Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Harper’s “dumb” only serves to mask his inherent deceit

Today we have Jeffrey Simpson of the Globe and Mail opining that the following Stephen Harper pronouncement at the G8 summit is “one of the most stunning, revealing and, frankly, ignorant statements ever made by a prime minister”:

“You know, there's two schools in economics on this. One is that there are some good taxes and the other is that no taxes are good taxes. I'm in the latter category. I don't believe that any taxes are good taxes.” (Stephen Harper)

I made a similar observation myself yesterday on this same quote, and mused that Harper must be losing faith in his 31.5% tax on income trusts to be implemented in 2011 that destroyed $35 billion in Canadians retirement savings and which was premised on Harper’s blatant falsehood that income trusts cause tax leakage.

That said, I have to disagree with Jeffrey Simpson’s conclusion on a number of fronts.

First, this is not the most superlative ”dumb” thing that Stephen Harper has ever said. In my opinion, the single “dumbest” thing that Stephen Harper has said would be the following statement of September 15, 2008 in the midst of the 2008 election:

"If we were going to have some kind of big crash or recession, we probably would have had it by now.” That absurd statement was made just before the Globe and Mail endorsed Harper for Prime Minister in the last election, as if papers should be endorsing candidates in the first place?

Such a patently absurd comment is like the Pilot of Air France Flight 447 comforting his passengers mid-flight with the false assurance that: “This is your captain speaking. We have entered some severe turbulence. If we were going to have some kind of big crash or system malfunction, we probably would have had it by now.”

Harper’s pivotal false reassurance of the 2008 election even ranks ahead of this Stephen Harper false (as it turned out) assurance of the 2006 election:

“When Ralph Goodale tried to tax Income Trusts they showed us where they stood, they showed us their attitude towards raiding Seniors hard earned assets and a Conservative government will never allow either of these parties to get away with that.”

Second, I find it interesting that Jeffrey Simpson of the Globe, whose paper endorsed Stephen Harper for Prime Minister in the last two elections, would fixate on this comment of Harper’s from the recent G8 summit as if it were some epiphany about the Globe’s endorsed candidate. After all, Stephen Harper has made this “ all taxes are bad taxes” argument before, or does the Globe not perform research on the articles they write on things like tax leakage or the candidates they endorse? Evidently not, as this very comment was made by Harper in 2004 in which he stated on CTV News “ “I believe that all taxes are bad.” (Source Wikiquote).

Third, what Jeffrey Simpson fails to reveal in his analysis of Harpers comment of “ all taxes are bad” is that this is not an ideological view that Stephen Harper holds, as much as it is a means to deceive the voting public by espousing positions that resonate with the common man, and which are abandoned at whim when it comes time to actually implement policy by merely citing that “circumstances have changed”.

“Deceit” not “dumb”, is the most insightful revelation that is common to all of the above quotes from Stephen Harper and not the conclusion that Jeffrey Simpson gets diverted on about the virtues of one economic policy versus another. Virtually all of Stephen Harpers comments contain an element of deceit. This past week we observed Harper’s inherent deceit in action on several fronts. Harper claiming that he “consumed” the wafer at LeBlanc’s funeral, when clearly he did not, Ignatieff being vilified in the most partisan of ways on the world stage by Harper for things Ignatieff never said, and this absurd pandering comment of “all taxes are bad taxes”, from the very person who implemented the double taxation of retirement savings at a combined tax rate of 62% commencing in the year 2011. meaning it’s not too late to reverse that “bad” tax.

Deceit, not dumb is the greater revelation that is common to most all of what Stephen Harper has to say, as the man himself is inherently deceitful. His ideological pronouncements are nothing more than false assurances with a short shelf life. Borne of the moment, with no enduring properties or underlying principles to validate their existence in the first place. That is the revelation contained in this Stephen Harper quote that seems to be lost on Jeffrey Simpson.

In that respect, Stephen Harper is not much different that the Globe and Mail itself, who gleefully advanced Harper’s patent lie that income trusts cause tax leakage in a litany of slanted and commercially biased news articles over the past two and half years.

The only persons who can be accused of being dumb, are the readers of the Globe, who prove Mark Twain’s maxim to be true on a daily basis,

“If you don't read the Globe you are uninformed, if you do read the Globe you are misinformed.”

I have as much respect for Stephen Harper as I do for the journalistic integrity of the Globe and Mail. Both employ the tactic of “dumb” to mask their inherent deceit and hidden commercial agenda.


Kephalos said...

Exactly! We're being played the fools by a dramatic motif that WWF wrestling uses. Here goes:

Tough Nuts Harper, the battered defender of the little guy has to crawl into the ring to take on Big Es Simpson of Glowing Tale. That Big Es has got it all wrong, and is saying those nasty things about Harper because he's really a Liberal with undeclared sexual preferences.

Whup his ass Tough Nuts!!!

Ha! Ha! Ha!

Dr Mike said...

This all stems from the other Harper adage 'If you say it often enough , even a falsehood will seem true".

Harper & his crew are masters of the sleight of hand as we found out with the trust tax---they had the people eating out of their hand both before the election & the day after the Halloween tax of 2006.

"We will protect you at all cost from the loathsome Liberals" during the election of 2006.

"We will protect you from those greedy old farts who want to rob the country blind" , Nov 1 2006--we give you Tax Fairness--we are your saviours--here is some income splitting---you may now kiss out coat-tails--& everyone did.

O course this would not have succeeded without the help of MPs of all parties who refuse to do the required homework.

Of course this would not have succeeded without the complicit action & inaction of the media.

Of course this would not have succeeded without the help of the people on the street who will believe even a falsehood if said often enough.

Dr Mike

PS---I seem to sound a little pissed-off still---I think I need to take a pill or hit the course for a quick 18.

Bruce Benson said...

Brent you as always you are right on the mark. I am wondering how long it will take the average Joe Canadian to figure it out that Harper and his crew have practiced and perfected the art of deceit. That said, since memories are short, every Harper lie is new and what is a little white lie now and then. Nothing serious but when dumb ass Canadians finally figure out the depths of debt we are in it will be too late. The damage will have already been done. What will happen with Harper notion of all taxes are bad. Taxes will be sky high. Remember Mulroney!

Anonymous said...

The Globe's long decline into irrelevance seems to have speeded up since Eddie Greenspon's departure.

The Globe & Mail: Where investigative journalism is an oxymoron.