You Just Don’t Get It, Do You?

The Editorial Board of the Vancouver Sun loves the Campbell Liberals, loves the HST and loves the Fraser Institute (the Editorial Page editor is a former Institute employee).  How else to explain the Sun’s decision to reprint a mind numbing op-ed in support of the HST from lock step toady analyst Niels Veldhuis?

The Fraser Institute piece first saw the light of day as a Sun editorial blog June 10th.  It was an invaluable repetition of the Campbell talking points…. ” business will pass the tax benefits on to consumers, blah, blah, blah…” “Jack Mintz, yada, yada, yada” “more business investment, more jobs, less truth etc…”.

Basically, it was an airhead piece chock full of the under-researched theoretical arguments as dictated by the Premier’s minions over at the Public Affairs Bureau.  In fact, it’s so similar to the government’s thoughtfully placed op-eds I’m now wondering if it was written at PAB.  Whatever.

The good news is that nobody seemed to read it, at least judging by the complete lack of on-line comments.  Colin Hansen didn’t even bother to sign in under a fake name to boost his cred, something along the lines of  “Brilliant analysis Niels.  My heart goes out to Minister Hansen and his steadfast dedication to doing the right thing in the face of all the lies and innuendo.  I believe the minister when he says he really never did make an election promise not to implement the HST.  That’s just another anti-HST Vander Zalm distortion.”

Maybe the lack of readers for the original blog post prompted a call to the editor.  I can just hear the conversation… “You know we can’t run an advertising campaign.  Godammed Neufeld.  We’re getting killed and we need you to get this out.  We need better placement.  I don’t care how many times they see it.  Do it.  Now.  Please.”

How else to explain the Sun’s decision to re-run the piece today?  But then again maybe the Sun is venturing into the world of Second Life.  You know, the virtual world where you get to live out your fantasies without any interference from reality.  In Second Life they really like the HST, they really do.

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8 Responses to You Just Don’t Get It, Do You?

  1. Dean Pelkey says:

    This blog post is a typical example of left-wingers tendency to resort to insults and snide comments instead of trying to debate ideas they disagree with.
    So what do you say to the fact that the left-wing Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives (CCPA) published a study which analyzed the impact of the HST in Ontario and found that “families in a wide range of incomes ($30,000-$90,000) should be better off on average by less than $80 or worse off by less than $65 per year… which amounts to a wash,” and that “the average ‘poor’ family will be better off by $202 on a net basis.”
    The reason: Ontario also introduced offsetting personal income tax reductions and a new HST credit.
    BC has done the same, resulting in British Columbia’s taxes becoming slightly more progressive as a result of the HST and offsetting tax reductions.
    One would think that a more progressive tax system is something groups like the BC Federation of Labour and the BC NDP would be cheering. However, both have come out against the HST.

  2. RossK says:

    “How else to explain the Sun’s decision to re-run the piece today?”


    Propaganda…..Meet catapault.


  3. Norm Farrell says:

    The eleven page report posted on the Fraser Institute’s website is so poorly produced that I would have been embarrassed to put my name on it for an undergrad economics course. With due respect to the Zalm for being a catalyst on the initiative, I doubt a newspaper report of his comments has ever before been used as a reference to a paper on tax policy.

    The Vancouver Sun and lazy mainstream reporters may be the only ones left who regard the Fraser Institute as a source of anything worthwhile.

  4. Ian says:

    I think you missed the point of the comment. None of the arguments you made were made in the op-ed, which had already been published a week earlier. The point of my post is that it’s typical of this paper to publish the same op ed that repeats old arguments already made several times by government officials twice within ten days.

    And just for your information Ontario and BC have implemented the HST far differently. Ontario provides large payments back to taxpayers, utilizing the federal money to pay for it, plus new income tax breaks. The CCPA study on Ontario is based on that model.

    BC provides few rebates and is, as former finance minister Carole Taylor puts it, a tax shift from business to consumers. As I’m sure you’ll appreciate, the tax cannot be revenue neutral to government as well as an equal benefit to business and consumers, unless you believe in magic.

    I checked to ensure my memory was not faulty. No new tax reductions were introduced at the same time or after the HST in BC. I believe you are thinking about the tax break that was introduced in November 2008 to argue that new reductions were introduced to offset the HST in BC. Do you have special knowledge that the HST was planned as early as November 2008 and those tax breaks were intended as offsets for the HST? Or are you spinning that it should all be mushed together and treated as an offset even though it isn’t?

  5. RossK says:

    Mr. Pelkey’s comment above is a typical example wingnut welfare queen’s tendency to flout false equivalencies to ‘support’ their position whenever possible.

    Specifically, in this case the fact that those offsets were put in place in November 2008 clearly demonstrates that it was possible for the BC Liberal Government to minimally ameliorate their previously invoked anti-progressive tax cuts WITHOUT the need for an HST given that the latter was not announced until May 2009.


  6. Norm Farrell says:

    One other thing. The official Campbell Liberal position is that HST never loomed as a possibility until the day following the election (sure!) so the 2008 tax measure certainly cannot be connected to the 2009 HST decision. Come on lads. You cannot have it both ways and claim that truth is always on your side.

    Maybe Dean Pelkey would like to dispute the first paragraph of Ian’s commentary. He couldn’t do that and keep a straight face.

  7. RossK says:


    Did Mr. Pelkey just move on down the road (as, apparently, cadillac-driving welfare queens are known to do) when faced with actual fact-based pushback from informed folks that will not put-up with baseless talking point-based ad hominems?


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