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PostPosted: Sun Nov 08, 2015 10:15 pm
 


Thanos wrote:
A lot of us remain proud of our British ancestry and heritage. I have no idea why we should have just remained quiet while Trudeau Sr. stripped it way just to placate Quebec and to satisfy the endless animosity he had towards Britain.

Its because he was a fucking Canadian and not a Brit. And proud of being a Canadian.
Like, who gives a shit that some of us have British ancestry. Or don't.
Putting the Royal back was a stupid and backwards move.


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PostPosted: Sun Nov 08, 2015 11:07 pm
 


herbie wrote:
Thanos wrote:
A lot of us remain proud of our British ancestry and heritage. I have no idea why we should have just remained quiet while Trudeau Sr. stripped it way just to placate Quebec and to satisfy the endless animosity he had towards Britain.

Its because he was a fucking Canadian and not a Brit. And proud of being a Canadian.
Like, who gives a shit that some of us have British ancestry. Or don't.
Putting the Royal back was a stupid and backwards move.


Spoken just like someone with no concept of tradition or knowledge of history. Now I know why you support the NDP. :roll:


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PostPosted: Sun Nov 08, 2015 11:21 pm
 


We all know the history. Tradition is another word for dogma used as an excuse for not moving on.


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PostPosted: Sun Nov 08, 2015 11:28 pm
 


It was done only to placate Quebec and it failed miserably. Separatism was at it's highest peak under Trudeau and then rebounded again under Chretien. Both independence referendums happened under federal Liberal governments and in both instances the country was nearly shattered. Under the two PM's that lefties hate the most, Mulroney and Harper, separatism in Quebec fell to it's lowest level of support.


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PostPosted: Mon Nov 09, 2015 5:41 am
 


What a load of bullshit. Separatism has fallen to its lowest level of support, today, as a direct result of Pierre Trudeau's immigration reforms. This is the single biggest factor in reducing the French majority in Quebec and, hence, quelling the separatist movement. If one PM deserves the most credit for ending separatism it's Trudeau. If we'd followed Conservative closed-door immigration philosophy, the separatist movement would be alive and well in Quebec. Thank Pierre Trudeau and all the new Asian-Quebeckers who've "immigrated away" Quebec's separatist follies.


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PostPosted: Mon Nov 09, 2015 9:34 am
 


Holy smokes...I agree with Lemmy.


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PostPosted: Mon Nov 09, 2015 9:38 am
 


smorgdonkey wrote:
Holy smokes...I agree with Lemmy.

Feels nice to be right once in while, doesn't it? :lol:


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PostPosted: Mon Nov 09, 2015 9:39 am
 


Flooding Quebec with endless goodies paid for by the rest of the country, and autonomy over things like their own pension plan and immigration, are what kept Quebec in Canada.


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PostPosted: Mon Nov 09, 2015 11:30 am
 


Thanos wrote:
Flooding Quebec with endless goodies paid for by the rest of the country, and autonomy over things like their own pension plan and immigration, are what kept Quebec in Canada.


And a up to 10 point swing in support depending on how the economy is doing.

Economy good, less separatism.. Economy bad, more separatism.


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PostPosted: Mon Nov 09, 2015 7:51 pm
 


Lemmy wrote:
bootlegga wrote:
I'll give you 1, 2 & 5, but I didn't care for the other two as #3 practically created a structural deficit


What exactly is a "structural deficit"? What makes a deficit "structural"? Is a structural deficit something more sinister than a run-of-the-mill deficit? I know we economists love to expand the lexicon, but I've always thought that "structural" was a prefix coined-up to make something that "is what it is" seem somehow worse for political purposes.

But you're right that it cut off a dependable source of tax revenue. Is that a bad thing though? A government starved, forced to make choices, tough choices, is a good thing. Too bad we lacked the leadership to make the choices equitably. On the other hand, go back to #1. A lot of the shit that went down, economically, during Stevo's time was out of his hands. Had the sub-prime mortgage and resulting global recession that followed not happened, tax revenues might not have shit-tanked, even with the 2% GST cut. Maybe there's something to the Laffer curve. Maybe the drop in tax revenues would have been worse if not for the 2% GST cut. Who knows.

But poor people still did benefit from the cut. Those who spend everything they earn have no shelter from sales tax.


What's a structural deficit?

When the government cuts taxes so mcuh that they virtually guarantee that there is no way to meet their expenditures.

By cutting out $14 billion in tax revenues, Harper virtually guaranteed he'd have a deficit most years.

And you're right - on normal people, it would have forced tough decisions on what was a need and what was a want. However, the government is not like a person at all and never does that. All they want to do is hand out goodies to voters to make sure they get themselves re-elected.

I agree that the global recession was out of Harper's hands - and while there is no guarantee that GST would still have generated $14 billion during it, whatever it did generate would have lessened the deficits and the debt load our children and grandchildren will have to deal with. Even if it generated only hlaf of that, it would have lessened the accumulate debt by $42 billion (over the six annual deficits he ran).

And $42 billion isn't chump change for anyone, even the federal government.

This is one of my pet peeves when it comes to governments - downloading today's wants/needs onto future generations.

For some reason, lots of people seem to be okay with it, but it really pisses me off.




Lemmy wrote:
bootlegga wrote:
and #4 was geared to pander to his political base, not any socio-economic benefits.


Maybe. But I don't much care what the motivation was for allowing income splitting. I care that it helped people. I especially like that it encourages families to have a stay-at-home-parent. Sure, that's still fantasy for lowest-income families on the poverty margin who need two paycheques. But income splitting does a lot of good for a lot of middle-income families and I don't see how it harms those who don't benefit from it. Not everyone will benefit from every government program.


I don't expect that everyone will benefit from every tax cut or program, but I'd expect more than 15% benefit from something that costs about $2 billion per year AND I'd hope that those 15% would be spread across the country, not largely in ridings held by Conservative MPs (rural and suburban areas mostly).


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PostPosted: Mon Nov 09, 2015 11:02 pm
 


bootlegga wrote:
When the government cuts taxes so mcuh that they virtually guarantee that there is no way to meet their expenditures.

Well, there's always one way to get around that...cut expenditures.

bootlegga wrote:
By cutting out $14 billion in tax revenues, Harper virtually guaranteed he'd have a deficit most years.

It turned out that way. But it might not have, if not for external factors. I know, I know, "If my aunt had nuts she'd be my uncle".

bootlegga wrote:
And you're right - on normal people, it would have forced tough decisions on what was a need and what was a want. However, the government is not like a person at all and never does that. All they want to do is hand out goodies to voters to make sure they get themselves re-elected.

And that was maybe Harper's great failure (well, we'll see where that C-51 fucking business ends up) that he had a personal, philosophical desire to trim the civil service and also had a majority mandate to do so. But he didn't. He cut all kinds of things he shouldn't have but failed to do the thing conservatives and liberals mostly agree on: downsizing the bureaucracy. It may come from different POVs but liberals and conservatives mostly agree that bureaucracy and debt take away from the ability of the government to deliver services to the citizens. Harper didn't do it. He chose votes over ideology (and on this one, his ideology was right!)

bootlegga wrote:
I agree that the global recession was out of Harper's hands - and while there is no guarantee that GST would still have generated $14 billion during it, whatever it did generate would have lessened the deficits and the debt load our children and grandchildren will have to deal with. Even if it generated only hlaf of that, it would have lessened the accumulate debt by $42 billion (over the six annual deficits he ran).

And $42 billion isn't chump change for anyone, even the federal government.

I'm not convinced that that's true. The lost tax dollars didn't vaporize. They were spent by private citizens instead of the government. That money got spent and taxed and re-spent and re-taxed. No, I think the deficit was the result of a global shit storm and handn't a thing to do with the GST cut. This is not my area of expertise, but I'm very skeptical of the liberal hypothesis that the GST cut led to deficit.

bootlegga wrote:
This is one of my pet peeves when it comes to governments - downloading today's wants/needs onto future generations.

For some reason, lots of people seem to be okay with it, but it really pisses me off.

Me too. And I have the fix: fire people (well, grandfather their jobs). The government is just too big and too inefficient. When that problem gets fixed, conservatives and liberals both get what they want from government: conservatives, less of it and liberals, tax dollars going to programs instead of banks.

bootlegga wrote:
I don't expect that everyone will benefit from every tax cut or program, but I'd expect more than 15% benefit from something that costs about $2 billion per year AND I'd hope that those 15% would be spread across the country, not largely in ridings held by Conservative MPs (rural and suburban areas mostly).

Again, $2B in lost tax revenue doesn't cost the public $2B. It's $2B that the public spends instead of the government. If the public chooses to spend that $2B differently than the government would have, well, that tells me that the government would have wrongly spent it.


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PostPosted: Mon Nov 09, 2015 11:12 pm
 


Lemmy wrote:
Again, $2B in lost tax revenue doesn't cost the public $2B. It's $2B that the public spends instead of the government. If the public chooses to spend that $2B differently than the government would have, well, that tells me that the government would have wrongly spent it.



Oooooh, let's follow that one all the way down the rabbit hole.


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PostPosted: Tue Nov 10, 2015 2:51 pm
 


Lemmy wrote:
bootlegga wrote:
When the government cuts taxes so mcuh that they virtually guarantee that there is no way to meet their expenditures.


Well, there's always one way to get around that...cut expenditures.


That's easier said than done. What do you cut?




Lemmy wrote:
bootlegga wrote:
By cutting out $14 billion in tax revenues, Harper virtually guaranteed he'd have a deficit most years.


It turned out that way. But it might not have, if not for external factors. I know, I know, "If my aunt had nuts she'd be my uncle".


We should have known it was coming (just not how big it would be) because we've gone through enough boom/bust cycles to learn that the good times don't last forever.




Lemmy wrote:
bootlegga wrote:
I agree that the global recession was out of Harper's hands - and while there is no guarantee that GST would still have generated $14 billion during it, whatever it did generate would have lessened the deficits and the debt load our children and grandchildren will have to deal with. Even if it generated only hlaf of that, it would have lessened the accumulate debt by $42 billion (over the six annual deficits he ran).

And $42 billion isn't chump change for anyone, even the federal government.


I'm not convinced that that's true. The lost tax dollars didn't vaporize. They were spent by private citizens instead of the government. That money got spent and taxed and re-spent and re-taxed. No, I think the deficit was the result of a global shit storm and handn't a thing to do with the GST cut. This is not my area of expertise, but I'm very skeptical of the liberal hypothesis that the GST cut led to deficit.


I never said that the GST cut led to the deficit, but when bad times came, it made them worse as we had to borrow even more money.

As I said, had we kept the GST at 7%, the debt added would have been less than it was after it dropped to 5%.




Lemmy wrote:
bootlegga wrote:
This is one of my pet peeves when it comes to governments - downloading today's wants/needs onto future generations.

For some reason, lots of people seem to be okay with it, but it really pisses me off.


Me too. And I have the fix: fire people (well, grandfather their jobs). The government is just too big and too inefficient. When that problem gets fixed, conservatives and liberals both get what they want from government: conservatives, less of it and liberals, tax dollars going to programs instead of banks.


Yep.



Lemmy wrote:
bootlegga wrote:
I don't expect that everyone will benefit from every tax cut or program, but I'd expect more than 15% benefit from something that costs about $2 billion per year AND I'd hope that those 15% would be spread across the country, not largely in ridings held by Conservative MPs (rural and suburban areas mostly).


Again, $2B in lost tax revenue doesn't cost the public $2B. It's $2B that the public spends instead of the government. If the public chooses to spend that $2B differently than the government would have, well, that tells me that the government would have wrongly spent it.


What can I say, I'm naive and think that as many people as possible should get a cut of the action when the government enacts policies, not just one party's base.


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PostPosted: Thu Nov 19, 2015 6:42 pm
 


I know I'm really late to the party on this one, but I just had to add my two cents.

Like I said in another thread, I consider Stephen Harper to be the poor man's John Diefenbaker. Like Diefenbaker, Harper rode in on a wave of anger and frustration with the Liberals' arrogance and complacency. Like Diefenbaker, Harper did a lot of very good work on various bread and butter issues-Diefenbaker on things like agricultural and immigration reform, Aboriginal voting rights, and the Bill of Rights, Harper on things like TFSAs, getting rid of the long gun registry, fixing the holes in the Liberals' reforms on gay marriage, legislating the federal gas tax funding to municipalities-but in the end they both failed to accomplish their largest goals.

One of the differences, as I previously noted, was that Harper pissed off far more people than Diefenbaker ever did. However, what I neglected to add is that Diefenbaker's screw-ups, such as they were, were far less harmful to Canada in the long-run that Harper's failures are likely to be.

Harper has drastically increased the national debt and failed to balance the budget except by cooking the books, leaving future generations of Canadians on the hook for huge increases in annual interest payments; his bungling of the energy file has left Alberta's resources as landlocked as they ever were, as our competitors in the U.S. and elsewhere continue to eat our lunch; he has gutted important services and valued scientific knowledge, with who knows what consequences for our economy and our environment; and his ineptitude in managing Aboriginal relationships has left things just as polarized as they ever were, with Aboriginal people continuing to be frustrated and most non-Natives still not really understanding their point of view.

Hence why Harper is the poor man's John Diefenbaker-he was elected in the same way as Diefenbaker and enjoyed success on the same scale as Diefenbaker, but his failures, and the damage likely to result from them, are on a far larger scale than anything Diefenbaker messed up.


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PostPosted: Thu Nov 19, 2015 7:02 pm
 


And as for the whole debate over cutting taxes, I find it interesting that nobody ever seems to want to talk about what they might have to give up in terms of government services.

I touched on this in more detail in another thread, but governments fund all sorts of things we take for granted in our daily lives, and that benefit entrepreneurs and job-creators and ordinary citizens alike in many different ways.

One of the things that annoyed me most about Harper was the way he seemed to pretend we could have all the tax cuts and credits we wanted without ever having to give anything up in terms of services. I was baffled, for instance, as to how Harper planned to take the fight to ISIS and ISIL, implement income splitting and all the other tax benefits he was promising and pay down all the extra debt he'd accumulated, all without raising taxes, cutting frontline services, or taking on any more debt.

Conservative political projects like military strikes against the Middle Eastern terrorists-policies I strongly support, for the record-need to be paid for just like progressive projects, but I can't recall Harper ever seeming to realize this fact. Instead, we had Jim Flaherty bragging about how they didn't balance the budget on the backs of Canadians-which was a bald-faced lie. Even the phony "surplus" Harper seemed to deliver in his last year in office was only delivered by stealing from the EI and contingency funds, and selling the government's GM shares. When Joe Oliver was called out on it, all he could offer was the same "but the Liberals did it too!" crap.

This is exactly the point Alex Himmelfarb has been trying to make in Tax Is Not A Four Letter Word. Himmelfarb readily agrees that there are going to be screw-ups, ineptitude and waste in government, and when they come up, they need to be addressed. However, that overlooks everything else our taxes pay for that actually have a beneficial impact. Unfortunately, as Himmelfarb notes, tax cuts are treated almost as a "free lunch" whereby we can continue to have everything we've come to expect.

It wasn't always this way, mind you. 20 years ago, conservatives like Preston Manning, Mike Harris and Ralph Klein were blunt and up front with Canadians about what we'd have to do to balance the budget. They noted that we were going to have to give some things up, and the results wouldn't be pretty. Judge their policies and performances however you like, but they did have courage.

Unfortunately, Stephen Harper lacked that political courage-that was one of many disappointments for me during his premiership.


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