Wednesday, April 02, 2008

DTK: Flaherty and McGuinty

It’s getting difficult to see any value in our federal government these days.

They’re in Afghanistan and don’t want to leave. They throw up a veneer of “patriotism” to cover the mayhem and misery they’re using our military to create. They certainly appear to have committed war crimes in the handing over of prisoners to Afghan authorities who are – quite clearly – not signatories to the Geneva conventions.

They walk in lock step with the Bush administration: denouncing elected governments that we don’t like (and damn democracy to hell when it gives the “wrong” results).

Now they want to follow American-style super-destructive Bush economics. Namely this: reduce corporate taxes. The goal of reducing corporate taxes is to starve the government of cash so that it can’t provide services for the people. A government high in debt is at the mercy of the banks. A government high in debt can’t take care of its people. The people gradually learn to expect less and less and eventually the rich people can encourage more and more tax breaks until our entire social system falls apart. Once they make your schools and hospitals suck, they can shrug and say, “See, we might as well privatize them!”

Of course, that’s not how they sell it. They sell corporate tax breaks as a way to improve things. Don’t worry, they’ll say, we’re just lowering services like health care and education *temporarily*. After a little austerity, these corporate tax breaks will stimulate the economy like crazy and there will be so much money going around that even the reduced tax rates will yield oodles of money for everything!

This is a lie. It is a lie for which there is no evidence, not even circumstantial. It is a lie which they repeat, and the media echoes, until everyone sighs and believes it.

Well, not quite everyone.

The federal finance minister, in what I have to imagine is a very unique and rude kind of meddling, “challenged” the province of Ontario to lower its corporate tax rate, lest Ontario become a “have not” province. And, yea, we were quaking in our boots.

The Liberals didn’t budge. Yes, they said, we’re in a slowdown and we’re losing manufacturing jobs. So what we’ll do is increase spending on education, “re-skill” the laid off workers with grant money, and get things started again. The only problem with this sort of plan – educating people – is that it actually works. It will form a good example for other provinces to emulate.

And let me tell you something about the neo-conservatives in the White House and in the Canadian Conservative Party – they absolutely *hate* people setting good examples. That’s why they went so hard after Venezuela. That’s why we (with the French and Americans) invaded Haiti and overthrew its democratic government. That’s why the socialist government in Nicaragua was declared a terrorist regime and then terrorized by the Reagan Administration in to destruction.

These people *hate* good examples. Look for them to bring the hammer down on Ontario in any way they can.

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