Flaherty’s gravy-train wreck.

Finance Minister Jim Flaherty does not seem to care where he steals his ideas. Struggling through the smoke and mirrors of this most recent federal budget, you wonder where he got some of those ideas. And then it dawns on you that the gravy train might have ended for tax evaders but the nightmare has just begun for the Conservatives. They have just climbed aboard Toronto Mayor Rob Ford’s gravy train.

Surely you remember Rob Ford’s gravy train. It was the one that got him elected and then got him vilified. We all found out that Rob Ford was the guy driving the train. It only existed in his imagination.

That is like the $550 million that Jim Flaherty is going to recover for us by ending the federal gravy train. He is going to get this money from people who move their money off-shore or from bogus charities and the list goes on. There are many urban legends of where the money is hiding. Heck, we all know where the Irving money is located. Jim Flaherty should just ask nicely for the Bahamas to send it back to Canada.

But what Flaherty forgets to mention is that for every loonie that is returned to Canada, it will probably cost us $1.10 in legal fees. This is not to say that we should not close loopholes in the federal tax structure. After all, the money the Irving’s have taken out of New Brunswick was done with all observances to Canadian law. We allowed the late K.C. Irving to rip us off. Closing loopholes like that is something that is long overdue.

Tax cheats in the name of charity are also a serious problem. Solving that problem will not only take time but will cost far more than what will be recovered. The objective has to be to save us money in the future. Today’s Canada Revenue Agency hardly has the staff or power to check for all the phony tax receipts issued or to stop the exorbitant salaries being paid to people running supposed charities.

What is obvious about this most recent budget is that it is only a warm-up to the election year budget of 2015. By then, Stephen Harper will probably have a new, more credible Finance Minister in place. The promises of that year’s budget will make poor Jim Flaherty look like a piker. The deficit will, of course, be defeated and Canada’s future in selling resources will be assured by all the pipelines to the seas.

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Copyright 2013 © Peter Lowry

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