Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Flaherty deserves to be fired as finance minister

The Cornwall Standard Freeholder
November 19, 2008

If Finance Minister Jim Flaherty worked in the private sector he would have been fired long ago.

First he blew away a $12 billion surplus left by the previous government which always built surpluses to take care of a rainy day. The rainy day is here, big time, and we are about to go into deficit, if not there already. Prior to the election Mr. Flaherty guaranteed there would be no deficit during his watch. He and Prime Minister Harper admitted, after the fact and under pressure, that his government knew there were major economic problems in the world but our economy was in such good shape and our banks were so solid, Canada would be pretty well insulated against many of the problems. Now they're admitting, not that they were wrong, but that we probably will be in deficit shortly and they have now joined the bank rescue parade, twice -- but it's not their fault

When Mr. Flaherty listened to bad advice and killed the income trust market, for no proven reason, he started an avalanche of unforeseen consequences. Trust values plunged, building up tremendous capital gain losses that individuals, companies and funds will use to write off against gains resulting in a huge future tax loss for the government in the years to come. More tax losses will be added when retirees take less money from their RRIFs due to trust value loss. Many trusts were bought out by foreigners and pension funds, neither of whom pays tax.\

BCE will soon be off the market, bought out by the teachers pension fund. The billions of tax dollars lost could, right now, be providing a surplus cushion of at least $3 billion and more. The future lost billions are in the double digit. Now we hear that our Canada Pension fund has lost billions Would you keep this man on in your company as your controller or treasurer?

Vernon Holt, Cornwall