that the only thing that remains to be settles is the size of his majority victory?

      • The Conservatives will not suffer from major doubts about the Liberal platform. This is what the Liberals have to explain, isn't it, especially since they're the one who forced this fourth $300 million election in seven years? They have to justify why, don't they?

        I'm curious why Stephen Harper is releasing his platform for the 2015 election.

        It's a cute line, but it's false, isn't it? He's introduced measures that are to be implemented if they have balanced the books during their mandate. So, if the opposition can't even tell the truth about these kinds of things, how can they be believed regarding the reasons for this election, or even about coalition forming?

        • Except by his own law, you know, the fixed election dates (I live in hope that he might eventually obey that law), we will have an election in 2015, which just happens to be the same year he says he will implement all these policies.

          So Andrew is right.

          • Look, you people can't justify your knee-jerk anger towards Harper and political opponents. The idea that he never abides by the law, or that these measures aren't meant for a current mandate, is just nonsense. We're having our fourth $300 million election in seven years over this nonsense? Wow.

          • yes, there could be MORE than one election by the distant time Harper's plans could take effect. But according to current law – one Harper wrote – there will be AT LEAST one.

          • The plan is to balance the budget in a majority mandate, right? That's when these measures will be implemented. If you can't even stick to the facts on this, just what is this election about anyway?

          • "just what is this election about anyway?"

            Contempt of Parliament.

        • They have to explain how they got their number from the Conservatives? I'm sure they do.

          Has Stephen Harper actually said much of anything he'll do in the next few years? Seeing as that's the period he's seeking a mandate for, I think I have a right to know what he intends to do.

          • Amazing how people who desperately say we need a change don't even pay attention to what's actually going on, and what it is that needs changing.

            Harper's basic argument in this election: Why rock the boat? He'll implement the budget that the opposition just killed and it'll be stead-as-she-goes with a Harper majority versus an unstable Liberal minority configuration/coalition.

          • Will he commit to not doing anything? Or do we get to live in suspend of what crazy BS he'll invent the day after the election?

          • Yeah, his record, and the budget that the opposition just killed to justify a fourth $300 million election in seven years. And corporate tax cuts the Liberals once supported. And F-35 jets the Liberals would probably buy anyway. Aren't you paying attention, especially since you seem to think that this election was necessary in the first place?

          • "Yeah, his record, and the budget that the opposition just killed to justify a fourth $300 million election in seven years."
            Immediately after the third costly election [the one Harper broke his own fixed election date law to foist on us] he flip-flopped on his adamant stand that there'd be no deficit under his watch — likely because he was caught having spent us there before the economic downturn. He then trotted out an austerity budget that bucked the trend of government stimulus from every other G20 country… and was promptly slapped on the wrist by the opposition. Back in his lair with proroguement his lone friend, Harper devised another plan — the bigger the deficit the better.
            You're trying to pitch that as steady-as-she-goes?

    • I think the costing of the Liberal platform will probably be an issue as well, Dennis_F.

      However, people are right to make fun of the post-dated Tory promise, not because it's economically sound, but because it has no political benefit whatsoever. Who are they targeting with that promise? Today's young families are going to be angered by that promise, because it won't come into effect until their kids are in school and their spouse is already back at work. Young people who do not yet have children won't care because they have no idea who this might benefit. Plus, it does nothing for those families without a huge income disparity, so it alienates that voting group.

      All around, a terrible policy platform for an election, even if it's a reasonable policy for fundamental reasons. Certainly, I'd love it if it was implemented tomorrow, and I'd seriously consider voting for the CPC if it was a part of their election platform. Alas, an implementation date four or five years in the future is simply too far out to influence my vote decision.

      • Well, you'll have to excuse me if I don't have your angry take on the Conservatives or any reaction to their platform. In fact, the post-dated component of these promises don't get included in the headlines I'm seeing. So, the politics might be the opposite of what you claim – they get the credit for the promises but don't have to take responsibility for paying for them until afterwards.

        I agree that the tactic is a bit gimmicky, but these tax credits in general tend to be gimmicky items that voters generally like.

        In addition, the basic Conservative narrative is this: steady-as-she-goes with us versus uncosted promises from the coalition. Post-dating promises might add to the fiscal safety component of the Tory justification to continue governing.

        • You're absolutely right, Dennis_F, that it's not in any headlines. But I've personally seen the faces of a few people rise and fall as they read through an article on that 'promise'. First, excited because it's something that could tangibly benefit them, and then irritated and annoyed when reading about the implementation date and seeing that it won't. And I encourage you to find one single article that discusses that policy proposal without including a reference to the implementation date. It's in all of them that I've seen.

          The steady-as-she-goes mantra is resonating, at least from a few discussions I've had with very non-political types outside the Ottawa bubble. It'll probably work for the CPC.

        • I think people might still be pissed if they thought they were going to implement these policies soon. What are they going to do, twiddle their thumbs for four years?

      • It also ignores the history and practice of the Harper government. You can take this as gospel, as long as the Conservatives are in power, Canada will never have a balanced budget. They don't want one and they don't intend to have one. Not even by accident. If they have to buy 200 jets to maintain a deficit, that's what they'll do.

        • Well, why not look at the Liberal track record? You really think the provinces would want to be dumped on by a Martin-like genius were the Liberals put us deeper in the red?

          I think for the Liberals to off load onto the provinces cannot happen a second time. Canadians won't stand for it.

          You conveniently neglect to mention the Liberal track record. I wonder why?

          • You conveniently neglect to mention the Liberal track record. I wonder why?

            Because I think you are already losing so badly that it feels like I'm kicking you while you're down. The Liberals eliminated the deficit and paid off Billions in debt under Chretien/Martin. Harper Conservatives hate surpluses – "overtaxation" sound familiar? So Harper promptly lopped 28.5% off of GST resulting in structural deficit which he intends to maintain as long as he remains in gov't. A deficit is a handy tool for beating back demands on government.

      • I guess they are trying to demonstrate that they take this deficit seriously, and the elimination of the deficit seriously. I know people think they are clever when they mock it by promising kittens for everyone in 2020 and blah blah blah, but I think think a lot of people simply see it as a government that is serious about balancing the books.

        • Kittens was last week. They had to upgrade to ponys.

    • As to adding up , a Liberal government would have money saved by stopping mega prisons and creating a tendering process for selecting a new jet.

      Funny,Dennis F., I never saw accurate expensing of those changes to criminal sentencing that necessitate more prison spaces and we all know how the Lockheed jet prices keep soaring..

      • You can repeat these Liberal talking points all you want. It doesn't make them true. The Liberals would still spend countless billions on Jets, probably the same ones, and they voted for the Tory crime agenda. In fact, they voted for the very corporate tax cuts that they now oppose as the biggest plank in their fiscal agenda.

        In a campaign filled with doubts, voters will generally go with the devil they know. Judging by the polls, that dynamic might well be playing itself out in this campaign.

        • It is true that the new hang-'em-high legislation is uncosted.

    • How sad for us all that the testimony and opinions of independent experts only apply to Liberal claims, as opposed to Conservative actions.

  5. For the record, all the parties say that they're platforms are for "families." The Liberals certainly don't hold a monopoly in that regard.

    I'm also not sure if your argument will hold sway with Canadians: Who cares about $6 billion? Dick Cheney certainly didn't.

  6. I doubt my argument *would* hold sway with Canadians, Dennis_F.

  7. The Libs seem to claim that their number comes form Conservative numbers. So they're both wrong? It's probably true, but I don't see how it benefits one or the other.

    I'm curious why Stephen Harper is releasing his platform for the 2015 election. Anyone else wondering what he plans to do for the next four years, given that the only thing that remains to be settles is the size of his majority victory?

  8. Forget the LPC and CPC platforms—-I just heard Layton on TV and it appears his 3 main promises are increases unemployment benefits, increased pensions and guaranteed severance packages from bankrupt companies.

    Nothing about keeping jobs here or a more competetive. productive work environment to keep job-producing companies here, and nothing about avoiding pensions altogether by legislating perpetual youth—those NDPers—they are gullible enough to believe anything.

  9. I think the costing of the Liberal platform will probably be an issue as well, Dennis_F.

    However, people are right to make fun of the post-dated Tory promise, not because it's economically sound, but because it has no political benefit whatsoever. Who are they targeting with that promise? Today's young families are going to be angered by that promise, because it won't come into effect until their kids are in school and their spouse is already back at work. Young people who do not yet have children won't care because they have no idea who this might benefit. Plus, it does nothing for those families without a huge income disparity, so it alienates that voting group.

    All around, a terrible policy platform for an election, even if it's a reasonable policy for fundamental reasons. Certainly, I'd love it if it was implemented tomorrow, and I'd seriously consider voting for the CPC if it was a part of their election platform. Alas, an implementation date four or five years in the future is simply too far out to influence my vote decision.

  10. As to adding up , a Liberal government would have money saved by stopping mega prisons and creating a tendering process for selecting a new jet.

    Funny,Dennis F., I never saw accurate expensing of those changes to criminal sentencing that necessitate more prison spaces and we all know how the Lockheed jet prices keep soaring..

  11. I think the gist of the article is that the Liberals are using the Conservative's own number which the Conservatives now say is mistaken. Talk about have your cake and eat it too.
    If 6 billion isn't the right number perhaps the Conservatives can let us know what the number really is and why it is now different.
    It highlights the whole problem. You can't trust the Conservative numbers.

  12. I think the gist of the article is that the Liberals are using the Conservative's own number which the Conservatives now say is mistaken. Talk about have your cake and eat it too.
    If 6 billion isn't the right number perhaps the Conservatives can let us know what the number really is and why it is now different.
    It highlights the whole problem. You can't trust the Conservative numbers.

    • It highlights the whole problem. You can't trust the Conservative numbers.

      Unless you're listening to the Liberals. Their position is that you can't trust the Conservatives on anything but their numbers. God, what a depressing Monday morning this is turning out to be!

      • Actually I should have said you can't trust the Conservatives on anything including their numbers.

    • And that's when they give you the numbers!

    • But, if we assume that the Conservative numbers are too high (since economists are saying the Liberal numbers are too high), then it means that the cost of the tax cut is less, so it's making the bottom line better than the Conservatives are claiming.

      In our current financial situation, I would rather a policy that collects more than was promised instead of promising many new social programs that cannot be afforded.

      If the Liberals would at least rank their new expenditures vs. overall government finances so that we could figure out which of them is plausible to happen, and then at figure out what exactly are they promising. Is it: raise whatever taxes are required to fund these things, allow the deficit to grow, choose from the list as revenue allows, or raise revenue and not deliver on the promises (or deliver something significantly different from what was proposed).

      Until then, I'd probably side with the status quo of corp tax cuts.

  13. The Conservatives will not suffer from major doubts about the Liberal platform. This is what the Liberals have to explain, isn't it, especially since they're the one who forced this fourth $300 million election in seven years? They have to justify why, don't they?

    I'm curious why Stephen Harper is releasing his platform for the 2015 election.

    It's a cute line, but it's false, isn't it? He's introduced measures that are to be implemented if they have balanced the books during their mandate. So, if the opposition can't even tell the truth about these kinds of things, how can they be believed regarding the reasons for this election, or even about coalition forming?

  14. Somebody asked Layton about the overly generous MP pension scheme—his answer had something to do with the CPP—he wants his MP pension topped up with some CPP.

    Jack may be hurting but will somebody ask him a tough question.

  15. I can never tell when you guys are kidding anymore.

  16. Except by his own law, you know, the fixed election dates (I live in hope that he might eventually obey that law), we will have an election in 2015, which just happens to be the same year he says he will implement all these policies.

    So Andrew is right.

  17. It highlights the whole problem. You can't trust the Conservative numbers.

    Unless you're listening to the Liberals. Their position is that you can't trust the Conservatives on anything but their numbers. God, what a depressing Monday morning this is turning out to be!

  18. Well, you'll have to excuse me if I don't have your angry take on the Conservatives or any reaction to their platform. In fact, the post-dated component of these promises don't get included in the headlines I'm seeing. So, the politics might be the opposite of what you claim – they get the credit for the promises but don't have to take responsibility for paying for them until afterwards.

    I agree that the tactic is a bit gimmicky, but these tax credits in general tend to be gimmicky items that voters generally like.

    In addition, the basic Conservative narrative is this: steady-as-she-goes with us versus uncosted promises from the coalition. Post-dating promises might add to the fiscal safety component of the Tory justification to continue governing.

  19. It also ignores the history and practice of the Harper government. You can take this as gospel, as long as the Conservatives are in power, Canada will never have a balanced budget. They don't want one and they don't intend to have one. Not even by accident. If they have to buy 200 jets to maintain a deficit, that's what they'll do.

  20. Look, SG is a right leaning economist (yes there are different types of economists – let's admit that) and he thinks that lower CIT rates are the panacea for everything – the only apparent arrow in his quiver.

    So, if a 3% cut in CIT (from 18% to 15%) costs the treasury only $1 billion, why not go the whole way – for another $5 billion you could have no CIT whatsoever. End of debate. Is ity that simple?

    SG has been using the same talking points for quite sometime now, and it's getting tiring. I've addressed many of them here in a Wells blog- and since he repeats the same arguments with the same cherrypicked facts – I'll just link: http://www2.macleans.ca/2011/04/01/fighting-back-

    Now, if Gordon had taken than his double major in undergrad in PoliSci and Economics, perhaps thrown in a little business training/experience, he might have a broader view of how the world really functions/how business investments are made. Look at some of the studies identifying/trying to address lower productivity – many focus on improved management training /becoming less risk averse – the opposite of making life easier for execs by lowering CIT ad infinitum.

    Clearly, CIT is one but a number of factors – if not ALL of the businesses in the world would locate to the jurisdiction with the lowest tax rates.

    No SG, it's not so black and white. Especially when you engage in politics.

  21. Look, SG is a right leaning economist (yes there are different types of economists – let's admit that) and he thinks that lower CIT rates are the panacea for everything – the only apparent arrow in his quiver.

    So, if a 3% cut in CIT (from 18% to 15%) costs the treasury only $1 billion, why not go the whole way – for another $5 billion you could have no CIT whatsoever. End of debate. Is ity that simple?

    SG has been using the same talking points for quite sometime now, and it's getting tiring. I've addressed many of them here in a Wells blog- and since he repeats the same arguments with the same cherrypicked facts – I'll just link: http://www2.macleans.ca/2011/04/01/fighting-back-

    Now, if Gordon had taken than his double major in undergrad in PoliSci and Economics, perhaps thrown in a little business training/experience, he might have a broader view of how the world really functions/how business investments are made. Look at some of the studies identifying/trying to address lower productivity – many focus on improved management training /becoming less risk averse – the opposite of making life easier for execs by lowering CIT ad infinitum.

    Clearly, CIT is one but a number of factors – if not ALL of the businesses in the world would locate to the jurisdiction with the lowest tax rates.

    No SG, it's not so black and white. Especially when you engage in politics.

    • The fact we have universal healthcare, for example, is definitely worth a few percentage points of CIT, as that's a huge cost for companies operating in the United States. And yet, it's a benefit I rarely hear raised when we talk about marginal corporate tax rates.

      • commie.

  22. You can repeat these Liberal talking points all you want. It doesn't make them true. The Liberals would still spend countless billions on Jets, probably the same ones, and they voted for the Tory crime agenda. In fact, they voted for the very corporate tax cuts that they now oppose as the biggest plank in their fiscal agenda.

    In a campaign filled with doubts, voters will generally go with the devil they know. Judging by the polls, that dynamic might well be playing itself out in this campaign.

  23. I guess they are trying to demonstrate that they take this deficit seriously, and the elimination of the deficit seriously. I know people think they are clever when they mock it by promising kittens for everyone in 2020 and blah blah blah, but I think think a lot of people simply see it as a government that is serious about balancing the books.

  24. You're absolutely right, Dennis_F, that it's not in any headlines. But I've personally seen the faces of a few people rise and fall as they read through an article on that 'promise'. First, excited because it's something that could tangibly benefit them, and then irritated and annoyed when reading about the implementation date and seeing that it won't. And I encourage you to find one single article that discusses that policy proposal without including a reference to the implementation date. It's in all of them that I've seen.

    The steady-as-she-goes mantra is resonating, at least from a few discussions I've had with very non-political types outside the Ottawa bubble. It'll probably work for the CPC.

  25. They have to explain how they got their number from the Conservatives? I'm sure they do.

    Has Stephen Harper actually said much of anything he'll do in the next few years? Seeing as that's the period he's seeking a mandate for, I think I have a right to know what he intends to do.

  26. Look, you people can't justify your knee-jerk anger towards Harper and political opponents. The idea that he never abides by the law, or that these measures aren't meant for a current mandate, is just nonsense. We're having our fourth $300 million election in seven years over this nonsense? Wow.

  27. Amazing how people who desperately say we need a change don't even pay attention to what's actually going on, and what it is that needs changing.

    Harper's basic argument in this election: Why rock the boat? He'll implement the budget that the opposition just killed and it'll be stead-as-she-goes with a Harper majority versus an unstable Liberal minority configuration/coalition.

  28. I think people might still be pissed if they thought they were going to implement these policies soon. What are they going to do, twiddle their thumbs for four years?

  29. It is true that the new hang-'em-high legislation is uncosted.

  30. I have no doubt that the reason they tacked on the "after the budget is balanced" bit is precisely for that reason. I'm just suggesting they should have picked a different policy that wasn't as time sensitive to send that message.

    What you're targeting a small voting group that's in a transient state of their lives, your really don't have the flexibility to delay the implementation for very long.

    I'm just saying that it would have been better to not announce that policy at all, than to announce it the way they did.

  31. Will he commit to not doing anything? Or do we get to live in suspend of what crazy BS he'll invent the day after the election?

  32. So… each party says the others' numbers are bullsh*t… then proceed to use those supposed bullsh*t numbers to buttress their OWN positions?

    Beware, Macleans, this little policy debate might bust your 'Bull Meter' thingy but good.

  33. The fact we have universal healthcare, for example, is definitely worth a few percentage points of CIT, as that's a huge cost for companies operating in the United States. And yet, it's a benefit I rarely hear raised when we talk about marginal corporate tax rates.

  34. So… each party says the others' numbers are bullsh*t… then proceed to use those supposed bullsh*t numbers to buttress their OWN positions?

    Beware, Macleans, this little policy debate might bust your 'Bull Meter' thingy but good.

    • It's already broken – it can't go lower than one!

      • In this case, they might have to score it an 'eight', and that can't be good for the machine.

  35. And that's when they give you the numbers!

  36. commie.

  37. Actually I should have said you can't trust the Conservatives on anything including their numbers.

  38. Yeah, his record, and the budget that the opposition just killed to justify a fourth $300 million election in seven years. And corporate tax cuts the Liberals once supported. And F-35 jets the Liberals would probably buy anyway. Aren't you paying attention, especially since you seem to think that this election was necessary in the first place?

  39. yes, there could be MORE than one election by the distant time Harper's plans could take effect. But according to current law – one Harper wrote – there will be AT LEAST one.

  40. Exactly. You've heard of mutually assured destruction? This is mutually reassured bullsh*t.

  41. Kittens was last week. They had to upgrade to ponys.

  42. It's already broken – it can't go lower than one!

  43. The plan is to balance the budget in a majority mandate, right? That's when these measures will be implemented. If you can't even stick to the facts on this, just what is this election about anyway?

  44. Especially after watching how the Obama administration mangled an already broken healthcare system in the USA, a message to American companies that "Canada has free healthcare and competitive tax rates" should be a slam-dunk.

    However, all of this is moot when our Canadian dollar is so incredibly volatile. I might listen closely to the first political party that provides a solution to *that*. Until then, all this chatter about corporate tax rates is nothing more than the shuffling of deck chairs.

  45. In this case, they might have to score it an 'eight', and that can't be good for the machine.

  46. But, if we assume that the Conservative numbers are too high (since economists are saying the Liberal numbers are too high), then it means that the cost of the tax cut is less, so it's making the bottom line better than the Conservatives are claiming.

    In our current financial situation, I would rather a policy that collects more than was promised instead of promising many new social programs that cannot be afforded.

    If the Liberals would at least rank their new expenditures vs. overall government finances so that we could figure out which of them is plausible to happen, and then at figure out what exactly are they promising. Is it: raise whatever taxes are required to fund these things, allow the deficit to grow, choose from the list as revenue allows, or raise revenue and not deliver on the promises (or deliver something significantly different from what was proposed).

    Until then, I'd probably side with the status quo of corp tax cuts.

  47. Unless, of course, two bullsh*ts cancel each other out, resulting in truth. I believe it was Einstein's Bullsh*t Theory:

    BS + BS = Singularity

    OK, it will result in truth or a black hole, one or the other.

  48. Unless, of course, two bullsh*ts cancel each other out, resulting in truth. I believe it was Einstein's Bullsh*t Theory:

    BS + BS = Singularity

    OK, it will result in truth or a black hole, one or the other.

  49. Well, why not look at the Liberal track record? You really think the provinces would want to be dumped on by a Martin-like genius were the Liberals put us deeper in the red?

    I think for the Liberals to off load onto the provinces cannot happen a second time. Canadians won't stand for it.

    You conveniently neglect to mention the Liberal track record. I wonder why?

  50. You conveniently neglect to mention the Liberal track record. I wonder why?

    Because I think you are already losing so badly that it feels like I'm kicking you while you're down. The Liberals eliminated the deficit and paid off Billions in debt under Chretien/Martin. Harper Conservatives hate surpluses – "overtaxation" sound familiar? So Harper promptly lopped 28.5% off of GST resulting in structural deficit which he intends to maintain as long as he remains in gov't. A deficit is a handy tool for beating back demands on government.

  51. Your right. Who to trust with numbers, Jim Flaherty and Stephen Harper, or the team that eradicated the last deficit?
    Harper knew about Carson's three convictions, but now that it's five he is Sgt Schultz — 'I know nooothhhiinnnng!'
    Flaherty's Ontario budgets were high comedy when it came to accuracy. This gov't bought into the 0-down, 40-year mortgage scheme, turtled on income trusts and always gives the CEOs the free hallway pass.
    When your risky 'new tax' was actually the recent tax rate, I seriously doubt the faux cries of 'trouble in the hen house' coming from Cap'n Chickendance…

  52. "just what is this election about anyway?"

    Contempt of Parliament.

  53. The Canadian dollar is volatile for the same reason the Aussie dollar is – they're both commodity currencies, and commodities are volatile. So to resolve that, we need to diversify our economy away from oil, gas and minerals.

    We could start by not subsidizing these industries, perhaps?

  54. The Canadian dollar is volatile for the same reason the Aussie dollar is – they're both commodity currencies, and commodities are volatile. So to resolve that, we need to diversify our economy away from oil, gas and minerals.

    We could start by not subsidizing these industries, perhaps?

    • Indeed, but that's a much more complicated policy question.

      And we all know that elections are not an appropriate venue for complicated policy discussions.

  55. "Yeah, his record, and the budget that the opposition just killed to justify a fourth $300 million election in seven years."
    Immediately after the third costly election [the one Harper broke his own fixed election date law to foist on us] he flip-flopped on his adamant stand that there'd be no deficit under his watch — likely because he was caught having spent us there before the economic downturn. He then trotted out an austerity budget that bucked the trend of government stimulus from every other G20 country… and was promptly slapped on the wrist by the opposition. Back in his lair with proroguement his lone friend, Harper devised another plan — the bigger the deficit the better.
    You're trying to pitch that as steady-as-she-goes?

  56. Indeed, but that's a much more complicated policy question.

    And we all know that elections are not an appropriate venue for complicated policy discussions.

  57. Really. Sure could have fooled me. We've talked about decades-old coalition reflections, Rick Mercer, and Facebook. You'll have to show me where those "contempt" charges brought down by the opposition have been a factor.

  58. I think there is a bigger picture. Remember, we are playing chess. I think Harper knew the Liberals would come out with a big spending platform. Perhaps they even guessed that they would not make eliminating the deficit a priority. So far, with their announcements, it seems to me the Cons are setting up a clear contrast between a party that is interested in spending more and taxing more even though there is a deficit, and a party that makes eliminating the deficit the priority, and will only introduce new spending once that is accomplished. I don't think that message only targets a small group.

  59. I think there is a bigger picture. Remember, we are playing chess. I think Harper knew the Liberals would come out with a big spending platform. Perhaps they even guessed that they would not make eliminating the deficit a priority. So far, with their announcements, it seems to me the Cons are setting up a clear contrast between a party that is interested in spending more and taxing more even though there is a deficit, and a party that makes eliminating the deficit the priority, and will only introduce new spending once that is accomplished. I don't think that message only targets a small group.

  60. 'The $6-billion conundrum"

    I think it's fun when everyone starts pulling numbers out of the arse and act like they mean something. It just goes to show what a voodoo field of study economics is.

  61. 'The $6-billion conundrum"

    I think it's fun when everyone starts pulling numbers out of the arse and act like they mean something. It just goes to show what a voodoo field of study economics is.

  62. Here's an idea. Maybe the government that controls the budget and makes the economic forecasts and projections can share that information routinely.

    Perhaps that government could provide the information to some sort of independent budget officer for analysis so we could have an impartial understanding of what politicians are discussing, rather than playing a giant game of He Said She Said.

  63. Here's an idea. Maybe the government that controls the budget and makes the economic forecasts and projections can share that information routinely.

    Perhaps that government could provide the information to some sort of independent budget officer for analysis so we could have an impartial understanding of what politicians are discussing, rather than playing a giant game of He Said She Said.

  64. What this thread is about, and what this election is about are two different things.

    You display, so often, a powerful long term memory. The confidence vote in the House of Commons was about the failure of the CPC to present costing numbers. They lost. That caused the election. This election is about Contempt of Parliament. You asked.

    What the parties, and partisans are making it out to be is also different from that. But what cannot be denied is the direct one to one correspondence of that confidence vote that the CPC was in contempt of Parliament. No contempt, no election.

  65. Any Hogan's Heroes reference gets a thumbs up from me!

    Diiiiss . . . miiiiissed!

  66. Any Hogan's Heroes reference gets a thumbs up from me!

    Diiiiss . . . miiiiissed!

  67. Even on that you're wrong. All three opposition parties were opposed to the budget. So the government would have fallen on that. Instead, the opposition trumped up these "contempt" charges to preempt the budget vote so that they could say that's what this election is about. How's that worked out so far?

  68. Even on that you're wrong. All three opposition parties were opposed to the budget. So the government would have fallen on that. Instead, the opposition trumped up these "contempt" charges to preempt the budget vote so that they could say that's what this election is about. How's that worked out so far?

    • Would have. But didn't. They fell on Contempt. There was no vote on the budget, so there is no election caused by the budget.

      'Would have' is a fantasy.

      • You made the claim that if it wasn't for these trumped-up "contempt" charges we wouldn't be having an election. Now that was fantasy, wasn't it?

  69. How sad for us all that the testimony and opinions of independent experts only apply to Liberal claims, as opposed to Conservative actions.

  70. Really? Since when?

    btw, some of you seem to be missing the main point, which has been common since this election started. Questions surrounding the Liberal platform will only strengthen any doubts voters have of wanting to change course.

    The Liberals apparently spent a lot of time putting this thing together, which is why I'm surprised at how vulnerable it still leaves them politically.

  71. Would have. But didn't. They fell on Contempt. There was no vote on the budget, so there is no election caused by the budget.

    'Would have' is a fantasy.

  72. You made the claim that if it wasn't for these trumped-up "contempt" charges we wouldn't be having an election. Now that was fantasy, wasn't it?

  73. You are  the one who said they were  trumped up. Nowhere in the two posts above do I say such a thing. Read more carefully.

  74. I never said it was your claim. I suggest YOU read more carefully, and use more precise logic next time, too. Obviously we still would have had an election even without the trumped-up charges.

  75. I never said it was your claim. I suggest YOU read more carefully, and use more precise logic next time, too. Obviously we still would have had an election even without the trumped-up charges.

    • A quote from your previous post:

      "You made the claim that if it wasn't for these trumped-up "contempt" charges"

      You, a pronoun in the context of that sentence meaning me. And then you sa, "I never said it was your claim."

      "I" meaning yourself, now says you didn't say what you said in that previous post.

      And speaking of "and us[ing] more precise logic next time," I quote:

      "Obviously we still would have had an election even without the trumped-up charges"

      This is a Logical Fallacy called "Moving the goalposts".

      • Tell me where I said that you said it was trumped-up? I used the term. Not you.

        So, you want to try again? lol

          • In other words, when confronted with logic you can't deal with, you lash out with this nonsense. Thanks.

          • I feel like I'm in a cartoon where you are playing both Bugs Bunny and Daffy Duck arguing with each other.

          • Does Daffy Duck falsely accuse Bugs Bunny of using the term "trumped-up?" lol

  76. A quote from your previous post:

    "You made the claim that if it wasn't for these trumped-up "contempt" charges"

    You, a pronoun in the context of that sentence meaning me. And then you sa, "I never said it was your claim."

    "I" meaning yourself, now says you didn't say what you said in that previous post.

    And speaking of "and us[ing] more precise logic next time," I quote:

    "Obviously we still would have had an election even without the trumped-up charges"

    This is a Logical Fallacy called "Moving the goalposts".

  77. Tell me where I said that you said it was trumped-up? I used the term. Not you.

    So, you want to try again? lol

  78. In other words, when confronted with logic you can't deal with, you lash out with this nonsense. Thanks.

  79. I feel like I'm in a cartoon where you are playing both Bugs Bunny and Daffy Duck arguing with each other.

  80. Does Daffy Duck falsely accuse Bugs Bunny of using the term "trumped-up?" lol

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