Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Jim Flaherty Made a Right Mess of Things This Time

If you ever had any doubt that the Reformers on the Hill were neoconservatives, Flaherty's latest announcements running up to the March budget, would convince you.

They will not raise taxes. They will not put a end to outrageous corporate tax cuts, and in fact plan to introduce more; and they will not change their plans to have the biggest party of the century once they've bankrupted the country.

It's time for us to starve these beasts, and take their hands off our money, while we still have any hope of having money again.

The gap between rich and poor in this country is the largest it's ever been, and these clowns want to make them richer, off the backs of Canadian taxpayers?

OTTAWA–Faced with skyrocketing debts, the federal Conservatives say they will begin cutting spending on government programs in the March 4 budget. But the massive corporate tax cuts that are deepening Ottawa's deficit hole every year will not be touched, officials say.

Despite a record annual budget deficit of $56 billion, Finance Minister Jim Flaherty will look elsewhere in a bid to start putting the federal government's financial house back in order. In fact, the government is expected to continue phasing in deeper business tax reductions over the next few years.

We need jobs. We need honest reforms to EI and and we need someone in power who gives a damn. The Reform movement was a project that failed. It's time to start cleaning up their mess, but we have to give them their walking papers first.

While these major tax savings for business have attracted little public attention, they are an important factor in the financial mess that has arisen since Prime Minister Stephen Harper's Conservatives took power.

Without the corporate tax reductions brought in by Flaherty since 2006, the $160 billion cumulative budget deficit being run up by 2014 would be reduced by more than one-third – to about $100 billion ....

Murray Dobbin wrote an excellent piece this week, where he presents a very compelling argument for this country's wealthy to start chipping in a little to put this country back on it's feet.

They've had years of corporate welfare, and because their enormous profits are due to the generosity of the Canadian taxpayer, it's time they started sharing the wealth. That is not socialism, it's Canadianism.
The rich and super-rich seem completely oblivious to the plight of their fellow citizens. How else can we explain the obscene pay packages of CEOs and other executives? They are the product of upper-class exceptionalism — the normal rules of citizenship do not apply to them. They do not have to consider the fate of their country so they hide their money in foreign banks — with no guilt — to evade taxes. They are simply entitled to everything they have — and to even more if they can get it. Class divisions in Canada have been growing now for at least 25 years, to the point that we seem to be entering a new era of feudalism. This is a part of the crisis in democracy that almost never gets talked about.

So instead of asking public servants to share the pain, how about asking those who feel no pain to take a little prick in the finger. It will only hurt for a second.

In fact there are many influential people who are suggesting the same thing, as Dobbin continues:

But there may be real changes in the wind. Canada now faces huge decisions about its future and its fiscal viability as a nation state. And for the first time in 30 years, some very unusual suspects are calling for tax increases. Perhaps the most prominent (because it unleashed a nasty attack from the Prime Minister’s Office) was Ed Clark, the CEO of TD Bank.

He told a business meeting in Florida that Stephen Harper was not listening to those on Bay Street who were telling him the best way to get rid of a large deficit is through tax increases — on people just like him. And it wasn’t just Clark. He was reporting on the judgement of the Canadian Council of Chief Executives (CCCE), the voice of the 150 largest corporations in Canada.

This country is in trouble, and it's time for everyone to share the burden. Stephen Harper and Jim Flaherty just don't get that and I don't think they ever will.


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