– Source

The doctor is IN. You may have noticed the mobile clinic is being held today in the roomy interior of a 1958 Pontiac Parisienne, to mark the passing of GM into bankruptcy protection.

And while we’re at it, let’s grieve a little for the $10 billion (at least) Canadian taxpayers will be forking over to the auto giant, since the prime minister tells us it will not be repaid. But, happy day, we get 12% of the world’s largest insolvent manufacturer. They sure know their stuff in Ottawa.

But speaking of moribund loans and loser borrowers, let’s meet our first patient, Clarence. He confesses:

Hi Garth: I have a 20-year-old student loan that is now over $24,000. It is in default and I need to come with a plan to take to the collection agency to pay it off. My income is between 1,600 and 2,000 a month clear. My savings are $24,000. I have no other debt.  Do I pay off the loan or use my savings for a down payment on a condo. I have been told that the interest rate and the total amount of the loan is non-negotiable. I have no appetite to go to court.

Should I just get rid of the loan, or is there some way I can carry the loan and a 35-year mortgage of around $90,000. I am 52, in excellent health and financially illiterate.

Ya think?

Clarence, don’t tell me you spent twenty grand on education two decades ago, and you are still this dumb. That sucker should have been retired years ago, instead of poisoning your credit report and putting you face-to-face with Dog the Loan Hunter. This has the potential for a judgment against you, and a garnishee of your wages. So, suck it up.

The easiest path is to pay it off, since you have the money. Or, tell the predators at the collection agency you’ll give them a grand a month for the next two years, if they cut interest on the outstanding balance to zero. Or, take your $24,000 and escape to Italy for a new life. That should last about two weeks.

As for the condo, are you nuts? Your net worth is zero, so why would you go into debt for more than $100,000 to purchase an asset likely to fall in value? Suddenly you will be responsible not only for mortgage payments, but property tax and monthly condo fees as well. You’ll have no savings and no reserve should you lose your job, as well as no equity. If real estate prices erode, as expected over the next few years, you could easily slip under water and end up owing thousands, making this student loan issue look like mere seal heart sushi.

Nah, Clarence, you need a plan. Rent and save. Deal with that ancient debt. Release the Eighties. Glass Tiger. Cindy Lauper. Strange Advance. It’s all over, dude.

Now, watch the mirror getting out. This baby is a relic. Its maker is a wreck.


#1 The Tallyman on 06.02.09 at 12:01 am


See what happens when you drop out of school!

#2 James Pike on 06.02.09 at 12:04 am

This guy doesn’t really exist.

Sadly, yes. — Garth

#3 The Coming Depression on 06.02.09 at 12:16 am

Here is my advice: Forget paying anyone off, go bankrupt and in 2 years when real estate is WORSE, the bank will give you a mortgage after discharge ( 2 yrs). Seen it time and time again..Sold dozens like that..If you decide to screw your credit ( and don’t go bankrupt) its 7 years before you can get a MORTGAGE.

#4 Jeff Smith on 06.02.09 at 12:35 am

Garth, that’s the best! Release the eighties, LOL

#5 EJ on 06.02.09 at 12:42 am

And here I was, under the assumption that banks would do a credit check on someone before giving them the biggest loan they’ll most likely ever get, weed good old Clarence here out, and remove a choice from his decision matrix.

Or are the banks still pulling a subprime boner and not checking on this data?

#6 Munch on 06.02.09 at 12:46 am


Good one, Garth!

#7 . . . fried eggs and spam . . . on 06.02.09 at 12:54 am

“They sure know their stuff in Ottawa.” — Looking at this magnificently concocted brilliant bailout package, not only designed to fail but in fancy packaging, so as to specifically leave us worthless minions perpetually broke, aren’t you glad you’re out of politics and back in real life now, Garth?

Let those blood-sucking vampires feast on their own nectar — they enjoy and deserve it.

“Rent and save.” For myself, that would be the only way to go, as I have been freed from having multiple-sheeple-disorders, so I would only need an apt. to live, not a McMansioned-condo tower.

However, for regular SheepleBurgers thruout the country, the anthem remains: Another Brick In The Wall Pt. 2 . . .

“. . . We don’t need no education . . .”. Enuff said.
#71 lgre on 06.01.09 at 5:42 pm — You supplied a link about growing mortgage rates. A US POV. — http://tinyurl.com/np89oj
Some may recognize the names here from my last Conspiracy Theory / Forecast post! — http://rense.com/general86/bilder.htm

Two links, both fiscal. Now this what the Chinese think of Geithner! — http://tinyurl.com/npf3xa /\ http://tinyurl.com/mg9tze

“Chinese financial assets are very safe,” he said, drawing laughter from the audience. And . . .

“It will be helpful if Geithner can show us some arithmetic” — Yu Yongding

Webmaster’s Commentary: “So much for inscrutable!”
Comment from wrh.com is good and follows. — http://tinyurl.com/marbkz

“The upper levels of the economy rest on the lower levels. The lower levels have been destroyed by tax policy that shifted jobs out of the US. The upper levels of the economy are starting to collapse. And without a strong foundation, there is nothing to prevent the spire from falling all the way down into the basement.”
Article concerns Canada. Comment from wrh.com. — http://tinyurl.com/mk5hqz

“But yesterday, at the Beth Emeth Bais Yehuda synagogue in North York, the most astonishing thing happened. Leaders of Canada’s political parties got all gushy and goopy, practically falling over one another to show they love Jews – and Israel – best.”

Webmaster’s Commentary: “Read the comments. Canadians understand that what happened in the United States is now happening in Canada.”

#8 taxpayer like you on 06.02.09 at 1:12 am

Garth – are you makin’ this up? C’mon, you’re funnin’
with us aren’t ya? Huh?

First you give us 30 somethings in Maple Ridge with a paid up mortgage. Now ya give us a 52 yr old, college degree with zero net worth working for $15/hr??

On the other hot topic, I can still go touch every GM product Ive ever bought (back to 1980) on a daily basis.
Two are in my garage, the other is driven by a business partner. Who says they didnt build quality.

I just had know idea I’d still be paying for them……..

#9 taxpayer like you on 06.02.09 at 1:13 am

oops a no know….its late…..

#10 NorthOf49 on 06.02.09 at 1:14 am

Strange Advance….a great band from the 80’s.

Garth, you’re more hip than I thought!

#11 sparky on 06.02.09 at 1:47 am

Before you send Clarence to make payments on his 20 year old student loan- better tell him to look into the statute of limitations. It varies by Province, but this debt may be no longer owed.

#12 ted on 06.02.09 at 2:38 am

Most people I know like hanging on to their student loans so they can get a tax break. The problem with student loans is the interest is higher and even if you go bankrupt you still own it. Since most people with student loans are more likely to go bankrupt, my advice is try to negotiate a better interest rate with your bank through a line of credit or if you own your house through a mortgage. You may not be able to write off the interest on the new loan but if you go under you still won’t own it.

#13 ted on 06.02.09 at 2:43 am

Anyone read the paper the other day about the last bubble that popped hi tech. Well its rearing its still rearing its ugly head. Employees of companies that gave out stock options like nortel, and Creo(the two employees profiled were from there) well some of them still owe taxes on options paid out ten years ago. They exercised the options and according to canadian tax laws you pay income at the realized profit at the time you exercise your options. Well a lot of people did not sell the stocks hoping they would go higher. their stocks plummeted and they had no money to pay their taxes. Some in the millions. I guess the housing bubble kept their minds off of this problem for years. But it seems some of them are on the verge of bankruptcy years later. Its funny how the fallout of these two bubbles can be seen years later. I have a feeling we will see simliar problems in five years with housing when msot people will be up for renewal on their mortgage.

#14 wjp on 06.02.09 at 6:03 am

Now that our governments (Federal & Ontario) have seen fit to flush 10 billion down the toilet, the question remians, will they be willing to dole out a like amount in 2-3 years when the shell of GM returns for more?
In poker terms, they are pot committed!!!

#15 john m on 06.02.09 at 6:36 am

Great post Garth… GM is bankrupt billions of our tax dollars gone and what has been accomplished? Well from what i just read Ontario’s portion has not created a single job or saved any……..”McGuinty dodged questions about how much Ontario would contribute to reducing the huge shortfall in GM’s pension plans.

But federal Industry Minister Tony Clement said later that almost all, if not all, of Ontario’s aid would be used to tackle GM’s long- term pension woes including a big upfront payment”————is this fair?..to use thousands upon thousands of taxpayers lifetime contributions (most of whom have no pension plans of their own) to support the lifestyle of a few retired autoworkers? ……. The stench from this incompetence will haunt the lifestyles of generations.

#16 hagbard on 06.02.09 at 7:12 am

This isn’t April 1 is it?

#17 Da HK Kid on 06.02.09 at 7:14 am

Yes, we lost a lot of people to the 80’s!

Isn’t that when GM starting walking backwards and Honda was running.

I remember I had a 84′ Ford Mustang GT and a guy I know had a Civic! That Civic went anywhere and on an 1/8 of the gas mine did!

Ah, the price we paid for driving a chick magnet!

#18 Bill-Muskoka (NAM) on 06.02.09 at 8:00 am


Good advice. Obviously, critical thinking was NOT part of his education!

#19 Rob in Onterrible on 06.02.09 at 8:01 am

Garth, this is an interesting post because it contrasts some of the people that have too much money and don’t know where to put it with an ever growing class of working poor. Since most people have their net worth in a dinosaur McMansion, I suspect more people like Clarence will be sharing their stories with you.

I like your advice of offering to pay off the student loan of $1000 a month but Clarence also needs to grow his $24,000 nest egg fast. What do you recommend?

#20 Bill-Muskoka (NAM) on 06.02.09 at 8:08 am

As to Gasping Motors, well, I shed not one tear for them. I, my father, and brother all worked for a GM subsidiary. I left after one year of their idiotic manglement and lieing and am glad I did. The subsidiary was unloaded long ago and is very profitable under the guidance of a British company. My father left after years at a relatively high position in engineering management, and my brother retired after almost 40 years. He would be in shock today because he was a real ‘company man’ even though he got regular proctological treatments from them. Some people just can’t accept change. Fortunately, he is not alive to bear witness to GM’s demise.

BTW, Chrysler is said to exiting their bankruptcy by the end of the month. Apparently, they needed a little resuscitation and have pulled things together expediently. It will be interesting to see what Frank Stronach and the Russians do with Opel?

#21 Bill-Muskoka (NAM) on 06.02.09 at 8:18 am

Now, whereas GM is officially bankrupt, when will the governments attach the assets of the top execs and get back the wasted bonus money they scoffed off with while running the company into the ground? Oh, wait, we can’t even do that with the Bozos at the CPP? God forbid CEO’s should be held accountable for their performance, eh?

I see Dim Jim is doing his Ontario tricks again, only this time with our National Assets like CBC, Via Rail, and other Crown Corporations. Got to hand him credit, he is a stalwart ideologue, but still a total idiot.

When will the privatization mantra die? Perhaps when Hell Freezes Over? Ah, I think I will put on the Eagles song ‘Dirty Laundry’ which they dedicated to Rupert Murdoch at their Melbourne tour. So fitting.

So, how is OUR 407 Highway doing nowadays? Ontario Hydro (aka Hydro One), etc. Yes Sir, Jimmy boy is a real financial wizard for the people.

#22 David Bakody on 06.02.09 at 8:20 am

This is a joke right? an educated 52 yr old person making less than 35K a year ……. hello, kids were making that a every quarter during the oil boom years out west.

On the auto front ….. Harper/Flaherty & Clement claim Ontario is paying for pensions and Ottawa is paying for for other things hello “OTHER THINGS” ???? and they plan on selling our stock for profit starting next year ….. perhaps GM Stock would be a good buy along with Real Estate ….. OMG LOL or what?

#23 Grantmi on 06.02.09 at 8:20 am

Well it’s official!

The recession if OFFICALLY OVER!!!

MBO Capital Markets – DOUGY PORTER says.. yup!!

“It is more and more likely that the recession could be declared over by some point in the summer!!”

How do these guys continue to keep their jobs… day in and day out… with this kind of BS dribble coming from their cake holes!!!

And this dude is the Deputy Chief economist! I think’em in the only thing the chief is smoking is his own pipe!!!



Move along!! Nothing to see here!!

#24 MWJ on 06.02.09 at 8:26 am

So what I’d like to know is:

Now that we have a Canadian car company, Magna/Opel, why is Harper giving billions to an American Car Company?

Imagine what we’d have if Harper spent 5 billion on a Canadian Car Company instead of 10 billion on a Car Company owned by the American Government?

#25 Alex on 06.02.09 at 8:27 am

to: pbrasseur

You are not calculating the 98% devaluation correctly.
2 cents in 1973 had the same power as 100 cents today – this is a 98% loss of purchasing power.
Now here is the formula to calculate an annual inflation for 36 years:
2cents*(Inflation)^36=100 cents
=> Inflation= 11.5%

Impressive right? Now imagine how manipulative StatsCanada is!

#26 Munch on 06.02.09 at 8:29 am


Is Canada REALLY in such a mess?

No, I mean it, really?

I honestly thought the average Canadian citizen had nothing to worry about.

Rgds, Munch

#27 TorontoBull on 06.02.09 at 8:31 am

as far as I know you cannot wipe out student loan with a bancruptcy

#28 $fromA$ia on 06.02.09 at 8:31 am


Marc Faber, my other hero.

Inflation will justify our high housing prices eventually.
Governents are trying to bridge or support the gap. Somewhere in all this B.$. Housing will correct related to stagflation economy.

#29 D from London, ON on 06.02.09 at 8:40 am

Wow, how do these people manage to save in the five figures while avoiding repayment of debts? Is this the same groupthink that got us into the GM/Chrysler mess? Is it just me or does everyone want to externalize their consequences these days?

No one seems to consider fiscal responsibility anymore. Poor ol’ Clarence states that he doesn’t have the stomach to go to court – I ask, “Go to court for what? To avoid paying down your lawful debt?” You sir are a scumbag. Pay me back my $24,000 and stop dreaming about pissing my money away on a condo. A visit to the Casino would likely yield a better return, and I don’t like THOSE odds.

P.S. – GM, pay me back my $10 billion within 20 years too. I know ol’ Clarence has had a good run for the past 20 years, so I can go 20 on your loan too. I am willing to lend you the money on the promise of some social good (just like my parents were willing to lend Clarence the money to go to school based on the expectation of some hazily defined social good). For some reason both you and Clarence seem to think it’s a gift. Notice to both of you – I am not Grandma – I expect my generous and unsecured loans to you both to be repaid.

#30 pbrasseur on 06.02.09 at 8:43 am


I’m disgusted.

That Obama is a disaster of epic proportions, America will pay dearly for this ruinous nanny statism.

#31 Signal Loss on 06.02.09 at 8:51 am

Hey, I liked the 80s. And stop harshing on Strange Advance.

#32 Live Within Your Means on 06.02.09 at 9:11 am

#27 TorontoBull on 06.02.09 at 8:31 am
as far as I know you cannot wipe out student loan with a bancruptcy

No idea about that, but I’d think if you have $24K in savings, and currently hold down a job earning $35K (as some have determined to be his income), wouldn’t the law force you to pay the loan?

#33 Me on 06.02.09 at 9:18 am

Speaking of student loans, my girlfriend has about $9,500 worth of outstanding OSAP from two years ago. She has been completing her studies part-time since then, but we have paid for her tuition from my income. OSAP has caught on to the fact that she now has a common law partner – me! They suspended her interest free holiday and have been charging her between 4-8% interest. I sent them a $1,000 this week as I decide what to do (so it’s now $8,500).

My frustration is this. If they want my income to pay for this outstanding balance from before we met, which I never signed or had anything to do with, then I want the tax credits associated with the tuition. My girlfriend has about $20-25,000 worth sitting with CRA that are just inflating away. She has no income to apply them against. This would get a refund of about $4-5,000.

#34 Sheltered from the storm on 06.02.09 at 9:39 am

Re: #23 Grantmi –
But it is different this time!

“Yanick Desnoyers, NBF’s assistant chief economist, said this recession is unlike previous downturns because job losses, while substantial, have not been as widespread, and appear to be concentrated in specific regions and sectors – construction and manufacturing.”

I guess it’s not affecting newspapers like the one this article was written in… or mining, forestry, paper, insurance, banking, tech who have all recently laid off people in Canada.

#35 Mike (Authentic) on 06.02.09 at 9:39 am

25 Alex “You are not calculating the 98% devaluation correctly. 2 cents in 1973 had the same power as 100 cents today – this is a 98% loss of purchasing power.”

That might be the math, but it’s DEFINATELY NOT CORRECT. I was around then and you could buy a base Chevy Camaro for $6349.

A Chevy Camaro today is $23,000. Not $317,000k as you suggest.


#36 CJ on 06.02.09 at 9:40 am

has anyone updated that chart that shows canadian vs US housing prices offset by 2 yrs? is it still tracking?

#37 NotAGreaterFool on 06.02.09 at 9:40 am

TORONTO, June 1 /CNW/ – BMO Bank of Montreal announced today it is changing its residential mortgage rates, effective June 2, 2009.

The new rates are:

Fixed Rates: To: Change:

5 year fixed closed 5.45% +.20%
7 year fixed closed 6.80% +.20%
10 year fixed closed 6.95% +.20%

Fixed Rate Special Offer*: To: Change:

5 Years (fixed/closed) 4.15% +.20%

(The interest on fixed-rate mortgages compounds semi-annually, not in

* This special discounted rate is not the posted rate of BMO Bank of
Montreal. Rates are subject to change without notice. Offer may be
withdrawn or extended without notice. Mortgage funds must be advanced
within 90 days of the application.

#38 POL-CAN on 06.02.09 at 10:08 am

Had to repost this from another blog…. Too funny…

The Economy Is So Bad that…

1 CEO’s are now playing miniature golf.

2 Jewish women are marrying for love.

3 Even people who have nothing to do with the Obama administration aren’t paying their taxes.

4 Hotwheels and Matchbox stocks are trading higher than GM’s stock.

5 Obama met with small businesses to discuss the Stimulus Package: GE, Pfizer and Citigroup were there.

6 McDonalds is selling the 1/4 ouncer.

7 Parents in Beverly Hills are firing their nannies and learning their children’s names.

8 A truckload of Americans got caught sneaking into Mexico.

9 The most highly-paid job is now jury duty.

10 People in Africa are donating money to Americans.

11 Motel Six won’t leave the light on.

12 The Mafia is laying off judges.

13 Congress says they are looking into this Bernard Madoff scandal. Hey, neat! The guy who made $50 billion disappear is being investigated by the people who made $750 billion disappear.

14.Indians and chinese are migrating to Africa and antarctic for “better prospects”

15.Suzuki and Hyndui are largest automakers….

16.Tata nano is considered “necessity”.Many celebrities are going through arduous weight reduction program to fit into this small car.

17.New dollar is backed by cocain,heroin and all other narcotics.Drug dealers are new lawmakers.

18.Goldman Sachs and rest of finacial firms are writing new global derivatives on “Drug and Opium procurement program for distressed dopes ” aka “DOPPDD”.

19.Handcarts,cycle rikshaws,bullock carts and horse carriages are common sight on roads.

20.Non Motorised Two wheeled Propulsion Vehicle(NMTWPV)i.e. bicycle sales have zoomed to 2 million per month….

21.USA president now speaks chinese and fluent in host of other world languages.

22.Americans at last know there are other countries in world besides their own.

23.French are selling champagne in polythene packs and rubber balloons.

Part II will be delivered later


#39 pbrasseur on 06.02.09 at 10:10 am



pretty well sums it up as far as I’m concerned.

#40 tjmikey on 06.02.09 at 10:12 am

Strange Advance?

What’s next Garth….Goddo?

The Monks?

That’s to cool…..and of course you have dated yourself.

#41 POL-CAN on 06.02.09 at 10:16 am


The Economy Is So Bad that…

24.Ben Bernake,Paulson,Geitner are working as magicians in villege fairs..

25.General motors is renamed as GMT and is biggest manufacturer of Government-Motorised-Toilets….

26.USA ,at last,stopped military aid to pakistan on account of “no returns”

26.Bankers are running illegal betting parlours.

27.Hummers are being used to carry manure and water

28.Bank officials are told to retain their customers at any cost.Their training program includes: crying, making emotional talks,holding feet of customers etc etc.

29.Divorce lawyers are commiting sucides by hundreads…

30.Micheal Jckson has changed his/her colour to original black.It seems he/she was tarred and feathered in Saudi arabia for some unknown reason. He/she has also cut his/her nose permanently.

#42 Jim on 06.02.09 at 10:17 am

Why should we subsidize incompetence? These people cannot run a business. You’d think that after 100 years they would understand how the industry works. Would you invest in a non-competitive company facing bankruptcy? As for the people who gave the best years of their lives to the company, many were doomed to low paying low skilled jobs as an alternative. I have two degrees and no pension, so I have to pay for a high school dropout’s pension? If business conditions warrant it, I’ll get laid off and there will be no one to bail me out. I have always bought imports simply because they make better cars. I have a 19 year old Honda that runs like a clock. Even if GM actually listened to customers and made better cars, I would not buy one out of principle. These CEOs are incompetent and they should forfeit their salary. They should be sued for ruining people’s livelihoods


#43 Happy Renter in North Van on 06.02.09 at 10:39 am

Garth, if the dude is 52, he probably remebers Lighthouse, Steely Dan, BTO, Sex Pistols and the Ramones as the music of his indebted youth…

#44 lgre on 06.02.09 at 10:40 am

with questions like Clarence’s I’m not suprised by the bidding wars in Toronto, the people buying today have no business buying a house or RE period ..seen it first hand, twice now in the last 2 months.

#45 Bill-Muskoka (NAM) on 06.02.09 at 10:41 am

#30 pbrasseur

Oh yeah, sure! It is all President Obama’s fault. Why don’t you run over to Fox news and spout you idiocy there? GM used the Redumblican tax breaks and game plan to run their arse into the ground. Wake UP!

#46 613 Happy where I am on 06.02.09 at 10:49 am

GM now stands for Government Motors!!! (How the hell did the taxpayers end up supporting an industry with a long history of arrogance and self-righteousness??? And an union which , in its heyday, was rivalled only by the Posties…????

Why is the government on the hook for basically keeping the lights on at GM…

I say “Rest in peace, GM” but dont bring the rest of the economy into the hole with you…

#47 alberta ed on 06.02.09 at 11:02 am

Along with the $10B or so that Ottawa is pissing away on GM/Chrysler, don’t forget to add in all the non-repayable ‘loans’ soaked up by Bombardier over the decades, not to mention the untold millions or billions spent to refurbish three British rustbucket submarines that will never see useful duty. Same old, same old…

#48 ally ally oxycontin free on 06.02.09 at 11:17 am

HAWT DAWG … Did someone say, “It’s over?”

Yesterday, I was in an area of close-outs trying to utilize my dollar store purchasing skills. I went downtown by train [ ceñiros discount ] and walked for miles, looking for the deal of the century.

At the back of the store, there were racks full of marginal merchandise marked ‘as-is.’ I was overcome by a feeling of being overtired, so I thought I’d pull up some cardboard and crash.

This morning, when the store reopened and they spotted me, they called the police. It took me a good two hours to explain what had happened. They literally led me to the door like a criminal.

I believe the sign says it all … in the most sincere way.


#49 RJ on 06.02.09 at 11:52 am

Clarence is 52, so his college years were probably dead center in the seventies. At his age, perhaps $24,000 in long term out of the money TLT puts might be considered. While renting.

#50 rory on 06.02.09 at 11:54 am

#34 Bill-Muskoka (NAM)

Maybe pbrasseur should have said:

“GM! I’m disgusted. That Office of President of the United States of America is a disaster of epic proportions, America will pay dearly for this ruinous nanny statism.”

Donkey or Elephant, both are getting failing grades. No difference here in CA either …too bad. A big vision with real substance could have taken hold.

The problem has got to be with the structure as we get the same old no matter who wins.

Me thinks the model is broken. When things are broken you go back to the basics. Look to sports as an analogy here. I am guessing things like the like rule of law, size of gov’t limited, reduce influence peddling, etc.


Oh yeah, do not forget it is just not the gov’t …people need to take responsibility for their actions, pay off your obligations, and live within your means…you know – the basics …and helping old ladies cross the street wouldn’t hurt either …IMO.

#51 David Bakody on 06.02.09 at 11:55 am

47 alberta ed on 06.02.09 at 11:02 am

Hey …. then there are those Tanks sitting in warehouse and those helicopters that are way over budget and late, and now Harper wants to sell even more Canadian assets (bargin base price no doubt) and soon he will be thinking of our own Canadian “Blackwater”

#52 diabolo on 06.02.09 at 11:57 am

All I want to know is…. Which school did he go and what was his major…??? Lack of education is showing…

Maybe he can ask for a refund…

#53 CM on 06.02.09 at 12:13 pm

I’m not surprised that the old GM products are still on the road (with a little bit of care and feeding over the years). The company that was called GM in the last twenty years was no more the old GM than the party called the Conservative Party now is the old PC.

Bait and switch, lipstick on pigs, whatever you want to call it, it’s just not what it says it is. The value in the company has been drained into offshore bank accounts of the GM execs. What’s left is an empty hulk.

Meanwhile, both the Feds and the Ontario government have bought a pig in a poke – with lipstick. Too bad they bought it with our money.

Every job “saved” cost $1.7M. When you factor in the jobs lost with closures and restructuring, that amount doubles. You could have pensioned off every one of these workers to live in luxury for the rest of their lives for this money. St. Stephen the Harp said we could just kiss this money good-bye. He’s the one who knows exactly where it’s gone.

Amazing how generous our glorious leaders can be with money that doesn’t belong to them.

Meanwhile the Feds are having a fire sale, as Bill-Muskoka (NAM) mentioned above. CBC, Via Rail, real estate, all our stuff bought and paid for, now to be sold to Fed buddies for knock down prices. What’ll the government do with our money? Gawd knows.

Some people think that Flaherty loves the deficit. Murray Dobbin, the west coast prophet, has a piece on the Tyee about it.


He makes the case that it allows the Cons to slash government programs left and right, which is what the HarpoCons wanted to do anyway. Now they have the perfect cover.

And what will we have left? A country with its common ties cut, perfect for breaking into little pieces.

But somebody must still have some money somewhere. The Ontario government is pouring money into computerization of health records – for the second time. The big cheese in the firm hired to do the job gets paid $700,000+ a year. Consultants are paid $2,000 a day, and we still have no system. They’re hosting a party in Quebec City – on our money. I don’t remember getting an invitation.

“The Star also learned yesterday that the eHealth agency, which has been under intense scrutiny over high-priced consultants and executive perks, spent $27,000 to sponsor an out-of-province conference, including an evening reception Sunday.”


Meanwhile, people wait for operations or do without needed palliative care.

Another fire sale – old airplanes. A vintage Spitfire restored by volunteers in BC is sold to private owners for $1 – and moved out of the province.


And let’s not forget the upper echelons of our armed forces, using a C-17 as a moving van for another vintage plane, going to the same private owners, at the cost of approx. $200,000 to Canadian taxpayers.

From Scott Taylor at Esprit de Corps:

“…[t]here are few aircraft in service that are more expensive to operate than a C-17 transport, and a modest estimate of the flight cost to include a New Zealand stopover amounts to more than $200,000.

At first, Air Force officials tried to downplay the whole affair by claiming that the empty C-17 was returning from a supply run to the airfield in Kandahar, Afghanistan.

“…[Ottawa Citizen defence reporter]Pugliese …was able to ascertain that the detour via the southern hemisphere actually added over 10,000 nautical miles to the return trip.”

If they could make THAT detour, why couldn’t they have made this one?

While the relatives of Karine Blais waited for hours on the tarmac for the return of her body “…the plane carrying the body of the latest Canadian soldier slain in Afghanistan … stop[ped] in Ottawa first to drop off other soldiers who were returning home…the decision to stop in Ottawa was apparently a logistical decision so the returning soldiers would not have to land in Trenton and then make the three-hour trip back to Ottawa where they would be transported to their homes. ”


I wonder why we’re all feeling poorer and poorer…and angrier and angrier?

#54 VOODOO on 06.02.09 at 12:21 pm

GM = Government Money

#55 D from London, ON on 06.02.09 at 12:28 pm

# 33 – Me

I have been down this path before, supporting a Common Law spouse that was going to school, had student loans from prior to our relationship, and I paid the tuition, etc., etc., etc. After several years of this I took the biggest credit of all – I left (for other reasons)! What became clear to me later (but was clear to my friends and family at the time, all of whom I ignored) was that she was taking me for a ride. I know from experience that love is blind…

Anyway, why I am writing to you is to point out that while you are SOL on the interest credits, you CAN claim her tuition and education amounts up to $5,000 per year, as well as claim her as equivalent-to-spouse on your tax return. If she has no income you should be in line for both the tax credits and deduction.

There is more info on transferrable student credits available from CRA at:


and more info on the equivalent to spouse deductions at:


You may already know all of this, but there might be some lurkers who would find this helpful.

Good luck on all counts.

#56 Jeff Smith on 06.02.09 at 12:56 pm

Yeah, but if you and that guy were ever in a highway accident. You would still be here typing this letter and he would be gone. I once sat in my friend’s civic cruising down the highway, and I never really feel safe.

#17 Da HK Kid on 06.02.09 at 7:14 am Yes, we lost a lot of people to the 80’s!

Isn’t that when GM starting walking backwards and Honda was running.

I remember I had a 84′ Ford Mustang GT and a guy I know had a Civic! That Civic went anywhere and on an 1/8 of the gas mine did!

Ah, the price we paid for driving a chick magnet!

#57 Garth Vader on 06.02.09 at 1:22 pm

The man of wisdom is never of two minds;
the man of benevolence never worries;
the man of courage is never afraid – Confucius

#58 David on 06.02.09 at 1:25 pm

The tall foreheads in Ottawa really do know their stuff when it comes to lack of accountability, transparency and stifling democratic debate over the fate of GM. The same dismal nonsense is part and parcel of the Obama rescue plan. For some thoughful debate on the subject.



#59 Rasputin on 06.02.09 at 1:36 pm

Conservatism and free markets are dead in North America. It’s all socialism all the time. Of course free markets are going to take the blame so once again, governments are going to use a problem they created as an excuse to grow itself and intrude on our lives even more. It won’t end until the parasite kills the host.

I can understand Obama doing this. He ‘s a commie. Americans knew that when they voted for him. But Harper? The only thing I can come up with is the fact that they have a minority and would have been defeated in 10 minutes if they let GM die.

#60 crashing yuppy on 06.02.09 at 1:37 pm


Pay your student loan and stop being such a leach.

A pathetic loser

#61 wjp on 06.02.09 at 1:43 pm

We have all missed the point here I think, what we need to do is form an association of “Garth Contributors” and get ourselves a loan of 180 billion, split it up, send the proceeds offshore, and threaten bankruptcy…maybe, our estemed federal government will cough up to the lender and we’ll be off the hook.
I am kidding of course, or maybe just practicing Harpo-economics!

#62 Nathan in Edmonton on 06.02.09 at 1:46 pm

Everytime I make a payment on my student loan I think how I’m finally paying off this or that night of drinking back in ’97.

#63 wjp on 06.02.09 at 1:53 pm

Many years ago, when I worked on Wall Street, (in the days when there were a few somewhat ethical and honest firms) one of the first things I learn as a young trader was to cut your losses quickly and run your profits to a predetermined point (taking account of daily news, of course)
Point: I won’t be buying a GM product today or ever, I have or will be contributing to their loss as a taxpayer, I don’t think I want to pay twice. The sooner they go under, the better for us all, if it is swift enough, maybe the government of that day won’t have the balls to bail them out again. If the demise lingers, you can be sure another silly ass in Ottawa and Queens Park will be throwing more bad money after good. You see, they don’t have to cut losses, after all, they have an unexhaustable pool of cash…you and me!

#64 . . . fried eggs and spam . . . on 06.02.09 at 2:00 pm

Interesting that yesterday, June 1, GM filed for bankruptcy, and the US bought in new passport laws in for Mexicans and Canadians wanting to travel there. Freedom must be a dirty word in the WH these days, as free travel used to be the norm.

I suppose one can say they have set up their own Iron Curtain, they have locked their own citizens in. Times sure change, don’t they? It sure as hell isn’t because of this fake ‘terrorist’ BS, either.
From John Thompson’s column on Castanet.net Monday:

“Gas prices went from 93.9 cents a litre to 106.9 within a matter of minutes about a week ago. When I asked what happened an operator told me that the call came from headquarters to raise the price immediately to the new numbers.

“For those that still think in the old gallon system, that’s an increase of 59.15 cents a gallon. According to the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives, that is 14.6 cents too high.

“At a price of $1.07 per litre, you are paying 14.6¢ per litre in pure excess profit. Across Canada, an extra margin of 14.6¢ per litre generates an additional profit of 14.6 million dollars per day.”

Hmmm. Would I be correct to assume that someone is making a very health profit somewhere?!
An excellent report — by reading the headline alone, this lady has really nailed it squarely. — http://tinyurl.com/kpkfsw
GM, the Dow and possibly America — the trilogy all broke? — http://tinyurl.com/ra44wv

“Common stock holders will likely get wiped out.

“More than 1,100 dealerships have already received notices that they will have to shut down. Another 1,500 are getting cut in the near future. That will severely impact many already-suffering local economies.”

Carry all that over here, and see where we are headed. Astronomical unemployment.
One must look beyond the rhetoric to grasp a better understanding of what is happening in the world each day. In essence, words are meaningless.

Sure, politicians such as Harper, Sarkozy, Obama, Merkel etc. lead their countries, but they are not the driving forces — they are merely figureheads, put in place where others can use (manipulate) them to their own best advantage.

Instead, see people like the Rockefellers, Rothschilds, Bilderberg Group et al to have a clearer idea of what is taking place in the here and now.

In Greece, riots began earlier this year, but why did they actually start, and who were the ones who started it? What were the reasons for the flare-ups?

It was the dark, negative forces which influenced sheeple (‘tho most didn’t realize it, and still don’t), and culminated with the Bilderberg Group meeting in Athens.

Keep in mind that Hitler and his gang were well aware of the power of black magic, and I have no doubt that history is already repeating itself. — http://tinyurl.com/nnutr8

#65 Dead Cat Bounce on 06.02.09 at 2:01 pm

The real reason for failure doesn’t have a lot to do with GM or Chrysler actually. The reason for these failures is the same thing that has caused the US housing crash; cheap and easy credit created excess capacity and distorted the market place. When that credit was taken away these companies were not able to weather the dramatic change.

That is the boring answer though, much more exciting (and sells more papers or clicks) to blame…the American worker, the American executive, the American Culture..etc.

#66 dave99 on 06.02.09 at 2:36 pm

#25 Alex

Actually , inflation from 1973 to present has averaged 4.6%, and not the 11.5% you reference. Similarly, $1 in 1973 now equals approx $5 in 2009, and not the $50 you suggest.

I note that you wrote…
“Now imagine how manipulative StatsCanada is!”

I trust that the irony is self evident?

#67 JOHN on 06.02.09 at 3:33 pm


Hey Garth, let me guess its the media giving it the hype and this wont last but you did say in one of your recent columns to buy a trailer in Fort Mac why would buying a property in Edmonton be different when oil gets to $100 soon??

I’m a dumb Easterner. How much oil is in Edmonton, cowboy? — Garth

#68 Nostradamus Jr.'s Analyst on 06.02.09 at 3:55 pm

What a wonderful gesture on the part of Harper to save those GM jobs at a mere cost of $2 million each (of our money).
Now they can continue to make crappy cars but at least they’ll be subsidized crappy cars.

Let’s all metaphorically throw a shoe at him to show our appreciation.

On a brighter note – mortgage rates are now going up.


Better buy now before you’re price out forever.

#69 905er & Spouse on 06.02.09 at 3:55 pm

Really I don’t understand how these newspapers can even call themselves journalists.

Read this article:


The whole article is about how housing sales are better than last year (at least that is the tone of the article) then the last paragraph is:

“The national median sales price in April plunged more than 15 per cent to $170,200, from $201,300 in the same month last year. That was the second largest yearly price drop on record, according to the Realtors’ group.”

I just don’t understand how people believe that they can WILL the recession away. People have borrowed too much and they are in debt. They can’t borrow more to buy stuff. The recession will last until people spend responsibly and reduce their debt.

When will the madness stop?

#70 hobbygirl on 06.02.09 at 4:11 pm

Having worked in insolvency, it is a fact student debt is exempt from bankruptcy proceedings. You’re stuck with it pal.

#71 Real Estate Deal or No Deal on 06.02.09 at 4:24 pm


Suck it up and pay off your debt.

I paid off a whole heck of a lot more of it.

Money follows thought, so pay it off and start thinking right and yes, money will “magically” appear.

#72 David Bakody on 06.02.09 at 4:30 pm

And the Nation Debt gos ON

Tories digging a $172-billion hole: TD


Canada’s debt to jump to $630B in 5 years: TD Bank

36% of those smart people who believed the man who stood in front of a Chrysler Mini Van with a savings sign of 2% in his bid to become the first PM of the Reform/Alliance/Conservative Coalition (CPC). We tried to tell you over and over and again ……now look where we are all headed …. Housing (now Super Greater Fools) as 9 million Senior Boomers tap into EI while CCP & OAS payments skyrocket ….. dare I mention health care ……. stress issues will soon start effecting millions more.

Well Garth all you have said and more is coming to fruition and as mention even Santa is discouraged because he failed to put any backbone into our journalist stockings to tell Canadians the truth which could have saved thousands playing Pin the Tail on the House Donkey and Wheel Estate Fortune ….. and of course trust Harper and Sheeple.

#73 ally ally oxycontin free on 06.02.09 at 4:35 pm

NOTHING NEW HERE … ‘cept Flairity struck out



TD DEFICIT FORECAST is more than double Flairity’s fanciful fallacious fiscal fantasy.

#74 David Bakody on 06.02.09 at 4:41 pm

#67 JOHN on 06.02.09 at 3:33 pm

Easy does in John ….. stop and think, the Middle East Oil Cartel has slowed production by billions of barrels and can turn the taps on and off now as they please. Add to this more unemployment, less driving, less travelling plus new technology saving fuel, smaller cars will all lead to less demand and less required production as opposed to what was. Less will just cost more. Note each week the price keeps going up at the pumps as they even have parked tankers waiting for a better price …..

#75 Jeff Smith on 06.02.09 at 4:43 pm

Probably the source of that story is the from the Stars. When you are reading The Stars look for articles that has sources like (AP) = associate press, or (CP)=canadian press or some other reputable sources.

#69 905er & Spouse on 06.02.09 at 3:55 pm Really I don’t understand how these newspapers can even call themselves journalists.

Read this article:


The whole article is about how housing sales are better than last year (at least that is the tone of the article) then the last paragraph is:

“The national median sales price in April plunged more than 15 per cent to $170,200, from $201,300 in the same month last year. That was the second largest yearly price drop on record, according to the Realtors’ group.”

I just don’t understand how people believe that they can WILL the recession away. People have borrowed too much and they are in debt. They can’t borrow more to buy stuff. The recession will last until people spend responsibly and reduce their debt.

When will the madness stop?

#76 JOHN on 06.02.09 at 4:53 pm

I’m a dumb Easterner. How much oil is in Edmonton, cowboy? — Garth

Garth cmon you know what I mean wouldn’t there be a trickle down effect for the economy of Alberta as a whole with investments been pulled off the shelves with peak oil…

#77 nonplused on 06.02.09 at 5:20 pm

I like charts. These ones are good:


#78 dave on 06.02.09 at 5:24 pm

Clarence – Your are a roach.
Pay your loan.

#79 ca on 06.02.09 at 5:28 pm

Any one thinking of buying a house should read the following (esp pages 63 and 64 as noted)


#80 guava.ca on 06.02.09 at 5:53 pm

May numbers for Toronto:



#81 Eduardo on 06.02.09 at 6:02 pm

As a Canadian I’m sure everyone outside on the outside is just as enthused as me to see my money pissed away to Autontario.

Guaranteed I see no benefits of any dollars spent there. The funniest is that the Canadian government is assumes that it will recover no cash.

To everyone who loves the Alberta oil boom stickers there should be an equivalent saying “Please god, let us sell 16 million vehicles per year and I promise I won’t piss it away next time”.

#82 the Coming Depression on 06.02.09 at 6:14 pm

Having worked in insolvency, it is a fact student debt is exempt from bankruptcy proceedings. You’re stuck with it pal.

Not so, you simply insert your student debt into a line of credit, credit cards and loans. Seen hundreds do it over the years. BANKO! Buy a house in 2 yrs.

#83 hagbard on 06.02.09 at 6:32 pm

Garth, you’ve got sheeple among your flock.

#84 ActionA on 06.02.09 at 6:35 pm

Having worked in insolvency, it is a fact student debt is exempt from bankruptcy proceedings. You’re stuck with it pal.

Not so, you simply insert your student debt into a line of credit, credit cards and loans. Seen hundreds do it over the years. BANKO! Buy a house in 2 yrs.

Great! You’ve helped a total leach, leach his way out of being responsible.

#85 Maurice on 06.02.09 at 6:37 pm

Amigos: Is Stephen Harpers’ Party not the same as John Diefenbaker?? Dief the Chief canned the Avro Arrow and Harper saves GM. How many Arrows could we have built with the same per centage of GDP, and where would Canada be in Aerospace if we had?

#86 squidly77 on 06.02.09 at 6:37 pm

Homburg Invest Inc., said it doesn’t want to sit on unsold condos and Tuesday it announced its program for the 19-storey Castello development at 530 12th Ave. S.W.

Prices have already been slashed by an average of $100,000 per unit in the condo tower with 60 per cent of the 106 units occupied.

how would you like to be a spec buyer in that complex

#87 mikef on 06.02.09 at 6:45 pm

“We have tried spending money. We are spending more than we have ever spent before and it does not work. And I have just one interest, and now if I am wrong somebody else can have my job. I want to see this country prosper. I want to see people get a job. I want to see people get enough to eat. We have never made good on our promises. I say after eight years of this administration, we have just as much unemployment as when we started. And enormous debt to boot.”

Henry Monganthau
US Treasury Secretary
May 1939

#88 MenWithHats on 06.02.09 at 6:48 pm

Wow ! The vapour trail of zeroes behind the ever changing digits 38,50,178 of the deficit gets longer and longer
and …
Gives a whole new meaning to the word Con-trail .

#89 Republic_of_Western_Canada on 06.02.09 at 6:53 pm

#67 JOHN –

More price-swing leverage in Ft. Mac.

Most people would only live there when working on projects or permanent line-production (although a much smaller number). Even though Deadmonton is somewhat desolate too, it’s not quite as bad for day-to-day living and has a broader economy. So when activity starts up in McMurray, it triggers much higher demand growth for housing.

#90 Dan in Victoria on 06.02.09 at 7:00 pm

Clarence,have a bake sale…It’s amazing What GM and Chrysler are getting away with(Forgivable taxpayer loans)but if a little guy trys it, they crucify you.Pay it back Clarence,work something out,you’ll sleep better.Nice ride Is that a 348 in there?Hey does that have the wonderbar radio too?

#91 . . . fried eggs and spam . . . on 06.02.09 at 7:02 pm

#69 905er & Spouse at 3:55 pm — “When will the madness stop?”

One guess is when 1/2 to 2/3 of the world’s population is very conveniently erased from the head count.

As no one will be around to pay their debts back, their won’t be sheeple to get themselves hopelessly mired in more debt and try passing the buck to others.

Then the NWO can create a single currency for themselves and friends.
Seems as if commodities are going through the roof, so — http://tinyurl.com/r2tnn4

“. . . Investors think the worst is over. Everything is going up. Copper is up 65% so far this year. Oil is up 53%. Soybeans are up 22%. Stock markets are up about 30% worldwide. And gold is 12%. In this company gold is a laggard!

“Copper has risen so much, say the papers, because China is buying all it can get. What it is doing with the stuff we don’t know; maybe it is stocking up at what it believes are low prices.

“Maybe it is hedging its bets. China has the biggest pile of Treasury bonds in the world – $768 billion of them. That’s 768 billion reasons to worry. Because each T-bond is denominated in dollars…and while everything else is going up, dollars are going down. Yesterday, the dollar touched a new low against the euro for this year – at $1.42.”
This is probably the way we’re headed. Once upon a time, freedom was so nice, it was taken for granted! — http://tinyurl.com/qk5eet
Interesting, but moreso the comment from wrh.com. — http://tinyurl.com/r8amqf

“President Barack Obama suggested that Iran may have some right to nuclear energy _ provided it proves by the end of the year that its aspirations are peaceful.”

Webmaster’s Commentary: “Tel Aviv is not going to like this, but it is in the NNPT.

“And might I remind President Obama that under Article IV of the NNPT that the United States is obligated to HELP Iran build its nuclear power station, which would give the US all the access it needs to satisfy anyone (except Israel) that Iran’s power station is just a power station.”

Israel has never signed the NNPT. BTW, the words “. . . it proves by the end of the year . . .” — what happens on Jan. 1, 2010 if Iran hasn’t been able to prove anything? Except to the IAEA, of course which will be completely hogwashed by the west — just like Iraq was.
Joke following on from the above — http://tinyurl.com/kkxovd

#92 Guardia Civil Tricornio on 06.02.09 at 7:35 pm

In many countries less wealthy than Canada continuing education is paid for by the government.

#93 john m on 06.02.09 at 7:41 pm

Clarence your mentality of entitlement astounds me—what do you think—your student loan was a gift? Perhaps you should ask Harper and McGuinty for help…after all they are handing out our tax dollars to private enterprise with no voice from the representatives of the people. Ah yes us sheeple just plod along working to pay the tax man……while a few get life and security handed to them on a platter………if you are a member of a minority,a union or any other organization which represents a large number of votes…those dumb asses will give you anything you want……..after all what can the sheeple do??

#94 john m on 06.02.09 at 8:04 pm

Thousands of unionized forestry workers from across Canada demonstrated in Ottawa on Tuesday, demanding the government do more to support their industry.

They wanted to meet with Prime Minister Stephen Harper to discuss solutions to the forestry crisis, including protection of workers’ pensions and a plan to keep viable mills operating with the help of federal government loan guarantees and other measures.

In the past six years, the industry has lost about 130,000 jobs in Canada”……………….Well people i wonder how much they will get??……they represent a lot of votes so my bet is our incompetent leaders are sweating under their collars now and a few more billion will be handed out…… Who’s next?

#95 timbo on 06.02.09 at 8:13 pm

The Canadian government has now let a very ugly cat out of the bag. Casinos must be taking bets on the next bailout contestant. A very slippery slide awaits all our savings as institution after institution ask for handouts with the line “you gave GM a bailout”. I sure hope Ottawa knows what it is doing, but deep in my heart I believe they are just plugging a finger in the dam as the leaks appear.
It sure shows that many people do not care down south anymore when they can pay for a mortgage but instead squat for free rent because they are too far underwater. Boy have attitudes changed in a couple of years.

#96 DM on 06.02.09 at 8:21 pm

I see that someone’s learning Photoshop…lol.
RIP GM indeed!

#97 Live Within Your Means on 06.02.09 at 8:51 pm

#87 taxpayer like you on 06.01.09 at 9:46 pm
78 Mark – best explanation Ive seen for RRSP meltdown was Feb 2002 issue of ie money magazine. Cannot locate online, have hard copy but not with me.

The idea was to draw money out of your RRSP to avoid big tax bite on withdrawals or on estate. It entails:

1) Borrow money to buy investments. Interest is tax deductible.

2) Withdraw money from RRSP to pay interest on borrowed money.

Tax deduction basically cancels tax payable on RRSP
income. Now I havent run any numbers, but it seems to
me with the ultra-low interest rates you cant draw too
much out of your RRSP. You also have to be comfortable with borrowing to invest.


We did that several years ago on the advice of our ‘so called investment guy’ who is actually a Manulife sales investment guy. Won’t go there right now.

We were totally debt free and had money just sitting there. Anywho, with investment losses and looking at potential margin calls, (if I understand it correctly) we started paying the loan off at $1K a month. We’ve got another 8 months to pay it off. Not a big deal for us. I just didn’t like owing one cent. As a naive investor, I forgot to declare the investment interest we were paying as we didn’t receive monthly or annual statements stating what interest we had paid for tax purposes. I finally got copies in early 2008 and sent them to CRA and have spoken to them several times. They keep telling me they are working on our file, but can’t tell me when our tax situation will be resolved.

We stopped investing several years ago. Changed our porfolios to more conservative plans. Not loosing quite as much, but we would probably have done better over the years if we’d put our money in bank stocks (not CIBC :-)

We’ve got some cash to invest now but not sure where to put it. Thought about TD Preferred shares in RRSP’s as I’ve got lots of room to do so but not sure how to do so. I did say I was naive. Appreciate any advice.

BTW, everyone says find a good financial advisor. I’ve heard of so many who turn out to be anything but. I live in the Halifax Regional Municipality. Any recommendations.

Our home was paid off many years ago – thanks to KD :-) and being frugal, etc. We buy our used Japanese cars with cash. I’ve an indexed pension and my husband has a good job tho his pension is not indexed. We’ve no kids. Lately we’ve lalked about selling our home as the maintenance of the gardens and house is getting to us. But where can you rent a decent size apt. that can accommodate 2 BMW bikes and 2 cars? I refuse to buy a condo. Been there before.

In advance of negative comments I’ll no doubt receive, I grew up in a family of 6 children & we experienced very hard times. We knew what it was to do without, as did my husband.

BTW Garth, I love those old historic homes. We’ve a lot of those old cobble stones (used as ballast in the ships from England to NS).

#98 Sean in E-Town on 06.02.09 at 9:02 pm

Timbo, the only problem with your guess is that casinos are far too highly regulated to ever be allowed to take those bets. Plus the vig would make brokers blush.

#99 Live Within Your Means on 06.02.09 at 9:07 pm

Have been reading about student loans and taxes but am wondering about about taxes on scholarships. My niece got a SSHRC scholarship & will be attending Carleton this year. Is it taxable?

#100 Herb on 06.02.09 at 9:40 pm

Live Within Your Means @ #99,

as close to the horse’s mouth as I can get:


Are you still going green?

#101 poorguy on 06.02.09 at 9:45 pm


“There was a lot of disbelief among borrowers, saying, ‘Oh my gosh, how did this happen? We thought they were going down forever,’” said Keith Luedeman, chief executive of goodmortgage.com in Charlotte

Are we there yet?

#102 Calgreedian. on 06.02.09 at 9:46 pm

If Clarence is now only making $35k a year now it’s possible that he’s been making very little money for years. He may simply not have had the money to pay it back. We also don’t know if he actually completed school as it’s possible to drop out and still be stuck with the loan. I’d also surmise that as a financial illiterate this guy had NO idea how compound interest worked.

So while I understand some of the vitrol being directed at this man we don’t have the whole story. He may be financially illiterate, he may be be poor, but if not being able to pay for something that you borrowed makes you a “scumbag” we can expect thousands of new “scumbags” in the coming months.

#103 AppleCrunch on 06.02.09 at 10:25 pm

Is Garth the greater fool???

Real Estate on fire… Stock market going through the roof…

Looks like the doom and gloom is over!

Said the spider to the fly. — Garth

#104 Bottoms_Up on 06.02.09 at 10:30 pm

Have been reading about student loans and taxes but am wondering about about taxes on scholarships. My niece got a SSHRC scholarship & will be attending Carleton this year. Is it taxable?
Been there, done that. Government scholarships are not taxable, and therefore you do not build up RRSP room, and cannot get EI once you’re finished school and looking for a job. However, your niece will also likely be making some money as a teaching assistant, which is a unionized position and will pay some tax and get some benefits.

#105 smw on 06.02.09 at 10:57 pm

#103 AppleCrunch

Yep, the biggest margin call since 1929 and its all over…

What a relief, real estate can go back to 10% a year appreciation…

#95 timbo

American’s are finally realizing the true value of shelter…

#106 smw on 06.02.09 at 11:15 pm

Dear readers,

I want to apologize for the misuse of my pluralization of “American” in my above post.

Rubber baby buggy bumpers…

#107 Kelly McMae on 06.03.09 at 2:16 am

Whatever Clarence. If billion dollar deadbeats and corporate profiteers can walk from their debt so should you.

If it bothered you enough and societal programming has invoked enough of a buy-in enhanced guilt complex whack the debt with your savings and start fresh.

Or move to Scandinavia where people care about each other and the common good.

#108 D from London, ON on 06.03.09 at 8:27 am

# 102 Calgreedian


Did you read Clarence’s email? The man has $24,000 in SAVINGS! Regardless of the state of his income, he has $24,000 in the bank, which he accumulated while not paying down (or not paying down enough of) his Student Loan.

In addition, repayment of the loan is not contingent on graduating! If you take the money to bankroll your time in school, you must pay it back regardless of whether or not you graduate. Dropping out, etc., is no excuse for not paying your debts.

You are in such a rush to make excuses for this deadbeat that you appear to have skipped over the details of his email.

#109 Bill-Muskoka (NAM) on 06.03.09 at 10:06 am

#50 rory

To me, President Obama is akin to Martin Luther, who having seen the insanity of the Church posted his findings on the Wittenburg Church door. He has brought back the True Basics which America was actually founded upon of hope, honesty, integrity, and a belief that ‘Yes, We CAN! (Read the Declaration of Independence) He is almost a psychologist in bringing people out of the depression (not the financial, but the worse version, psychological) that is like a millstone around their necks. The last President that achieved that was JFK.

The ‘Church’ is Congress’, the writings are the Constitution, and the result is as to be expected. The various groups, happy as bugs in a rug, have had their status quo shaken. Some are seeing the light, and others are bound and determnined to impose all resistance, regardless of the will of the people.

As to Canada vs: the U.S. polical systems, both are in tatters in my opinion. The U.S. could have definitely used a vote of confidence the past eight long years, and Canada could use a reality check that a Minority Government is just that, nothing more.

The pettiness of Parliament is a DISGRACE! The incompetence of the Harper PMO is an atrocity. The lieing is unforgivable, and the arrogance is intolerable. The behaviour is simply childlike and pathetic beyond any level of acceptability.

Americans decided to change THEIR government last November. We, on the other hand, will probably do NOTHING but the same apathetic thing we have been doing. We will vote a party out, but not seek to elect those who, on an individual basis riding by riding, will truly represent our local interests.

Having been born, raised, and spent most of my life in the U.S. I can say but one thing. Obama represents true change, and his opponents represent more of the same. the BIG difference is Obama listens, adjusts his plans accordingly, but maintains the vision and progress towards the goal. the single biggest thing he will have to deal with is Health Care. That is the primary, most basic of all issues, because without our health all the rest is a moot point. When you are sick and disabled money matters not one iota, other than tiding over the finanacial obligations during your period of illness, because you are incapacitated.

As to GM, people need to realize, especially Canadians, that the POTUS does NOT have carte blanche authority to act unilaterally like Steve thinks he does. He must work with Congress, and that is like finding a friend in a Viper Pit. We have Caesar Disgustus running Canada and his minions like Dim Jim, Van Loan, Baird (where is Johnny Boy lately BTW? Oh, yes, he is in court testifying and trying to keep his petard out of prison).

GM, the corporation, is not what is being preserved. It is the workers, the people who have families, obligations, and homes that are being preserved. GM, the corporation, is merely the most direct vehicle to acheiving that for them. it affects far beyond GM employees, it includes all the vendors, the myriad of people in the hundreds of thousands who rely on their being paid and having a job. Thank God my brother is not here to have to endure the vapourization of a lifetime of work and his 401K, pe4nsion, healthcare benefits, etc. My nephew cleaned out the GM accounts two years ago after my brother’s demise. The shock would have killed him.

BTW, I am a Centrist, neither a Liberal or a Conswervative. I care about our country and above all its PEOPLE, each and every one of us, citizens and immigrant alike, because we are all in this village together.

Disgusted is too mild of term for what I feel watching this great nation being mismanaged and betrayed by the ideologues on all sides. The one good thing we have is CHOICE! In the U.S. its one or the other to choose from and for that I am thankful. Now, if we can only rid ourselves of the FPTP insanity, perhaps we can achieve that illusive thing called DEMOCRACY? That is where the best ideas are brought forth and the solution is created for all the people by fair and democratic process. It does work, I have participated in such processes and have seen it work. Apparently, few in Oddawahaha have a clue about HOW it works? It is like watching a bunch of drug addicts try to break free (they are not even trying actually) from their addiction.

May we all see each other as Canadians, because, regardless of the East/West, Con/Lib?NDP/Green/BLOC differences, when the Bell Tolls it will tool for every Canadian.

Have a good day. I am back to work here. Gorgeous day today!

#110 Got A Watch on 06.03.09 at 1:58 pm

I don’t think the majority of the public supports a “bailout” (written off “loan”) for GM or Chrysler. This is driven by vote-hungry politicians and lobby groups and socialists.

I sure don’t. No bailout for them or any private company or pension plan.

Nobody asked me if I wanted to pay taxes for 20 years to support these dinosaur corporations and their employees.

As a taxpayer, I feel like going to court to block these “bailouts”, on the grounds that they are a huge loser for ordinary citizens not in the automotive industry. It is fundamentally wrong to expect the taxpayers to support one sector over another for no logical reason. The forestry workers are a perfect example. Why aren’t they getting a “bailout” too?

Following the American example is futile. They are going bankrupt, from this type of thinking, Obama will ruin the USA financially and economically trying to “save” it with “bailouts”. The road to hell is paved with good intentions. Socialism makes you bankrupt in the end, as the spending always rises.

I say cut spending until the budget is balanced. Vast portions of Government could be easily eliminated and few would notice.

#111 Bill-Muskoka (NAM) on 06.03.09 at 5:27 pm

I say cut spending until the budget is balanced. Vast portions of Government could be easily eliminated and few would notice.

#110 Got A Watch

Yeah, right! We don’t need those silly nuclear regulators, scientists, people in desperate need being able to access help. No Sir! Let’s give the police, fire fighters, paramedics, all medical and emergency response, infrastructure maintenance, garbage collection, border security, food inspection, payroll, pension, and welfare administration, all government personell a year off without pay.

I hope you can read a watch better than your ability portrays for reading reality of a functional society?

#112 The Coming Depression on 06.03.09 at 5:36 pm

Hey Garth your theory of Gold being a “dud” has just been blown to pieces..or should I say lost:

#113 MJ on 06.10.09 at 6:57 am

We’ve been sold a bill of goods for years. I’m from the 50-60’s. I was poor, yes. For example, I bought bad older north american made cars and wished could have had a Toyota Tercel for example. The money I pumped into everything that went wrong with those cars. You younger folk, do not believe the things you think are real. Look for what’s behind it. Why is it like it is. Think twice about buying or consuming anything, e.g. dairy – who is benefiting from your purchases. Think about the new stuff too, who are you supporting with your hard earned dollars.