Friday, January 18, 2008

Harper treats us like unequals



Treats us like unequals? That’s the title of an article in today’s Leader-Post.

Let’s examine that claim as it relates to Stephen Harper’s decision to tax income trusts after he promised he would never raid senior’s nest eggs by making such a move.

As a starting point, Harper has allowed pension funds to own income trusts in their private equity portfolios free of the 31.5% tax and the 75% of Canadians without pensions can not? That sounds decidedly unequal to me.

Meanwhile as "compensation" for his draconian income trust tax, Harper has granted those 25% with pensions the right to split their pension income with their spouses or common law partners, whereas the 75% of Canadians without pensions can not. That sounds decidedly unequal to me.

Interest on corporate debt can be serviced with pretax cash flows, but distributions on income trusts can not. That sounds decidedly unequal to me.

Interest on corporate debt can flow to foreign investors free of any taxation, but distributions on income trusts can not. That sounds decidedly unequal to me.

Harper’s mini budget called for corporate tax rates to be reduced by 34% by the year 2012, and yet no such corresponding reduction on the income trust tax . That sounds decidedly unequal to me

John Manley and his 700 fellow lawyers at law firm McCarthy Tétrault LLP can participate and own a tax flow through partnership, but average Canadians seeking retirement income can not. That sounds decidedly unequal to me.

The pension plan of newly minted Bank of Canada Governor and architect of the Income Trust tax, Mark Carney’s own pension plan, the Public Sector Pension Plan can own Thunder Energy Trust, free of any 31.5% tax and growth restrictions, but average Canadians can not. That sounds decidedly unequal to me.

The resultant undervaluation in the trust sector, allowed the Public Sector Pension Plan to act in a predatory manner, working hand in hand with the civil servants who provided this legislative “carve out” and who are its beneficiaries. That sounds decidedly unequal to me.

And yet before being caught with their hands in the cookie jar, the Public Sector Pension Plan felt compelled to make this statement of self admission:

“Our exceptional level of liquidity provides us with a competitive advantage vis-à-vis others (Read: the average Canadian) in capturing the return premiums offered on less liquid (Read: private equity) investments.

Of course, as investors we are not called upon to formulate government policy...but we do have to make assessments of the potential impact of these various forces and factor those assessments into our investment decisions.”

Sure, we believe you. Just like we believe that our illustrious leader treats us like equals, or not, as the case may be:

Harper treats us like unequals
Murray Mandryk, Special to The Leader-Post
Published: Friday, January 18, 2008

8 comments:

Richard Harris said...

An excellent assessment of what has and is happening. It is a shame that the same converted individuals keep reading this commentary over and over. CAITI is not growing so it must be dieing.

When will CAITI make some effort to grow its membership??

Polyian said...

Well written...
The other sham that coincided with the Income Trust double standard was the implementation of Pension Income Splitting. This too benefits those with gold plated pensions over those without. Seniors with income from their RRSP's cannot split their RRSP income with their spouse because it is deemed "other income", not pension income. Meanwhile all income from the Gold plans is deemed pension income. Again, there is not much equality in that part of the Tax Fairness Plan (Oxymoron)either.

Anonymous said...

Brent Fullard's reply to Richard Harris:

Don't confuse the number of persons who post with the numbers of persons who visit this site, and read the articles and comments like yours.

The numbers are most impressive and hardly indicate a reverse trend in the interest or renewed awareness over this issue as we near an election, which will be the ultimate showdown with Harper and his fiscal bandits.

As for CAITI's membership numbers, we have an abundance of loyal and committed members as can be gleaned from the following link. All of whom I expect will be very much “in Harper’s face” in the next election.

What do you suppose Harper’s next platform of lies will be that these CONs will attempt to unleash on the vastly more informed and questioning electorate?

http://www.caiti.info/about_us_individual_founding_members.php

Anonymous said...

Brent Fullard's reply to polyian:

Good point. My oversight. I have added the following paragraph:

Meanwhile as "compensation" for his draconian income trust tax, Harper has granted those 25% with pensions the right to split their pension income with their spouses or common law partners, whereas the 75% of Canadians without pensions can not. That sounds decidedly unequal to me.

Dr Mike said...

Harper has to worry about the closet CAITI members--& there are a ton of them out there.

Us more vocal guys are the few of the many & we do a lot of squawking just to make ourselves feel better--misery likes company & these guys have sure made us feel miserable.

There are many , many burned-off folks out there that are just not vocal--they will read blogs like this but are afraid to comment in fear of reprisal from the Cons who may be reading this--& you can be sure that this blog like may others is monitored closely.

One thing you can all count on is that trust investors will vote & they will vote for ABC.

Mike.

Robert Gibbs said...

Better to concentrate votes for the one supportive opposition party that actually has a chance of justifiably turfing Harper and his CONS from office.

TAKE BACK CANADA!!!

FIGHT FOR THE BRIGHT!!!

nineofiveland said...

I would say rather than fading away, this issue is growing (with a number of new posters showing up here)and it is up to all of us to spread the truth.

Just last night I had a young man say to me in conversation about ITs .. "well they had to do something" .. when I pointed out to him the pain all Canadians are and will share with the loss of taxes caused by Steve's actions .. that item alone was enough to get one more Canadian back on the right track.

As I have said to my (Con) MP .. "we will never forget"

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