Friday, September 12, 2008

Day Five and still no improvement

Stephen Harper said yesterday that the Liberal Green Shift plan would be catastrophic, not only for the economy, but for national unity. He said that Government economic modelling has shown that meeting Kyoto commitments would cause a recession equivalent to that of the 80s.

That modelling had nothing to do with the Green Shift, which cuts income taxes and levies a carbon tax. It was about emission controls in isolation.

Of course, the Liberals have done nothing so far to explain their position. In the Green Shift brochure, a clear explanation is offered: "We will cut taxes on those things we all want more of such as income, investment and innovation. And we will shift those taxes to what we all want less of: pollution, greenhouse gas emissions and waste." Yet, Dion continues to respond to Conservative attacks with a message of sacrifice: Mr Harper "does not have faith in Canadians' ability to meet great challenges."

This morning's Globe summarizes the Liberal Plan, but fails to note that it includes personal as well as business income tax cuts. Yet, the cuts are clearly stated: "We will cut the lowest income tax rate to 13.5 per cent from 15 per cent, a 10 per cent reduction. And we will cut the middle class tax rates to 21 per cent from 22 per cent and to 25 per cent from 26 per cent."

Why doesn't Dion introduce some clarity into this debate?

In an interview yesterday, Harper said that only popular arts programmes should be publicly funded. I guess Feist can expect a grant from the Canada Council some time soon.

More than half of the arts funding story in the Globe and Mail is devoted to how well Harper plays the piano. Not clear why this is relevant (except perhaps to soothe the feelings of arts-supporters in this country).

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