I'm too polite to use it, but I'm sure you know what I mean. Harper was wearing this grin while appearing on FOX News today. What a performance! No, that's not a good review. That's a small expression of my incredulity after watching the show.
The host, Chris Wallace, who I know is touted as being a top rate journalist, lobbed the PM precisely the kind of questions you'd expect on Conservative network. Truth be known, he was probably disappointed by Harper's responses with respect to Obama. Harper didn't praise the President as he does at home, (telling you how phony that is), but nor did he condemn Obama for his stimulus package as I'm sure Wallace hoped he would.
However, to hear Harper talk about Canada, well, let's just say that the man has a story and it's certainly not based in truth.
He began by climbing down from his comment on Afghanistan and 'never beating the insurgency'. He was put on the spot of course because Obama has just said that they will go after the insurgency and defeat them.
After the backpedaling on that issue, he was on to the economy and for a man that didn't wake up to the situation in Canada until he was forced to, well you'd swear he'd lived on another planet for the past year.
WALLACE: You were the last industrial nation to go into recession, and one of the great joys of this job is you study up on things, and I learned that, in fact, in 2007, you started cutting taxes, and your corporate tax rate is 10 points lower than it is here in the U.S. Am I correct in that, sir? HARPER: I -- I forget what the relevant American rate is, but I can tell you that our goal is to have a combined federal-provincial corporate tax rate of no more than 25 percent. We’re on target to do that by 2012.
We will have significantly -- by a significant margin the lowest corporate tax rates in the G-7, and that’s our -- our government’s objective.
WALLACE: Do you believe that’s better for the economy than President Obama’s plan to raise taxes on the wealthy and some businesses?
HARPER: Well, I’m not going to be drawn in, Chris, as you can imagine, to commenting on American domestic policy. Let me just say that the United States has a significantly different problem than Canada, which is even before this recession, the United States was running a significant budgetary deficit.
Canada is in budgetary deficit now only because of the recession, only because of stimulus measures, and we will come out of it. We will go back into surplus position when the economy recovers. So there is no need in Canada to raise taxes.
I’m -- as a conservative, I tend to oppose raising taxes at the best of times. But we have not got the structural budgetary deficit that exists in the United States. It obviously limits the administration’s options.
WALLACE: Canada is also the only western nation that has had no bank bailouts. Your banks tend to hold on to mortgages. They don’t then send them -- sell them to other investors. You have strong, activist regulation.
Is the Obama administration, do you think, right now to get more involved in policing the financial markets?
In 2007 he started cutting taxes? First of all the question was phrased in a way that it made Harper sound prescient and considering that he was denying there would even be a recession until recently, that made me laugh out loud. Oh and the tax cuts, of course were the GST cuts which we all know was THE worse tax to cut.
Canada is only in a budgetary deficit now because of the recession? Excuse me? Didn't Kevin Page disabuse Harper and Flaherty of this fallacy? Weren't we headed for a $13 billion deficit before he was persuaded to develop a stimulus package? Did he forget to mention that the government lost $12B in revenues as a result of the GST cut and basically made sure that the $3B contingency was spent?
No bank bail outs? Well I suppose that's technically true, but that's not to say that they haven't put forward loan guarantees, but the funniest part was when Harper was asked about regulation and intervention in the banking system and he said this:
I know in Canada there have been some criticisms in the past that we were perhaps too activist, intervening too much, but we’re emerging from this with probably the only truly free market financial system in the world.
So I think, you know, a happy medium of regulation is the way to go.
Ha! Talk about delusional! Who exactly was all for loosening things up and allowing mergers? I'm convinced the man is psychotic.
Suffice it to say that he lied, lied, lied as was expected and the US audience he was addressing saw a pompous man who apparently made no mistakes, and was ahead of the world on Afghanistan and the economy. Everyone else now is expected to follow his lead. What a joke.
Of course the obvious has to be stated here. What precisely do Harper and the Conservatives go after Ignatieff for? Being too international? Being well known in the US and UK? Watching Conservatives scream loudly over such issues concerning the Liberals only to emulate them is a sight to behold.
Hypocrisy doesn't begin to cover it.
The full transcript is here.