Friday, February 12, 2010

New Environics Poll: 4-pt Liberal Lead

Environics conducted a poll for The Marshall Plan, and the full details have been made available through Scott's Diatribes.This result is quite different from the other polls we've seen. It doesn't help that Environics hasn't released a poll for quite some time, the last being from mid-October. That poll, however, showed a huge gap between the Tories and the Liberals: 38% to 26%. So, it is remarkable that Environics would find such a swing in support.

At 37%, this is the highest result we've seen for the Liberals for a very long time. The 33% Conservative result, however, is not out of the ordinary. The 13% for the NDP is a little low.

Regionally, the Liberals have a big 44% result in Ontario, though the Conservatives aren't doing horribly at 35%.

In Quebec, the Liberals are at 35% - huge - while the Bloc is at 36%. The Conservatives are struggling, as is the NDP.

The BC numbers align with what we've been seeing, with 33% for the Tories and 28% for the Liberals. At 18%, the Greens are riding high.

This poll would give the following seat totals:

Liberals - 130
Conservatives - 112
Bloc Quebecois - 48
New Democrats - 17
Greens - 1

So, a minority government for the Liberals, a strong opposition for the Conservatives, and disastrous showing for the NDP.

Obviously, when we see a poll that is out of the ordinary, we can't help but be suspicious. However, there aren't any especially odd regional results, so we'll just have to see what other pollsters report.


  1. These results are very very close to the 2004 election results for the Liberals, almost the same results in all regions.

  2. I would describe the Quebec numbers as "odd" among others.

  3. I would describe the Quebec numbers as "odd" among others.
    I have a general question. For Quebec, do the polling companies report French speaking vs. English speaking in their tabulations? Do they report whether the survey was done in French or English? What about the 'default' language used at the start of the call?

  4. This poll does have French and English results, but only at the national level.

  5. Where are you getting this-I went to the site and it said the following:

    Our Environics poll taken Feb 4 – 9 that was based on 1,000 random telephone calls indicates .. Canadians .. if an election were held today would vote:

    Libs 28%
    Cons 25%
    NDP 10%
    Green 7%
    BQ 6%
    Abstain 5%
    Don’t know 17%

    Accurate to within +/- 3.1%, 19 out of 20 times

  6. The full data tables on Scott's site.

  7. We need to see a few more polls to see if this trend continues.

  8. It will be interesting to see what impact this and other polls have on the next budget. I suspect that the Tories are going to be wayyy less bullish about daring the opposition to force an election and will bring in a budget that will be as inoffensive as possible. Still, like what happened in Dec. 1979, could the Tories miscalculate and get knocked out on the first budget vote, Layton postpones his cancer treatments by 5 weeks and we have an election in April?

  9. This poll does have French and English results, but only at the national level.
    I was just wondering about DL saying the Quebec numbers seem "odd".
    There has been talk here about some polling companies ask "would you vote Green", while others only say "which party", and there is speculation as to how that could skew the results.
    So I was wondering if a similar skew could be language based. For example, if I pick up the phone and someone starts talking at me in French, I would assume it is a telemarketer and hang up. Even if I was predisposed to participate in polls, I might not wait to find out.

  10. Yeah this is all a little fishy.

    Like the time the BC restaurant group found the provincial Liberal support dropping like a stone. Why? Because the BC restaurant group was against the HST.

    Marshall Plan is a bunch of Liberal bay street executives who don't like paying taxes.

    What they were paying for when they commissioned this poll is this line:

    Enivironics study reveals 79.6 percent of Canadians favour Marshall Plan!

    I don`t trust polls conducted for partisan orginizations. Only those conduced for news organizations.

  11. I suspect that most (if not all) polling companies have their interviewers speak French at first when they call into Quebec or northern NB and English everywhere else.

  12. Shadow,
    When you get a good poll your'e happy.

    Not so good, not so happy

  13. Hi 49 steps. Isn't that true for everyone who likes a specific party ?

    But my ojection extends to all polls done for groups with an agenda, even if I like the results like I did with the BC restaurant group poll !

  14. If a series of polls start to show the Tories facing defeat in an election - I wonder how far Harper would go in bowing and scraping to Layton and Duceppe in order to avoid an election.

  15. DL,
    You mean them dastardly socialists, and separatists.

    Stevie try and cut a deal with them

    Say it ain't so

  16. Wow. I can almost here DonOLO cheering from here.

  17. Shadow: Marshall Plan is a bunch of Liberal bay street executives who don't like paying taxes.

    Careful, there: the party line today is to dump on Bay Street executives who do like paying taxes. Dmitri Soudas isn't friends with team members who muddy the message.

  18. The Marshall Plan, and its main backers, CAITI, are far from "Liberal" Bay St. execs. - I can't tell you how many times I go on Liblogs and see CAITI or Brent Fullard, a former Liberal candidate, railing against Ignatieff, Kennedy, or other Liberal frontbenchers for not listening. But, they do hold a special place in their hearts for Harper and Flaherty. It's filled with brown stuff.

  19. Hi John

    Nice to meet ya!

    Green numbers in BC, must be putting a smile on your face.

    Might get Elizabeth May in there yet!

  20. Volkov,
    Reading these postings for quite a while.

    Finally decided to join in on the fun.

    Numbers must have you absoulutely giddy!

  21. Eric,

    I'm no Quebec expert, but is the seat count for the Bloc really that high? I'd figure that with a statistical tie with the Liberals, the Bloc's seat count would go down heavily. I'm thinking back mostly to 2000, where the Liberals were in the 40's and the Bloc about 37-38%, yet were down to 38 seats, and the Liberals had 36. Is it just the Conservative and Dipper vote screwing it up?

  22. Ha, indeed, 49 Steps - I'm quite pleased. Though, that Quebec number disturbs me a little.

  23. Volkov, I have 23 seats for the Liberals, 48 for the Bloc, and 4 for the Conservatives.

    The Liberals have a bit of a ceiling in Quebec, in part because of the strength of the Tories outside of Montreal. This isn't the same political landscape that it was 10 years ago.

  24. Volkov,

    I admit it i'm a devoted liberal.
    Never voted anything else in my life.

    I would be interested to know what the Liberals are polling, in the Quebec city region, as well as Montreal.

  25. Fair enough. I was leaning to that answer, but I couldn't be sure. Its odd how such a strong Conservative number can really affect the landscape in Quebec, even if the Bloc ended up at a record low.

  26. 49 Steps,

    Same with me - always voted Liberal. Mind you, I've only voted once. :D

    Anyways, I don't think there are numbers that specific in the poll, unless Eric knows them. However, based off of the history and results in 2008 in some ridings, I'd guarantee that ridings in Laval, some of the closer ridings in Montreal proper (Jeanne-Le-Ber, Ahuntsic) and some Longueuil ridngs (Saint-Lambert, St-Bruno-St-Hubert, etc.) would fall to the Liberals, since they have some Liberal bases and leanings.

    In Quebec City, one riding would fall for sure: Louis-Herbert. I can't see how that would not fall to the Liberals, especially if the Conservatives and Bloc are falling.

    It'd be an interesting landscape for sure.

  27. Well, think about it. The Liberals need to pick up about 10 seats. Those are all going to come from the Bloc. The Conservatives need to lose 7 seats. Those are all going to go to the Bloc. It's easy to visualise when you think of it like that.

  28. Oh, and you'll notice Outremont goes red.

  29. Oh yes, Outremont - my precious. Well, Cauchon's precious.

    I've heard that so far, Cauchon's been getting excellent reception among residents there, better than what was expected, especially after the Coderre fiasco. Mulcair is going down.

  30. Volkov,

    Agree with your analysis.

    I believe Eleni Bakopanos is running again in Ahuntsic. Should be an easy pick up, if we have a good campaign. It was pretty darned close last time with a disasterous campaign.

    Are there any rumblings about Liza Frulla running again in Jeanne-Le Ber? She would be a really solid candidate.

  31. Because there were poll questions about Income Trusts, it is entirely possible that this poll has at least a slightly poisoned result.

    Unless we can remind Canadians about Income Trusts and Prorogation at the top of the ballot, it's unlikely that any election would actually look like this.

  32. 49 Steps,

    I don't know about Frulla running again. I think Natalie LeProhon was going into that riding, but she's now off the candidate list so it is completely possible.

    I also heard that Helene Scherrer, the former MP for Louis-Herbert, might also come back. There is tonnes of rumours like that about ridings that now seem in play with Iggy.

  33. Volkov,

    I don't really know how much of a fiasco there was in Outremont. I think that was a little over played.

    Glad to hear about Cauchon though.

    I really like him. He was a solid cabinet minister.

  34. I do suspect that contrary to a few individuals opinions, this poll is in line with the other polls. One thing that I have noticed in a few of the other polls is the high support level for the Conservatives in Atlantic Canada. To me, any poll that suggests that more people would support the Tories over the Liberals in Atlantic Canada would be highly suspect. That said, all polls are just snapshots at that one particular time. Eric, would it be possible to detail the seat counts for each party by province or region instead of providing just one national total for each party so that it is easier to distinguish where the seats are coming from. Further, in the future, it appears increasingly that the regional numbers and seat counts will become extremely important for each party. For example, the Liberals may focus more on BC and Ontario instead of the Prairies or the NDP focusing on BC instead of Quebec.

  35. While these poll results may be a little suspicious, the clear trend is downward for the Conservatives. What I think is very positive for the Liberals especially is that this is happening when parliament isn't sitting. If you look back at the polling results for a few years, it seems to me that the Conservatives have been able to pull up their numbers when the House isn't sitting since the opposition can't get any traction/publicity. This change is very bad news for the Conservatives.

  36. 49 Steps: Green numbers in BC, must be putting a smile on your face.

    As a matter of fact, the number makes me shrug because I don't believe it. It's too high. (The national Liberal number is also not credible.) I also shrug when I see a single poll with low Green numbers.

    The "real" BC Green number is (pause to lick finger and hold it in the wind) probably closer to 14% today. It's not going to change overnight. The Green goal is sustainable growth. We've seen that on the national level since the last election. We have to work at maintaining that growth through tothe next election and beyond.

    Fairly soon there will be a discontinuity as the Green party rises above the threshold needed to win first-past-the-post seats. The Ontario numbers are very interesting because the Green/NDP separation there is small and the NDP represents a number of Ontario ridings today.

    I personally would prefer the next election to be in 2011 instead of 2010 for two reasons. First, an election now would probably leave us right where we are and I'm not into exercises in futility. Second, with the Green polls trending up, an election in 2011 is more likely to result in Green seats--or if you prefer, is likely to result in more Green seats.

    What does make me smile? The number of undecided voters who are leaning Green (page 10, last line). That's the raw material of a Green breakthrough.

  37. Volkov,

    I had a brain cramp there.

    Natalie, was going to run in Outremont.

    Then Cauchon decided to come back.
    He was offered Jeanne-LeBer, but refused. Outremont or nothing.

    Thus the spat between Cauchon, and Coderre, and Natalie graciously, declining Outremont in favour of Jeanne-LeBer

  38. Before anyone gets over-excited about a Quebec sub-sample (I would guess less than 200 interviews) in one poll showing the Liberals at 35% in Quebec, let's see if that gets confirmed by anyone. We have Ekos with the exact same field dates and quadruple the sample size still showing the BQ blowing everyone out of the water.

  39. I'd like to know how its possible to have a "second choice" if you have no first choice???

  40. 49 Steps,

    I think Natalie is gone now. I remember seeing something where she bowed out because her job needed her, and there was no election on the horizon. She may come back, though.

  41. John you're to be congratulated on your intellectual honesty and consistency.

    You've resisted the temptation to get excited about poll results that couldn't possibly be true.

    As a Tory i'm not at all upset about these numbers because I simply don't believe them!

    Places like fivethirtyeight, pollster, and realclearpolitics in the US will post results paid for by partisan groups but won't use them in their projections.

    For the reason that asking questions of the kind this poll does nessecarily spoils the sample.

  42. "As a Tory i'm not at all upset about these numbers because I simply don't believe them!"

    Shadow, I like you, really, but you really have to watch what you say. xD

    I don't necessarily believe these results either, at least not to their exact extent. However, Environics isn't a company that I've seen being too biased in any way. They do a lot of British polling as well, and their results always seem to follow the usual trend.

    Maybe the results are slightly skewed. However, you can't deny that there is a trend, and that the 33% for the Conservatives isn't a number outside of the realm of possibility. The Liberals at 37%? Well... its questionable. But, it isn't impossible.

  43. Volkov,
    Any thoughts about the Rob Anders controversy in Calgary West.

    I thought open nominations were supposed to be the order of the day for conservatives.

    No protecting incumbents.

  44. 49 Steps,

    Heh, who knows what to think of it? I commend those Conservatives though - I would do as much as I could to get rid of someone like Anders too.

    I don't see why the Conservatives refuse to get rid of him too. He doesn't do anything that is worth much to the party, because the chances of them losing Calgary West are pretty slim. In fact, if they got someone new, they might increase the riding's safeness.

    It reminds me of the business with Tom Wappel and the Liberals in Scarborough Southwest. He was far from an asset and his association were far from fans, yet the Party kept protecting him from nomination challenges.

    It just goes to show that the notion of democratic process within the Conservative Party isn't one that has stayed strong. I'm sure some associations are a lot better, yet to run into such a wall with the Party's leadership is far from what I think most expected, or wanted.

  45. Volkov,
    Agree on Anders.

    What I don't get is how the olympics are going to help the tories.

    I am a proud Canadian and I want our athletes to do great, but at the close of the games my political views won't have changed one iota.

    Do you think the media, and the tories might be under estimating the intelligence of the Canadian public just a bit.

  46. DL I don't think with numbers like this Harper would have to stoop very far the gain NDP and perhaps Bloc support. Unless Jolly Jack wants to cut off his nose to lose over half his caucus I can't see him rushing into an election.

    Perhaps you might want to temper your glee at the results by looking at how the NDP would be savaged. And the Liberals and NDP together still wouldn't have a majority. Once again the Bloc would hold the balance of power. Even Olivia Chow's seat might be in danger.

    Alas if the poll asked questions about income trusts and prorogation before it asked for party preferences it's likely tainted.

    Why do you hate Harper with such zeal BTW? It's as if the man represents something more than he is. He's governing to the left of Chretien for goodness sakes and yet you can barely contain your venom? Why?

  47. 49 Steps,

    It isn't as bad logic as it seems, in all honesty. The Olympics do stir up pride in our country, and anything associated with that pride will get a boost as well. If Harper shows himself to be supportive of the athletes in ways such as finances and training programs, etc.

    However, they are overestimating what will happen. When I say "boost," I mean it as a temporary boost, that coincides with the Olympics themselves. After they're done, even if we get a good number of golds, that swell of support will fall away. What happens in the aftermath - things like the bill, for instance - will determine how much support Harper retains from it.

    So, I'd expect a small boost for the Conservatives for the next couple of weeks - but don't fret, it won't be permanent.

  48. Earl

    Hi nice to meet ya!

    Have to agree those NDP, numbers are very low.

    With those kind of Ontario numbers Jack Layton's seat might even be in danger.

    It would be an act of political suicide to try and force an election, with their poll numbers.

  49. 49 Steps good to meet you. And good to have another political pragmatist on board.

  50. Earl,

    You keep saying Harper is "governing to the left of Chretien." Could you please expand on what you mean by this?

  51. Volkov:

    Chretien necessarily slashed program spending in the nineties, took us into the Afghan war, and failed to live up to his promise of ridding the country of the regressive GST. Indeed many taxes were increased to get the deficit under control. He also promised but never delivered a national daycare program and I believe a pharma care program.

    Harper has increased transfers to the provinces, restored fiscal balance, cut the GST, and upped the child benefit program. He has introduced numerous tax credits which provide the maximum benefit to lower income families. All in all middle and lower income families and singles have dome well under Harper. Harper has also increased equalization and healthcare payments to the provinces at a rate above inflation.

    Please don't misunderstand me. Chretien did what had to be done in 1995. Thank goodness he had the political courage to do it. Remember though he had virtually no threat from the opposition and a majority government. I fear that the current deficit which was both the right thing to do, and very necessary will not be tamed if we do not elect a majority government. That said I prefer a conservative majority that will concentrate its efforts on cutting spending rather than raising taxes.

  52. Earl,

    I'm just interested to know where you think spending should be cut?

    That being said to tackle the deficit we are going to have do you think, the GST might have to go back up to 7%

  53. Thanks for explain that, Earl.

    I don't necessarily disagree with you, though I would like to point out that Harper has more or less been forced to go ahead with a lot of the "left" policies, especially the stimulus spending. We wouldn't have had it without the coalition threat.

    But, that being said, fiscally speaking, the Liberals themselves shifted farther right than I think the Conservatives shifted left. Chretien's Liberals were still left-leaning by most standards than the Conservatives, even fiscally, though there was certainly a lot of overlap.

    If there was a majority government for the Conservatives, we'd really see the distinction, I believe. But, I'm not willing to let that happen, even if it would be an interesting exercise in thought. XD

  54. Nathalie LeProhon had accepted to run for the Liberals in Jeanne-Le Ber, but has since announced that with no election on the horizon, she has withdrawn her candidacy.

    Also, there are two possibilities with this poll. One is that the nature of the questions skewed the participation towards people who agreed with the proposition the poll was testing for. The other is that if the headline numbers on the ballot question are that skewed, perhaps the poll's sponsors should not count on the general applicability of the results on their own questions either.

    One would not expect a ton of NDPers to stick it out on a poll that was designed to test the best arguments in favour of overturning the policy on income trusts.

    So, it's interesting data to be sure. I'm not sure it should be included in Éric's overall average, given its rather pointed focus, but of course his methodological decisions are up to him.

  55. Rob Anders?

    Unlike the Liberals who automatically renominate their candidates providing they meet fundraising obligations there IS a mechanism for having an open nomination for a CPC incumbent.

    I believe a 2/3 vote in favour of an open nomination is required and then one is triggered.

    Opposition to Anders never reached that level so he stays.

    People are, of course, always free to run for another party or as an independent if they don't like the rules !

  56. Shadow,

    Just to point out, the Liberals only renominate candidates based on the fundraising obligations because we need people out there that can raise funds. That only goes for incumbents, as well.

    For candidates, its a completely different story. If you can show that you can get the memberships and raise funds well enough, you get to run as a candidate. Its called setting expectations - something we need in order to ensure the party is strong in their local riding. And we exclude no one from that process, so long as they show they're determined to do the work.

    And lets get this clear now - if Calgary West did not have 2/3 of the executive, why exactly did the federal executive come in and gut the association? Don't you think that is a little odd? They're protecting Anders, there is no doubt about it. I think any Conservative worth their salt should demand "why?"

  57. Environics is only rated at .64, and with only 1,000 respondents this poll doesn't have a lot of weight.

    It is another data point, however, and I have no reason to believe their results are purposefully or coincidentally inaccurate. With the 3% MOE, these results are well within the norm.

  58. 49 steps:

    My priorities are likely very different than yours. I'd freeze for one or two years all cost of living increases on OAS and every other direct government payment to individuals. I'd cut spending on sports and the arts. I'd cut funding for the CBC and allow and encourage CBC radio and television to become self supporting through advertising revenues the way private networks operate. If enough people don't watch or listen I'd cancel services like CBC II and Canadian content.

    Business would also see changes as I'd encourage the competition bureau to more active. More importantly on the business side I'd eliminate as many subsidies as possible.

    Although health care is a provincial responsibility I'd encourage the use of small user fees in the range of $10 when people went to see their family doctor. These user fees would be means tested so that no-one would be unable to see a doctor.

    I'd increase spending on post secondary education, directing it mainly to areas that would show direct benefit to Canada's economy. For example I'd encourage Canada's universities to produce more engineers and scientists.

    I'd also be open to a dedicated increase in the GST , to pay for specific infrastructure like roads, ports, airports and bridges. I wouldn't use the money to build arenas and community centres. These IMO should be financed through donations or fundraising.

    If taxes had to be increased though I would prefer income tax increases at the higher levels perhaps including the establishment of another tax bracket for those with incomes over $250,000.

    Finally I'd be tougher on the banks and oil companies. I'd put in place better regulations for credit cards and bank fees. I'd break up integrated oil companies so that refining operations were separate from oil production. I'd give the competition board real teeth so that we never again see the kind of mergers that have concentrated so much of Canada's business in the hands of a few companies, be it in banking, oil, the media or retail. Competition can only exist if there are several players in a market.

    I'd also convene a royal commission on taxation with a bent towards eliminating most tax breaks and taxing more dollars at lower rates.

  59. Volkov I find it a little rich that Dippers and Libs are worried about the private, internal affairs of another party.

    Anyways, there was some worry that the board had been infiltrated by mischief makers. At the very least they acted improperly trying to schedule another vote after he had survived such a challenge just a year ago.

    The board was stepping on the toes of the NC and got yanked.

    Reminds me of the trouble Chretien used to run into when pro-lifers started taking over Liberal nominations.

  60. Shadow,

    I know of that too, I even mentioned Wappel earlier. Funny how these things crop up, eh?

    And I really don't see the problem with criticizing others for their problems. I'll let you do the same, you know. XD

    But the fact that an elected board was yanked is ridiculous. There has always been sustained opposition to Anders, so I don't think they were so much "mischief makers" as people actually wanting change. I saw the list, and there was a lot of them, too. I don't know how big Conservative executives can get, but there was definitely a lot.

  61. Earl,
    That was very well thought out commentary.

    Though I must admit I did not agree with all of it.

    I would keep the CBC publically funded,as well as keep funding to arts and sports groups.

    Your business, education, and taxation proposals do sound very interesting though.

    You don't sound like you come from the libertarian wing of the conservative party.

  62. This comment has been removed by the author.

  63. [sorry, fixed the grammer]

    "Environics is only rated at .64, and with only 1,000 respondents this poll doesn't have a lot of weight.

    It is another data point, however, and I have no reason to believe their results are purposefully or coincidentally inaccurate. With the 3% MOE, these results are well within the norm."

    Éric, I didn't say they were purposefully inaccurate. However, the subject matter of the other questions tends to self-select people more likely to be interested in those certain topics. The ballot question in this poll was not its main purpose, but incidental to the other purpose of the poll.

  64. I'm not sure other pollsters don't do that as well, without telling us. I've answered Angus-Reid polls that asked me my voting intentions, along with a myriad of other topics. But they don't release those all together.

    Anyway, like I said, they aren't being given a lot of weight, and the results (especially with the MOE) are within the MOE of other polls.

  65. And sorry, I didn't mean to say you were saying they were purposefully inaccurate. I was answering everyone's comments at once.

  66. I suspect this will prove to be more statistical noise than a sign of a Grit surge. But it obviously does nothing to disprove the evidence of a big change in political fortunes.

  67. Kevin I think there is a broad consensus that the Liberals and Conservatives have settled into a tie.

    But the Liberals opening up a lead ?

    No, of course not. If anything EKOS showed them pulling back a little.

    I'd have to review how the poll was conducted but when a partisan Liberal organization pays good money for a poll you know that they are expecting a certain result.

    They certainly got their money's worth!

    Not sure its really helpful for Liberals to be cheering about this though. They are only setting themselves up for dissapointment and Harper for a big comeback story.

  68. Does anyone else find it a bit odd that this poll was released on a Friday afternoon?

    From what I know of politics and media, Friday is when organizations do a 'dump' of bad news - the logic being that people won't pay as much attention to it over the weekend.

    This might mean it was the Tories who were behind putting this poll in the field.

  69. 49 Steps:

    How about your ideas for balancing the budget? Any other ideas for reform of the tax system?

    Nor a libertatian.

    Here's a tought: Get rid of all sales taxes. Replace them with a consumption tax that works thusly. A levey of 5% is deducted at source just like income tax. Wwhen tax time comes you settle up any discrepancies. Savings and investments are deducted from what you pay the tax on, while loans and borrowings are added. The advantage of this system is that it discourages the underground economy, catches consumption whether it is in Canada or abroad, doesn't catch tourists, and provides a direct link between savings and paying less tax. The two levels of government would split the spoils according a predetermined formula in each province. A massive layer of bookkeeping and bureaucracy would be eliminated.

    Thoughts welcome.

  70. Earl - I heard something about a "Fair Tax" on Roy Green this afternoon. He was talking with a US Congressman from Georgia, and the guy is advocating dropping ALL production taxes and making tax entirely based on consumption - any $$ SPENT is taxed at the source, and allotted to the government, but we get to keep every penny we earn until we buy something. By production taxes, he meant payroll taxes, income taxes, investment taxes, etc...

    Then the question came up as to how it would help those in the lower income class - the government would send out 'prebates' each month to every household in the country to offset the costs of poverty level living. Thereby, if you make $10000/yr, or $350000/yr - you would get the same prebate amount. The difference would come in the amount you spend - if you buy lots of stuff, then you pay more than if you don't buy lots of stuff.

    The Congressman used the US as an example - each American pays about 33 cents tax on every dollar they earn. To take in the same amount of $$, this fair tax would only add 23 cents to every dollar spent - more $$ in your pocket, less tax crap to deal with. Would like to see some numbers showing how it would affect Canadians in this regard.

    I think it's an interesting idea that merits a lot more investigation...

  71. 'To take in the same amount of $$, this fair tax would only TAKE 23 cents on every dollar spent'

    Sorry - didn't want it to look like a 56 cent tax!

    I have no idea if I'm a libertarian or conservative, but I do feel like the CPC is my tent to camp under - I like to think I'm not a blind partisan however, so take the above tax comments however you will - I would have to seriously consider voting for any party who advocated the fair tax idea though! Only problem I can see with selling this idea would be making it work so that people don't lose any essential services due to funding cuts, if there would be any...

  72. That sort of tax would be extremely regressive. If you were a working poor person making 25k per year - you would be paying tax on every penny your earned because you probably spend 100% of what you make. If you were filthy rich, ou would never be taxes on the 70% or so of your income that you didn't spend and that you instead invested or spend off-shore.

  73. ...and? at 23% (just the example the congressman used) of $25000 is $5750.

    If a filthy rich person spends $100000 of their million dollar earnings, they would pay $23000 in taxes.

    It's the same percentage all around.

    Currently, up to whatever it is - $10200, you pay no income tax. the other $14800 of the guy making $25000/yr is taxed at 15% - about $2220.

    So on the face of it, yeah, they would pay more tax. But that's what I'm talking about - what are the details here? Does the 'prebate' help equally? Does the tax apply equally? I don't know enough about tax to try and win a debate here - my head hurts just thinking about it. But actually having my gross earnings at the end of a pay period sounds really good - and I'm not making $25000/yr, but I'm also not making $80000/yr or $60000/yr.

    A guy making $45000/yr who spends every penny he makes in a year will pay $10350.

    But currently, add in income tax, GST, PST, tax tax tax - it's probably comparable...

  74. DL you make regressive taxation sound like a bad thing.

    Obviously this isn't a poverty issue because of the prebate. I guess its a Socalist thing, punish the rich and redistribute their wealth to the lower classes.

    My only concern with this tax scheme is whether your prebate increases based on the amount of children you have.

    We should be subsidizing domestic births to reduce immigration and put our ponzi scheme social programs back into solvency.

  75. Shadow, they're ignoring happens when you act like a mindless CPC Drone for months upon months.

  76. Sigh, more troll activity I see.

  77. Shadow,

    I must say I find you endlessly amusing.

    You always give me a laugh every day

    The thing I can't figure out about you is if you mean the things you say, or you only say them to get a rise out of people.

    Are you that hungry for attention?

    Your endless drivel, is really starting to be annoying, and boring to boot.

    Can you not come up with any original substance.

  78. Shadow:

    Before your'e usual dismissal comes in, have you ever noticed the amount of posters on this site who find you offensive?

    I guess they're all wrong al you are the only one who is right.

    You have a Napolean complex, which I think you should find more than a little disturbing in yourself. Some pyschological help is probably in order.

    I will give you some free advice. There a a lot of people, who's opinions I disagree with, but at the end of the day we shake hands have a cold beer together, and wer'e still friends. GET IT

    Now that I have said my peace with you I shant never waste another sylabble on you ever again.


  79. Whoa two troll posts ?

    This is just getting a little obsessive...

    Still it must mean that my arguements have carried the day. If anyone could oppose them they'd do so in a substantive fashion, not with personal attacks.

    I'll continue my postings!

    Thank you for the encouragement.

  80. Shadow you didn't make any points in favour of regressive taxation. I look forward you telling us why it is a good thing to tax the poor more than the rich proportionately.

  81. Earl we already established we're not talking about the poor. Most consumption taxes include prebates or rebates.

    So the objection being made to a consumption tax is that a middle class family will need to spend most of their income on nessecities, therefore the tax will provide them less of a chance to reduce spending and save money.

    However, this doesn't take into account human activity in the real world. Go back and read about conspicuous consumption. Cost of living is higher in high income areas. The rich spend a simliar percentage of their income for what they view as nessecary then the middle class.

    Nessecary is a subjective measure in the modern world. Any objective measure ends at the poverty line.

    When you actually include human behaviour into these economic theories you realize that the objection to a sales tax as regressive is flat out wrong, provided there is a rebate for the poor.

  82. Well Shadow are you saying that since a middle class family might have some spending desires rather than absolute wants that it is fine to tax them more heavily, again proportionately, than than the rich?

    When it comes to conspicuous consumption the rich lead way. You know that. You also know that as income increases so does the propensity to save. The rich have many choices to make when it comes to money the middle class fewer and those with low incomes few.

    Nothing you've said even suggests that regressive taxation is the right idea.

    Can you specifically explain to us why regressive taxation is the right thing to do?

  83. Earl we must consider any tax on its merits individually. Regressive vs progressive in the broader sense is a capitalist vs socialist arguement for another day.

    My arguement with regards to consumption taxes is that when they include a rebate for the poor they are not really regressive at all since their impact on the middle class and the rich is the same, given the propensity of the rich to spend more.

    The middle class actually save fairly heavily with RESP, RRSP, company pension plans, EI.

    The notion that the rich save more is when you compare rich vs poor, the poor saving almost nothing. When you seperate out the poor from the middle class the stats change dramatically.

    As for the rich leading the way in conspicious consumption that was my point.

    The rich may have more options but they are almost never used.

    Its unrealistic to expect the rich to abandon their social station, leave their friends, sell of their assets and move from a rich area to a poor area to live a modest lifestyle.

    In the real world that would never happen.

    So the effect of the tax burden is the SAME for the middle class and the rich.

    Assuming some mythical person did downsize and socked all their money away.

    So what? When they went to spend it we'd benefit.

    Until then it would be keeping our banks solvent or being invested in the economy to create jobs.

    Either way we all benefit.

  84. Shadow that is the most specious argument I've read in a long time.

    In fact statistics show that the percentage of income saved rises with income all the way up. And that is not only statistically correct but makes common sense.

    The middle class famously doesn't contribute as much to RRSPs as they could while the rich are able to maximize their contributions and save more on top of that.

    As for regressive taxes it was you that made the suggestion that they were a good idea, not I.

    Where did you get the idea that rich people should move to poor neighbourhoods and live like pooer or middle income people? Indeed although the tax sysyem needs to be progressive it must not be so progressive as to discourage the accumulation of wealth and the desire to work.

  85. Earl I never claimed that the rich didn't save more, only that the middle class save a great deal and that the difference isn't as dramatic as it is when you compare poor vs rich.

    Those statements are factually true, regardless of what your broken link may be saying.

    Anyways, saving money only DELAYS the effect of consumption tax, it does not AVOID them.

    Sooner or later that money is going to need to be spent.

    In the end everything is captured, it is only an illusion that the rich somehow avoid the tax.

    "As for regressive taxes it was you that made the suggestion that they were a good idea, not I."

    I made no such claim. I said that regressive taxes aren't nessecarily a bad thing. Protecting incentive structures and the ability for capital to accumulate are good aspects of regressive taxation.

    I then pointed out that objections to regressive taxation usually center around socialist arguements about the redistribution of wealth.

    Class warfare arguements that a populist, big gov't guy like you seem to enjoy Earl.

    "Indeed although the tax sysyem needs to be progressive it must not be so progressive as to discourage the accumulation of wealth and the desire to work."

    Now who is being specious !

    Any progressive structure nessecarily discourages the accumulation of wealth and the desire to work !

    The factors are inextricably correlated.

    Simply put you cannot have it both ways.

  86. Shadow either you are playing deliberately dumb or...
    Here is the link:

    What I am saying is that as income increases some does the RATE at which it is saved. Even if the rate of savings did not increase with income the rich would on an absolute basis save more. Income from savings is taxed differently than earned income and often at a significantly lower rate than earned income. Savings are not necessarily spent and often are passed from one generation to the next. If all savings were spent then we'd have no investment.

    I'd only be labelled a big government guy by someone with extreme views. If you've read my posts you'd understand that.

    Actually the minute you levy any form of income tax progressive or regressive you take away some incentive to work. That of course is taking the point to an extreme. Even the Laufer curve recognizes that there is an equilibrium point where additional taxes discourage work beyond a desirable point. Every society has to find that point. Sweden in it heyday actually had tax rates which exceeded income earned ie: rates as high as 105% of income earned. Yet post war Sweden was a picture perfect social democratic state. Why? Because its people had a deeply ingrained work ethic. Into the 1960's the US had a marginal tax rate in the 90% range, yet it managed to grow to become the wealthiest nation on earth. I use these examples only to show that tax rates are not always the determining factor in how well a nation does.

    Your posts are lacking both rigor and logic. Can you perhaps provide some academic support for the positions you take?

  87. Hinchey's Store the US taxes it citizens at a significantly lower rate than does Canada. Our rate would probably be in the 33% range. I could see some value in a flat tax system with a much larger personal exemption in $20,000 range and exemptions for children. I'd also insist on simplifying the tax system and eliminating all exemptions save the personal exemption. That means that capital gains from the sale of a personal residence would be taxed at the same rate as the money made from employment as would any and all income.

    A tax based purely on consumption favours the wealthy in so many ways. The marginal propensity to consume means the wealthy consume less of every dollar. The wealthier one is the less one consumes of every dollar earned. They would then be paying less in taxes than their fair share, assuming that the tax system is based in part on the ability to pay. Although we share many of the same views I'd hate to see a system of taxation that had no progressiveness to it. The ability to pay must factor into any fair tax system in my opinion.

  88. Earl I think you're missing my point a bit.

    The poor are the low hanging fruit in this equation. Giving them a rebate or prebate prevents a consumption tax from being regressive in the bad sense.

    To achieve tax parity between the middle and rich rates nessecarily have to increase to a point that incentive structures are altered and capital accumulation is hindered. Not to mention the tax base is shrunk.

    This idea of having it both ways is pointless. The system would need to lean towards being progressive or encouraging entrepreneurial behaviour amongst the middle class.

    Yes consumption taxes are regressive and the burden of any sort of flat rate tax will decrease as income increases. But if the poor are protected then I see very little point in trying to level the playing field for the middle class and the rich.

    People have a right to benefit from the money they earn.

  89. Just to add, this notion that money is never spent is ridiculous.

    Money that is passed down to younger generations is often squandered.

    Free markets are volatile and its not uncommon to have rags to riches to rags again in three generations.

    At some point almost ever dollar saved becomes a dollar spent.

    A consumption tax would catch it all. You just need to extend the time frame in your thinking.

    Saving only delays taxation, it does not avoid it.

  90. I don't think your last post requires a response.

    As Keynes said in the long run we're all dead.

  91. Earl our great nation is going to be 143 this July.

    It has and will outlast many, many generations of people who inherited wealth and left nothing of great value for their children.

    One way or another consumption taxes will capture wealth, you just need to be patient.

  92. shadow

    Earl asked you for somw academic support for the positions you took.

    Can you provide any

    I had a hard time following your logic as well

    Idemic sui would also like you to provide some academic support for your positions.

    It's a leap to say people who receive an inheritance from their family squander it. I would like you to provide some evidence to back up that claim.

    I would like to see some academic support for all your claims. Please provide.

  93. Noah i'm having a conversation, not defending a thesis or writing a paper.

    I'm not going to cite papers/studies. Go to university and take some economics courses. Research my claims yourself.

    If you want to believe that what i'm saying is untrue because i'm not going to waste my time tracking down links that's fine too.

    You're free to ignore me.

    Sorry I oculdn't be more help.

    BTW - I'm not claiming that every person who recieves money from their family squanders it.

    I'm saying that over time, after enough generations, that money will be spent.

    Successive generations may add to the pool of wealth, fortunes can and do grow over time. But that's new money being added by the effort of each generation.

    What's known as "old money" has been getting swept away ever since the industrial revolution really kicked off.

    And now a new change is occuring, where geographically the new money is coming from BRIC (Brazil, Russia, India, China).

    Unless they are skillfully managed family fortunes tend to dissapear after enough time passes. People have multiple children and the capital gets diluted.

  94. Hi Shadow,

    On a whole, I've been slightly more impressed with your postings in the last few days. You seem to have let go of the talking points (albeit barely) and are coming across as less of troll.

    However, if you can't defend what you are stating;

    I'm not going to cite papers/studies. Go to university and take some economics courses. Research my claims yourself.

    then don't be surprised if people claim you're full of sh!t. When people call you out, it's not because you're right - especially when you are unable to back anything up - regardless of how much you claim that the onus is onto everyone else to research the claims you make.

    So all in all, while I'm slightly impressed that you are making progress towards becoming a useful human being instead of a pathetic talking-head using the PMOs talking points, I still must extend your probationary period by another few days. Especially in light of accusing anyone who disagrees with you as having some sort of personal vendetta with you. That's quite juvenile and downright pathetic.

    Remember - just because you post here constantly and that posting here appears to be the only thing going on for you in life, doesn't make you automatically correct. You get called out constantly because you post a lot of nonsense.

    That said, have yourself a good day. And please, do continue on the path to being a normal human being.



  95. Shadow I have a degree in economics and politics. That's why I know you are posting nonsense. Of course there are examples of family fortunes being squandered as often as not in bad investments like those made by the younger Bromfmans. Those dollars would never be captured by a consumption tax. Nor would dollars spent outside of Canada which is one of the problems with the GST.

    As for class warfare. It is the rich who have declared class warfare. As the gap between the wealthy and the rich widens its the rich who are demanding more tax breaks and lower marginal rates.

  96. shadow

    I guess what you are saying is that there was no academic support for the positions you took.

    Earl provided a very useful link to support his positions.

    Just because you talk down to everybody and use long winded and convuluted nonsense to try and defend a position does not make you right.

    I must say I am not surprised. You seem to do quite a lot of that.

    I hope in future when you throw your positions around at people and try and impress them with your brilliance, you can at least provide a scintilla of evidence or proof to back it up.

  97. Shadow

    Because you love to correct people

    Earls's link wasn't broken

  98. Shadow

    As for the link Earl provided, you were redirected to the link that provided the support for his position.

    I guess you didn't take the time to do that or read the articles.

  99. Noah three posts ?

    Cool your troll jets mister. I know you were wanting a "gotcha" moment.

    Bogging people down in academic research, especially when they are talking about somewhat arcane topics that require a certain degree of education is a classic filibuster technique.

    I shouldn't have taken the troll bait and just ignored you!

  100. This poll, compared to the EKOS poll the same day, shows every party but the Liberals down 2 points, and all 8 of those points going to the Liberals.

    That's bias. This poll is bunk.

    Given the difference from EKOS's numbers of the same day (and I'm no fan of EKOS), one of these polls has to be an outlier. Since the EKOS poll more closely matches what we've seen previously, I'd suggest it's the Envrionics poll that's wrong.

    That said, we do need to wait for future polls to be sure.

  101. Earl why wouldn't bad investments be captured by consumption taxes ?

    That money is used by corporations to make purchases and pay roll, it enters the economy just like every other dollar.

    Out GST indeed does not capture dollars spent overseas.

    However, most developed countries have consumption taxes of their own and we capture foriegn dollars.

    The gap between the rich and the poor is a laughable concept. The gap between $0 and any sum is infinite. That's clasic class war language that a populist big gov't type of guy would use.

    And the rich don't need lower marginal rates, they need to be in the same bracket as the middle class, regardless of what rate is nessecary to pay for services.

  102. shadow, you need to take your fingers out of your ears - figuratively speaking.

  103. Hi Shadow,

    You wrote:

    Bogging people down in academic research, especially when they are talking about somewhat arcane topics that require a certain degree of education is a classic filibuster technique.

    Another classic filibuster technique is refusing to answer questions or complaining that demanding proof of questionable comments is a filibuster teqhnique thereby attempting to justfiy one's positions.

    Stating that people are 'admitting that you are correct' when they disagree with you is also a filisbuster technique.

    Calling people trolls when they call you out on things is another filibuster technique.

    Pot, meet the kettle.

    Hope you're having a great day Shadow! Take care of yourself and be safe!


  104. Shadow

    I like Earl also have an economics degree, and I can assure you that you are once again spreadig nonsense.

    I would try and correct you on your rubbish but that would be a waste of my time and breath.

    Your hourly postings are a drag for all the people who would like to have an intelligent conversation.

    Unfortunately with you around that is impossible.

    I'm not a troll, I have been reading for quite a while, I joined in to try and make you provide some evidenciary support for your garbage, and you admitted that you could not.

    Leave the conversation to the adults on the site.
    That does not include you.

    I find you dead from the neck up.

    That's it for me folks, I won't waste another minute on Shadow.

    I unlike him have a life. All he seems to do is post shit on here all day long.

    It's so damn tedious.

  105. Haha my my so my economics degrees floating around.

    Or troll like appeals to authority. My background is public policy, which included a healthy dose of economics.

    As I said numerous factors lead to the decline of fortunes that aren't skillfully managed.

    Population growth is obviously one of them, just by replacement each generation fortunes are shrunk in half.

    Inflation is another. Periods of double digit inflation can quickly wipe out a fortune.

    Obviously bad investment. Buy and hold is a lousy strategy and market corrections happen every decade or so.

    Maitenance and property taxes on solid assets.

    And finally geographical dislocation of wealth. The fortunes of an entire nation can be wiped out by war or changes in trade.

    If a fortune does manage to survive multiple generations it does so by the skill, intelligence, and worth of the new generation.

    This notion that savings can avoid consumption taxes, however, doesn't hold water. Given a long enough time frame inherited money will eventually be spent.

  106. Well I think we figured out who's behind all these trolls posts. Same guy with different blogger profiles.

    Liberal Supporter has targeted me in previous threads. I'm going to guess that he's the guy behind all these negative trolls comments aimed at me by supposedly different people.

  107. Can all of you please stop filling my inbox with this childish back-and-forth?

  108. The troll should stop now Eric, after being exposed!

  109. Hi Shadow!

    Sorry, but I'm my own individual, as I'm willing to guess the other 75% (of the total amount of different names posting here) of the posters who disagree with you on a constant basis are as well.

    I do admire your ability to brush off any possible notion that you are both factually incorrect half the time and downright annoying the other half by this strange 'it's all one person' reasoning of yours. Isn't this a classic symptom of paranoria?

    Interesting how conservatives forget that 64% of the electorate are 'left' of them - and that any disagreement with them is always the work of one person. Strange and sad at the same time really.

    Now Shadow, you're better than that. Be a big boy, do some reflection about why many people are disgusted by you, and come back when you've matured a little.

    I had such high hopes for you. You dissappoint me immensly Shadow.

    Btw - I think I might have traced your account back to the following address;

    Now hopefully all this trolling from you will stop.

    Please have yourself a safe evening.


  110. "I had such high hopes for you. You dissappoint me"

    You've used that exact line before under your Fake/False/Ishmael tags.

    Its kind of creepy and disturbing...

    I guess you're not going to let up this troll thing are you ?

  111. My name is Noah

    I do have an economics degree.

    I am a real person.

  112. Hi Shadow,

    for shits and giggles, I visited the link you posted.

    First off, you offer to proof of any allegations that liberal supporter has posted anything that you accuse him/her of.

    Secondly, at least liberal supporter maintains their online identity whereever they post. Unlike you.... eh neo-conservative?

    Also, love how you finally admit in your profile to being exactly how everyone would have described you...

    I'm a lonely middle aged man living in poverty somewhere in Ontario. As a result I'm quite miserable and suspicious of everybody I meet. I make up for my lack of natural charisma and dimwittedness by living through my online self. I'm a bit of a loser actually.

    what was that about a gotcha moment you were harping about earlier... Lol!!


  113. Shadow writes;

    "I had such high hopes for you. You dissappoint me"

    You've used that exact line before under your Fake/False/Ishmael tags.

    Its kind of creepy and disturbing...

    Shadow, if you're gonna make wild accusations, you need to back them up. You silly neo-conservative.

    Otherwise it's nothing but slander.

    Silly neo-conservative troll.

    Another 'gotcha' moment on my part. Too easy.

  114. Hi Guys and Gals:

    There is one way around a Troll like Shadow. Let's ignore it. That way we can spar back and forth have a reasoned dialog.

    Gold had a big day up over $10.

  115. Noah writes;

    My name is Noah

    I do have an economics degree.

    I am a real person

    ummm.... No, you're not.

    Didn't you know that you, me, t, dl, Earl, liberal supporter, 49 steps, volkov, Eric himself - we're all actually the same person.

    Remember, if you disagree with shadow and his amature debating techniques and filibustering, that it automatically qualifies you as part of a massive conspiracy to victimize poor shadow (aka neo-conservative).

    Sad but true.

    Now Noah, go back into non-existence and await further instruction from 'Liberal Supporter' - the mastermind behind this whole scheme.

  116. Josh

    Shadow was infuriated when I asked him to provide some evidentiary support for the latest round of crap he was spouting off.

    He could not

    I have an economics degree and I knew his argument was garbage, and so did Earl.

    I have had it with Shadow. He called me a troll.

    I decided to join because I was sick and tired of his shit, and called him on it.

    He screams like a little girl when you call him on his nonsense, and then tries to justify it to himself as a conspiracy against him.

    If he could sustain half the things he say's it would be OK but he can't.

    More people shoild stand up to him, and call him on his constant stream of verbal diarrhea.

  117. Harper is still the preferred PM rather handily despite all the noise about prorogation. Layton has over Iggy. Bad news for the LPC:

  118. I changed my name to apple pie just for you shadow so you can really think there is a conspiracy against you

  119. Just in case anyone is reading this mess I will attest that DL, Volkov, and Earl are real posters.

    Earl's a bit of crank who's decided to throw his lot in with the trolls but that's a reflection on him personally, not on the lot at hand.

    As for the suggestion that i'm the blogger who I linked to, I can assure you I am not.

    His post appeared on the main page of blogging tories today and it seems he exposed Liberal Supporter's trolling.

    Lib has been on these boards before so I made the connection.

  120. Hi Noah,

    that's pretty much why I started posting as well, I've been a fan of threehundredeight from the start, but shadow's abrasive behavior and incorrect nonsense started ruining the blog. Now I simply do my part to keep him in line and remind everyone of his trolling ways. I find it amusing that he believes it's all some big conspiracy against him.

    Shawdow writes;

    As for the suggestion that i'm the blogger who I linked to, I can assure you I am not.

    lol - nice try but it's too late. You are indeed neo-conservative - the description matches you to a tee.

    Gotcha! -lol!


  121. Just to be clear on Liberal Supporter's trolling MO, he uses multiple tags, including multiple google accounts, some of them set up to impersonate real people.

    Its been proven that somebody on here has been posting under multiple names to harass me.

    Unfortunate indeed.

    Shocking display of intolerance from the Liberal left in this country.

    Eric's inability and refusal to deal with left wing trolls (but apparent joy at taking down libertarians) exposes both bias and creates an unfortunate atmosphere here.

    I guess you'll get your wish and i'll curtail or abandon my posting.

    Enjoy your empty kingdom, maybe your fake profiles can have coversations amongst themselves ?

  122. Earl writes;

    Harper is still the preferred PM rather handily despite all the noise about prorogation. Layton has over Iggy. Bad news for the LPC:

    Hi Earl,

    I don't think it's that bad. I'm more concerned about about how the parties are polling - I've never voted for a leader, always for the party.

    Also, didn't chretien poll around 40% when he was winning his majorites?


  123. Shadow

    There goes you sad, lonely, pathetic victim playing again. It's so old and tired.

    The only reason your'e quitting is you got called on you shit and you didn't like it.

    People are going to call you on your rubbish, and that is the only thing bothering you.

    You cry big crocodile tears, and play the martyr beautifully.

    When you can't spew crap amymore, you cry boo hoo hoo!!!


  124. Hi Josh:

    Yes Chretien did poll around 40% when he won his majorities and the opposition leaders polled much lower. The LPC also polled close to 40% as well. Often the leader is the determining factor in how people vote. There wouldn't be leadership debates and campaigns if leaders did not make a difference. Harper did have a sharp drop on the over all index but Iggy dropped as well. That surely isn't a good sign if one is a Liberal.

  125. Hi Earl,

    You make a great point about the leaders debate. It does make a difference. Perhaps more so during an election campaign - because clearly the current political condition is that the liberals and conservatives are tied for all intents and purposes.

    To be honest I find harper's numbers questionably high - I mean don't a majority of Canadians think the country is heading the wrong direction? And don't two-thirds of Canadians think other parties are more worthy of their vote? With Harper polling like he is, wouldn't you expect the cons to be well within majority territory?

    Don't get me wrong, as a liberal supporter (oooohhhh... It's thy liberal supporter = one guy thing...) I obviously would rather see ignatieff polling with those numbers - but I comfort myself with how the parties themselves are polling - and I think ignatieff will also hold his own in the debates and campaign trail when an election is called.


    PS - Noah - lol at your last post. I do think that shadow will simply attribute this to him being right and every other human being wrong. Once a victim, always a victim. He'll be back, possibly using a different name. Victims like him just can't themselves. Setting themselves up as victims is what they live for.

  126. Shadow, what would be the point of wading in and deleting messages? By the time I check new comments, you've responded to people you call trolls three or four times, and they've responded back three or four times. I have better things to do than delete childish arguments.

    And that includes the rest of you.

  127. Hey Earl. Sorry I wasn't around a computer this weekend - I am not entirely sold on the 'fair tax' idea, because I don't know enough about it. Our system works currently, but could it work better? The 'fair' idea is interesting to me is all. I also realize that you certainly are correct that the US is taxed less than we are.

    I just find a new idea very interesting (apparently fair tax has been around for a while, but it's new to me!)

    Thanks for your thoughts on the matter.



COMMENT MODERATION POLICY - Please be respectful when commenting. If choosing to remain anonymous, please sign your comment with some sort of pseudonym to avoid confusion. Please do not use any derogatory terms for fellow commenters, parties, or politicians. Inflammatory and overly partisan comments will not be posted. PLEASE KEEP DISCUSSION ON TOPIC.

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.