Sunday, April 25, 2010

Who Says That Canada Has a Rigid Anti-Tax Position?

The new Robin Hood, or Financial Transaction Tax has made the news lately, as a brilliant and fair way of raising necessary revenue to fight global warming, poverty and many other challenges facing the world's citizens.

It's very small. Just .005%, and does not apply to our banking transactions but other financial transactions at a higher level.

There are also other taxes that could be imposed on excessive profit, that would help to recover bail out monies or guard against future economic collapses.

Naturally as neo-conservatives, Jim Flaherty and Stephen Harper are greatly opposed to any scheme that would bring in money. The true nature of neo-conservatism is to starve the beast. If they started feeding it, they'd lose their key to executive washroom in hell.

But what I found disturbing about at least one media account, was this:

The International Monetary Fund is recommending all G20 countries slap a tax on financial institutions — advice that puts the organization at odds with Canada, which has a rigid anti-tax position.

At odds with Canada? Since when? Neo-conservative principles are at odds with Canada, but a rigid anti-tax position has never identified us, ever. The Reform-Conservatives are rigid anti-tax, but only because they are also anti-social services of any kind.

Stephen Harper once made the claim that "no tax is a good tax". But he also claimed in his Reform Party and National Citizens Coalition days, that the Government of Canada should not be in the businesses of providing Medicare, Old Age Security or Employment Insurance.

And this 'rigid anti-tax' stand, that is theirs, not ours, will guarantee that.

They claim their position is because they don't feel that our banks who weathered the storm without bailouts, should be penalized. Besides being the most ridiculous argument I've ever heard, given that they are enjoying record profits, it's simply not true.

Jim Flaherty swooped down at the first rumblings of trouble and bought back all of the high-risk mortgages he had allowed to infiltrate our once sound mortgage industry. As a result, the Canadian taxpayer is now the largest holder of sub-prime mortgages in the world.

And it is very close to coming back to bit us. According the the Financial Post:

"This thing is a wave and it's just starting," says Eric Putnam, formerly with a subprime lender, now managing director of Debt Coach Canada, a company that provides financial and bankruptcy advice to consumers. Estimates vary on the total value of the subprime market in Canada.

No one knows for sure how big it really is because there is no central database tracking these mortgages. But according to Ivan Wahl, chief executive of Xceed, one of the biggest players in Canada until it recently converted to a bank, the subprime market in this country.

And to compensate for his gross error in judgement, he has now been forced to tighten mortgage requirements, to the point where it will be almost impossible for first time home buyers to enter the housing market, without securing second and even third mortgages; further adding to the profits of the financial sector.

But again he didn't act, because he saw a need. He acted because the banks were holding his feet to the fire.

Have you ever met someone less willing to do their job than Canada's Reluctant Minister of Finance, Jim Flaherty? Today we awaken to the news that “Flaherty sets stricter mortgage rules ”. It should come as no surprise that this news comes about ten days after we learned that “Banks urge Ottawa to tighten mortgage rules” in which top bankers pushed government to clamp down on market to avoid any chance of U.S.-style collapse. The bankers probably had to go public with that story because they were getting nowhere on the issue dealing with our reluctant Finance Minister in private. Reluctant in the sense that Jim Flaherty seems to be unwilling to properly perform the role of Canada’s Minister of Finance.

Before entering politics, Flaherty was a personal injuries lawyer. So if you fall into your neighbour's hedge and scratch your elbow, Jim's your man. But if you're looking for someone to handle a country's finances, to the common good of the country's citizens, make sure that Jim Flaherty gets nowhere near the books, or the cash box.

This tax "is a good tax", because for the first time in a very long time, the corporate elite will be expected to pay their share. Or to borrow a few lines from Robin Hood, when Little John asked: I was just wonderin', are we good guys or bad guys? You know, I mean, uh? Our robbin' the rich to feed the poor.

Rob? Tsk tsk tsk. That's a naughty word. We never rob. We just sort of borrow a bit from those who can afford it.

So it's time to borrow a bit from those who can afford it.

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