We have seen Iggy, the Liberal carpetbagger, and Andrew Gill campaigning together in Niagara, trying out their talking points. Carmen Chai examines some of this Liberal rhetoric in "The Gritty Reality":
"On Monday, Liberal leader Michael Ignatieff accused the Conservatives of being the highest-spending, most wasteful government in history, referring to a list of expenses from stealth fighter jets to the G8/G20 summits last summer. How thrifty were the Liberals when they called the shots?
- Corporate tax cuts
Ignatieff says the Conservatives' cuts to corporate taxes will drain the government of billions in annual revenue.
The current corporate tax rate fell to 16.5 per cent, effective Jan. 1, 2011. The Liberals would raise it back to 18 per cent, last year's level. Based on their calculations, that would generate $6 billion annually.
Under Jean Chretien's Liberal government from 1993 to 2003, the corporate tax rate sat at 28 per cent. By 2003, the Liberals had brought those tax rates down to about 23 per cent.
The Canada Revenue Agency says tax rates were 19.5 per cent in 2008 under Prime Minister Stephen Harper and slowly decreased. The Tories have said corporate tax rates will be reduced to 15 per cent by 2012; the Liberals say they will not do this.
But Stephane Dion, who led the federal Liberals' 2008 campaign, pledged to cut corporate taxes below the 18.5 per cent rate that the Conservatives proposed.
Dion argued that lower corporate tax rates were "powerful" weapons in helping with investing, and job creation.
- The cost of international summits
Ignatieff points to the $1-billion price tag for 72 hours of G8/G20 meetings last summer and says he would have held both summits in the Huntsville, Ont., region and saved millions.
Officials decided the region couldn't house world delegates and international media. So the G20 summit, in Toronto, ended up costing $679 million. About $574.6 million was spent on security.
Canada shelled out a lot more, however, than other countries that have hosted similar summits. The 2009 G20 summit, for example, set the United Kingdom back $20 million, with another $28.6 million spent on security, according to research out of the University of Toronto.
In a July 2010 report, the U of T researchers say that between $129 million and $200 million was spent on Canada's 2002 G8 summit in Kananaskis, Alta.
- Fighter jets
Ignatieff says the Liberals would cancel a contract for 65 F-35 stealth fighter jets, instead spending $16 billion on health care.
Costs of the program vary widely, with the parliamentary budget officer using a figure closer to $30 billion for the jets.
The Tories, however, say the deal not only helps the Canadian Forces, but contributes to the economy. Joining the U.S.-led Joint Strike Fighter program has provided Canadian companies with access to $12 billion in potential work over a 40-year period, they argue.
The Liberals significantly scaled back military spending in the 1990s to balance the books, but the decision angered U.S. officials who complained that Canada wasn't doing enough to help fight terrorism and protect North America.
- Government spending
Ignatieff says the government is out of control, because federal spending under Stephen Harper grew by 18 per cent in his first three years as prime minister.
Government reports on fiscal spending show that expenses under the Harper government jumped from $222.2 billion in the 2006-07 year to $274.2 billion in 2009-10 — an 18.9 per cent increase. During Jean Chretien's first three years as prime minister, spending rose a modest 2.39 per cent, from $162.4 billion in 1992-93 to $170.2 billion in 1995-96. In 1996-1997, expenses were slashed to $158.6 billion from $170.2 billion the fiscal year before.
- PMO spending
The Liberals point to an "explosion" in ministers' and the prime minister's office budgets under Harper.
The annual cost of Harper's office was nearly $10 million in 2009-2010, a 30 per cent jump over the previous two years. In 2009-10, the cost to run Harper's office was $9.89 million — compared to 8.1 million the previous year and $7.5 million in 2007-08. Documents tabled in Parliament show the entire Conservative cabinet's costs had increased by 16 per cent since 2007-08, when records of such expenses were first documented.
However, figures on government spending when the Liberals were in power aren't published, so there's no point of comparison. It was the Tories' accountability legislation that made it possible to track office spending."
Furthermore, it is really difficult to believe Iggy's sudden claim that he won't pursue a coalition in the future. That's an utter crock. With Ipsos putting the Conservatives at 43% support, the Grits 24% and the socialists at 16%, Iggy's best chance of power is through a coalition!
The Liberal and NDP pre-election charade will be to pretend that they are out to "win" an election as 'independent' parties; the reality is that with their existing combined 24%+16%, they are simply running to win a coalition, to take over government!!! [There's' your "Red Door" BACK DOOR analogy right back in yer face, Iggula]
The Cobblitionists' combined 40% vs. the Conservatives 43% makes Iggy's timing of this election call understandable - these are competitive numbers for them when seen this way: the upside is that the Libs could obtain a minority, being supported by Dippers (yeah, yeah, Ole Layton the "King Maker"...) and a separatist or two. So, that's the upside for Iggy, for pretending there is "no coalition"! The downside for Iggy is that the Conservatives obtain another minority, causing Iggy to do the whole Stephane Dion thing all over again - with Layton and a separatist or two!!
At that time, Iggy'll conveniently come up with a new nuance rationalizing his newly-changed-stance. Iggy'll tell us that a coalition, will... ahem... become 'a necessity', y'see, to 'save Canada from Harper' (or some such drivel) and that 'although we thought and said differently in March of 2011, in May 2011, things have changed, and so, we are 'forced' to enter into this coalition'... blah... blah...blah... y'see, how easy it will be for Iggy to do this?
The losers can get a win-win ! It's just that for the time being - until the election is over! - Iggy's gotta pretend that there's NO coalition! This would simply be a redux of Dion's 2008 gambit. The thing Layton and Iggy have learned this time around is to keep Duceppe out of it as long as possible.
We've seen a lot of Liberal liars; Iggy won't be the last to say one thing and do another,
We had the lying scumbag Dalton Pinocchio McGuinty in Ontario, with his 'I won't raise taxes' bald faced lies. Slimy Chretien with his GST lies and his free trade lies. Trudeau with his wage and price control lies. Even Stephane Dion was telling Canadians during the 2008 election that they couldn't have a coalition with the NDP; then, right after the election, lo and behold, Canadians found out the opposition had been contemplating coalition alliances as far back as the summer of 2008.
Trusting Ignatieff is just a waste of time. If Iggy and Layton want to merge their parties, and run under such a banner, then fine; but to carry on this subterfuge of under-the-table alliances and shared-but-not-spoken interests while also pretending to be running as 'independents', is a charade.
An honest Iggy would have said - correctly - that the coalition option is always there in our parliamentary system (at a political price, though...); and that, he would consider it if conditions warranted it. (...and Dion's conditions included the Bloc...)
But, for Iggy to now outright deny any coalition, thereby boxing himself in after the election, is patently idiotic, and truly unbelievable, deservedly leaving Iggy open to yet more flip-flop-liar ridicule down the road.
This all shows that professor Ignatieff is not ready for prime-time and is in way over his head; his theoretical Liberalism doesn't resonate. The only way for Canada to move forward is with a Conservative majority, not another costly minority fiasco-in-the-making. This would give us stability, and pave the way for the necessary political housecleaning that obviously needs to happen in our federal dysfunctional parties.
The Liberals, under professor Ignatieff's tutelage, clearly still have not truly understood their post-Chretien lessons. The Libs 'time-for-reflection-in-the-political-wilderness' has not yielded any new-found purpose nor promise.
Ignatieff''s tiresome, sneerful bromides can't - and won't - lead this country.