Sunday, July 19, 2009

Insight for Liberals: Flaherty doesn’t like questions about income trusts

I am told that Amanda Lang has left the Biased News Network for places unknown. As evidence of the cozy relationship that exists between Amanda and Jim Flaherty, apparently Canada’s Finance Minister took time form his busy schedule to bid farewell to Amanda, and said that he “he'd miss her constant grilling on income trusts.”

Amanda Lang has not provided Jim Flaherty with a constant grilling on income trusts. Quite the opposite. In fact, who has been giving Flaherty a constant grilling on income trusts, that is in a position to do so.? Certainly not media, and certainly not the opposition parties in Parliament.

When was the last time that Flaherty has been asked a real QUESTION by the Liberals on income trusts?

If Flaherty has time to bid goodbyes to Amanda Lang, then he certainly has time to answer the questions of 2.5 million income trust investors. Here are five basic questions that Flaherty needs to answer. Maybe the Liberals would be wise to begin asking as a means to discredit Jim Flaherty and the Harper Cons:

(1) Where, after nearly three years, is your proof of tax leakage from income trusts that formed the core rationale for this policy?

(2) Why are you valuing the deferred taxes paid on RRSPs at zero, when there is no economic or financial rationale for doing, and the Auditor General requires you to include such taxes when determining the budget and the effect of not including these taxes is to render the RRSP obsolete, as the only benefit of an RRSP is the ability to defer taxes? Are you opposed to Canadians saving for retirement, while at the same time bailing out the pensions of GM workers?

(3) What purpose is served, apart from gross unfairness, by your allowing the pensions funds to own these income trust privately and thereby completely evade your 31.5% tax? Something that only the pension funds can do, and not the 75% of Canadians without pensions? How does this solve the alleged problems with income trusts, to have them all held by pension funds? How can this be considered a Tax Fairness Plan

(4) If you felt that the withholding tax paid by foreigners on income trusts at the rate of 15% was insufficient, then why did you reduce the withholding tax paid by foreigners on corporate debt from 15% to zero, a few months later? What became of your mantra of leveling the playing field, in light of completely tilting the playing field in favour of corporations?

(5) How much tax revenue has been lost by the takeovers of income trusts by foreigners? Is this a greater or lesser number than your alleged loss of taxes from income trusts referred to in (1) above, a number which has never been proven to exists in the first place? Why are you displacing Canadian investors saving for their retirement at a cost to them of $35 billion and the loss of significant taxes to all Canadians, only to favour foreign investors like Abu Dhabi Energy or LI Ka Shing, who pay zero taxes?

Bonus Question: Who has been the bigger pushover on income trusts to date? Amanda Lang or the Liberal Party of Canada, Canada’s supposed Official Opposition party?


Dr Mike said...

I have watched BNN whenever Jim Flaherty has been on the show & Amanda consistently tossed Jim the softball questions when it came to trusts or whatever the issue for that matter.

She obviously was so thrilled about Jimmy putting-in an appearance that she was quick to never offend him & did everything she could to make his stay a pleasant one.

No wonder Jim took the time to thank her---I would have too if I had been the one on the other end of the so-called grilling.

With a grilling like that there was no need to even fire-up the "barby" or "torch" the briquets.

Just shows you that great hair can get you anywhere.

Dr Mike

PS---where is that Liberal trust policy anyway---might as well toss it out there , after all , it is not like the Cons will steal it.

Kephalos said...

The Prime Majority of One and his little buddy Flaherty operate a democracy that goes around creating or exploiting pockets of prejudice and inequality.

The effect of the policy of double-taxation of income trusts will be to make it harder for many Canadians to save for retirement. That won't be all bad. The policy will benefit the economy by forcing most Canadians to work longer before retirement. Which will be needed because those who take early retirement with a government pension won't be enough to take up the slack in the part-time labor force.

Bruce Benson said...

Why yes, anything directed from Amanda Lang to Flaherty was pretty low ball like "Mr. Flaherty are you going to rescind the Trust Tax?" to which Flaherty said "No". Never once was there a hard ball question requiring 1/4 ounce of intelligence. Good bye and good riddance to Amanda. Wonder who will be the next BNN mouth piece?

Anonymous said...

Amanda was an arms-length covert friend Flaherty. Ostensibly she was objective and factual vis-a-vis the Honorable Finance Minister but implicitly she was his TV Squeeze.

The fact that Flaherty explicitly mentioned Income Trusts in saying his warm goodbye as he gave Amanda an arms wrap hug portents that Flaherty will take the Debacle with himself wherever he goes... even unto the grave. He will always be the Finance Minister who lied through his teeth, and covered up an internal report of the Dept of Finance to destroy $35 billion of retirement savings.