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Lessons from New Jersey’s ‘millionaires tax’ for provincial governments: Don Pittis | CBC News

As revenue-hungry Canadian provinces line up cap in hand for federal dollars, a new tax on wealthy residents of New Jersey that was approved last week offers food for thought. Dubbed the millionaires tax, the new law is widely expected to pass through the Democratic-controlled state legislature now that its main opponent, New Jersey Senate President Steve Sweeney,…

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Lessons from New Jersey’s ‘millionaires tax’ for provincial governments: Don Pittis | CBC News

As revenue-hungry Canadian provinces line up cap in hand for federal dollars, a new tax on wealthy residents of New Jersey that was approved last week offers food for thought. Dubbed the millionaires tax, the new law is widely expected to pass through the Democratic-controlled state legislature now that its main opponent, New Jersey Senate President Steve Sweeney, has come on side.Republican critics of the tax hike say it will lead to an exodus of the wealthy out of the state, and political analysts say the idea would have faced a veto from Gov. Phil Murphy’s Republican predecessor, Chris Christie. Whether that exodus actually happens may serve as a lesson to other cash-deprived jurisdictions considering new taxes on high income earners. Changing political mood The mood appears to have changed in New Jersey amidst a collapse of state revenue in the wake of COVID-19. There are signs Washington is not bailing out state governments, and the state’s poorest residents continue to suffer from the recession. Indeed, back in the spring, Canadian tax historians predicted a new willingness to accept tax increases. If New Jersey’s millionares tax becomes law, the new rules will increase taxes collected by the state for those earning between $1 million and $5 million to 10.75 per cent from the current 8.97 per cent. Those earning more than $5 million already pay the higher rate. “We do not hold any grudge at all at those who have been successful in life, but in this unprecedented time, when so many middle-class families and others have sacrificed so much, now is the time to ensure that the wealthiest among us are also called to sacrifice,” Murphy said last week as he announced the deal with his former opponents to proceed with the tax. In this file photo from July, a woman wears a mask while shopping at Walmart in North Brunswick, N.J. Like elsewhere in the U.S. and Canada the wealthy in New Jersey have been less affected by the economic slowdown. (Eduardo Munoz/Reuters) Since the beginning of the coronavirus outbreak and the growing recession it has caused, Murphy’s popularity has soared from the mid-40s to more than 70 per cent by April, according to public opinion surveys. The new mood in favour of a millionaires tax comes as no surprise to Elsbeth Heaman, a tax historian at Montreal’s McGill University and editor of the newly published book Who Pays for Canada? “You get a better mandate to tax the rich in a crisis,” she said by phone shortly after Murphy’s announcement late last week that New Jersey would go ahead with the new tax. The move confirms what she and others said in May about how the Canadian government would pay for the growing cost of helping the economy through the devastating effects of job losses and business failures. “A catastrophe, a war, a famine, something like that creates a different kind of attitude toward taxation,” Heaman said at the time. Just as in Canada, individual states do not have the spending power of the national government. One reason is that states do not have the borrowing power implied by modern monetary theory because they don’t control their own currencies. But for another, New Jersey was historically a leader in cutting business taxes. New Jersey’s great exemption “It was in the 1890s that New Jersey began the great tax exemption,” said Heaman. The technique, she said, was to entice New York corporations to register within something called trusts — companies that held other companies — allowing them to pay lower New Jersey tax rates, but allowing the state to collect those taxes on companies that didn’t physically operate within New Jersey. It became a huge competition between states in what Heaman calls “a geographic race to the bottom.” Now, as COVID-19 cuts into revenue in states and in Canadian provinces, regional governments are getting caught short, with some looking for ways to save. As the Wall Street Journal has reported, many are cutting back on schools, universities and other services, in spite of the danger of compounding the damage caused by a private-sector contraction. With the oil industry suffering, Alberta is running a deficit and looking for places to cut. But the provincial government is not talking about tax increases. (Meghan Grant/CBC) Other states may be watching the New Jersey plan unfold, but the New York Times reports that despite many more high income earners in his jurisdiction, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo continues to insist that Washington should bail out state and regional governments despite repeated failures by Congress to offer a new plan. That battle for cash between levels of government has echoes in Ottawa this week as the federal Liberals decide how much of their deficit to spend on programs of their own and how much to offer to the provincial premiers who would prefer to dole out the money themselves. So far, raising provincial taxes on the rich has got little attention. And there are good reasons for that, according to Stephen Gordon, economics professor at Quebec’s Université Laval who specializes in taxation. Political signalling Previous U.S. research has shown that tax increases don’t tend to cause mass migration across state lines. But Gordon said getting a reputation as a high-tax jurisdiction can prompt wealthy residents to go out of their ways looking for legal tax avoidance measures so the money will not show up as taxable income at the state level. He suggested taxes at the federal level would be more effective because the U.S. remains a special place where people want to live. “They can’t all go to Monaco,” he quipped. Critics like Gordon say that small state tax increases on such a rarified group of very high-income earners may be good political signalling, but it doesn’t actually generate much revenue. That’s why systems that tax the incomes of the broad middle class or use value added taxes that apply to everyone are better for raising money. “This is more ceremonial than anything else,” said Gordon. “It’s less than one per cent of the budget, and it’s not going to plug the big hole that COVID-19 has punched into state budgets.” But in a country where in recent decades talk of tax increases has almost always been political poison, the New Jersey tax hike may signal that in the current crisis, that hostility is wavering. Follow Don on Twitter @don_pittis
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The newspaper that gave Black Britain a megaphone

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The newspaper that gave Black Britain a megaphone

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At least twice during the interview, Trump had to pause his sentences and audibly clear his throat and cough.”,”descriptionText”:”Just over a week after President Donald Trump announced he tested positive for coronavirus, he called into Sean Hannity’s show on Fox News u003ca href=”https://www.cnn.com/2020/10/09/media/trump-coughs-on-fox-news/index.html” target=”_blank”>saying he felt great and hoped to have a rally u003c/a>soon. At least twice during the interview, Trump had to pause his sentences and audibly clear his throat and cough.”},{“title”:”How Fox News and Trump are spinning lethality of Covid-19″,”duration”:”08:35″,”sourceName”:”CNN”,”sourceLink”:”https://www.cnn.com/”,”videoCMSUrl”:”http://rss.cnn.com/video/data/3.0/video/media/2020/10/06/fox-news-donald-trump-covid-19-death-spinning-keilar-monologue-nr-vpx.cnn/index.xml”,”videoId”:”media/2020/10/06/fox-news-donald-trump-covid-19-death-spinning-keilar-monologue-nr-vpx.cnn”,”videoImage”:”//cdn.cnn.com/cnnnext/dam/assets/201006153253-fox-tucker-large-169.jpg”,”videoUrl”:”http://rss.cnn.com/videos/media/2020/10/06/fox-news-donald-trump-covid-19-death-spinning-keilar-monologue-nr-vpx.cnn/video/playlists/business-media/”,”description”:”CNN’su003ca href=”https://www.cnn.com/profiles/brianna-keilar-profile” target=”_blank”> Brianna Keilaru003c/a> discusses how President Trump and Fox News are dangerously spinning the lethality of Covid-19 and selling Trump’s coronavirus infection as “the sacrifice of a true leader.””,”descriptionText”:”CNN’su003ca href=”https://www.cnn.com/profiles/brianna-keilar-profile” target=”_blank”> Brianna Keilaru003c/a> discusses how President Trump and Fox News are dangerously spinning the lethality of Covid-19 and selling Trump’s coronavirus infection as “the sacrifice of a true leader.””},{“title”:”Chris Wallace delivers a blunt warning to Fox News viewers”,”duration”:”02:09″,”sourceName”:”CNN”,”sourceLink”:”http://www.cnn.com”,”videoCMSUrl”:”http://rss.cnn.com/video/data/3.0/video/business/2020/10/02/fox-news-chris-wallace-trump-covid-19-diagnosis-orig.cnn/index.xml”,”videoId”:”business/2020/10/02/fox-news-chris-wallace-trump-covid-19-diagnosis-orig.cnn”,”videoImage”:”//cdn.cnn.com/cnnnext/dam/assets/201002185910-chris-wallace-fox-news-oct-2-large-169.jpg”,”videoUrl”:”http://rss.cnn.com/videos/business/2020/10/02/fox-news-chris-wallace-trump-covid-19-diagnosis-orig.cnn/video/playlists/business-media/”,”description”:”Fox News anchor Chris Wallace didn’t hold back after President u003ca href=”http://www.cnn.com/2020/10/02/health/trump-regeneron-antibody-treatment/index.html” target=”_blank”>Donald Trump’s coronavirus diagnosisu003c/a>, imploring viewers to “wear the damn mask” and “follow the scientists.””,”descriptionText”:”Fox News anchor Chris Wallace didn’t hold back after President u003ca href=”http://www.cnn.com/2020/10/02/health/trump-regeneron-antibody-treatment/index.html” target=”_blank”>Donald Trump’s coronavirus diagnosisu003c/a>, imploring viewers to “wear the damn mask” and “follow the scientists.””},{“title”:”Chris Wallace says Trump is ‘responsible’ for chaotic debate”,”duration”:”01:49″,”sourceName”:”CNN Business”,”sourceLink”:””,”videoCMSUrl”:”http://rss.cnn.com/video/data/3.0/video/business/2020/10/01/fox-chris-wallace-trump-biden-president-debate-rules-orig.cnn-business/index.xml”,”videoId”:”business/2020/10/01/fox-chris-wallace-trump-biden-president-debate-rules-orig.cnn-business”,”videoImage”:”//cdn.cnn.com/cnnnext/dam/assets/200929221347-chris-wallace-debate-large-169.jpg”,”videoUrl”:”http://rss.cnn.com/videos/business/2020/10/01/fox-chris-wallace-trump-biden-president-debate-rules-orig.cnn-business/video/playlists/business-media/”,”description”:”Fox News anchor and debate moderator Chris Wallace says President Trump is largely to blame for an unruly 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interview with CBS News’ “60 Minutes” and did not return for an appearance he was supposed to tape with Vice President Mike Pence, according to multiple sources familiar with what happened.”},{“title”:”Keilar: Maria Bartiromo has history of peddling baseless claims”,”duration”:”07:38″,”sourceName”:”CNN”,”sourceLink”:”https://www.cnn.com/”,”videoCMSUrl”:”http://rss.cnn.com/video/data/3.0/video/media/2020/10/20/trump-fox-business-host-maria-bartiromo-baseless-claims-interview-keilar-nr-vpx.cnn/index.xml”,”videoId”:”media/2020/10/20/trump-fox-business-host-maria-bartiromo-baseless-claims-interview-keilar-nr-vpx.cnn”,”videoImage”:”//cdn.cnn.com/cnnnext/dam/assets/201020145039-brianna-keilar-large-169.jpg”,”videoUrl”:”http://rss.cnn.com/videos/media/2020/10/20/trump-fox-business-host-maria-bartiromo-baseless-claims-interview-keilar-nr-vpx.cnn/video/playlists/business-media/”,”description”:”CNN’s Brianna Keilar looks back at Fox Business host Maria Bartiromo’s history of pushing false claims 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Trump during NBC’s town hall.”,”descriptionText”:”Savannah Guthrie used her skills as a former litigator to interrogate President Trump during NBC’s town hall.”},{“title”:”See Pete Buttigieg’s viral Fox News moments”,”duration”:”01:31″,”sourceName”:”CNN Business”,”sourceLink”:””,”videoCMSUrl”:”http://rss.cnn.com/video/data/3.0/video/business/2020/10/14/slayer-pete-buttigieg-fox-news-orig.cnn-business/index.xml”,”videoId”:”business/2020/10/14/slayer-pete-buttigieg-fox-news-orig.cnn-business”,”videoImage”:”//cdn.cnn.com/cnnnext/dam/assets/201012120400-pete-buttigieg-0225-file-large-169.jpg”,”videoUrl”:”http://rss.cnn.com/videos/business/2020/10/14/slayer-pete-buttigieg-fox-news-orig.cnn-business/video/playlists/business-media/”,”description”:”Former presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg’s recent Fox News interviews have gone viral on Twitter and TikTok, earning him the nickname “Slayer Pete.””,”descriptionText”:”Former presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg’s recent Fox News interviews have gone viral on Twitter and TikTok, earning him the nickname “Slayer Pete.””},{“title”:”Trump claims immunity, negative test without providing evidence”,”duration”:”02:05″,”sourceName”:”CNN”,”sourceLink”:”https://www.cnn.com”,”videoCMSUrl”:”http://rss.cnn.com/video/data/3.0/video/media/2020/10/11/trump-immune-negative-covid-19-test-claims-diamond-nr-vpx.cnn/index.xml”,”videoId”:”media/2020/10/11/trump-immune-negative-covid-19-test-claims-diamond-nr-vpx.cnn”,”videoImage”:”//cdn.cnn.com/cnnnext/dam/assets/201009173159-trump-white-house-balcony-1005-large-169.jpg”,”videoUrl”:”http://rss.cnn.com/videos/media/2020/10/11/trump-immune-negative-covid-19-test-claims-diamond-nr-vpx.cnn/video/playlists/business-media/”,”description”:”President Donald Trump claimed, without providing evidence, that he has “been tested, totally negative” for Covid-19. In a phone call with supporters, Trump said that he’s “ready to go, I feel so good.” He also claimed immunity from the virus in an earlier interview with Fox News. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there is no evidence that people are immune to coronavirus if they have been infected once. CNN’s u003ca href=”http://www.cnn.com/profiles/jeremy-diamond” target=”_blank”>Jeremy Diamondu003c/a> reports.”,”descriptionText”:”President Donald Trump claimed, without providing evidence, that he has “been tested, totally negative” for Covid-19. In a phone call with supporters, Trump said that he’s “ready to go, I feel so good.” He also claimed immunity from the virus in an earlier interview with Fox News. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there is no evidence that people are immune to coronavirus if they have been infected once. CNN’s u003ca href=”http://www.cnn.com/profiles/jeremy-diamond” target=”_blank”>Jeremy Diamondu003c/a> reports.”},{“title”:”Dr. Sanjay Gupta discusses Trump’s coughing on Fox News”,”duration”:”02:18″,”sourceName”:”CNN”,”sourceLink”:”https://www.cnn.com/”,”videoCMSUrl”:”http://rss.cnn.com/video/data/3.0/video/media/2020/10/09/trump-fox-news-coughing-gupta-newday-vpx.cnn/index.xml”,”videoId”:”media/2020/10/09/trump-fox-news-coughing-gupta-newday-vpx.cnn”,”videoImage”:”//cdn.cnn.com/cnnnext/dam/assets/201009084708-gupta-new-day-10-9-large-169.jpg”,”videoUrl”:”http://rss.cnn.com/videos/media/2020/10/09/trump-fox-news-coughing-gupta-newday-vpx.cnn/video/playlists/business-media/”,”description”:”Just over a week after President Donald Trump announced he tested positive for coronavirus, he called into Sean Hannity’s show on Fox News u003ca href=”https://www.cnn.com/2020/10/09/media/trump-coughs-on-fox-news/index.html” target=”_blank”>saying he felt great and hoped to have a rally u003c/a>soon. At least twice during the interview, Trump had to pause his sentences and audibly clear his throat and cough.”,”descriptionText”:”Just over a week after President Donald Trump announced he tested positive for coronavirus, he called into Sean Hannity’s show on Fox News u003ca href=”https://www.cnn.com/2020/10/09/media/trump-coughs-on-fox-news/index.html” target=”_blank”>saying he felt great and hoped to have a rally u003c/a>soon. At least twice during the interview, Trump had to pause his sentences and audibly clear his throat and cough.”},{“title”:”How Fox News and Trump are spinning lethality of Covid-19″,”duration”:”08:35″,”sourceName”:”CNN”,”sourceLink”:”https://www.cnn.com/”,”videoCMSUrl”:”http://rss.cnn.com/video/data/3.0/video/media/2020/10/06/fox-news-donald-trump-covid-19-death-spinning-keilar-monologue-nr-vpx.cnn/index.xml”,”videoId”:”media/2020/10/06/fox-news-donald-trump-covid-19-death-spinning-keilar-monologue-nr-vpx.cnn”,”videoImage”:”//cdn.cnn.com/cnnnext/dam/assets/201006153253-fox-tucker-large-169.jpg”,”videoUrl”:”http://rss.cnn.com/videos/media/2020/10/06/fox-news-donald-trump-covid-19-death-spinning-keilar-monologue-nr-vpx.cnn/video/playlists/business-media/”,”description”:”CNN’su003ca href=”https://www.cnn.com/profiles/brianna-keilar-profile” target=”_blank”> Brianna Keilaru003c/a> discusses how President Trump and Fox News are dangerously spinning the lethality of Covid-19 and selling 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href=”http://www.cnn.com/2020/10/02/health/trump-regeneron-antibody-treatment/index.html” target=”_blank”>Donald Trump’s coronavirus diagnosisu003c/a>, imploring viewers to “wear the damn mask” and “follow the scientists.””},{“title”:”Chris Wallace says Trump is ‘responsible’ for chaotic debate”,”duration”:”01:49″,”sourceName”:”CNN Business”,”sourceLink”:””,”videoCMSUrl”:”http://rss.cnn.com/video/data/3.0/video/business/2020/10/01/fox-chris-wallace-trump-biden-president-debate-rules-orig.cnn-business/index.xml”,”videoId”:”business/2020/10/01/fox-chris-wallace-trump-biden-president-debate-rules-orig.cnn-business”,”videoImage”:”//cdn.cnn.com/cnnnext/dam/assets/200929221347-chris-wallace-debate-large-169.jpg”,”videoUrl”:”http://rss.cnn.com/videos/business/2020/10/01/fox-chris-wallace-trump-biden-president-debate-rules-orig.cnn-business/video/playlists/business-media/”,”description”:”Fox News anchor and debate moderator Chris Wallace says President Trump is largely to blame for an unruly and frustrating first presidential debate.”,”descriptionText”:”Fox News anchor and debate moderator Chris Wallace says President Trump is largely to blame for an unruly and frustrating first presidential debate.”},{“title”:”Watch: Fox News has some debate advice for Trump”,”duration”:”01:43″,”sourceName”:”CNN Business”,”sourceLink”:””,”videoCMSUrl”:”http://rss.cnn.com/video/data/3.0/video/business/2020/09/30/fox-and-friends-trump-debate-advice-zw-orig.cnn-business/index.xml”,”videoId”:”business/2020/09/30/fox-and-friends-trump-debate-advice-zw-orig.cnn-business”,”videoImage”:”//cdn.cnn.com/cnnnext/dam/assets/200930142608-ari-fleischer-fox-and-friends-trump-debate-advice-large-169.jpg”,”videoUrl”:”http://rss.cnn.com/videos/business/2020/09/30/fox-and-friends-trump-debate-advice-zw-orig.cnn-business/video/playlists/business-media/”,”description”:””Fox & Friends” co-host Brian Kilmeade and other Fox News personalities offered advice to President Trump after his first debate performance against Joe Biden.”,”descriptionText”:””Fox & Friends” co-host Brian Kilmeade and other Fox News personalities offered advice to President Trump after his first debate performance against Joe Biden.”},{“title”:”See how Fox News hosts covered President Trump’s tax returns”,”duration”:”01:33″,”sourceName”:”CNN”,”sourceLink”:”http://www.cnn.com”,”videoCMSUrl”:”http://rss.cnn.com/video/data/3.0/video/media/2020/09/29/fox-news-president-trump-tax-returns-zw-eg-orig.cnn/index.xml”,”videoId”:”media/2020/09/29/fox-news-president-trump-tax-returns-zw-eg-orig.cnn”,”videoImage”:”//cdn.cnn.com/cnnnext/dam/assets/200929024705-fox-news-trump-tax-returns-coverage-large-169.jpg”,”videoUrl”:”http://rss.cnn.com/videos/media/2020/09/29/fox-news-president-trump-tax-returns-zw-eg-orig.cnn/video/playlists/business-media/”,”description”:”Fox News took a visibly different approach in covering the explosive report from The New York Times that revealed u003ca href=”https://www.cnn.com/2020/09/27/politics/trump-income-taxes-new-york-times-report/index.html” target=”_blank”>President Trump paid no federal income taxes in 10 out of 15 years beginning in 2000.u003c/a>”,”descriptionText”:”Fox News took a visibly different approach in covering the explosive report from The New York Times that revealed u003ca href=”https://www.cnn.com/2020/09/27/politics/trump-income-taxes-new-york-times-report/index.html” target=”_blank”>President Trump paid no federal income taxes in 10 out of 15 years beginning in 2000.u003c/a>”},{“title”:”Trump mocks journalist for getting shot by police with rubber bullet “,”duration”:”03:00″,”sourceName”:”CNN”,”sourceLink”:”https://www.cnn.com/business”,”videoCMSUrl”:”http://rss.cnn.com/video/data/3.0/video/media/2020/09/20/ali-velshi-trump-police-rubber-bullet-mock-rally-rs-vpx.cnn/index.xml”,”videoId”:”media/2020/09/20/ali-velshi-trump-police-rubber-bullet-mock-rally-rs-vpx.cnn”,”videoImage”:”//cdn.cnn.com/cnnnext/dam/assets/200919145434-trump-minnesota-0918-large-169.jpg”,”videoUrl”:”http://rss.cnn.com/videos/media/2020/09/20/ali-velshi-trump-police-rubber-bullet-mock-rally-rs-vpx.cnn/video/playlists/business-media/”,”description”:”President Donald Trump mocked an American news anchor for being shot with a rubber bullet during George Floyd protests in May, calling it a “beautiful thing” during a political rally in Minnesota.”,”descriptionText”:”President Donald Trump mocked an American news anchor for being shot with a rubber bullet during George Floyd protests in May, calling it a “beautiful thing” during a political rally in Minnesota.”}],’js-video_headline-featured-3s9jcs’,”,”js-video_source-featured-3s9jcs”,true,true,’business-media’);if (typeof configObj.context !== ‘string’ || configObj.context.length

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Boris Johnson’s credibility takes a hit

Now Johnson’s plans appear ruined. He’d wanted to use his personal enthusiasm for Brexit to instil a fresh sense of optimism that the UK’s future was brighter outside the European Union. Free from the Brussels bureaucracy, Johnson’s government vowed to address the UK’s socio-economic imbalance that in some sense led to Brexit, by “leveling up”…

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Boris Johnson’s credibility takes a hit

Now Johnson’s plans appear ruined. He’d wanted to use his personal enthusiasm for Brexit to instil a fresh sense of optimism that the UK’s future was brighter outside the European Union. Free from the Brussels bureaucracy, Johnson’s government vowed to address the UK’s socio-economic imbalance that in some sense led to Brexit, by “leveling up” deprived areas. He would also seek to strengthen the bond between the four nations of the UK, which had been stretched to near-breaking point amid the bitterness following the 2016 referendum. In short, the man who led the campaign that caused so much division was on a charm offensive to heal the country. However, 10 months on, his government is short on resources and losing good will. Johnson’s opponents point to numerous errors made early in the pandemic over testing and confusing messaging over lockdowns, the highest death count in Europe and worst recession of any major economy, as evidence of his failures. Worse, members of his own party fear that his lack of attention to detail and instinct for combative politics is causing a shift in the PM’s public perception: From affable optimist to incompetent bully who is hopelessly out of his depth. And they worry what long-term damage this might do both to Johnson’s personal mission and the brand of the Conservative party writ large. One former Conservative cabinet minister and colleague of Johnson, who declined to be named, agreed with this analysis. “To deal with a crisis like this, you need public confidence and you need different bits of the state working together as effectively as possible,” the politician said. “Instead, they have managed to enrage the leadership in Scotland and Wales while picking largely pointless fights with mayors of major cities where Conservatives historically don’t do well. It’s a very strange way of going about uniting the country.” Over the past week, Johnson has been in a protracted and public spat with the Labour Mayor of Greater Manchester, Andy Burnham. Johnson wanted the city to enter England’s highest tier of Covid restrictions. Burnham didn’t want this to happen without more financial support from the central government. The whole thing ended in a complete mess, as Johnson’s government didn’t make clear after talks collapsed that the money deemed insufficient by Burnham was still on the table. This led to a televised press conference in which Burnham supposedly found out live on air that the government had withdrawn their offer of £60 million ($78 million) for the city, instead only offering £22 million. The government claims the whole thing was a set up by Burnham and in fact the minister responsible had talked with him before the press conference. A government minister told CNN that there is “zero evidence that the PM picked a fight with Burnham,” adding that a central government “naturally has to balance economic and public health issues while local politicians have a much narrower focus,” implying Burnham was playing politics with Johnson. ‘);$vidEndSlate.removeClass(‘video__end-slate–inactive’).addClass(‘video__end-slate–active’);}};CNN.autoPlayVideoExist = (CNN.autoPlayVideoExist === true) ? true : false;var configObj = {thumb: ‘none’,video: ‘world/2020/09/22/england-coronavirus-covid-19-restrictions-boris-johnson-parliament-mclean-ctw-intl-ldn-vpx.cnn’,width: ‘100%’,height: ‘100%’,section: ‘domestic’,profile: ‘expansion’,network: ‘cnn’,markupId: ‘body-text_12’,theoplayer: {allowNativeFullscreen: true},adsection: ‘const-article-inpage’,frameWidth: ‘100%’,frameHeight: ‘100%’,posterImageOverride: 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playerId, token, mode, id, duration, blockId, adType, instance, isAdPause) {if (mobilePinnedView) {CNN.VideoPlayer.handleMobilePinnedPlayerStates(containerId, isAdPause);}},onTrackingFullscreen: function (containerId, PlayerId, dataObj) {CNN.VideoPlayer.handleFullscreenChange(containerId, dataObj);if (mobilePinnedView &&typeof dataObj === ‘object’ &&FAVE.Utils.os === ‘iOS’ && !dataObj.fullscreen) {jQuery(document).scrollTop(mobilePinnedView.getScrollPosition());playerInstance.hideUI();}},onContentPlay: function (containerId, cvpId, event) {var playerInstance,prevVideoId;if (CNN.companion && typeof CNN.companion.updateCompanionLayout === ‘function’) {CNN.companion.updateCompanionLayout(‘restoreEpicAds’);}clearTimeout(moveToNextTimeout);CNN.VideoPlayer.hideSpinner(containerId);if (Modernizr && !Modernizr.phone && !Modernizr.mobile && !Modernizr.tablet) {if (typeof videoPinner !== ‘undefined’ && videoPinner !== null) {videoPinner.setIsPlaying(true);videoPinner.animateDown();}}},onContentReplayRequest: function (containerId, cvpId, contentId) {if (Modernizr && !Modernizr.phone && !Modernizr.mobile && !Modernizr.tablet) {if (typeof videoPinner !== ‘undefined’ && videoPinner !== null) {videoPinner.setIsPlaying(true);var $endSlate = jQuery(document.getElementById(containerId)).parent().find(‘.js-video__end-slate’).eq(0);if ($endSlate.length > 0) {$endSlate.removeClass(‘video__end-slate–active’).addClass(‘video__end-slate–inactive’);}}}},onContentBegin: function (containerId, cvpId, contentId) {if (mobilePinnedView) {mobilePinnedView.enable();}/* Dismissing the pinnedPlayer if another video players plays a video. */CNN.VideoPlayer.dismissMobilePinnedPlayer(containerId);CNN.VideoPlayer.mutePlayer(containerId);if (CNN.companion && typeof CNN.companion.updateCompanionLayout === ‘function’) {CNN.companion.updateCompanionLayout(‘removeEpicAds’);}CNN.VideoPlayer.hideSpinner(containerId);clearTimeout(moveToNextTimeout);CNN.VideoSourceUtils.clearSource(containerId);jQuery(document).triggerVideoContentStarted();},onContentComplete: function (containerId, cvpId, contentId) {if (CNN.companion && typeof CNN.companion.updateCompanionLayout === ‘function’) {CNN.companion.updateCompanionLayout(‘restoreFreewheel’);}navigateToNextVideo(contentId, containerId);},onContentEnd: function (containerId, cvpId, contentId) {if (Modernizr && !Modernizr.phone && !Modernizr.mobile && !Modernizr.tablet) {if (typeof videoPinner !== ‘undefined’ && videoPinner !== null) {videoPinner.setIsPlaying(false);}}},onCVPVisibilityChange: function (containerId, cvpId, visible) {CNN.VideoPlayer.handleAdOnCVPVisibilityChange(containerId, visible);}};if (typeof configObj.context !== ‘string’ || configObj.context.length 0) {configObj.adsection = window.ssid;}CNN.autoPlayVideoExist = (CNN.autoPlayVideoExist === true) ? true : false;CNN.VideoPlayer.getLibrary(configObj, callbackObj, isLivePlayer);});CNN.INJECTOR.scriptComplete(‘videodemanddust’);However, worryingly for Johnson, his personal approval ratings and trust in his government have plummeted sufficiently since the crisis that the truth doesn’t entirely matter. “When you look at Boris’s personal brand you see dramatic drop-offs in people who think he is likeable and trustworthy since the start of the pandemic,” says Chris Curtis, Political Research Manager at pollster YouGov. “He now lags behind Keir Starmer (leader of the opposition Labour party) on almost all of those metrics.” This dip in trust is particularly toxic for Johnson when you combine it with the reputation Conservatives have in parts of the country that historically vote Labour and where Johnson was able to pick up seats in last December’s election — the so-called Red Wall. This reputation was not helped when Johnson found himself in round two of a fight with popular Manchester United footballer Marcus Rashford over providing meals for the poorest children during the Christmas holidays this year. On Wednesday night, Johnson directed his party to vote against the proposal. “People will remember in six or 12 months that the government didn’t seem to care if children went hungry over Christmas during an economic crisis. It costs relatively little to fund compared to other government spending this year,” says Lauren McEvatt, former special adviser to a previous Conservative administration. “It feeds into a narrative which still exists that Conservatives ultimately don’t care as much about poor people.” What’s perplexed many observers over the Rashford affair is that Johnson had to U-turn earlier this year on exactly the same matter for summer holidays. “This government is like that GIF where Sideshow Bob keeps stepping on the same rakes and whacking himself in the face,” says Rob Ford, professor of politics at the University of Manchester. ‘);$vidEndSlate.removeClass(‘video__end-slate–inactive’).addClass(‘video__end-slate–active’);}};CNN.autoPlayVideoExist = (CNN.autoPlayVideoExist === true) ? true : false;var configObj = {thumb: ‘none’,video: ‘sports/2020/09/04/marcus-rashford-child-food-poverty-taskforce-manchester-united-football-spt-intl-gbr.cnn’,width: ‘100%’,height: ‘100%’,section: 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function (containerId, cvpId, contentId) {if (CNN.companion && typeof CNN.companion.updateCompanionLayout === ‘function’) {CNN.companion.updateCompanionLayout(‘restoreFreewheel’);}navigateToNextVideo(contentId, containerId);},onContentEnd: function (containerId, cvpId, contentId) {if (Modernizr && !Modernizr.phone && !Modernizr.mobile && !Modernizr.tablet) {if (typeof videoPinner !== ‘undefined’ && videoPinner !== null) {videoPinner.setIsPlaying(false);}}},onCVPVisibilityChange: function (containerId, cvpId, visible) {CNN.VideoPlayer.handleAdOnCVPVisibilityChange(containerId, visible);}};if (typeof configObj.context !== ‘string’ || configObj.context.length 0) {configObj.adsection = window.ssid;}CNN.autoPlayVideoExist = (CNN.autoPlayVideoExist === true) ? true : false;CNN.VideoPlayer.getLibrary(configObj, callbackObj, isLivePlayer);});CNN.INJECTOR.scriptComplete(‘videodemanddust’);All of which only goes to reopen the question of government competence. “From the start, this government set out to hyper-centralize everything from a small team in Downing Street in order to have a tight grip on the Johnson project,” says a senior Conservative lawmaker. “That means a small group of people are making decisions in areas they might not be experts. That’s hard enough at the best of times, but during a crisis which affects the whole country and is constantly changing, it’s virtually impossible.” The lawmaker goes on to explain that he thinks they “rely too much on focus groups” in order to appeal to public opinion. “The trouble is, focus groups don’t have much foresight. Something might be very popular one day, but six months down the line looks like a massive mistake. Normal practice in government is to find the right policy and sell it to the public, not the other way around.” Numerous current and former Downing Street insiders told CNN that while it was true this government did run a lot of focus groups and deemed them to be very important, opinion was divided on their precise influence over policy making. Some said that decisions were made on the basis of focus groups; some said they helped shape how the government would sell policy to the public; some claimed it had led to major policy U-turns, including over Rashford’s summer campaign. A government official denied this claim. Whatever the truth, it is hard to deny that Johnson’s credibility has taken a significant hit this year. Many point to a scandal surrounding his most senior adviser, Dominic Cummings, as the worst moment of the year. Cummings, having displayed symptoms for Covid, decided to drive hundreds of miles from his home in London when government advice clearly stated that he should self-isolate. Cummings claimed that he did so to provide childcare for his young son. “They could have killed that story in 48 hours if they said he was desperately worried about his baby and now realizes it was wrong,” says the former cabinet minister. Instead, Cummings gave a bizarre press conference where he defended not only his initial trip, but a further outing in his car which he claimed to merely be testing his eyesight. “The refusal to show any kind of contrition led to a big change of mood. That episode symbolizes what has been wrong about the approach,” the former minister adds. Whether that’s fair or not, it’s certainly possible to argue the case that the Cummings scandal had three key ingredients: Cock-up; lack of apology; aggressive response. It is also possible to superimpose this playbook onto both the responses to Burnham and Rashford. In the case of the latter, Johnson was not helped by members of his own party implying that some poor parents are feckless and not interested in feeding their children and that children have always gone hungry anyway. All of this leaves Johnson vulnerable to those who want to paint him as a mean-spirited bully running a shambolic government. “Fairly or unfairly, it does play to the stereotype of Conservatives as not interested in the poor and not interested in the north. This, unfortunately, does really damage his agenda for leveling up, cementing the red wall and defending the union,” says the former minister. It’s worth pointing out that as things stand, Johnson’s party is still ahead in the polls, and the Prime Minister himself has weathered many previous gaffes, scandals and mistakes during his political career. A government minister puts this down to the fact that despite all the headlines, Johnson’s real actions present an alternative narrative that voters understand. “If you move away from Covid, all the big announcements we have made are focused on investments in skills, and we didn’t go for austerity 2.0 despite massive pressure. All of these things suggest that leveling up is still the PM’s top priority,” the minister said. However, despite those polls, Johnson only won his majority last December and that lead has been slipping. And as the crisis continues, many of his previous supporters are increasingly skeptical that Boris Johnson was ever really the man to unite a country divided by political chaos for which he was largely responsible.

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Why Chileans want to kill their constitution

The unrest has roiled a country hailed by the World Bank as “one of Latin America’s fastest-growing economies” but where there is deep-seated anger over government policies seen as favoring the rich. It’s the tumultuous stage for a referendum Sunday to decide whether the country should replace its 40-year-old constitution, written during the dictatorship of…

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Why Chileans want to kill their constitution

The unrest has roiled a country hailed by the World Bank as “one of Latin America’s fastest-growing economies” but where there is deep-seated anger over government policies seen as favoring the rich. It’s the tumultuous stage for a referendum Sunday to decide whether the country should replace its 40-year-old constitution, written during the dictatorship of Augusto Pinochet.Patricio Navia, a Chilean-born professor of Latin American and Caribbean Studies at New York University, said many Chileans find it unacceptable to be ruled by a document written during one of the darkest chapters of Chile’s history.”It’s like someone who owns a beautiful house, but they don’t want it anymore because it was built by a father who was a rapist. It’s not that the house is bad. It’s that it was built by that father,” he said. “Writing a new constitution is an act of atonement,” Navia said. “Since Chileans couldn’t put Pinochet in jail for human rights violations, they now want to kill the constitution as an historical trial of sorts against him.”Pinochet died at age 91 in 2006, not having been convicted of any crimes. However, opponents say that more than 3,000 people died as a consequence of political violence under his rule, notably during “Operation Condor,” a campaign against political dissidents during the mid-1970s, including many whose bodies or fates have never been known. Many thousands more were tortured in secret detention centers or intimidated into exile. Why are Chileans protesting today? The World Bank noted that the country’s “solid macroeconomic framework” has allowed Chile to slash the number of those living in poverty from 30% in 2000 to 3.7% in 2017. But, according to analysts who spoke to CNN, pervasive inequality has produced deep resentment among those marginalized and unable to share in the country’s riches. The OECD reported in 2018 that the income inequality gap was more than 65% wider than the organization’s average “with one of the highest ratios” between the average income of the wealthiest 10% and the poorest 10%. “Not only are they not getting a slice of the cake, they haven’t even been invited to the party,” Navia said. “And the demand for a new constitution is precisely that, a demand to be invited to the party.”Creating a new constitution was espoused by the first leftist leaders after the fall of the military dictatorship in 1990. President Ricardo Lagos promoted the biggest reforms in 2005 — and the current constitution includes more than 250 amendments — and presidential candidates first seriously discussed the idea of a referendum in the 2009 campaign. “The current one has a serious legitimacy problem,” said Gabriel Boric, one of the leftist legislators who pressed for a referendum. “On the one hand, we have pressing social needs like pensions, reducing salaries to legislators, increasing taxes on the rich, freezing the cost of utilities. On the other hand, there’s a deeper question about leveling the playing field. What’s the common framework that governs all of us?” More than 14.8 million Chileans are eligible to vote Sunday and several polls show that at least 70% favor drafting a new constitution. If approved, it will take more than a year to finish writing the new text. Chileans are not only deciding whether they get a new constitution, but who’s writing it and how. If as expected creating a new constitution is approved, a constitutional assembly would be chosen in April 2021 at the same time municipal and regional elections are expected to be held.For Camila Vallejo, a Communist Party member of the Chamber of Deputies and a former student leader, writing a new constitution is about social justice.”It’s not only about education and health, but also the high cost of electric bills, expensive fuel and public transportation. Chile is the only country in the world where water is completely privatized. We have an extreme neoliberal model which has deepened inequality,” Vallejo told Cenital, a Chilean news website. But others say writing a new constitution may not be the best way to solve Chile’s problems which are similar to challenges facing other Latin American countries, including lack of sustainable growth, poor job creation and endemic inequality.Pedro Pizano, a Public Interest Legal Fellow at the McCain Institute for International Leadership, says getting rid of the current constitution is “not only a bad idea, it’s also a terrible way of trying to deliver the change many Chileans desire.”The Colombian-born analyst says his own country tried this experiment in 1991, assembling 100 people to write a new constitution in five months with mixed results.Everything Chileans want, Pizano said, “can be addressed by amendments such as we’ve done in the United States rather than rewriting the whole text.””Can one create prosperity and fairness from a blank slate? Why hasn’t the United States switched its own constitution even though we have amended it 27 times? Israel and the United Kingdom don’t have written constitutions. Yet they are in some ways examples of liberal, democratic countries. And that’s what we want,” Pizano said, noting that the best-written constitution does not guarantee everything Chileans want.Navia, the NYU professor, agrees, saying legislators should focus on improving the economy. “You can’t write it into the constitution that there will be better pensions. You need the money for the pensions first. And you can achieve that with better growth, more foreign investment and several other improvements that a new constitution may end up making it more difficult to obtain.”

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