Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Video: The government got it so wrong

Quite the day in Ottawa yesterday. Stephen Harper declares "we need to raise taxes" during question period, and to distract from the PM's verbal slip (which I'll continue to blast out of context because the Conservatives deserve a taste of their own medicine for a change) Jim Flaherty announces this year's deficit will be some $50 billion, the biggest budget deficit in the history of Canada.

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Big Winnie said...

I liked it.

Makes me wonder if Harper's been brainwashed by his own caucus with all the MPs repeating the now (in)famous words:


James Bowie said...

What a great vid Jeff. This is seriously good stuff.

RayK said...

Except Ignatieff realli did say we would have to raise taxes, didn't he?

He may backtracked afterward, but he DID really say it, didn't he?

Jeff said...

Except no, he didn't Ray. Sure, he did say the words. But then so did Stephen Harper.

RayK said...


That's interesting. What's the context I'm missing here?

Steve V said...


And maybe this government will now have to come clean with how we get out of deficit, instead of just looking for the pot of gold on the horizon. It's actually laughable that people highlight what Ignatieff said, because anybody who is intellectually honest knows darn well it HAS to be on the table. Take out the stimulus, you're now looking at 30 billion dollar shortfall, which is STAGGERING. Anyways, we know the Cons aren't capable of adult conversation, but I suspect now the numbers will flush them out.

RayK said...

Steve V,

Fair points all--and the Cons are certainly lying about other things like EI premiums--but that's not at all the same thing as saying the Ignatieff never said we would have to raise taxes.

In fact, you're saying that Ignatieff DID say we will have to raise taxes and that he was wrong or dishonest to walk back those comments.

Jeff said...

Ray, you can google for the exact context. But if memory serves, Ignatieff was answering a hypothetical question (always a bad idea for politicians) then went something like if you had a massive structural deficit and you need to balance the books would you consider raising taxes?

Ignatieff said he couldn't rule out raising taxes under such a scenario, but he'd do everything to avoid it and he would never consider it during a downturn or the immediate recovery because it would damage the economy and the recovery.

I think that's an entirely reasonable statement most people would agree with. And I think most people would agree that also bears little resemblance to the Conservative spin on his remarks.

Steve V said...


What I'm saying, Ignatieff didn't preclude tax ideas as a LAST resort. What happened here, others decided to play partisan games, so he re-stated the argument, emphasizing all the other tools at the government's disposal. I know exactly what he said, and if it's been modified, it's only because we live in a land of childish partisanship, the notion of good government allergic. If our media were adults, and people were interested in honest debate, then Ignatieff never need clarify the obvious.

Taxes will be going up, book it, bank it. Now with this number, maybe we can have a honest discussion. Actually, no we can't, so Ignatieff should just avoid mentioning it again, let the government explain how the hell we get out of this structural mess.