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Liberal-NDP Majority Government™ budget (cont'd.)

M. Spector
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Joined: Feb 19 2005

Continued from HERE.


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M. Spector
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Joined: Feb 19 2005

 

Completing the job started by Mike Harris
by Hugh Mackenzie, Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives
March 27th, 2012

Quote:
The crowning irony of Premier Dalton McGuinty’s ninth budget is that it completes the job of cutting government down to size started by the Mike Harris Conservatives in the 1990s.

You won’t find the direct attacks on public services and the people who deliver them that featured so prominently in the Harris budgets, but the result is the same.

This budget virtually abandons the provincial commitment to reduce child poverty by 25% in 2013 — the budget speech doesn’t even bother to talk about the poor other than to say social assistance rates will be frozen. Combine that with a slow-down in planned Ontario Child Benefit increases and there is no way this government can meet its promised target. It doesn’t even address it in this budget.

This budget ignores the child care crisis it created last year, without a single mention of child care funding.

It cuts education and post-secondary education by a total of over $660 million and points to another plan to force more school closures.

And it sets the scene for major labour unrest in 2012.

Just like Mike Harris would have done.

- - - -

Ontario Budget 2012: Duncan chooses path that hurts the poorest Ontarians
by Sheila Block, The Wellesley Institute
March 27, 2012

Quote:

The combination of the social assistance rate freeze, the delayed increase in the Ontario Child Benefit, and reduced access to essential benefits will take $180 million out of the pockets of the poorest Ontarians. These cutbacks in services will have a direct and negative impact on the health of some of Ontario’s most marginalized populations, and all Ontarians have to share the social and economic costs of poor health.

Sharing the costs of austerity fairly doesn’t mean expecting the same contributions from everyone. It means that contributions are based on capacity. The lowest income Ontarians, whose health is most at risk, should not be expected to share equally in solving a deficit problem that was not of their making.


Polunatic2
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Joined: Mar 12 2006

Quote:
Just suppose for a moment that Ontario still had a majority Liberal government and it came out with exactly the budget that was just passed by the Legislature.

Except that the facts show that the minority government DID NOT come out with the same budget that was passed. The ONDP forced some changes and an amended budget was passed. We may not think they went far enough but the Libs would not have proposed the 2% tax on its own. Horwath deserves some credit for that, no? Isn't this what we mean when we say "tax the rich"? Sure, there's more that the rich ought to contribute but considering the times, it's something that can built upon in the future.

A majority government would have likely started out with (and passed) an even worse budget.


Boom Boom
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Could someone refresh my memory and list for me all the changes that Andrea managed to get in return for ONDP support of the Budget (I know it's a short list...).


Polunatic2
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From the ONDP website.

Quote:
Horwath says the NDP brought positive changes to the Budget like a new tax on high income earners and new funding that will save childcare spaces protect healthcare and stabilize industries like horse racing. She also claims credit for stopping further corporate tax cuts and winning support for policies like a Job Creator Tax Credit.


Boom Boom
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Thanks!

 

 

ETA: "...and stabilize industries like horse racing." WTF???


NorthReport
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I like this new ONT NDP Leader. She is showing decisive leadership and stands a good chance of eventually becoming premier Spotlight on NDP difference

HORWATH’S WIN ON TAX FOR SUPER-RICH DRAWS A CLEAR LINE BETWEEN NDP AND SLASH-AND-BURN LIBS

 

http://www.nowtoronto.com/news/story.cfm?content=186394

When provincial NDP leader Andrea Horwath extracted progressive concessions from Ontario’s Liberal premier, Dalton McGuinty, as the price of preserving his government this week, she not only avoided an election but also underlined the very real differences between the two parties.

Horwath has boldly secured a tax on the super-rich, soft-pedalled by the Libs as a surtax, a seemingly radical move supported by the vast majority of Canadians, though only reluctantly by McGuinty.

She’s managed to put the notion of reasonable taxation back in discussion at a time when the Liberals provincially are trying to position themselves as Slash-and-Burn Lite while in fact cutting like the Conservatives federally – except where restrained by the NDP. As Harper’s Conservatives come under fire for outrageously over-budget spending on unnecessary fighter planes, the Liberals simply call for open bids. 

The NDP says forget the weapons of mass budget destruction altogether and use the money for social programs, hospitals and education. Two vastly different approaches for parties too quickly lumped together by progressives.


Boom Boom
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That article sounds awfully partisan to me. If Andrea is such a progressive, why didn't she go all the way and insist that rich tax be put on social programs instead of debt repayment as a condition of ONDP support? I think she's a wimp.


Grandpa_Bill
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Joined: Apr 25 2009

Perhaps everyone here has already seen the response from the USW:

Steelworkers Applaud NDP Improvements to Ontario's Budget

which includes this comment:

"We are proud of Andrea Horwath and the NDP Caucus for insisting on a better budget for everyday Ontarians, and standing up for working families."

 


Life, the unive...
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Boom Boom wrote:

Thanks!

 

 

ETA: "...and stabilize industries like horse racing." WTF???

 

Horse racing, and the breeding and keeping of horses is a major employer in Ontario.  It is also a major source of revenue for cash strapped farmers who provide hay and other feed stuffs.  There is no WTF at all.  


Life, the unive...
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Boom Boom wrote:

That article sounds awfully partisan to me. If Andrea is such a progressive, why didn't she go all the way and insist that rich tax be put on social programs instead of debt repayment as a condition of ONDP support? I think she's a wimp.

 

You get that the ONDP is not the government right?  You can demand all you want, but actually acheiving takes more than a stomp your foot temper tantrum.


Life, the unive...
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Grandpa_Bill wrote:

Perhaps everyone here has already seen the response from the USW:

Steelworkers Applaud NDP Improvements to Ontario's Budget

which includes this comment:

"We are proud of Andrea Horwath and the NDP Caucus for insisting on a better budget for everyday Ontarians, and standing up for working families."

 

Those damn Steelworkers, always the enemy of the working class.


Catchfire
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Joined: Apr 16 2003

Hi Life, the universe, et al., your personal attacks in this thread and the last one need to stop. You don't like criticism of the budget, we get it. But deal with it without insulting your fellow board members. Thanks.


Life, the unive...
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Excuse me?  Where is there a personal attack on anyone in this thread?  There isn't one.  Not one.  I notice you continue to gloss over attacks by those you happen to agree with.  They can call people who disagree with their views any damn thing they want without a single comment.  I was called all kinds of things by several posters long before I responded simply for suggesting that some unionized workers don't fit into peoples fantasies.  And the despite the fact I was involved in my union before I retired from the mine I was still attacked.  Yet crickets.  The old double standard still applies in force on babble.  


Boom Boom
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Life, the universe, everything wrote:

Horse racing, and the breeding and keeping of horses is a major employer in Ontario.  It is also a major source of revenue for cash strapped farmers who provide hay and other feed stuffs.  There is no WTF at all.  

I'm not a fan of horse races, but I'll let that slide. As others have written in these threads, there are a lot of urgent and pressing needs, paying down the debt isn't the most urgent considering the amount to be paid won't make much of a dent.


janfromthebruce
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I think Andrea had a pony in this one - ha ha ha - okay that wasn't so funny but Life is correct about the relaitonship between horse racing and farming.


Catchfire
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Life, the universe and everything wrote:
You can demand all you want, but actually acheiving takes more than a stomp your foot temper tantrum.

Quote:
Grow up, you sound like you are 12 years old.  Although that isn't fair because I know lots of 12 year olds that would provide much more substance.

etc.

I haven't seen anyone attack you, LUE. If I am mistaken, please point me to where it happened and I will do my best to make it right. I do see you repeatedly fall back on these sorts of sneers and insults when you encounter someone who disagrees with you. You have a valuable perspective here on many things (I personally value your contributions on rural issues), but you can't keep up this practice of personal attacks, whether or not you believe it's disproportionately applied.


madmax
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Life, the universe, everything wrote:

Boom Boom wrote:

That article sounds awfully partisan to me. If Andrea is such a progressive, why didn't she go all the way and insist that rich tax be put on social programs instead of debt repayment as a condition of ONDP support? I think she's a wimp.

 

You get that the ONDP is not the government right?  You can demand all you want, but actually acheiving takes more than a stomp your foot temper tantrum.

I agree. Everyone seems to think the 3rd Party can foot stomp their way with demands. That they could take their ball and go home if the Libs didn't agree...like Hudak.. and the Province would be better for it. Good comments Life Universe and Everthing.

Boom Boom
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If the ONDP under Andrea can't make a simple thing like the rich tax be applied to social programs instead of paying down the debt, then they truly don't understand the meaning of "balance of power". And that goes for a few babblers as well, as evidenced by the above comment.


madmax
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janfromthebruce wrote:

I think Andrea had a pony in this one - ha ha ha - okay that wasn't so funny but Life is correct about the relaitonship between horse racing and farming.

A number of things... 60,000 jobs are at stake. IIRC the Industry accepted the Slots because they would be affected when Casinos opened and this was to help compensate for government run Casinos. Casinos provide revenues for programs The HorseRacing association had recently (2011?) signed a long term deal to continue with slots. The government is moving in the direction to privatize casinos and wants the casinos to look more lucrative with less competition. Who knows whats going to happen with the "Charity" in casinos ;) The NDP got an exit package put in for the Horse Racing Association that didn't exist in the budget. This is something that Unions do when a plant is closing... they try to get monies for those affected by the closure. I am sure unions are used to companies not fullfilling their contracts and bailing out. This appears to be what happened to the Horse Racing Industry. They had Revenue sharing ... and now the Liberals prefer the Casinos have full control. Jobs are desperately needed in Ontario. Some people think that Rural Ontario or SW Ontario.. has strong employment.. it doesn't... and this will make things more difficult. The Liberals are making a bad decision... Just because it says "Horse Racing" overlooks the fact its an "industry". I am concerned about the reciprocal effects of this decision... I think it would have been Catastrophic without transition and that this could buy some time until someone in the Liberal government comes to their senses...

M. Spector
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Joined: Feb 19 2005

Polunatic2 wrote:

A majority government would have likely started out with (and passed) an even worse budget.

You may well be right, but it's irrelevant to the point I was making, which was about the hypocrisy of the reaction to this budget as passed. People who are pretending that this budget is a huge victory for social democracy in Ontario would be condemning it as a return to the days of Mike Harris, if it didn't have the grubby fingerprints of the NDP on it.


Doug
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Boom Boom wrote:

If the ONDP under Andrea can't make a simple thing like the rich tax be applied to social programs instead of paying down the debt, then they truly don't understand the meaning of "balance of power". And that goes for a few babblers as well, as evidenced by the above comment.

 

In order to strongly use that balance of power your party has to pose a credible threat of winning a snap election. Being out of gas organizationally and financially, the ONDP doesn't. If Howath can hold on to the public support she's gained through this process and use that to fundraise, this will be a lot more possible next year.


Doug
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Joined: Apr 17 2001

M. Spector wrote:

You may well be right, but it's irrelevant to the point I was making, which was about the hypocrisy of the reaction to this budget as passed. People who are pretending that this budget is a huge victory for social democracy in Ontario would be condemning it as a return to the days of Mike Harris, if it didn't have the grubby fingerprints of the NDP on it.

 

I'm not certain that I would. It isn't quite a Harris budget. It increases taxes and trims rather than slashes spending such that it continues to increase in nominal terms. It's definitely not the kind of budget a progressive finance minister should want to present, but it is probably the kind of budget that he or she would have to present under the circumstances. Public opinion probably wouldn't be receptive to the government just taxing its way out.


RevolutionPlease
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Joined: Oct 15 2007
Catchfire wrote:

Life, the universe and everything wrote:
You can demand all you want, but actually acheiving takes more than a stomp your foot temper tantrum.

Quote:
Grow up, you sound like you are 12 years old.  Although that isn't fair because I know lots of 12 year olds that would provide much more substance.

etc.

I haven't seen anyone attack you, LUE. If I am mistaken, please point me to where it happened and I will do my best to make it right. I do see you repeatedly fall back on these sorts of sneers and insults when you encounter someone who disagrees with you. You have a valuable perspective here on many things (I personally value your contributions on rural issues), but you can't keep up this practice of personal attacks, whether or not you believe it's disproportionately applied.

I can't see how the first quote could be seen as a personal attack when you include the context of what LTUE was replying to. As for the second one, did you look at #95 it quoted and was in reply to. There was a lot wrong from more than LTUE, including other sneers and references to strawmen, without engaging the main point LTUE was trying to make, along with references to "supposed allies" and "apologists". Just saying.

M. Spector
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Joined: Feb 19 2005

Boom Boom wrote:

Could someone refresh my memory and list for me all the changes that Andrea managed to get in return for ONDP support of the Budget (I know it's a short list...).

Apparently the cheerleaders for the Liberal-NDP Majority Government™ budget can't give you that list, but I can:

• The extremely modest tax increase for the super-rich (if you're only making half a million a year, you pay not a penny more in tax), all of which goes to the pet project of neoliberals everywhere - paying down the deficit.

•  The redirection of $275 million in funding for child care and Ontario Disability Support Plan recipients. The money is to be redirected from the education budget and from the money the government is currently spending on generic drugs. Not a penny of new spending is involved in this move.

• A modest, below-cost-of-living increase in welfare rates (= a decrease in real terms), funded entirely by redirecting existing government expenditures on generic drugs. Not a penny of new money is going into this.

• A tiny $20-million transition fund to help rural and northern hospitals, again funded entirely by cutting existing spending elsewhere.

• Some "transitional funding" to help the horse racing industry as it transitions into bankruptcy due to the government's removal of gambling casinos as a source of subsidy. [Horsemen give budget deal a solid "neigh"]

Compared with what was untouched in the budget, this is pretty thin gruel.


Freedom 55
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Joined: Mar 14 2010

Doug wrote:

Boom Boom wrote:

If the ONDP under Andrea can't make a simple thing like the rich tax be applied to social programs instead of paying down the debt, then they truly don't understand the meaning of "balance of power". And that goes for a few babblers as well, as evidenced by the above comment.

 

In order to strongly use that balance of power your party has to pose a credible threat of winning a snap election.

 

I disagree. I don't think one necessarily has to be in a position to win an election in order to have leverage. (Nor do I agree with those who discount the NDP's electoral prospects if they had been willing to fight an election on an anti-austerity platform.) I think it's sufficient to be in a position where you stand to make some gains, and your bargaining partner stands to lose. That's the situation the NDP and Liberals were in before Tuesday's vote.

The NDP may or may not have been able to win an election, but McGuinty almost certainly would have lost, which should have been enough to scare him into making some substantial concessions. Instead, Horwath made it very clear she did not want to fight an election, and was prepared to strike a deal for even the most modest of changes. McGuinty saw he had the upper-hand - not because of the situation, but because of Horwath's reluctance to trigger an election, so he felt emboldened to dictate the terms any agreement to her, when it was Horwath who held the balance of power and should have been telling him what he needed to do to keep his government alive.


M. Spector
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Doug wrote:

In order to strongly use that balance of power your party has to pose a credible threat of winning a snap election.

No you don't. Just the threat of having an election is enough to send some people into paroxysms of terror, as we have seen recently.

If you have a governing minority party that doesn't have a particularly big war chest to fight another election, they might well be reluctant to call the third party's bluff over forcing an election (it's not a "snap" election, by the way), even if they are confident of being re-elected.

But on top of that, you have the "credible threat" of the Conservatives, who certainly would have a chance at unseating the government, even if the NDP failed to do so.

Don't think McGuilty wouldn't shit his pants if he thought the NDP couldn't be brought onside.

[cross-posted with Freedom 55 with whom I agree on this.]


M. Spector
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Doug wrote:

It's definitely not the kind of budget a progressive finance minister should want to present...

Thank you. My point exactly.

But you'd never know it from the applause it's getting from the cheap seats.


Freedom 55
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RevolutionPlease wrote:

I can't see how the first quote could be seen as a personal attack when you include the context of what LTUE was replying to. As for the second one, did you look at #95 it quoted and was in reply to. There was a lot wrong from more than LTUE, including other sneers and references to strawmen, without engaging the main point LTUE was trying to make, along with references to "supposed allies" and "apologists". Just saying.

 

If you've been following these threads there's been a consistent effort by some of the this budget's apologists to potray its critics as expecting that the NDP should have been able to completely re-write the budget, and that anything short of that was a sell-out. That's not my position, nor have I noticed anyone else making that argument. Yet it keeps coming up. That's what makes it a strawperson argument. And when I pointed-out the fact that no one was making those claims, it was called "BS". So yeah, I stand by my claim that LTUE was lying about my position.

I'm not sure what you find objectionable about "supposed allies" and "apologists".

With regard to the "temper tantrum" comment, there's been a history of LTUE using infantilizing personal attacks against people with whom s/he disagrees. That's not cool when it's directed against anyone, but I find it especially offensive that the last few have been directed at people with disabilities.


Fidel
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Joined: Apr 29 2004

This has turned into a conspiracy theory thread. And it goes that the NDP with all their power of third party status in the legislature has conspired to deny the creation of socialism in one bankrupt province run by two Bay Street parties since forever and day. And if they prop-up the Liberals now, well, then, it's the exact same thing occurring now as when the federal Liberals in official opposition propped-up the Harpers not once but dozens and dozens of times from 2006 to their utlimate demise by 2011. Point noted, but repeating this over and over still doesn't make it true. Sorry.

We think the warnings are useful, but let's also refrain from hyperbole and exaggeration in order to make a point. It's one budget. And we should at least make an effort to describe the real consequences for an official opposition Tory party slithering up the middle in the event of a snap election call for short-term Bay Street gain. Let's analyze that to death, shall we?

Ontario Downgraded to Aa2 on Growing Debt Burden, Moody's Says

Socialism in one bankrupt province is surely a noble and worthy goal.

On the other hand, observe what the neoliberal setup is attempting to do to Greece and some other countries. We could experience an even larger outmigration of young people from Ontario as a result of neoliberalism similar to what they've pulled in Iceland and Greece, Latvia, Slovakia etc. They do have their sights set on bigger prizes than those countries, too. They don't conquer countries with standing armies so much anymore. Today they are attempting to achieve the exact same result by marauding international capital.

 


NDPP
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Joined: Dec 27 2008

and that is PRECISELY the reason we need truly progressive representatives to not fold up like a cheap suit when the banksters snarl..


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