Don't fall for Trudeau's Occupy rhetoric
Liberal Party leader, Justin Trudeau makes an announcement regarding the 2014 economic update during a press conference in Vancouver, British Columbia November 12, 2014. (REUTERS/Ben Nelms)
Justin Trudeau is hoping to steal from Barack Obama's playbook as we head towards the 2015 election.
Missed in all the chatter of Stephen Harper and the Conservatives looking to win next year's vote with tax breaks for families is Trudeau's telegraphing of his own plans. Reacting to the fall fiscal update released this week by Finance Minister Joe Oliver, Trudeau attacked the projected surplus and promised tax cuts as unfair.
"The fact of the matter is this particular fiscal update highlights that this government is more worried about getting re-elected than about fairness," Trudeau said when asked about the Conservative tax cuts.
Pressed on what a Liberal government would offer voters in the face of Conservative tax cuts and the NDP promise of a national, affordable daycare system, Trudeau offered no specifics, he just returned to his theme of fairness.
"Today we’re seeing very clearly that this government no longer cares about fairness," the Liberal leader added.
Trudeau's words and his demeanour reminded me of the Occupy Wall Street rhetoric employed so successfully by Obama during the 2012 U.S. presidential election to claim the rich weren't paying their fair share.
It wasn't true in the U.S. and it isn't true in Canada, but facts don't matter in the face of an emotional argument.
In 2011 the top 1% of Canadian income earners took home 10.6% of all declared income but paid 20.8% of all federal and provincial or territorial income taxes. In 2010 the top 10% of income earners paid 54.8%.
But to Trudeau any income tax cut that doesn't target the bottom end, already paying very little in the way of the total income tax bill, isn't fair.
It's clear from his statements this week that Trudeau plans on running on the Occupy Wall Street rhetoric that helped Obama as well as running against the Conservative tax cuts which will help every single small business and family with kids under 18.
Speaking on my TV program Byline Wednesday night, former Liberal strategist Warren Kinsella said Trudeau is clearly mapping out Liberal policies and future attack ads along Occupy and class-warfare lines.
"The Occupy message, that message, talking about the 1% vs. the 99% has been the most powerful message that has been seen in progressive politics since the New Deal," Kinsella said.
Kinsella went on to say that Trudeau will portray the tax cuts announced by Harper as aimed at people who don't need it or deserve it.
Part of the progressive mentality is that your money is never really your money if government can use it.
Speaking on CBC's Power and Politics, longtime Liberal MP and Trudeau confidant Ralph Goodale called the Harper tax cuts, like income splitting, a waste.
"You don't, with all due respect, waste $2 billion every year on a tax break that goes exclusively to 15% of Canadians and in particular the most wealthy," Goodale fumed.
See how he phrased that -- a tax break is a waste of money. That is progressive Liberal logic.
This 15% line is a joke as well. As I told the late Jim Flaherty when he tried selling me this garbage about income splitting only helping the wealthy, it would have greatly helped my family when I was raising four kids and making less than $50,000, the only income we had. Every little bit helps, every tax cut helps. But Liberals aren't about tax cuts anymore. They were for a bit, but now they are back to their big-spending ways.
The next election is a choice between a party that thinks you are best at running your life and a party that thinks the government is best at running your life.
Know the facts, know where you stand and don't fall for the Occupy rhetoric.