Tag Archives: Harper Sales Tax

Harper Sales Tax (HST) Summed Up Nicely

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I was reading the letters to the editor in the Toronto Star this morning and one Dan Skrobot of Toronto succinctly and perfectly described the Harper Sales Tax [square bracket additions are mine]:

Isn’t the HST just more Conservative downloading?  Mike Harris still haunts us, but this time with the protege Jim Flaherty pulling the strings of a desperate Ontario government.  The lesson here is who gets what in this deal, and why all the pieces in the Conservative puzzle are starting to fit into place.  Harper and Flaherty first decide to buy our votes with a GST cut [of which we got no benefit except an unprecedented deficit], then a home reno tax cut [which has only served the purpose of people who can afford renovations], and billions more in stimulus spending to the point of no return in structural deficits [which has somehow translated to the largest marketing campaign for a government ever seen on this planet].  The only answer is to increase taxes, but if tax cuts equal votes, then the reverse doesn’t fir their master plan, so they turn to struggling provinces to raise the tax for them.  Harris-style mismanagement of our finances, plus a desperate Ontario willing to accept a bribe ($4.5 billion) to raise taxes means lower provincial transfers down the road, leaving more for the Conservatives to clean up their fiscal mess or buy more votes.  The brilliant part is that Harper’s ethically challenged party will be rewarded and Dalton McGuinty’s patsies will be sent packing.

I’ve said all along that the provinces should avoid anything that the Cons offer to them to make the HST work.  Why?  Because you simply can’t trust a Con that offers money.  It’s not in their DNA to give money, but to take away.

I’ve also said many times that the Harper Sales Tax will create tectonic rifts between all Liberals in the country, particularly in BC and Ontario, as they wrestle with the conundrum of rapidly rising deficits and short-term monetary offers to do the evil work of the Harper Regime.

Exploring the Strategy Behind the Harper Sales Tax

The HST, or Harper Sales Tax (OK … Harmonized Sales Tax) will punish a lot of folks, but no group will be hurt more than the BC and Ontario Liberals.

On the surface, they’re being told it’s a good thing.  The Cons have given the veneer of entering discussions with the provincial leaders in good faith and on a non-partisan basis.  They’re even offering financial incentives to ease the transition.

I smell a plot.

I mean, when the Cons at the provincial level won’t touch this with a 100-foot pole, why should anyone?  If I were running the Ontario government (which, thank god, I’m not) I’d be running for the hills!

Let’s strip it down:

  • Harper won his first whiff of power by promising two things:  an investigation into the Liberal Sponsorship Scandal (frighteningly similar to the eHealth scandal with McGuinty) and the reduction of the GST by 2 full points to 5% (with lots of grandstanding and promises of reduction in cost of living).
  • Since then, Harper’s come through on his promise, but we all know he’d like to reduce taxes more, especially the cursed GST, given that he’s an anarchist and libertarian that doesn’t want any government at all in our lives.
  • However, once you reduce it from 5% to a lower level, you might as well ditch it.
  • Harper won’t do that because the corporate world wouldn’t be able to hide the decrease in unchanged prices (I mean, did anyone really enjoy the full benefits of saving $0.02 on an ice cream cone or other mundane daily purchases?).  They would actually have to decrease prices.
  • Instead, he needs a bigger base to hack away at, which would ultimately be the HST.
  • He’s now got 13% to play with instead of a mere 7.
  • Ontario and BC will be hosed royally and will be told they’re out of luck once the transfer of sales tax power is surrendered.

I’m not going to deny that exporters need every iota of support they can get in today’s world, but this will not help the Ontario government support its infrastructure in the long run.  When they’re tax revenue is slashed by the Federal Cons, they will have no choice but to slash their budgets as well.

We will then get the Harris years by proxy.

What do you think?  Am I being a little too suspicious?  Do we have evidence that this will be done without harm to the politicians at the provincial level?