Historical events no less significant than the American Revolution had at their roots the unfair taxation of the masses. In that case the British colonies of America objected to being taxed by the King and be without representation in the British Parliament. The rallying cry of the Boston Tea Party was "No taxation without representation". Out of that skirmish over the taxation of tea, arouse the American Revolution and the founding of the United States. The earliest flag of the United States was that of a coiled snake and the words: “Don’t tread on me.”
The income trust issue that is still very much alive today and which festers in the minds of those aggrieved by it, is not a case of taxation without representation, but rather a case of taxation by misrepresentation. The saga of the income trust matter is a saga of misrepresentation by our elected representatives.
First there was the misrepresentation by Stephen Harper and every Conservative MP that, if elected, they would never raid seniors’ nest eggs by taxing income trusts. That misrepresentation was offered up on a platform of other misrepresentations such as promising a government of transparency and accountability and the misrepresentation that a Conservative government would compensate Canadians on a timely basis for any losses they may sustain as a result of government legislation.
Upon electing sufficient Conservative Misrepresentatives of Parliament, Stephen Harper had a change of heart. He was now the target of the affections of those in the business community such as Gwyn Morgan and Paul Desmarais Jr. , who for their own selfish reasons were well served by eliminating the competition known as income trusts.
After misrepresenting to the marketplace that a Conservative government would never tax income trusts, it was reasonable to expect that certain businesses would use this climate of certainty as a welcomed opportunity to convert to the income trust model.
The announcement by Telus proved pivotal, since it forced BCE’s hand to make a copy cat announcement of its own.
This provided the “perfect storm” for those who were waiting in the wings to bring about a reversal of the income trust policy.
Key to this exercise was the role played by the bureaucrats in Finance. Mark Carney was the epicenter of the misrepresentations that then ensued. Here is the apologetic account of his role that appeared in yesterdays Globe and Mail:
“Mr. Flaherty, whose political experience was at the Ontario level, was more of an Ottawa neophyte than Mr. Carney. The senior official's advice soon became indispensable as the Finance Minister set about dealing with income trusts, getting to know and understand financial market players, and gauging the effect of a soaring currency and hurting manufacturing sector.
Mr. Carney was a hawk on income trusts, and felt strongly that they were a counterproductive blight in Canada's economy, holding Canada back in an increasingly competitive global economy. His arguments were crucial in convincing Mr. Flaherty and Prime Minister Stephen Harper that trusts should be taxed before some of the country's biggest companies opted to convert to tax-free income trusts.
The decision provoked a bitter and ugly backlash that continues to this day.”
Let’s examine these misrepresentations for what they were and for what the Globe and Mail still promulgated them as being:
- Income trusts were a counterproductive blight in Canada's economy.
-Income trusts held Canada back in an increasingly competitive global economy.
-Income trusts should be taxed before some of the country's biggest companies opted to convert to tax free income trusts.
One thing that I won’t take issue with is the statement that: “The decision provoked a bitter and ugly backlash that continues to this day."
What do you expect to occur when the government lies to the people and steals their life savings and renders their future’s less secure, all the while allowing Pension Funds to own income trusts tax free, allowing law firms and accounting firms to operate as income trust and to allow corporations to be tax free entities when it comes to paying interest on debt?
And if that isn’t enough, this mindless policy has induced real tax leakage in its attempts to stem phantom tax leakage. This is costing the Government of Canada and every tax paying Canadian $1.4 billion a year.
It’s a good thing there are Canadians with a greater interest in uncovering the truth than those who occupy the Main Stream Media, since it will only be because of our actions and our dedication that we will live in a society where we can achieve Taxation Without Misrepresentation.
There are still those who righteously live by the credo of “Don’t tread on me”, especially when it come to one’s own elected misrepresentatives.
Sunday, January 27, 2008
Posted by Fillibluster at 9:45 AM