Harper travel fee comments 'shrewd': Boston Globe

At the Boston Globe’s blog, The Angle, Alan Wirzbicki makes a good point about Stephen Harper’s comments on the proposed $5.50 travel fee on visitors to the US from Canada who arrive by air and sea:

Reading between the lines, though, Harper’s statements seem to reflect a shrewd understanding of American politics after the Republican takeover of the House of Representatives. Rather than just opposing the plan, he characterized it as a new tax.

And, as Harper probably knows, that is the magic word du jour, since Republicans have renounced taxes on principle — even, Harper must be hoping, taxes on Canadians.

Harper’s comments, as quoted by PostMedia News:

While he called America’s trillion-dollar-a-year deficit a “horrendous” budgetary situation, Harper noted travel levies run counter to economic recovery efforts.

“We want to ensure trade and travel between our two countries is easier, not more difficult, and we don’t need additional taxes on that kind of economic activity,” he said. “And that’s one of the reasons why this government has been very clear that it’s not raising taxes in the upcoming federal budget.”

After all, Congress controls the purse strings – not Obama.


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