Lewenza to NDP: anti-HST only benefits right wing

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Lola 101
Lewenza to NDP: anti-HST only benefits right wing

Ken Lewenza:  "Andrea, the harmonized sales tax, as unpopular as it may be, cannot be an issue from the progressive side. It can't be an issue that makes Ontarians more cynical about taxes. We want to pay taxes. We want a civil society. We want health care. We want education. We want infrastructure. We do not want every Ontarian to think that taxes are bad ...  The NDP is never going to get elected on a revolt on taxes. Never. The only ones who are going to benefit as a result of this fightback will be the Tories."

Ken Lewanza "worth repeating" in Toronto Star, Jan 24

_______________________________________________________________________

Ken Lewenza speech to CAW Council

http://www.caw.ca/assets/pdf/Ken_report-dec09-final.pdf

I want to raise the harmonized sales tax debate. I find it fascinating that in the province of Ontario, PC leader Tim Hudak, a Mike Harris clone, stands up and argues about the harmonized sales tax, takes the Legislature captive, and says he's Mr. Tax Fighter. He is an anti-union, antisocial,

anti-collective bargaining guy, and unpredictable. The fact of the matter is he's not doing this because he's going to eliminate the harmonized sales tax when he is in government he's doing  it for political opportunism. He's doing it because it will enhance his position in the polls. We can't buy into this. Neither can my friends in the New Democratic Party.

I said to the Ontario NDP leader Andrea Horwath, "Andrea, the harmonized sales tax, as unpopular as it may be, cannot be an issue from the progressive side. It can't be an issue that makes Ontarians more cynical about taxes. We want to pay taxes. We want a civil society. We want health care. We want education. We want infrastructure. We do not want every Ontarian to think that taxes are bad.”

That does not mean the CAW supports the harmonized sales tax in its entirety. Obviously, they’ve got to give tax credits to seniors, tax credits to lower paid people and should exclude certain things. I have already said to Dalton McGuinty, on the advice of Jim Stanford, that he better not exclude the financial sector which is being contemplated today, because they make a helluva lot of money and should pay taxes for a civil society.

We are arguing about elements of the harmonized sales tax, but brothers and sisters, don't buy into this tax rage because if you do, as progressives, we will be destroyed because you need taxes for a just society, as a society that cares for one another. This union has always taken the position of fair taxation. Fair taxation doesn't mean harmonized sales tax.

It doesn't mean PST, it doesn't mean GST. It means a fairer taxation policy.

At the end of the day this is not an issue that the labour movement should take on.

We cannot join the Tories. We cannot join those that believe that we're over taxed, because if we believe we're over taxed, the next time you go to hospital, take your credit card. The next time a sewer in your neighbourhood has to be fixed, take your credit card. The next time you want garbage collection, take your credit card. The next time you jump on transit and see the increases that the private sector will develop vs. the public sector, take your credit card.

We've got to continue to fight for good jobs, good wages, pay fair taxes and fight for a civil society through that tax base.

I know there's a lot of controversy on this but the only ones who will have anything to gain will not be Ontarians. Do you know who is going to gain? The Conservative Party. The NDP is never going to get elected on a revolt on taxes. Never. The only ones who are going to benefit as a result of this fightback will be the Tories.

We have to concentrate our energies on jobs, on pensions, on precarious work, on the environment, and on good public services, because if we retreat from this our country and our provinces will be much different.

________________________________________

 

Lou Arab Lou Arab's picture

Um, yea.

There is nothing progressive about sales taxes.

Someone who earns $200,000 per year pays the same rate (and not much higher in terms of real dollars) than someone earning $50,000.

There are fairer and better ways to tax and pay for public services.

Their is a difference between being anti-tax, and being anti-unfair tax.

A_J

And there's also nothing regressive about sales taxes if combined with cash transfers to lower income earners.

Sales taxes are how the much-lauded Scandinavian countries fund their public services.

Lou Arab wrote:
Their is a difference between being anti-tax, and being anti-unfair tax.

But do you think your average person is going to make this distinction? Right now the NDP comes across as the Canadian branch of the American teabaggers.

Unionist

Lou Arab wrote:

There is nothing progressive about sales taxes.

Trouble is, no political party is lobbying to eliminate sales taxes. And when Harper reduced the GST twice, the NDP opposed those moves (correctly IMO). So the question remains: is the anti-HST movement a movement to increase progressive taxation, or is it stoking and feeding off backward anti-tax sentiment? Lewenza makes (IMO) not the best argument, but the discussion should be held nonetheless.

Also, it's not good to misconstrue what Lewenza is saying. He's quite clear on this point:

Quote:
This union has always taken the position of fair taxation. Fair taxation doesn't mean harmonized sales tax.

It doesn't mean PST, it doesn't mean GST. It means a fairer taxation policy.

At the end of the day this is not an issue that the labour movement should take on.

What he's saying is that although sales taxes are inherently unfair, this particular HST movement is the wrong struggle for progressive people. And on that point - I fully agree with him.

 

Bookish Agrarian

The HST is a tax package that includes massive tax cuts for business and shifts it onto individuals.  I wish to hell people would stop bleating about theory and look at the package actually in place in Ontario.  If progressives don't fight this we might as well fold up the tent and go home because we are useless in fighting for things that will affect the average working person.

Stupid is as stupid does I guess.

KenS

A_J wrote:

But do you think your average person is going to make this distinction? Right now the NDP comes across as the Canadian branch of the American teabaggers.

To a lot of people around here, being against any tax = being anti-tax.

What does that have to do with what the "average person" thinks?

KenS

Ken Lewenza wrote:

We cannot join those that believe that we're over taxed, because if we believe we're over taxed...

No one in the NDP said we're overtaxed, let alone beleives we're overtaxed.

All there is here is an assumption that if we are associated in any way with people who are ant-tax, then by osmosis or something the taint makes all of us 'anti-tax', or that we will be broadly read that way. 

There is nothing to that except an assumption. 

Sometimes that cigar is just a cigar. The vast majority of people in the 'universe' of who the NDP appeals to are going to see this for what it is: a protest against this tax increase. 

You can argue that it will be otherwise. But none of you bother with that- you state as if it is fact.

Lou Arab Lou Arab's picture

Unionist wrote:

Also, it's not good to misconstrue what Lewenza is saying. He's quite clear on this point:

Quote:
This union has always taken the position of fair taxation. Fair taxation doesn't mean harmonized sales tax.

It doesn't mean PST, it doesn't mean GST. It means a fairer taxation policy.

At the end of the day this is not an issue that the labour movement should take on.

What he's saying is that although sales taxes are inherently unfair, this particular HST movement is the wrong struggle for progressive people. And on that point - I fully agree with him.

Lewenza is anything but clear here.  In essence he's saying 'we support fair taxes, but oppose the NDP's efforts to fight for them.'

I disagree with unionist that this is the wrong struggle for progressive people.  I wish there was a lot more talk about fair taxes in Canadaian politics.  I think it is a very important issue.  Over the past generation, taxes in Canada have become a lot more regressive, with the middle class taking on an increasingly large proportion of the tax burden, while corporate tax payers have been increasingly left off the hook.  This used to be a favorite campaign theme of Ed Broadbent's back in the day . But it has largely petered out since the Liberals backtracked on eliminating the GST. I think it's a noble issue, and a politically popular issue that could endear the NDP to a lot of suburban voters - I hope Layton runs with it.

Unionist

Ken, Lou - I didn't hear you comment on whether the NDP should call for the abolition of sales taxes. Lewenza called them unfair. Should/will the NDP do likewise? Or will it just deal with this particular increase?

 

KenS

I don't trade in pipe dreams Unionist.

They just aren't the stuff of electoral politics. A political party can initiate a discussion about kinds of taxes- and even then you have to be careful how you frame the discussion. 

But calling from where we are right now for the abolition of sales taxes would throw credibility into the bonfire. Though some might enjoy the glow for as long as it lasted.

Unionist

KenS wrote:

 

But calling from where we are right now for the abolition of sales taxes would throw credibility into the bonfire.

You'll have to explain that to me. Who would oppose replacement of lost sales tax revenues by increased progressive income and corporate tax revenues?

 

Tommy_Paine

 

I do not understand why supposedly progressive leaders keep deffending and promoting these flat taxes that benifit the wealthy and hurt the poor and working class.

 

 

Unionist

Tommy_Paine wrote:

 

I do not understand why supposedly progressive leaders keep deffending and promoting these flat taxes that benifit the wealthy and hurt the poor and working class.

 

Apparently, pointing out the obvious (about flat taxes) would be a "pipe dream". Maybe in the next century.

 

Tommy_Paine

 

I know what Liwenza and others are trying to avoid, but I think we are already over the precipice.   The only tack progressives can take on the issue of taxes is to try to steer the conversation into something less rabid and stupid than the "tax revolt"  idiots that permeate the public discourse. 

 

We should be outraged at taxation that doesn't go towards it's intended purpose.   In Ontario, we should have had a violent backlash against the E-Health theft of a billion dollars, but progressives were rather mute on the subject.   

 

If working people are faced with the fact that for every dollar collected, .80 cents of it goes to pay off interest and graft (which might not actually be two different things) then of course they are going to revolt against taxes.  

The battle should be to change to public discourse on the subject of taxes to one of a discourse on government corruption.

 

 

Unionist

Tommy_Paine wrote:

The battle should be to change to public discourse on the subject of taxes to one of a discourse on government corruption.

 

 

Not sure about that. How do we defend social programs, promote new ones, fight against privatization and corporate tax cuts, when our emphasis is that "they're corrupt"? I'd rather see a discourse on why the corporations and the wealthy dictate policy. "Government corruption" can feed rightwing politics as well, or better, than left - see the U.S. for example.

Lou Arab Lou Arab's picture

Unionist wrote:

Ken, Lou - I didn't hear you comment on whether the NDP should call for the abolition of sales taxes. Lewenza called them unfair. Should/will the NDP do likewise? Or will it just deal with this particular increase?

If you 'didn't hear' me comment on this, then you didn't listen very well.  I pretty much proposed exactly this in post #7, immediatly before your comment.

I think the NDP should milk the HST for all it's worth, for sure.  But I also would very much like to see a return to the 'fair tax' campaigns of the 80s. I think they are more relevant now than then.

Should the NDP campaign to abolish the GST?  Probably not, for credibility reasons.  But I'd love to see Layton propose to at least lower the GST and make up the revenue with more progressive taxes.  Increasing sales taxes (like the HST does) while giving out corporate tax breaks, is not progressive.

KenS

KenS wrote:
 

But calling from where we are right now for the abolition of sales taxes would throw credibility into the bonfire.

Unionist wrote:

You'll have to explain that to me. Who would oppose replacement of lost sales tax revenues by increased progressive income and corporate tax revenues?

Who would oppose it? Oh, for starters- a great deal of people whp now vote for the NDP, and probably union member who often or usually vote for the NDP at least close to if not above average on that.

They probably wouldn't flat out oppose it. But they would hold it against the NDP.

The NDP has low credibility even with its own supporters on tax and fiscal issues. And not for the reasons you think. Thay are generally ambivalent about whether we are to be trusted to manage the public purse. I don't advocate centrist pandering/cowering before that. But you don't just throw gas on the flames either.

Fair taxation is a necessary discussion- but its a long term one, and if you START with a straight up positioning such as you suggested above, what most people will hear, including way too many of our supporters, is "NDP going to raise taxes."

Like Lou, I don't like that we just avoid the whole larger framing of the question. Its a long educational project, and we need to begin 'stretching' the way people are acustomed to think... challenge them. But your short term approach will just get the NDP a kick in the teeth from its own supporters.

 

Tommy_Paine

Not sure about that. How do we defend social programs, promote new ones, fight against privatization and corporate tax cuts, when our emphasis is that "they're corrupt"? I'd rather see a discourse on why the corporations and the wealthy dictate policy. "Government corruption" can feed rightwing politics as well, or better, than left - see the U.S. for example.

 

Well, it goes to how we need to stop defining "corruption" via the criminal code, and take on the popular deffinition.    When money is siphoned off to consultants who do nothing,  or taxes increased to pick up the slack because friends of the party in power are granted cuts or loop holes, that's corruption, and it certainly attacks social programs.     

And, we have to hit on the fact that corporations and the wealthy dictating policy is corruption.

Yes, issues of corruption can feed right wing parties-- when they are out of power.   But, we've seen Harper in action, how he's appointed his own taxpayer paid corporate lobbyists into the Senate, which is corrupt, and we've seen him back peddle as fast as he could from the Gomery Inquiry recomendations. (along with Bob Rae) 

A lot of grass roots Conservatives who were motivated by Liberal corruption to become politically active for,  and financially supportive of,  Harper should be reminded of these things.

Unionist

KenS wrote:

Fair taxation is a necessary discussion- but its a long term one, and if you START with a straight up positioning such as you suggested above, what most people will hear, including way too many of our supporters, is "NDP going to raise taxes."

 

So, the NDP should shout "Down with HST!", because people can "understand" that?

And people won't understand this: "Eliminate sales tax completely, and make up the difference by taxing the wealthy, the banks, and the corporations!"

Or maybe the real problem is that it will generate lots of opposition from the wealthy, the banks, and the corporations, and we don't have anyone around who is up for that fight?

You just can't have it both ways. How do you argue that sales tax is regressive (as the HST opponents do), but not argue to get rid of it?

 

KenS

I don't argue any of what you say.

Read what people are saying, not what you inferr between the lines. The NDP is opposing the increase in sales tax that goes with bringing the HSt around the country. There is nothing in there about dumping the sales tax... which in the hypothetical it happened would get the NDP a lot of cheers, which would not take long to turn to jeers after people read the fine print.

And despite what you prefer to think- neither I or the NDP gives a shit what the bankers think. But we are concerned about sudden desertion of a big chunk or our supporters.

I know read my saying that, but I guess it just doesn't fit in, so ignore it.

Polunatic2

The right-wing spent close to 20 years making "taxes" and "social programs" dirty words. The left has not been effective in getting across the message that fair taxation is a fair price for civilization even as the right has hypocritically increased certain taxes which has partly contributed to the growing gap between rich and poor. 

Scott Piatkowski Scott Piatkowski's picture

I really love it when critics of the NDP speak out against something that the party isn't doing (such as mindlessly parroting right wing anti-tax talking points).

The HST is part of a massive giveaway to business and will hurt the average Ontarian. I would think that Ken Lewenza would want to oppose that.

Tommy_Paine

 

As a CAW member, I've kinda been dumbstruck at the economic pronouncements from my union ever since Sam Gindin retired.   They seem.... not completely thought out.

Unionist

Tommy_Paine wrote:

 

As a CAW member, I've kinda been dumbstruck at the economic pronouncements from my union ever since Sam Gindin retired.   They seem.... not completely thought out.

My impression also - from the outside looking in. But rather than attacking NDP critics as Scott does on an ad hominem basis, how about we deal with the content of this thread? Is the HST such a horrible giveaway, in and of itself, that we must risk feeding the anti-tax meme in order to gain some putative political points (which we won't anyway) by opposing it, while saying nothing about getting rid of sales taxes in general?

I had my doubts about the BC NDP's tax policy, but what's going on in Ontario?

 

Tommy_Paine

 

I don't know how to deal with this specific problem without untangling just how we should view taxation in general.    I think one of the reasons the NDP and others on the left get all tangled up and are easy targets for the right is because we haven't shaped our position from a principled base.   

 

I mean, if we weren't paying off bankers and made sure-- within the scope of human possibilities-- that every dollar collected went to work for it's stated purpose, maybe we could actually reduce taxes for everyone, and still maintain social programs that people want. 

We get hamstrung on these conversations because we know that the right wants to use the deficit and debt as an excuse to cut taxes in their "starve the beast"  program to essentially rid the world of democratic governments in favour of a Corporate Riech.   Let's be plain-- that's their objective.  And they are well along the way to it.

I think we all see the sense in borrowing money in a recession, but because the right howls about deficit, we feel obligated to forget that we should be championing paying off that deficit in good times, and eliminating the debt entirely.   Debt means the debtors own you.  

I think we on the left forget that.

 

And, when we seek to employ the tax regime to modify social behaviors, we open the door to the tax regime being abused to corruptly give this person or that entity a tax break or loophole or "incentive"  purly for familial or partizan reasons.

 

I don't think we can untangle ourselves from the knots we get tied in by the right without being reductionist about taxes and taxation.

Currently, in Ontario the ONDP is against the HST.   Does it, as Lewenza fears, play into the right's anti taxation, starve the beast, welcome to the Corporate Riech formula?  Maybe, if all we ever do is have knee jerk reactions to tax ideas proposed by the right, instead of finding a way to flip over the game board and start fresh.

 

 

 

 

Fidel

Why do the two stale old line parties want the HST? What's their reasoning for it?

Scott Piatkowski Scott Piatkowski's picture

Unionist wrote:
But rather than attacking NDP critics as Scott does on an ad hominem basis...

Excuse me? I first responded to the substance of his criticism, then pointed out why he should be opposed to the HST. That's the antithesis of an ad hominem attack.

KenS

Agreed. Totally.

 

ETA: Agree with Scott too. But I was agreeing with Polunatic's previous statement- and did not look until now where my comment ended up.

Fidel

 

[url=http://ontariondp.com/node/2542]McGuinty and Mintz (used to) agree: HST bad for jobs[/url]

Quote:
Queen's Park
November 4, 2009 - 10:00am

NDP Finance Critic Michael Prue reminded Ontarians about the dangers of the HST today.

"McGuinty's unfair tax scheme will make it harder to make ends meet and to find a job," said Prue. "The Premier and his own experts agree – at least they used to."

Prue noted that in a previous study Jack Mintz said the HST would slow job growth:

“These more positive results would come at the cost of a longer and deeper period of short-term loss, including, for example, an estimated reduction of just under 38,000 jobs in the second year.” (CD Howe Institute, Sep. 2008, p. 20)

And Jack Mintz said the HST would drive down real wages:

“After several years of somewhat higher unemployment, however, workers come to accept the real wage losses…” (CD Howe Institute, Sep. 2008, p. 9)

Of course, Dalton McGuinty said the HST was a bad idea too:

Cutting corporate taxes will create more financial trouble by starving the provincial treasury of much-needed revenue, and harmonizing the sales taxes will only end up hurting consumers.” (Nov. 25, 2008)      [ ...]

Then again, Liberals used to denounce Jack Mintz as an "Alberta academic" whose ideas "didn't work":

“…We don't agree with Mr. Mintz…Our taxes were the ones that were recommended to us by Ontario businesses, not by Alberta academics. That old neo-conservative attitude didn't work. (McGuinty Finance Minister Dwight Duncan, Sep. 28, 2008)
 

 

[url=http://www.progressive-economics.ca/2009/12/15/hst-revenue-loss/]Economist Erin Weir criticizes HST[/url]

Unionist

Scott Piatkowski wrote:

Unionist wrote:
But rather than attacking NDP critics as Scott does on an ad hominem basis...

Excuse me? I first responded to the substance of his criticism, then pointed out why he should be opposed to the HST. That's the antithesis of an ad hominem attack.

You're correct - you responded to the substance of what Lewenza said and why he should oppose the HST.

But I was referring to this, which I thought was aimed more broadly than Lewenza:

Scott Piatkowski wrote:
I really love it when critics of the NDP speak out against something that the party isn't doing (such as mindlessly parroting right wing anti-tax talking points).

If I read that wrong, I apologize.

And by the way, I agree with the need to oppose the HST. My point, as you will have noticed, is different.

Bookish Agrarian

I would really appreciate it if people would go look up the previous umpteen number of threads on the HST.  Somebody could do to send them to Lewenza who clearly does not understand the tax package the HST is a part of given his comments.

As I have pointed out a number of times I sat in on the government consultations at a high level in the sectoral consultations about HST implementation.  The government's own numbers are full of crap, something we were able to pick to threads in a few moments of number crunching.  The benefits for individuals are very over-stated, the impact on small and medium business, especially in service oriented sectors will be mostly negative.  The big winner- the largest, most profitable corportations. 

To not stand up and oppose the HST would have been a total abandonment of progressive values by the NDP, something some seem to be counselling because they seem to want to give the current government the benefit of the doubt rather than to actually work in the real interests of working men and women of the province of Ontario. 

Shame on them I say, and thank goodness someone is trying to make these right wing tools in government at the provincial and federal level for their complicity in undermining social spending by short-changing government by handing over more money in tax cuts than they will be bring in off individuals through the HST.

 

Unionist

Tommy_Paine wrote:

Currently, in Ontario the ONDP is against the HST.   Does it, as Lewenza fears, play into the right's anti taxation, starve the beast, welcome to the Corporate Riech formula?  Maybe, if all we ever do is have knee jerk reactions to tax ideas proposed by the right, instead of finding a way to flip over the game board and start fresh.

I guess you've summed it up better than I was able to, Tommy. But it's tough to have these discussions without it becoming a "for or vs. the NDP" diversion.

 

Lou Arab Lou Arab's picture

Unionist wrote:

You just can't have it both ways. How do you argue that sales tax is regressive (as the HST opponents do), but not argue to get rid of it?

By arguing that we need to slowly lower it and replace it with a fair tax system, instead of increasing it, as the HST does.

As I pointed out before.  Just saying.

Lou Arab Lou Arab's picture

Unionist wrote:

Is the HST such a horrible giveaway, in and of itself, that we must risk feeding the anti-tax meme in order to gain some putative political points (which we won't anyway) by opposing it, while saying nothing about getting rid of sales taxes in general?

We'll I've said repeatedly on this thread that I think the way to handle it is to talk about 'fair taxes' and replacing sales taxes with more progressive forms of taxation.  It was a mantra of Ed Broadbent when he was leader and I believe it is still NDP policy.  I appear to be talking to myself.  Much easier unionist to debate a hypothetical bogey man instead of listening to what people are actually saying.

This thread was started because the CAW President said fighting the HST wasn't worth the time of the left.  Unionist said he agreed with that.  Once he didn't get the answers he liked, he went on to try to turn this into a parsing of NDP policy.  But on the broad issue, Lewenza is dead wrong.

 

Lou Arab Lou Arab's picture

Unionist wrote:

But it's tough to have these discussions without it becoming a "for or vs. the NDP" diversion.

Unionist, that is exactly what you are doing.  You started by stating you agree with Lewenza for arguing that the HST is not worth the time of progressives, but when that didn't go well, you have tried to switch the goal posts into a fight about the NDP.

Bookish Agrarian

Jeez that's the first time that has ever happenedTongue out

Unionist

Lou Arab wrote:

Unionist wrote:

But it's tough to have these discussions without it becoming a "for or vs. the NDP" diversion.

Unionist, that is exactly what you are doing.  You started by stating you agree with Lewenza for arguing that the HST is not worth the time of progressives, but when that didn't go well, you have tried to switch the goal posts into a fight about the NDP.

Lou, you're supposed to be a moderator - so please, start at the top of the thread, and see where I said anything against the NDP, or even who raised it first. Please show me how I tried to switch those goal posts. You may want to refer to Ken's posts, by the way. I'm serious, Lou. I agree with Lewenza that this is not the right campaign to be waging - unless (my take) we clearly make it about progressive taxation and deal with fundamentals.

Frustrated Mess Frustrated Mess's picture

Because the idea of taxes in itself isn't bad, is no reason for the left to the support a bad tax. The HST is a bad tax. I don't care how you present it. A tax that costs someone on a fixed income the same amount as a billionaire is a bad tax. And tax credits in April do not replace dollars out of your pocket for heating, electricity, telephone, transportation, and basic utilities today. This, once more, represents a shift of the tax burden from corporations to the people who were once citizens and voters and who are now only ever passive consumers. 

It is disturbing that unions and various other so-called "progressive" organizations are supporting this tax. A VAT is a tax for an economy that doesn't produce anything but only consumes. It is a tax for a retail/service economy which is an economy marked by low wages, insufficient hours, few rights, but high debt.

KenS

Moderators get to play in the thick of it too. Not like michelle didn't on a regular basis. Its hard to do both, but if people want to put in the work, they can.

I don't see any need for moderation at the moment, so why shouldn't Lou get in there?

Lou Arab Lou Arab's picture

Unionist wrote:

Lou, you're supposed to be a moderator - so please, start at the top of the thread, and see where I said anything against the NDP, or even who raised it first. Please show me how I tried to switch those goal posts. You may want to refer to Ken's posts, by the way. I'm serious, Lou. I agree with Lewenza that this is not the right campaign to be waging - unless (my take) we clearly make it about progressive taxation and deal with fundamentals.

I am a moderator, and I've been reading this thread very carefully before posting, something I've already caught you very much not doing.  I guess I have to do this again.

For starters, I've never claimed that you made any statements against the NDP, only that you keep trying to move the discussion onto the NDP after it was about the importance or not of the left/labour movement/progressives taking on the HST.

In post #3, you posed the following question:

Quote:

So the question remains: is the anti-HST movement a movement to increase progressive taxation, or is it stoking and feeding off backward anti-tax sentiment?

A good question, BA addressed it in post #5, and I addressed it in post #7.

In post #8, you claimed to not hear me calling on the NDP to address sales taxes more broadly, even though I did just that in post #7. In other words unionist, I agreed with you.

In post #16, Ken agreed with me that the NDP should broaden the frame in which it talks about these issues.

No one, including the NDP partisans on this board, is claiming the NDP should oppose the HST in isolation. I don't disagree with you on that point, and I don't think anyone else in this thread does either.

However, I do disagree with you when you say:

Quote:

What he's saying is that although sales taxes are inherently unfair, this particular HST movement is the wrong struggle for progressive people. And on that point - I fully agree with him.

And that's what I've been trying to debate with you.

The NDP stuff is a sideshow you keep raising.

It's distracting, and it damages your credibility.

You should drop it.

E.Tamaran

Lou TORCHED Unionist's ass. He Torched it! Tongue out

oldgoat

Tamaran, you are jumping into the middle of a very vigourous discussion among a group of people with no small amount of creds in the field with this?  You comment is unhelpful, a unthought out, unneccesarily provacative, and a distraction.  Please refrain.

 

Moderators are allowed to mix it up in debates too.

Lola 101

 

Unionist wrote:

Quote:

 

What he's saying is that although sales taxes are inherently unfair, this particular HST movement is the wrong struggle for progressive people. And on that point - I fully agree with him.

Alongside protecting jobs, a topmost thing in the CAW's mind these days is probably how to topple federal Conservatives while keeping them from provincial power.  Mounting pressure from the left and right against the HST are a serious threat to this goal. Not only does it make the trial baloons on raising the GST  federally nearly impossible, it also makes Premier Tim Hudak in Ontario possible.  

It was interesting that one of the first speakers at the Toronto anti-prorogue rally re-ashed the "ABC" slogan ("Anything But Conservatives").  We're all starting to look to the next elections in Ottawa and Ontario, and progressives are again weighing their options. On one side, NDP populist campaigns see an opportunity to gain seats by riding an anti-tax sentiment.  On the other side, are progressives who care less about NDP seats and more about avoiding Hudak and the gang from taking power.  Sure, the HST makes for a fascinating policy discussion that could go on forever, but one's final opinion is most likely to be shaped by whether you're an NDP-lover or a Conservative-hater.  We know where Lewanza stands on that.  He just happens to be anticipating the debate and getting out ahead of it.

KenS

Maybe you have some inside information, but I don't see where Lewenza generally stands on that divide... if he identifies it at all.

He's saying its THIS policy diff with the NDP, and I do not yet see sufficient reason to read more into than that.

Bookish Agrarian

Lola 101 wrote:

 

Unionist wrote:

 

What he's saying is that although sales taxes are inherently unfair, this particular HST movement is the wrong struggle for progressive people. And on that point - I fully agree with him.

Alongside protecting jobs, a topmost thing in the CAW's mind these days is probably how to topple federal Conservatives while keeping them from provincial power.  Mounting pressure from the left and right against the HST are a serious threat to this goal. Not only does it make the trial baloons on raising the GST  federally nearly impossible, it also makes Premier Tim Hudak in Ontario possible.  

It was interesting that one of the first speakers at the Toronto anti-prorogue rally re-ashed the "ABC" slogan ("Anything But Conservatives").  We're all starting to look to the next elections in Ottawa and Ontario, and progressives are again weighing their options. On one side, NDP populist campaigns see an opportunity to gain seats by riding an anti-tax sentiment.  On the other side, are progressives who care less about NDP seats and more about avoiding Hudak and the gang from taking power.  Sure, the HST makes for a fascinating policy discussion that could go on forever, but one's final opinion is most likely to be shaped by whether you're an NDP-lover or a Conservative-hater.  We know where Lewanza stands on that.  He just happens to be anticipating the debate and getting out ahead of it.

You must live in a different Ontario than I do.  For the most part a Hudak governmen scares me no more or less than a continued McGuinty government.  Enough with the theory have a look what the Liberals have actually done in Ontario over the last number of years.  Sure the rhetoric is kindler and gentler, but on issue after issues the McGuinty Liberals have been a caretaker government of the Harris agenda.

Lola 101

Bookish Agrarian wrote:

For the most part a Hudak governmen scares me no more or less than a continued McGuinty government.  

Time will eventually tell if Ontario's labour movement shares your opinion, or if significant elements adopt a strategic voting stand in 2011.

KenS

As a person who watches closely any hard studies or pollings that break down wh votes for whom, I think its safe to say that we'll never really know how union members vote. Which wont stop anyone from making pronouncements.

And even if its pretty clear that union members vote for the Liberals, there are a number of more compelling pushes towards that than observers perceptions of what they consider to be strategic voting. Because you know [or may in the future know] lots of people who are highly motivated by fear of the reurn of the PCs, does not make it a a broadly operative trend.

Until the ONDP gets a lot more credible, a lot more of everybody- union members included- is going to simply say "I'd rather have the Liberals than the NDP." Period.

Unionist

KenS wrote:

And even if its pretty clear that union members vote for the Liberals, ...

Where?

 

KenS

That would be: if it turns out there is evidence that union members vote more for the Liberals, then ..... [the likely suspects, generally speaking, are/aren't _______]

Bookish Agrarian

Lola 101 wrote:

Bookish Agrarian wrote:

For the most part a Hudak governmen scares me no more or less than a continued McGuinty government.  

Time will eventually tell if Ontario's labour movement shares your opinion, or if significant elements adopt a strategic voting stand in 2011.

Then they will have been giving an anti-working person government a free ride, because McGuinty has done almost nothing different than Harris and Eves did except have nicer rhetoric, where it counts, on real things, not nice speeches, this government has been nothing but a caretaker government for the Harris agenda, so they will be fighting against a boogey man that is already in their house.

George Victor

The Libs, BA, took over from the Cons because enough people could see the province was bankrupting itself with lower tax offerings to all. Just as we now see Steve has been doing up Ottawa way.  The GST would bring in another $12 B annually if he has not used it as a come-on to those who are now going to pay more than the $250 a year saved (average income) just in interest on the debt.

McGuinty is not implementing HST out of some masochistic drive, his back is to the fiscal wall. If he can't show a way out of this mess in two years time, he's gone.

What New Democrats must ask is, where in hell is the loot coming from for our book balancing?

I put it this way because I have not seen much discussion about the collapsing medical care and  long term care for the aged in this province....let alone the probably $40 B needed just to catch up with infrastructure collapse. And what is needed to extend aid for education at both ends of the age spectrum, etc. etc.    

Concerns for "appearances" out there on the hustings should perhaps involve balancing of books. Lewenza is clearly concerned with that because his membership is concerned with it.  You know, the unionized worker!!!!  He has kids to educate and a pension fund to build, and municipal taxes, besides all the others. He is not looking at this except as one who does the math in his head when there is a play from pure theory.

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