Jagmeet Singh - Taxes are an investment in the future

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Mighty Middle
Jagmeet Singh - Taxes are an investment in the future

Jagmeet Singh tells NDP the 'time for timid is over'

Jagmeet Singh is unafraid to speak kindly of taxes.

The man who has led the federal New Democrats for a little less than five months told party members attending a convention this weekend they should be brave when developing policies to take the NDP into the 2019 election. And he demonstrated some of that bravery himself in discussing taxation. For more than two decades, it would have been considered an act of courage, or perhaps folly, for a Canadian politician to speak enthusiastically when asking voters to consider paying more for public services. But Mr. Singh says tax can be a good thing.

"Taxes are investments into building a fairer society for us all," he told the crowd in arguing for more public infrastructure and a stronger social safety net.

Under Tom Mulcair and Jack Layton, Mr. Singh's two most recent predecessors, the NDP moved slightly to the middle of the political spectrum. The result was a surprising second-place finish in the vote of 2011, and a less successful but still (by NDP standards) respectable finish in 2015.

But that centrist impulse may be changing. While those attending the three-day meeting ignored some of the more radical ideas in their book of potential resolutions, the policies they did endorse seemed to have a left tilt.

The nearly 2,000 delegates voted in favour of such things as paid sick leave, tax changes to promote the production of zero-emission vehicles, and free access to menstrual products. They decried the wage gap between men and women, promised to visibly support any groups that campaign against racial intolerance, and said no one should be required to indicate their gender on identification documents.

Mostly they talked about eliminating social inequities, and particularly those caused by disparities between the rich and the poor.

In his speech to delegates, Mr. Singh lamented income inequality, urged the protection of pensions, called for publicly funded pharmacare and dental and eye care, and said it is time to take on "a rigged tax system" that allows foreign internet companies to avoid paying their fair share.

 

In an interview with The Globe and Mail on Sunday morning, he said that he wants to "change the frame" on taxation because taxes are necessary in a society where people aim to lift each other up.

"My mom always told me that we are all connected and we all suffer together or we rise together so there is a connection that we have," Mr. Singh said. "So, if we look at what we pay into our society as an investment, it's a different way of looking at it. You don't look at it as something that's being taken away from you, as taxes that are being taken away from you, it's something that's being given back to everybody."

Taxes, he said, are investments. "And investments are good. You make investments because you want your home to be better. You invest in your home, you invest in your local park to make it a prettier park, and you invest in society to make it better."

Mr. Singh cited a recent poll that suggested that half of all Canadians have less than $200 of disposable income left at the end of the month after their bills are paid.

"If you tell that person you are going to give them an extra hundred dollars, how is that going to make their life better?" he asked. "But if you say we are going to make sure that your kids can go to university and we will make sure they can get an education, we'll make sure that that dental care which is going to cost thousands and thousands of dollars … is covered. That's the way to really actually lift people up."

https://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/politics/singh-says-taxes-are-an-in...

Pondering

This is great. Neoliberals have been demonizing government forever and leftists fell into the trap of helping them. Singh is trying to reverse that. He has previously expressed the notion that the government is ours. Neoliberals created the feeling of government as enemy taking money from people and companies alike then inevidably squandering it. It was better to privatize as much as possible to save money and to lower taxes as much as possible to leave a maximum amount of money in people's hands.

Many religious people do tithe a large amount yearly and sponsor refugees and run food banks etc. Neoliberals promoted this to illustrate that again, money in private hands was a better way of delivering aid than through government. People should be able to judge for themselves where their help will make the most impact, give to the charities they prefer. 

Countering this narrative is key to reversing neoliberal philosophy that has been embedded in people's thinking. 

Unionist

I'm glad Singh is taking up this narrative.

It's certainly better than Valérie Plante promising not to raise (Montréal property) taxes beyond inflation, then doing a 180 shortly after being elected, saying "oh, Denis Coderre never ever told us how bad the books were...". She should never have made such a promise. And having made it, she should never have broken it. But I'd still vote for her again - hope she learns.

Back to Singh - good for him. Let's see if he sticks to his discourse and how it plays.

Michael Moriarity Michael Moriarity's picture

Well, I'll join the choir here, and say that I too am very pleased that Singh has decided to embrace higher taxes to pay for better social services. Free education, dentistry, pharmacare and eye care would make a huge difference to most Canadian families. The time is also clearly right for this argument, given its unexpected success in the U.S. and Britain. Here's hoping he sticks with this approach through the vicious and unfair attacks which it will be certain to attract.

brookmere

Pondering wrote:
Countering this narrative is key to reversing neoliberal philosophy that has been embedded in people's thinking.
I think the 2015 Federal election demonstrated that enough people to elect a majority government don't buy that narrative. Unfortunately the NDP hadn't caught on to that.

Unless and until the NDP comes up with some concrete numbers - like whether they will increase taxes on middle income families and by how much - it just sounds like trying to catch up with the Liberals.

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

Quote:
Here's hoping he sticks with this approach through the vicious and unfair attacks which it will be certain to attract.

I think everyone's OK with more taxes, as long as the bulk of the burden falls on someone else.

Unionist

Mr. Magoo wrote:

Michael Moriarity wrote:
Here's hoping he sticks with this approach through the vicious and unfair attacks which it will be certain to attract.

I think everyone's OK with more taxes, as long as the bulk of the burden falls on someone else.

Bet you never imagined your prophesy would come true so quickly, eh Michael?

Michael Moriarity Michael Moriarity's picture

Unionist wrote:

Mr. Magoo wrote:

Michael Moriarity wrote:
Here's hoping he sticks with this approach through the vicious and unfair attacks which it will be certain to attract.

I think everyone's OK with more taxes, as long as the bulk of the burden falls on someone else.

Bet you never imagined your prophesy would come true so quickly, eh Michael?

Do you suppose the irony is intentional?

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

Was my comment:

a) vicious

b) unfair

?

You can reply with the whole word, if you want, or just say "a" or "b".

Pondering

brookmere wrote:

Pondering wrote:
Countering this narrative is key to reversing neoliberal philosophy that has been embedded in people's thinking.
I think the 2015 Federal election demonstrated that enough people to elect a majority government don't buy that narrative. Unfortunately the NDP hadn't caught on to that.

Unless and until the NDP comes up with some concrete numbers - like whether they will increase taxes on middle income families and by how much - it just sounds like trying to catch up with the Liberals.

I don't think that's fair. Unlike Trudeau Singh has a track record as a progressive person. Singh has singled out P3s. I knew before Trudeau was elected that he was planning an infrastructure bank which would support public/private projects. The attitude towards Palestine may not be what some want but it is much improved over Mulcair. Trudeau did not speak about expanding health care to cover dental and vision.

Singh cannot give numbers or get too specific this far out from the election. He can't even be candid with members because it alerts the opposition and gives them a much longer period of time to attack. The opposition already knows the NDP plans to run their campaign around inequality. You can be certain the Liberal and Conservative campaign planners are already working on their inequality talking points and attacks. Trudeau is going to run a good news campaign simply repeating his accomplishments over and over again along with promising one big ticket item such as pharmacare. 

If the usual NDP supporters can't get positive about the change in direction and Singh until they see the numbers I don't see how he can succeed. What does anyone have to lose? What's the downside? There will be no change in leader before the next election nor anything as radical as embracing the The Leap Manifesto in whole. If he gets enough support he can reduce Trudeau's power and maybe even win in 2023.

I'm clearly his most enthusiastic supporter on this board. It's bizarre. 

Michael Moriarity Michael Moriarity's picture

Mr. Magoo wrote:

Was my comment:

a) vicious

b) unfair

?

You can reply with the whole word, if you want, or just say "a" or "b".

I know I didn't include this in the original post, but that was an oversight:

c) culpably cynical

Unionist

Michael Moriarity wrote:

Mr. Magoo wrote:

Was my comment:

a) vicious

b) unfair

?

You can reply with the whole word, if you want, or just say "a" or "b".

I know I didn't include this in the original post, but that was an oversight:

c) culpably cynical

I'll concur with "culpably cynical".

But you know, Magoo, very seriously, to ridicule ordinary folks by suggesting that they want a free ride in society, and want others to pay for that ride? That's not progressive. It's offensive. And thank the lords of the universe, it's not true. It's the propaganda of the most vicious and unfair neoliberal and oppressive forces in our society. So because I love you, I'm hoping you were just saying it for fun, not really believing it deep in your heart.

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

Quote:
But you know, Magoo, very seriously, to ridicule ordinary folks by suggesting that they want a free ride in society, and want others to pay for that ride?

I didn't suggest anyone wants a "free ride".  I'm just suggesting that we're all generally OK with taxes that only apply to someone else.

A higher tax on all those fancy rich guys who think they're better'n us?  YES!

A bottle of beer costs a nickel more now?  You want to tax GASOLINE?  Why do you hate regular folk like me?

I'm only saying that I think any individual's support for higher taxes is inversely proportional to the degree to which they'll be the ones paying those taxes.  Rich or poor.  Nobody says "very well, I guess I've been witholding all these years".

 

Pondering

Mr. Magoo wrote:

Quote:
But you know, Magoo, very seriously, to ridicule ordinary folks by suggesting that they want a free ride in society, and want others to pay for that ride?

I didn't suggest anyone wants a "free ride".  I'm just suggesting that we're all generally OK with taxes that only apply to someone else.

A higher tax on all those fancy rich guys who think they're better'n us?  YES!

A bottle of beer costs a nickel more now?  You want to tax GASOLINE?  Why do you hate regular folk like me?

I'm only saying that I think any individual's support for higher taxes is inversely proportional to the degree to which they'll be the ones paying those taxes.  Rich or poor.  Nobody says "very well, I guess I've been witholding all these years".

Now yes back in the 60s not so much. People complain more now because the tax burden has been shifted while services have degraded and infrastructure has crumbled. People are willing to pay fair taxes for fair services. I will say in Quebec it will be a long time before we forget we've been paying a 30% surcharge for substandard construction work and ended up rehiring the same companies. They should have been forced into bankrupcy and the employees encouraged to run the company as a coop. Employees know exactly what is going on so they are in the best position to correct problems like purchasing better materials. 

We are not poorer than in the 60s yet back then we funded mental institutions. How is it that war stimulates the economy? If we can invest in war then in peace we should be able to use that money even more effectively to stimulate the economy while advancing our society instead of bombing others.

If we didn't already have a coast to coast railway and highway we couldn't afford them now if you believe the claims of politicians.

From what I have read Canada has a very healthy economy and it makes sense. We are an extremely wealthy country. Saudi Arabia's oil is going to run out after which they will be living on a mound of sand. Canada has an embarassment of riches in the ground not to mention the water. Google put there data farm in Quebec because of the access to electricity (and colder climate). Amazon specified a robust transit system for the city they choose. A good transit system is an investment. Climate change will hurt us too but with our massive land mass and northern position we have a lot of flexibility other countries don't have. 

You ask difficult questions, "where's the money going to come from?" Well my question is where is all the money going? Canada is a wealthy country. There is no reason we shouldn't have the best quality of life in the world and state of the art infrastructure. 

I don't know how it's happening but I know the oligarchs are siphoning off the wealth of the country. You won't convince me that the average middle class person, even upper middle class, need to pay higher taxes. 

brookmere

Pondering wrote:
I don't know how it's happening but I know the oligarchs are siphoning off the wealth of the country. You won't convince me that the average middle class person, even upper middle class, need to pay higher taxes.
That was exactly Magoo's point. People don't think they need to pay higher taxes, just someone else. Or in the case of the rich, they think ordinary people should receive fewer services, which amounts to the same thing.

Until the federal NDP is ready to say just who is going to pay higher taxes I don't see the point of talking about it - being vague just gives the impression it's going to be the ordinary person.

 

Pondering

brookmere wrote:

Pondering wrote:
I don't know how it's happening but I know the oligarchs are siphoning off the wealth of the country. You won't convince me that the average middle class person, even upper middle class, need to pay higher taxes.
That was exactly Magoo's point. People don't think they need to pay higher taxes, just someone else. Or in the case of the rich, they think ordinary people should receive fewer services, which amounts to the same thing.

Until the federal NDP is ready to say just who is going to pay higher taxes I don't see the point of talking about it - being vague just gives the impression it's going to be the ordinary person.

I think Singh has been very clear that he wants to reduce inequality not grow it. When Singh's numbers do come out if it looks like they will increase inequality that will be soon enough for me to withdraw my support although it's difficult to see Trudeau's numbers as more likely to reduce inequality.

The point in talking about it to educate and and build support for the notion that government belongs to the people and can be a force for good that can mold society for the better. Until the election period Singh has to build awareness of himself, the NDP, and what the NDP stands for. You can remain neutral and not support either Singh or Trudeau (or Scheer) until the election but then I wouldn't call you someone who usually supports the NDP unless you are actively against Singh the way I was against Mulcair.

It seems to me Mulcair had plenty of support for years prior to releasing numbers weeks before the 2015 election and he was far more centrist. I don't see why people trusted Mulcair enough to support him but not Singh when Singh is the one with the more progressive background and ideas. 

Why did anyone care what any of the leadership candidates said as none of them presented a budget during the race or said who would pay for anything. How could anyone have supported Angus or Ashton or Caron without knowing their numbers? 

In 2015  Trudeau planned to legalize Cannabis, reverse a lot of Harper's changes, and run a deficit to boost the economy through infrastructure projects. Mulcair promised to only decriminalize users of Cannabis and balance the budget every single year while creating a national daycare program. Even when his first budget was dissed by Page I didn't notice any decrease in support for him here. 

If you can't get enthusiastic about Singh until he releases his budget it will be too late for him to build support for his policies. The alternatives are Trudeau and Scheer. We only get to pick best of three. Of course if support for Singh can be driven down enough he can be fired after the next election. 

alan smithee alan smithee's picture

In regards to taxes. You can't have your cake and eat it too. Canadians want more services,or at least better services than they have now.

But these same Canadians don't want any more taxes. The last thing we need in this country is a tax revolt movement (ié'a Canadian Tea Party)

The solution is simple. Tax the rich. Or at the minimum claim taxes from accounts off shore or in European banks.

Who cares if the rich don't like it. They can always take their ball and go home. That is a new home. They can leave Canada for the US where the wealthy get richer off the backs of the middle class,the lower class and the lower upper class.

They don't believe they should pay for anything that would improve the lives of us peasants. Fact is,they're not in the first place. The tax 'burden' lays solely on the lower,middle and lower upper classes.

Fix the tax rate on the  wealthy (the multi millionaires and billionaires) at a rate no lower than 50%. Slash defense spending by getting the fuck out of the Middle East and Africa. Tax the shit out of off shore accounts. End corporate welfare.

That way there is no need for higher taxes for the majority of Canadians or very modest tax increases (1-2%)

Sadly,this talk about raising taxes will frighten lower and middle class Canadians. And they can be very easily manipulated by right wing media and sold a hyperbolic view of what higher taxes would mean.

Singh is really putting himself out on a limb.

Pondering

Singh hasn't even talked about raising taxes other than for Netflix and similar companies. He is simply defending the notion of taxes because taxation has been demonized by the right. How can we afford pharmacare and environmental protection if taxes can only go down? 

Looks like the only solution is to cut services or at least not provide any new ones. No point in talking about doing anything for indigenous people that would cost money.

alan smithee alan smithee's picture

That was my whole point. Increasing taxes is a hard sell. And he did say explicitly that taxes are an investment. In other words he wants to increase taxes far beyond Netflix. What kind of investment is he talking about if he only wants to tax Netflix? That wouldn't even make the back pages of the news.

Pondering

alan smithee wrote:

That was my whole point. Increasing taxes is a hard sell. And he did say explicitly that taxes are an investment. In other words he wants to increase taxes far beyond Netflix. What kind of investment is he talking about if he only wants to tax Netflix? That wouldn't even make the back pages of the news.

First he has to convince Canadians that government isn't the enemy, government belongs to the people, and taxes can be used to fight inequality. Specifics would only give NDP opponents the needed material to destroy the NDPs chances for election. Is that what you want?

 

Pondering

This is what he is doing, not presenting an election platform:

http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2018/02/21/jagmeet-singh-ndp-policy-convent...

One program that will likely make the platform is national pharmacare. The NDP costed it out in its budget submission: $3.5 billion could be gained from closing what it calls a CEO stock option loophole and increasing the inclusion rate on capital gains for the ultra rich.

"The other promises — it's fair, aren't promises, as much as they are discussions about where we should be going as a society — we haven't costed them out yet," Singh said. "These are things we should start getting people on board [for], and say 'Listen, shouldn't be that our Internet connectivity is something we look at the same way we look at public transit?' ... This is the beginning of saying, let's have that discussion."

The government is wasteful and corrupt therefore the best thing to do is shrink it and privatize as much as possible. This is common knowledge for many people not theory. That is the argument Singh is trying to counter.

The people I thought would be on his side about that seem to be his enemies, or certainly not supporters. At this rate neoliberals can relax. "Supporters" will do their level best to convince everyone Singh's ideas threaten to raise middle class taxes.

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

Quote:
That way there is no need for higher taxes for the majority of Canadians or very modest tax increases (1-2%)

I'm not saying we cannot and must not ever raise taxes.

But if the BoC announces their intent to raise the Prime Rate by 1%, suddenly there'll be news bits about how foreclosures are going to go through the roof, and some Canadians will no longer be able to eat protein and suchlike.

If the TTC announces that fares will be hiked by a nickel -- that's a 1.5% increase -- we'll hear how that translates into an unbearable burden for some.

So a 2% increase on everything you earn doesn't sound like much, but it's not nothing either.  The right casts taxes as bad, but the left casts people who don't want to pay more of them as bad.  I think we all get that taxes are a necessary part of anything socially good, but you'll be hard put to find anyone saying "Tax me harder, Daddy!".

And FWIW, the more you tie taxes to the necessary goods in life, the more you need to be OK with people looking at where their tax dollars are going, and asking impertinent questions about $16 orange juice, abstract art, MP travel, and the wine cellar at Rideau Hall.  And lots and lots of other things, too.

Pondering

Mr. Magoo wrote:

And FWIW, the more you tie taxes to the necessary goods in life, the more you need to be OK with people looking at where their tax dollars are going, and asking impertinent questions about $16 orange juice, abstract art, MP travel, and the wine cellar at Rideau Hall.  And lots and lots of other things, too.

I see that as a good thing. I think it is coming and the faster the better. We should be able to follow our money. The government works for us. 

 

 

alan smithee alan smithee's picture

Mr. Magoo wrote:

Quote:
That way there is no need for higher taxes for the majority of Canadians or very modest tax increases (1-2%)

I'm not saying we cannot and must not ever raise taxes.

But if the BoC announces their intent to raise the Prime Rate by 1%, suddenly there'll be news bits about how foreclosures are going to go through the roof, and some Canadians will no longer be able to eat protein and suchlike.

If the TTC announces that fares will be hiked by a nickel -- that's a 1.5% increase -- we'll hear how that translates into an unbearable burden for some.

So a 2% increase on everything you earn doesn't sound like much, but it's not nothing either.  The right casts taxes as bad, but the left casts people who don't want to pay more of them as bad.  I think we all get that taxes are a necessary part of anything socially good, but you'll be hard put to find anyone saying "Tax me harder, Daddy!".

And FWIW, the more you tie taxes to the necessary goods in life, the more you need to be OK with people looking at where their tax dollars are going, and asking impertinent questions about $16 orange juice, abstract art, MP travel, and the wine cellar at Rideau Hall.  And lots and lots of other things, too.

Well.I can't say I disagree. I think the senate should be abolished,senators given a one time very modest severance package (I'll be liberal and hand them a $5 000 cheque, no pension whatsoever) MP salaries should be slashed 75% and pensions should be the standard Canada pension they can collect when turn 65. They can also travel coach,by Greyhound bus when the trip is less than 1 000 miles.

If they want a large salary and a generous pension they can go get a job in the private secteur. Aren't most politichiens lawyers by trade anyhow?

Let's not stop at $16 orange juice and wine cellars.

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

Quote:
Let's not stop at $16 orange juice and wine cellars.

Evidently, though, there's a very fine line between saying "can we stop paying for stupid and unnecessary things, please?" and "Stop the Gravy Train!!".  We'll need to be very careful about which spending on stupid things we're critical of.

alan smithee alan smithee's picture

Mr. Magoo wrote:

Quote:
Let's not stop at $16 orange juice and wine cellars.

Evidently, though, there's a very fine line between saying "can we stop paying for stupid and unnecessary things, please?" and "Stop the Gravy Train!!".  We'll need to be very careful about which spending on stupid things we're critical of.

Yeah. Usually when the populace cries ' Stop the Gravy Train' it's coded language for kill the poor.

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

Quote:
Yeah. Usually when the populace cries ' Stop the Gravy Train' it's coded language for kill the poor.

Well, perhaps.  But I think when even the detestable Fords said it, it was still mixed in with a lot of reasonable curiousity as to why ratepayers in Toronto should subsidize Adam Giambrone's French lessons, or why they should underwrite some American to teach Karen Stintz how to "speak it, not shreik it".  Or why any glass of orange juice should ever literally cost more than a similar-sized glass of very good wine.

Ken Burch Ken Burch's picture

Singh's willingness to talk revenue is probably the best sign of his leadership.  It was never going to be workable for a federal NDP goverment to even try governing with actual NDP values or while implementing the kind of programs that party is supposed to stand for and still hold to a "no new taxes" policy.  Might as well face it, Magoo-it's too late to push to go back to that.

Ken Burch Ken Burch's picture

alan smithee wrote:

Mr. Magoo wrote:

Quote:
That way there is no need for higher taxes for the majority of Canadians or very modest tax increases (1-2%)

I'm not saying we cannot and must not ever raise taxes.

But if the BoC announces their intent to raise the Prime Rate by 1%, suddenly there'll be news bits about how foreclosures are going to go through the roof, and some Canadians will no longer be able to eat protein and suchlike.

If the TTC announces that fares will be hiked by a nickel -- that's a 1.5% increase -- we'll hear how that translates into an unbearable burden for some.

So a 2% increase on everything you earn doesn't sound like much, but it's not nothing either.  The right casts taxes as bad, but the left casts people who don't want to pay more of them as bad.  I think we all get that taxes are a necessary part of anything socially good, but you'll be hard put to find anyone saying "Tax me harder, Daddy!".

And FWIW, the more you tie taxes to the necessary goods in life, the more you need to be OK with people looking at where their tax dollars are going, and asking impertinent questions about $16 orange juice, abstract art, MP travel, and the wine cellar at Rideau Hall.  And lots and lots of other things, too.

Well.I can't say I disagree. I think the senate should be abolished,senators given a one time very modest severance package (I'll be liberal and hand them a $5 000 cheque, no pension whatsoever) MP salaries should be slashed 75% and pensions should be the standard Canada pension they can collect when turn 65. They can also travel coach,by Greyhound bus when the trip is less than 1 000 miles.

If they want a large salary and a generous pension they can go get a job in the private secteur. Aren't most politichiens lawyers by trade anyhow?

Let's not stop at $16 orange juice and wine cellars.

Not sure about cutting MP salaries, though.  That can have the effect of either making electoral politicsl something only the independently wealthy can involve themselves in for any significant length of time, OR make create the incentive to take bribes and involve oneself in other forms of corruption.  Best to make sure they're paid well enough to stay clean and to put the interests of the non-wealthy first.

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

Quote:
Might as well face it, Magoo-it's too late to push to go back to that.

I'm not pushing to go back to that, nor even saying we have to go back to that.

I'm only suggesting three things:

1.  nobody really wants to pay more in taxes.  If we say "Yes, let's increase taxes" we don't really mean "... on me, specifically".  Anyone who wants to pay more than they're legally required to can add their donation in a box on the T1 form.  How many do?

2. when we increase taxes, particularly from the left, people want to know that their dollars are going to something they want.  The problem is that everyone pays taxes, and everyone wants different (sometimes contradictory) things.

3. an alternative to taxing everyone more is being more prudent with the taxes that already collected.   But that "prudence" seems to span the gap between "prudence" and "petty", depending on what you want.

brookmere

Pondering wrote:
First he has to convince Canadians that government isn't the enemy, government belongs to the people, and taxes can be used to fight inequality.

Didn't the Liberals win the last election on just that premise? Rather he needs to convince voters that voting NDP is the best way to advance it. And the ghost of Stephen Harper hovers over that task.

 

Pondering

brookmere wrote:

Pondering wrote:
First he has to convince Canadians that government isn't the enemy, government belongs to the people, and taxes can be used to fight inequality.

Didn't the Liberals win the last election on just that premise? Rather he needs to convince voters that voting NDP is the best way to advance it. And the ghost of Stephen Harper hovers over that task.

No he didn't. He ran on raising taxes on the 1% and won. Inequality is still going to continue increasing under Trudeau because the structure of our economy will make it happen. He did not focus on inequality the way Singh is. Singh has rejected precarious employment as an acceptable norm while Trudeau has said there is no other choice, that workers have to get used to it. Trudeau is threatening no action on the environment unless Trans mountain goes through. Singh is rejecting P3s while Trudeau is embracing them.

You are also suggesting that Singh is no more credible than Trudeau is. Have you read their bios? Singh has a track record. Trudeau did not and does not. 

Between now and the election Singh has to convince Canadians that Trudeau's policies are failing to reduce inequality which he has acknowledged as a problem. 

When the election period begins he has to present a costed platform. If at that point people have already decided Trudeau may not be doing a good job on that file their minds will be more open to alternatives. 

Were Layton and Mulcair in the habit of presenting and costing their platforms over a year before the election?

Ken Burch Ken Burch's picture

Mr. Magoo wrote:

Quote:
Might as well face it, Magoo-it's too late to push to go back to that.

I'm not pushing to go back to that, nor even saying we have to go back to that.

I'm only suggesting three things:

1.  nobody really wants to pay more in taxes.  If we say "Yes, let's increase taxes" we don't really mean "... on me, specifically".  Anyone who wants to pay more than they're legally required to can add their donation in a box on the T1 form.  How many do?

2. when we increase taxes, particularly from the left, people want to know that their dollars are going to something they want.  The problem is that everyone pays taxes, and everyone wants different (sometimes contradictory) things.

3. an alternative to taxing everyone more is being more prudent with the taxes that already collected.   But that "prudence" seems to span the gap between "prudence" and "petty", depending on what you want.

OK, on points 1 and 2, we are pretty much in agreement-as is, I think, everybody who calls for higher taxes-although you seem to be leaving out the fact that the emphasis is going to be on raising taxes more for the wealthy.

Nobody is saying "let's spend for the hell of it".  

I'm pretty sure everybody on the center-left and left support the idea of being prudent in whatever is spent, and on letting people know what you plan to spend ON.

 

alan smithee alan smithee's picture

 

Trudeau may not be doing a good job on that file their minds will be more open to alternatives. 

 

Yeah. And that alternative would be the Conservatives,not the NDP. Careful what you wish for. You'll end off with something worse not better.

And Trudeau DOES have a track record. He's been an MP for years and now he's the PM. I'd venture to say he has more of a track record than Singh.

And are you for real about pipelines? Ever take a look at provincial NDP governments? They are no better than the Cons or the Libs. It doesn't matter what party is in power or who's leading it. The pipelines are a political football and none of the parties have the fortitude to take a stand on them. I can assure you Singh would be no different.

Also the structure of our economy is written in stone. There is absolutely NO chance that we'll ever have a true socialist government. Singh can say whatever he likes. The reality is our system is unchangeable. It's been that way since Mulroney. All our present ills come back to him . Typhoid Mary, Patient Zero. And that disease grew with Harper. We're still feeling the itchy burning discharge of his time in office.

Undoing that damage would mean flipping our system in a 180. It would take the will of the people and right now,as been the case forever,when the people want change,they run to the Tories.

You're a real idealist and I respect that. But don't get drunk on the kool aid. He will not be able to keep all his promises. And he's handicapped by his religion. Unfortunately just his turban will trigger some people. Mostly in the Prairies and Quebec City regions. Not to mention that our 'mainstreet' media will feed the fears of these highly bigoted and xenophobic portion of our society, He's going to be raked over the fire by the media. Just watch and see. And if by some miracle he becomes PM,the pipelines will still be defended and a lot of his promises will not be realised.

Call me cynical. But that's our political class. Don't get excited. Things here will always be the same old same old.

brookmere

Pondering wrote:

brookmere wrote:
Pondering wrote:
First he has to convince Canadians that government isn't the enemy, government belongs to the people, and taxes can be used to fight inequality.
Didn't the Liberals win the last election on just that premise? Rather he needs to convince voters that voting NDP is the best way to advance it. And the ghost of Stephen Harper hovers over that task.
No he didn't. He ran on raising taxes on the 1% and won.
I said premise. The Liberals won because they did the best job of advocating an activist government that raises taxes for the rich and benefits those with middle and lower incomes. Still don't get it? Also you left out the middle income tax cut and the new child tax credit, the latter greatly benefiting lower income families.

Can the NDP do better than that? Of course. But Singh will have to do better than just give vague talk about how nice taxes are, and is going to have to give voters confidence that voting NDP isn't just going to put the Conservatives back in power. Ed Broadbent is still talking about making the rich pay their fair share of taxes. Singh needs to do the same - particularly to put distance between himself and Mulcair.

 

josh

Sadly,this talk about raising taxes will frighten lower and middle class Canadians. And they can be very easily manipulated by right wing media and sold a hyperbolic view of what higher taxes would mean.

So what's the alternative?  Being dishonest?  Surrendering to neo-liberalism?  If it is made clear on whom the taxes are to be levied, middle class "tax phobia" should be eased. 

alan smithee alan smithee's picture

josh wrote:

Sadly,this talk about raising taxes will frighten lower and middle class Canadians. And they can be very easily manipulated by right wing media and sold a hyperbolic view of what higher taxes would mean.

So what's the alternative?  Being dishonest?  Surrendering to neo-liberalism?  If it is made clear on whom the taxes are to be levied, middle class "tax phobia" should be eased. 

Hate to break the news to you but we've beeen a neo-liberal country for 35 years. The media is in on the fix. Thus,the populace has long been indoctrinated to the neo-liberal agenda. Any change to that order would be trashed by the media and the majority of Canadians who are gullible and programed would eat up the certain hyperbolic media blitz against any change to the staus quo.

You know how easy it will be for the media to convince Canadians that any new taxes would bankrupt them?

Jesus,josh. Wake up. You know far well the predictable shitstorm that the media would start to easily manipulate Canadians to blindly go against their own self interests. It's so predictable. Why do you think Conservatve governments get elected? Canadians have bought into the neo-liberal agenda hook line and sinker and there isn't anything any of us can do about it.

If Canadians were smart enough to want to protect their self interests,the Conservative Party in Ottawa and the PC's in the provinces would be fringe parties polling under the Green Party.

It's just a fact,mate. I'm sorry the truth is painful. 

josh

You appear to be in the surrender camp.

alan smithee alan smithee's picture

josh wrote:

You appear to be in the surrender camp.

Nope. I'm in the reality camp.

You're in the denial camp.

josh

Good thing then that people who advanced progressive legislation in the past, like Medicare, were part of the denial camp.

alan smithee alan smithee's picture

josh wrote:

Good thing then that people who advanced progressive legislation in the past, like Medicare, were part of the denial camp.

That's all fine and dandy. When has there been a progressive piece of legislation pass in the past 35 years? Seriously,I'd like to hear your answer.

The closest we have come in that time is cannabis legalization and a National Housing Plan. That's it and that is all. Unless I'm misssing something. Educate me,please.

Pondering

alan smithee wrote:
 Hate to break the news to you but we've beeen a neo-liberal country for 35 years. The media is in on the fix. Thus,the populace has long been indoctrinated to the neo-liberal agenda. 

True

alan smithee wrote:
 Any change to that order would be trashed by the media and the majority of Canadians who are gullible and programed would eat up the certain hyperbolic media blitz against any change to the staus quo. 

Half true. The media would trash it but Canadians aren't gullible just misinformed and the media isn't the only place they get their information. Mainstream media is fighting for eyeballs. Newspapers are dying. People are cutting cable. The metoo movement didn't go viral because of mainstream media. It went viral on social media and the mainstream news had to report it. 

alan smithee wrote:
 You know how easy it will be for the media to convince Canadians that any new taxes would bankrupt them? 

Harder than you might think...

On the other hand, a whopping 76 per cent of those polled believe tax loopholes are a problem.

Combine that finding with how most Canadians feel about the amount of tax being paid by high-income earners (54 per cent think they pay too little) and how much they think the government can do to “make sure everyone pays their fair share” (a combined 68 per cent think the government can act),

https://ipolitics.ca/2017/09/08/canadians-still-on-board-with-liberals-t...

alan smithee wrote:
 Why do you think Conservatve governments get elected? Canadians have bought into the neo-liberal agenda hook line and sinker and there isn't anything any of us can do about it. 

Conservative governments get elected because people eventually tire of the Liberals and the NDP has failed to convince them (federally) that they can do better. You seem to be suggesting we should fight for a permanent Liberal government.

alan smithee wrote:
 It's just a fact,mate. I'm sorry the truth is painful.  

These are opinions not facts. 

 

progressive17 progressive17's picture

If you tax my master, how will there be any crumbs to fall from his table to feed me and my family?

alan smithee alan smithee's picture

Pondering wrote:

 You seem to be suggesting we should fight for a permanent Liberal government.

Patently untrue. I'm suggesting that Conservative governments always drag us backward and offer NOTHING progressive except for big businesses.

I would say Liberal governments are far more superior than Conservative ones. That doesn't mean I'm in favour of perpetual Liberal governments.

I'd love an NDP government. But the media has successfully made 'left wing' abhorrent. That they want to tax you into bankruptcy,that they will destroy the economy and lead us into a depression. That they want to dictate your every move. Take away your cars,nationalize everything including depanneurs.

That's not an opinion. That is the belief of many Canadians exasperated by the media,whether in print,television or social media. The latter being the worst offender.

josh

So what.  Then, at minimum, the NDP can serve to pull the debate to the left.  And good policies are the ultimate goal.  The right has learned this lesson long ago.   If you fail to advance left policies, you'll inevitably end up with policies that lean more to the right.

alan smithee alan smithee's picture

Oh..I forgot abot hate radio propaganda. Most voters are older folks.And older folks are the audience of right wing hate radio. They get fed a lot of bullshit and 99% eat it like it's chocolate ice cream.

If there are real lessons that have been learned is the forum of good ideas,policies that work directly with the electorate and you need a leader who is relatable,who desn't talk down to people but talk intimately with people.

The right has used this approach to achieve faux populism. The fact is,right wing policies are radical policies. Your average Canadain can't recognize that. And the blame lays on the shoulders of media. Social media is the worst thing to happen to the world. It has only radicalized gullible shlubs into far right fascists.

You need to bring your message directly to the populace. Face to face and without pretention. If I was Singh I'd hold town halls every other day all over the country. Forget about media. It's a factory for hate. It's a tool of the far right.

Ken Burch Ken Burch's picture

alan smithee wrote:

josh wrote:

Sadly,this talk about raising taxes will frighten lower and middle class Canadians. And they can be very easily manipulated by right wing media and sold a hyperbolic view of what higher taxes would mean.

So what's the alternative?  Being dishonest?  Surrendering to neo-liberalism?  If it is made clear on whom the taxes are to be levied, middle class "tax phobia" should be eased. 

Hate to break the news to you but we've beeen a neo-liberal country for 35 years. The media is in on the fix. Thus,the populace has long been indoctrinated to the neo-liberal agenda. Any change to that order would be trashed by the media and the majority of Canadians who are gullible and programed would eat up the certain hyperbolic media blitz against any change to the staus quo.

 

If that is unchangeable, nothing progressive or egalitarian could ever happen again, because it's impossible to do anything progressive or egalitarian with the existing revenue stream.  It's impossible, in fact, to do anything matters, and it is, therefore, pointless to even try electing a non-Conservative government.

That's the defeatist logic your argument leads us to.

You said upthread that it would take the will of the people to produce a break with neoliberalism.  How could the will of the people be measured or in any way made manifest if the non-Conservative parties do what you seem to suggest and never offer any alternative to neoliberalism for the voters to consider?

It's not possible to simultaneously work for change AND accept the current limits on the possible.

It's not possible for Singh to bring a message of change to the people(an idea all of us agree with, I think)AND not challenge the neoliberal message at the same time.

alan smithee alan smithee's picture

Ken Burch wrote:

alan smithee wrote:

josh wrote:

Sadly,this talk about raising taxes will frighten lower and middle class Canadians. And they can be very easily manipulated by right wing media and sold a hyperbolic view of what higher taxes would mean.

So what's the alternative?  Being dishonest?  Surrendering to neo-liberalism?  If it is made clear on whom the taxes are to be levied, middle class "tax phobia" should be eased. 

Hate to break the news to you but we've beeen a neo-liberal country for 35 years. The media is in on the fix. Thus,the populace has long been indoctrinated to the neo-liberal agenda. Any change to that order would be trashed by the media and the majority of Canadians who are gullible and programed would eat up the certain hyperbolic media blitz against any change to the staus quo.

 

If that is unchangeable, nothing progressive or egalitarian could ever happen again, because it's impossible to do anything progressive or egalitarian with the existing revenue stream.  It's impossible, in fact, to do anything matters, and it is, therefore, pointless to even try electing a non-Conservative government.

That's the defeatist logic your argument leads us to.

You said upthread that it would take the will of the people to produce a break with neoliberalism.  How could the will of the people be measured or in any way made manifest if the non-Conservative parties do what you seem to suggest and never offer any alternative to neoliberalism for the voters to consider?

It's not possible to simultaneously work for change AND accept the current limits on the possible.

It's not possible for Singh to bring a message of change to the people(an idea all of us agree with, I think)AND not challenge the neoliberal message at the same time.

Wow..Talk about not understanding anything I said. Quite frankly,it seems to be flying over everyone's head.

Who says I accept this? I certainly didn't.

What I did say is we are trapped in a system that started in the 1980's. Before that time,it was easy for progress to be created and grow.Within the last 35 years,a majority of Canadians and Americans and Brits got suckered into believing that it was in their best interests to vote against their actual best interests. The mere term 'left wing' has been successfully vilified for all our social and economical ills. People keep running to 'fiscal cnservative' political parties because they've been sold a narrative that was exasperated by the media non-stop for over 30 years.

They think the left is after all their money.That the left wants to 'take away' everyone's possessions. Their cars,their speech,nationalize everything,turn the country into the Soviet Union. Of course this is hyperbole but watch the news. Everytime they interview an economist or a pundit. They feed this hyperbole and instill these irrational fears,it's been going on for over 30 years,there are a lot of Canadians that have been totally indoctrinated by the right wing.

We're told that the left are radicals when in reality the radicals are all on the right. The media sells it,the public buys it. It's a bias that is hard to turn around because the media is owned by right wingers and the last thing they want is for a left wing message to be hammered away for the publikc to realize. The day that happens,the free ride these oligarchs have been enjoying since the middle 80's will come to an end.

They use fear,they use hyperbole and they use false or exaggerated 'facts' Your average dull normals don't know any better and they want to keep it that way.

It's hard to sell a left wing message when the media incessantly beats the right wing agenda over everyone's head.

How do you turn the tide? How do you beat the media? 

Defeatist attitude? Get real. I tells it likes I sees it. It's inconvenient,I know but it's the reality.

As I asked earlier,can you name me ONE progressive policy that has passed in the past 30 some odd years? Cannabis legalization? A National Housing Act? What else? And was it anything that would improve the lives of the majority?

And don't deny the fact that the majority of Canadians (and Americans) freak the fuck out when they hear 'tax increase' Regardless if it's to pay for better public services. A narrative has been beat into the heads of a majority of the populace. 

It's all about beating that narrative OUT of their heads. And with a right leaning neolliberal media conglommerate,changing minds and attitudes is an uphill battle.

That is not defeatist. It's realist.

If you have solutions,please share.  The only solution I see is changing public perceptions and perspectives. And quite honestly,I have no idea how to do that.

So if you have an answer to that,I'd love to hear it.

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

Quote:
Regardless if it's to pay for better public services. A narrative has been beat into the heads of a majority of the populace.

To be fair, have there been lots and lots of times where a government has implemented tax increases for the majority, and made it clear to them that they can expect shorter hospital wait times, measurable improvements to transit, better educational opportunities for their children, or a real reversal of climate change?  Or whatever else someone cares to care about?

If people could only think back to the latest tax hike, and how everything was way better after it, tax hikes might not be such a hard sell.  Someone tell us when the tax hike meant we had it so good.

alan smithee alan smithee's picture

Mr. Magoo wrote:

Quote:
Regardless if it's to pay for better public services. A narrative has been beat into the heads of a majority of the populace.

To be fair, have there been lots and lots of times where a government has implemented tax increases for the majority, and made it clear to them that they can expect shorter hospital wait times, measurable improvements to transit, better educational opportunities for their children, or a real reversal of climate change?  Or whatever else someone cares to care about?

If people could only think back to the latest tax hike, and how everything was way better after it, tax hikes might not be such a hard sell.  Someone tell us when the tax hike meant we had it so good.

You can be sure the right wing will go to war against these taxes.Probably more for the reason that these new tax hikes are designed to help people. The right wing LOATHES that.

I can see the aggressive propaganda now. It's all too predictable.

But you can ask 'hey wait a minute,alan..you keep talking about the right wing and that would include the Liberals'

I'd answer that the LPC is a 'mainstream' party.Your average Canadian who is not politically active or politically savvy,who wouldn't call themselves right wing or left wing (probably couldn't tell you the difference) are true 'centrists'

And I'd call the LPC 'centrist'. Socially liberal,fiscally conservative and I think that describes the average politically ignorant Canadian. Hence,that is the 'mainstream' 

Having said that,Canadians DID end up voting Liberal even though they promised to run up deficits for infrastructure spending. So in theory I can see the possibility of Canadians voting in favour of new taxes if the money were to be used on expanding public services and/or into programs addressing things like climate change.

I do not,however,think the Conservatives are 'mainstream' in the least. A lot of the hatred of Harper had to do with he and his party's social conservatism. But Canadians supprted their 'fiscal conservatism' and that was good enough for low info voters.

So MAYBE Canadians would be open to tax imcreases if they were to pay for improvements and expansions of public services. I don't think tht's out of the realm of possibility. The question is,how easily could they be talked out of it with an aggressive propaganda campaign that would and could only be effective with 'mainstream' and social media cooperation.

 So I would be cautiously optimistic. I still think new taxes would be a challenge to sell,regardless of improving public services.

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

Quote:
You can be sure the right wing will go to war against these taxes.Probably more for the reason that these new tax hikes are designed to help people. The right wing LOATHES that.

Really?

I'm ready to believe that they resent tax hikes because they could have spent that tax money on a new sports car or whatever.  But the *real* reason they resent it is because it would buy some books for an underpriveleged student or something, and they just can't abide that because they're Montgomery Burns?  That's just acting out. 

"They hate anything that's beautiful!!"  "They must destroy it!!!!"

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