Wednesday, August 4, 2010

David Cameron May be a Neoconservative But He's Not an Idiot

The Toronto Star has published a column by Washington Post's E.J. Dionne: Politics of stupidity saps U.S. power

In it Dionne discusses the new British prime minister's latest budget which includes massive spending cuts, but rather than follow the old neocon insanity of cutting costs, while providing tax cuts for the rich, he is raising consumption taxes.

A conservative raising taxes? Grover Norquist must be having a nervous breakdown.
Can a nation remain a superpower if its internal politics are incorrigibly stupid? Start with taxes. In every other serious democracy, conservative political parties feel at least some obligation to match their tax policies with their spending plans. David Cameron, the new Conservative prime minister in Britain, is a leading example.

He recently offered a brutal budget that includes severe cutbacks. I have doubts about some of them, but at least Cameron cared enough about reducing his country’s deficit that alongside the cuts, he also proposed an increase in the value-added tax from 17.5 per cent to 20 per cent. Imagine: a fiscal conservative who really is a fiscal conservative. That could never happen in America because the fairy tale of supply-side economics insists that taxes are always too high, especially on the rich.

Dionne believes that the Democrats should make raising taxes on the wealthy an election issue. I agree. And we must do the same thing here.

While Stockwell Day is huffing and puffing about cuts, we wonder if Guy Giorno is suggesting that he do what he had Mike Harris do to reduce spending, which was massive layoffs in the civil service and drastic cuts to services for the most vulnerable.

The wealthy in Ontario did very well under Harris. The poor not so much.

But this is what we need to make an election issue. Harper is promoting austerity, and yet:

2 million for a "fake lake".

1.3 billion for security at the G-20 to target the media and advocacy groups, while telling the police to leave vandals alone to do their job.

16 billion for new jets.

125 billion bank bailout so they can give their execs 8 billion in bonuses.

25 billion ad blitz to sell us on their new census decision

Massive increase in Harper's communication budget, which is rich because he doesn't communicate.

45 million for signs

5 million for self-promotion TV ads during the Olympics

Millions to sell bogus Canada Action Plan where stimulus went to ridiculous projects including the opening of a circus school (Harper's fall back career)

And yet they are carrying through with a 6 billion dollar tax cut to the wealthy, while telling our veterans to take a hike.

They are making this almost too easy.

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