A cut rate one

There’s a great line in Casablanca where Rick says “I don’t object to a parasite – just a cut rate one”. I know I haven’t complained much about Al Hogan lately but I can’t help but do so this morning.

He is on the warpath about ‘tax increases’. I don’t object to activist journalism – just cut rate activism.

We haven’t really debated – certainly not in the T&T – the philosophical discussion about shifting taxes away from income to consumption. Al’s assertion that the 15% HST is a tax hike or even a tax grab – immediately puts it into the realm of Stephane Dion’s Green Tax Shift and sends politicians running for cover. The concepts of a flat tax, less taxes on income, etc. are interesting and should be seriously discussed not glossed over with Harper-like subterfuge.

I think we should have at least had a serious discussion about this but Al Hogan has turned it into red meat for a frisky electorate. I doubt the government will go through with it – and that’s a pity.

If you have ambitious goals you need to take ambitious action. But the reality is that guys like Al Hogan will always slam any proposed change – at least those that don’t fit his narrow view – from a bully pulpit that scares of politicians. He wants to influence public policy using his paper and I fear he has.

Obviously I am biased but the TJ ran an editorial today about the need for the government to invest seriously in research and development.

There are two distinct visions of New Brunswick in those two publications. The TJ is growth and investment oriented and using its pulpit to influence positive change (IMO) and the T&T vision (although there is an argument that Angela Jolie is more important in the T&T than Shawn Graham) about do nothing and tax cuts.

I guess the government reads the T&T these days.