A Red Tory has nothing to fear from the Conservatives except that it's clear they're as cravenly desperate for power and as intellectually bankrupt as the Liberals. Nothing makes this clearer than the promise to lower the GST. Economists appreciate why consumption taxes are superior to income taxes. But since there are probably about 10,000 economists and 30 million consumers in Canada, the promise to knock two points off the GST is a great cheap sell. Most galling is that the measure was proposed by Harper, who is an economist (. . .) Sadly, the Conservatives, unsure of their ability to attract centrists on merit, have become the political equivalent of strangers with candy.It doesn't take an economist to determine that a simple income tax cut is not going to make much difference to the average Canadian who makes $32,000/year. It will make no difference at all to those who live at the poverty line. It won't help people who work part-time, or pensioners who are on a fixed-income. It won't help students. It won't help people who are living off a disability pension. It won't help many of us who are living paycheque to paycheque.
Think about your monthly bills -- hydro, natural gas (or heating oil), telephone, cell phone, cable tv, internet service, All of these are subject to GST. Most people, rich and poor, have to pay at least some if not all of these bills. A 5% GST would make a difference monthly. Not a huge difference if you're a Paul Martin or even a Jack Layton -- but in the course of a year -- a significant one to the vast majority of us who apparently don't matter in John Moore's world.
Conservatives historically have been seen as the party of the wealthy. This bid to make everyone's monthly bills just a tad less onerous is a welcome one. It includes even those of us who doesn't have money to save and invest.
While the NDP and Liberals claim that they are parties working for 'the people' -- their antagonism towards the only tax relief that will actually benefit all Canadians is perplexing. I have no problem with income tax cuts, and from what I understand, the Conservatives have never said the GST cut will be to the exclusion income tax cuts or any other kind of tax cut -- but why do these socialist parties who claim to represent people like me -- despise the only kind of tax cut that would benefit the people they claim to speak for -- a single parent, working two part-time jobs and struggling to make ends meet?
I also take exception to Moore's recollection of events last Spring:
My first inkling that the ground was shifting beneath our feet came last February with the tabling of Ralph Goodale's budget. Flush with money, Goodale announced a raft of radical new expenditures. My immediate reaction was, "This is hopelessly bloated." Stephen Harper's immediate reaction was, "This is a budget we can support."Moore's blithe assertion that Harper supported the budget is just plain wrong. Harper held that this was not a budget on which he would choose to try to defeat the government. There is a vast difference between acceptance and support and Moore's failure to see the distinction detracts from the value of his arguments.
People like Moore seem to be looking for an excuse to vote Liberal -- as he calls them -- "the creeps we know" -- Unlike Moore, if I disagreed with the Conservatives significantly enough, on enough issues, I still wouldn't be marking the ballot for the party that has proved it will squander or steal public money.
It takes a fair amount of contorting to conclude that because the Conservatives have offered tax relief to poor people that they are "as cravenly desperate for power and as intellectually bankrupt as the Liberals". Moore's inability to think outside the conventional economist wisdom about consumption tax vs. income tax shows he is thinking in terms of theoretical realities -- income tax cuts might stimulate growth and investment -- but Harper's GST cut will affect real people every day.
At least Fred says Harper's tax policy would never tempt him to vote Liberal. People like Moore who would rather vote for the 'creeps' need to be honest with themselves. If they would vote Liberal because of Harper's tax policy, then they really aren't 'Red Tories' as they might to claim. They're Liberals, through and through. Short-sighted and too lazy to think.