Vox populi

GLUTEN modified

In politics, he’s what you’d call a war horse. A fixture in Canadian public for over four decades, Ralph Goodale was the finance minister of Canada, and is as close you’ll ever come to a Prairie God. Not a bad guy, either, I discovered. Even had him over to my house for a few beers.

But Ralph is a partisan to his core. He despises Stephen Harper, and is now throwing his weight behind one of Liberal boss Justin Trudeau’s lines in the sand – rolling back the TFSA. This weekend Ralph, now the deputy Lib leader, published an article in the HuffPost (of all places) which gives us a deep glimpse into how finances will be laced with politics when the election takes place in five months.

On one side are the Cons, staking their ground as pro-family, tax-cutting, responsible economic stewards (despite adding more to the debt than any government that went before). On the other are the Libs (and the orange guys) who claim the Harperites cater to the 1% with income-splitting and enhanced tax shelters that the working stiffs will never benefit from. In fact, Goodale has set out his party’s election strategy clearly.

Most people, he says, don’t have an extra $4,500 to put into their TFSAs this year, and probably never will. In fact, the numbers from StatsCan suggest the majority of taxpayers have less and less disposable income. In 2009, when TFSAs were born, 64% of people opening one were able to make the maximum $5,000 contribution. Five years later that plunged to just 18%.

RALPH  Goodale quotes the PBO (Parliamentary Budget Officer) who is about as anti-TFSA as you can get, who says, “TFSA benefits, currently balanced across wealth groups, will become increasingly skewed toward high-wealth households over time. The contribution limit increases proposed in Budget 2015 would accentuate these distributional disparities.”

Is there a point here? The Libs say, yeah, you bet.

The TFSA is rapidly falling into the same category of the RRSP – a substantial and powerful tax shelter that fewer and fewer people are making use of. These days about 38% of Canadians have opened a TFSA (roughly 11 million people), but only 17% of those (1.9 million) contributed the maximum. Goodale and Trudeau (who is already on record as wanting to trash the $10,000 contribution limit) says, “more importantly, this is a very small 6.7% of those who were eligible to have one.” So: “Doubling the annual maximum does nothing for the 93.3 per cent of Canadians who cannot max-out their TFSA contributions at the existing limit of $5500/year.”

Finally, the Liberals (and the orange guys soon) claim only 5% of people making the average income ($60,000) are maxing TFSAs – while rich people (everyone who reads this pathetic blog) are getting all the benefit from seeing their investments flower tax-free in account with contribution room now topping forty grand.

“Given only mediocre improvements in median family incomes over the past many years and the explosion in household debt, it’s just not realistic to expect many middle-class families will have an extra $10,000 lying around every year, after taxes, to enable them to fill up a higher TFSA contribution maximum.”

So there you go. That’s what this election will be about. Income disparity. Social spending vs financial self-reliance. Receiving as opposed to investing. The Liberals will be campaigning on four other planks – cutting the middle tax rate; heaps of money for child care; bringing the OAS age back to 65; and big government spending on infrastructure. Balanced budget? Nah.

Well, it’s no secret most people are whacked when it comes to their personal finances. Goodale’s TFSA numbers are correct. As you know, RRSP contributions have plunged in recent years along with the savings rate. The home ownership level and mortgage indebtedness have both soared, and people will spend four times as much on renovations this year as they do on retirement savings or investing. After six years of the lowest mortgage rates on record, total outstanding loans have doubled – which means people have used cheap money to load up on debt rather than pay it off. It’s been a lesson in irresponsibility and greed.

But politics is about getting elected, not getting it right.

No political leader so far has told Canadians they’re spending too much, not saving enough or warned them from buying real estate that is beyond their means. The current finance minister, unlike the feisty F, has even given up on trying to stop a race to the bottom among mortgage lenders and refused any meaningful action to curtail speculation or the exploding subprime lending market.

So, you can assume nobody will. Most Canadians, immersed as they are in their own house-lusty juices, will continue with their one-asset strategy, putting most of their net worth in inflated houses, believing rates will never rise but property prices can plump forever. Will they punish the Libs for suggesting their TFSA sweetener be taken away? When 80% of all tax-free money is now sitting in brain-dead GICs and cash accounts? Are you nuts?

The Greater Fool Election Desk Predictor Team has yet to arrive at its consensus for the result this October. But there is one verity to remember. Nobody ever got elected telling people they’re a bunch of horny idiots.

Did I mention I’m not running?

176 comments ↓

#1 North Vancouver on 05.17.15 at 6:12 pm

Happy Victoria Day!

The real estate activities are still going strong! Hallelujah!

#2 Yyc not retired on 05.17.15 at 6:22 pm

i sometimes wonder why I bother to be responsible, save money, live within my means, and rent, when the government is catering and encouraging debt, debt and more debt.if you can’t beat them… Join them? O Canada.

#3 Fed-up on 05.17.15 at 6:22 pm

Glad you’re not getting mixed up in this mess Garth.

With all due respect to his memory and character, wasn’t F the finance minister when this whole mess started?

#4 slam on 05.17.15 at 6:24 pm

If the TFSA does get rolled back, for folks who maxed out their contributions, does that mean they get penalized??? Or simply withdraw the additional $4500 contribution that was allowed recently???

#5 Clearwater on 05.17.15 at 6:26 pm

NDP in Alberta, I can handle that. Justin Trudeau as my Prime Minister, not so much.

#6 Shawn on 05.17.15 at 6:30 pm

Alm, Alms for the Rich

So there you go. That’s what this election will be about. Income disparity. Social spending vs financial self-reliance. Receiving as opposed to investing.

***********************************
Those with high incomes are so self-reliant that they need a list of tax breaks as long as their arms.

It seems they need to receive a tax break before they will invest.

Yeah, everyone sees the world from their own perspective including financial advisors.

Alms, alms for the rich please.

#7 Retired Boomer - WI on 05.17.15 at 6:31 pm

Never fear the idiots. Just because others loaded up on DEBT and can’t max out both their RRSP & TFSA is no reason you can not do so.

Politics are eternal, it is politicians whose terms are highly mortal.

Should the populace replace the current incompetent party with an even more incompetent party, well all I can say is are you SURE you aren’t in Amerika?

#8 Andrewski on 05.17.15 at 6:31 pm

Quite a few people I know are self employed contractors whose goal, is to write off as much income as possible, thereby bringing their net income down low, however they are not building up large RRSP contribution amounts. These same university educated people are clueless to how good the TFSA is & can not even tell you that they are allowed to invest up to $41,000 in to these accounts. Even if Harper’s party ends at the next election, whatever money people do have in their TFSA’s is safe inside, whether future contribution levels are cut back or not. The point of it all, is get your money in & invested properly ASAP, not using GIC’s!

#9 Canadian One on 05.17.15 at 6:33 pm

Amongst other things there should be campaign plaform for investing in the development of 21st century technology/materials/etc, etc. Definitely take a stand on global tax evasion problems pertaining to Canada and a bit more scrutiny of shady financial and trading operations in Canada.

#10 MSM-free Zone on 05.17.15 at 6:33 pm

“…..Did I mention I’m not running?…….”
_________________________

Pity.

Then again, some people who have the guts to acknowledge and spread the truth, just don’t fit well into that whole Harper trained seal scenario.

At least I don’t have the Car Wash Pop Tart on my ballot anymore.

#11 Marie on 05.17.15 at 6:35 pm

You should run!

#12 Smoking Man on 05.17.15 at 6:37 pm

If your creative, enterprising. Canada is not a country you want to build a business.

USA all the way. If you have a popular online business move to an island where everything is basically tax free.

Goes for successfull Author’s…

Canada is doomed. As a business man, I see all the sign’s.. For every dollar you produce , three levels of govt want it all.

Enough us enough.

#13 johng on 05.17.15 at 6:48 pm

My question is how long can this go on?

J

#14 Nemesis on 05.17.15 at 6:54 pm

“The Greater Fool Election Desk Predictor Team has yet to arrive at its consensus for the result this October.” – HonGT

Elementary, my dear GT… Them that plausibly proffers the most goodies upfront, wins.

#InOtherNews… #PrinceHarryWouldLikeEveryone… #ToHaveAShotAtFlyingAnApache…

“And some of those guys were – I mean naughty’s not the word – they were on a different level. And their backgrounds and the issues they had.” – HRH Harry

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/prince-harry/11610690/Prince-Harry-calls-to-bring-back-National-Service.html

#15 live within your means on 05.17.15 at 6:58 pm

Well I know who I’ll be voting for, & it won’t be for the cons or the NDP.

#16 OttawaMike on 05.17.15 at 7:01 pm

How is that new metric Cruiser running?

I had the dual sport tired studded up for some winter riding fun and had to switch over to a pair of new “Tars”.
The Ninja is gone,too many machines to maintain. Replaced with the boat.

Drunken sailors didn’t spend profusely because they were drunk. They spent like that to maintain a boat

#17 Linda on 05.17.15 at 7:04 pm

So if 93.3% cannot do it, we are really left with two choices.

a) Something is wrong with the plan.

Or….

b) Something is wrong with the people.

I say a). I just don’t have enough blame within me to fling at so many diverse families with such particular situations.

Garth chooses b).

You are on the wrong side of history, Garth.

And common sense.

When the common people lose their sense is it still common? — Garth

#18 Made in BC on 05.17.15 at 7:06 pm

Should be an interesting election. Can’t vote for Trudeau now that he has bowed down and voted in the C-51 Stasi bill. Not sure who to vote for now…….

I’m afraid the Orange Crush will crush what little we get after taxes and tax us more using this phoney baloney – because we support working people – BS. How does taxing us MORE help working people.

Who knows…..

#19 Goldie on 05.17.15 at 7:07 pm

Are our people so conditioned to being heavily taxed that they might actually support lowering the limit on their own TFSA? Crazy.

Has anyone polled the public on this issue or are politicians simply assuming that we all love being taxed as much as possible?

#20 raisemyrent on 05.17.15 at 7:08 pm

what a knee-jerk reaction. TFSA is being used by the rich, so take it away. How does that help the masses? better to leave it there and maybe people could try hard and use it themselves. Nah, us and them. Typical herd mentality. Always being screwed by some outside factor. Never responsible. Safety in numbers.
latest house horniness comes our way through my girlfriend’s sister. She has her mum convinced. Mum just came on to cash from someone who bought the family home in West Van sight unseen. Give money to my daughter for a dump with a tenant basement in Victoria. 25+ year loan on a depreciating asset. What a great idea. We’ve produced numbers, but emotions run strong (you need a roof over your head etc). I told her yesterday the house is as good as bought (she even got a drive-by already), fancy spreadsheets aside (I take credit for those).

#21 World Traveller on 05.17.15 at 7:08 pm

more lambs to the slaughter

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/globe-investor/personal-finance/household-finances/house-poor-couple-debt/article24370722/?click=sf_globefb

#22 omg the original on 05.17.15 at 7:18 pm

THE LONG-TERM SOCIAL COST TO TOO HIGH OF HOUSE PRICES

Everyone with any long-term perspective knows house prices in Canada are off the chart too high. Actually house prices in the US, even with the correction are still at the high end of long term Case-Shiller averages.

This has been caused by a distortion in capital markets created by government policy to get people into homes – it goes back decades, not just to the sub-prime fiasco and GFC.

Government caused distortions cause social repercussions.

Here are a few we know of – there will be others that only become obvious over time.

– productive capacity in Canada and the US has been pushed towards houses and what fills them. So we have been allocating a lot more of our scare resources on building homes and furnishing them then on producing tradable goods and services. Good while it lasts, but moves Canada away from producing goods and services for world markets.

– more young couples are stretched to the limit financially. My nephews and nieces in Saskatchewan are buying started homes for $350 to $550k – starter homes in SASKATCHEWAN!!!!!!! As young couple spend more on real estates there will be less left over for other things – like for instance kids. High real estate prices and the emphasis on new IKEA crap to furnish houses may reduce our birth rate over the long-term. This will result in fewer taxer payer 20 to 30 years downy he road which will take a toll on our ability to fund social programs.

– ability to save for retirement. No wonder people cannot contribute to RRSPs and TFSAs – they are contributing to the other great investment hope – real estate. And hoping for a continuation of 5, 10, 15% annually price appreciation. But unfortunately it is almost certain that house values will revert to their long-run averages over time. People will be left with no savings and a house worth, in real terms, less than they paid for it 20 or 30 year prior. (just like we see in southwestern Ontario today)

#23 Entrepreneur on 05.17.15 at 7:26 pm

So true, #12 Smoking Man…From the eighties on, know many business people who moved out of B.C. to Alberta or the States. The taxes are too harsh on businesses, too much, all too much. A business cannot exceed in a toxic environment.

You don’t need to run Garth, you are more important here. We can express ourselves, within limits. Thanks.

#24 Retired Boomer - WI on 05.17.15 at 7:26 pm

Remember the 47% comment that basically did in Mr. Romney here in the US? Well, yes we have lots of old, disabled, who can no longer work. We have some ill prepared for the work that is available. We have even more who do not know what the hell they would do with a $300,000 check if given to them, other than buy, buy, buy!

Were I to think Canadians are wired any differently, NO!!

Given the same $300,000 they would buy, buy, buy! I just grabbed that number somewhat arbitrarily. That number marks the difference between a decent retirement and a crappy one over the rest of your life. A higher number is even better, but there is where the fog begins to lift.

Even if TFSA doesn’t increase the old number is still there. Are you using it? Why not? House got ya by the shorthairs? Consider selling it for Freedom. Its your life…

#25 Sheane Wallace on 05.17.15 at 7:31 pm

I will support anyone who confiscates politicians private wealth to back CMHC losses.

#12 Smoking Man
exactly.

#26 Squatter on 05.17.15 at 7:31 pm

Garth,

A long time ago, when you ran for the Conservatives leadership, I watched the thing on TV.
I thought you were the best candidate, but in the results you were last.
Since then, I believe that it’s always the worst candidate who gets to be elected the Leader of his party.
How sweet politics is…

Not that it matters, but I was second-last! — Garth

#27 LazyJason on 05.17.15 at 7:34 pm

So with most Canadians being saddled (self inflicted mind you) with mortgage debt, are you still sure a party won’t introduce tax deductible mortgage interest like the US? Seems a pretty sure way to get into power.

Never. — Garth

#28 Mountain Man on 05.17.15 at 7:34 pm

Harper and the Cons axed OAS and will force me to wait till I’m 67 to start collecting, so I’ll never vote for them again. Period.

#29 Suede on 05.17.15 at 7:40 pm

#12 Smokie

Are you saying this country is being taken over by closet commies?

btw, we’re not the house horniest nation by a long shot.

Who is?

China.

Can’t find the link anymore but somewhere in the neighbourhood of 80% of households that have money to invest put it into their house. Under 10% in the Shanghai stock market.

I’ll find the link when i go surfing later. Need to get my vitamin D from the screen.

#30 Don on 05.17.15 at 7:42 pm

You were pretty critical of the TFSA limit increase as well, as I recall, Garth. “Boomer Dole”. I know you don’t contradict that here, but your tone seems kind of critical of Goodale’s position. Is it only because he wasn’t a scold about debt at the same time?

There may have been a time for a government to try to draw air out of the bubble with policy levers, but what are their options now? What could they do that wouldn’t get that government blamed for the hard landing that followed? These are not rhetorical questions – I am sincerely interested in your answers, Garth.

Meantime, I’m confident no party will attempt to roll back the already-allowed contribution room – they’ll just grow it more slowly again, either by lowering the annual back to $5500 or $5000, or they’ll add a lifetime contribution cap ($100K or $150K or somesuch). Any of this leaves ample opportunity for saving and tax sheltering for an average family.

#31 Paul on 05.17.15 at 7:45 pm

Prime Minister Trudeau Now that has a ring to it!
Like a bathtub!

#32 devore on 05.17.15 at 7:46 pm

#14 Made in BC

Lets not forget it was the orange and red who were cheerfully supporting the at the time minority cons government in bringing in cash-back mortgages and 0% down 40 year mortgages. That’s how much they care about the middle class.

#33 Lotus YVR on 05.17.15 at 7:49 pm

There is no “due date” !

#34 Randy Randerson on 05.17.15 at 7:50 pm

People are all against tax initiatives that benefit the rich more so than the poor, even though the rich pay more in tax in absolute term. Just because the peons can’t save money due to lack of discipline, it doesn’t mean savers have to be punished.

Politicians are entirely pandering to this irrationality. I can totally imagine the day when the government eliminates income tax entirely, and the poor decry it because it benefits the rich more so than the poor.

#35 Diversified in Oakville on 05.17.15 at 7:53 pm

Wow.
Now who to vote for; Harper or Trudeau? Who can be trusted?
RSP’s and TFSA’s maxed out, a modest house that I can afford, and I am still concerned with retirement.
Do not take away my investment vehicles just because the majority of Canadians are counting on the government to bail them out.
What the hell are these debt gorging, house horny, tapped out fools going to do?
Just Wow.

#36 Darren on 05.17.15 at 7:53 pm

*….and people will spend four times as much on renovations this year as they do on retirement savings or investing.*
~Garth

It is not only the rich that can top off their TFSA’s. A thrifty few of us middle class prefer that to ‘clown cars’ and/or granite. Very few, admittedly.

#37 Freedom First on 05.17.15 at 8:00 pm

You can always tell the house horny idiot. You just can’t tell him/her much.

#38 Daisy Mae on 05.17.15 at 8:01 pm

GARTH: “Goodale and Trudeau (who is already on record as wanting to trash the $10,000 contribution limit) says, “more importantly, this is a very small 6.7% of those who were eligible to have one.” So: “Doubling the annual maximum does nothing for the 93.3 per cent of Canadians who cannot max-out their TFSA contributions at the existing limit of $5500/year.”

*********************

I appreciate your honesty, as always.

#39 Washed Up Lawyer on 05.17.15 at 8:05 pm

“The Greater Fool Election Desk Predictor Team has yet to arrive at its consensus for the result this October.”
***********************************

The tea leaves from the Cinqo de Mayo election in Alberta should teach the Desk Predictor Team which way to go. Instead of expecting the electorate to look at candidate qualities, planks in platforms, domestic and foreign policy, fiscal and tax policies etc. they need only to look at one measure.

That single factor is the level of the voter’s revulsion.

Pollsters need only ask one question. Who makes you feel sicker?:

Harper
Mulcair
Trudeau

#40 Daisy Mae on 05.17.15 at 8:09 pm

“….while rich people (everyone who reads this pathetic blog)….”

****************************

LOL THAT

#41 crowdedelevatorfartz on 05.17.15 at 8:10 pm

“Well, it’s no secret most people are whacked when it comes to their personal finances….”

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
Its sad that we are a nation of financial illiterates.
It even sadder that we are so self absorbed that we cannot and will not listen to the truth or vote for someone that tells us we are delusional financial fools.

As much as I can’t stand Harper… I fear the populist free spending ways of the Liberals even more.
Dont even talk about the NDP forming the next Govt, I break into a cold sweat at the mere mention of that possibility. Their one term screw ups in N.S. , Ont and BC is all the evidence I need for avoid them like the plague.
I may just sit this federal election out….

Oh for the Natural Law Party and their harmonic levitation……..

http://www.google.ca/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&frm=1&source=web&cd=2&cad=rja&uact=8&ved=0CCQQFjAB&url=http%3A%2F%2Fen.wikipedia.org%2Fwiki%2FNatural_Law_Party&ei=fi1ZVcmVGrSasQT62IKwBg&usg=AFQjCNEiv2myRv4uSc53VR_J3vSE5U9Aww&bvm=bv.93564037,d.cWc

I miss the truly harmless looney fringe

#42 Sean on 05.17.15 at 8:11 pm

I hate to say it, being quite capable of saving and investing (and not being overweighted in real estate) myself, but the best solution is probably forcing people (including the self-employed) to save for their retirement by significantly cranking up CPP contribution rates and unwinding or significantly limiting TFSAs and RRSPs. At the same time, beef up regulations on mortgages (continue what F belatedly started) to force people to not get into so much debt. Existing homeowners, hoping to sell to a great fool, won’t like it, but in the long term everyone will benefit via redirected investment into more productive assets.

#43 Obvious Truth on 05.17.15 at 8:27 pm

JT in a land slide.

#44 BG on 05.17.15 at 8:31 pm

On the topic of the TFSA, the 3 major parties have been demagogic.
The cons raised the limit knowing who will actually choose to use it and benefit.
The Libs and NDP are almost telling us you got to be 1% to put 5k-10k aside annually… Thus validating the overspending habit of most Canadians.

No political party has the cojones to address the elephant in the room like Garth does.

I’m not yet a citizen, and not sure I will be one by the end of the year. But I’m already disgusted by the 3 major parties.
I guess I should not mention that at the citizenship little exam.

I’m starting to wonder who I would vote for if I had to.
I wish Jack Layton was still around.

#45 robt on 05.17.15 at 8:33 pm

LazyJason, the last time a party (Joe Clark Conservatives) offered mortgage interest deduction along with a Home Ownership savings plan they got slaughtered by the Liberals and their henchmen in the press because it was a ‘plan for the rich’. The definition of ‘rich’ is usually someone who doesn’t have to worry about something like interest deduction, because they will most often pay cash, although it would be a little perk for them if they didn’t. It would have actually benefited the lower-income and middle-class, and helped many people buy their first home, but Canadian voters are so stupid they couldn’t figure it out.
The TFSA discussion is about as silly. The Liberals (and their policymakers, the NDP) attack the TFSA as if it’s a ‘plan for the rich’, but to the ‘rich’, it’s just as trivial as the mortgage deduction would have been. The definition of ‘rich’ to these people is anyone who is not a supplicant having to beg the government for handouts; handouts that are given to them from the taxes they pay, less 90% overhead.

#46 Paul on 05.17.15 at 8:40 pm

just maybe if savers received a positive return on the money they try to put away for retirement we would not need to be told to save.

#47 Chris on 05.17.15 at 8:44 pm

Really, Liberals are running on taking the TFSA back down to $5k? That would mean death to them. Nobody on their strategy team has a brain that means. It is political suicide to say to people you are taking away something that is free (tax free in this case) even if they are not using it. So I hope the liberals get some sense and don’t even bring this up because it would be the stupidest idea.

Ontario and Quebec are both “have not” provinces. With Alberta joining the party, what is going to happen now? How can they promise to continue to spend? The only way to balance to budget is to raise tax on someone. The question is who would that someone be?

#48 whitehorn on 05.17.15 at 8:58 pm

#22 omg the original “more young couples are stretched to the limit financially. My nephews and nieces in Saskatchewan are buying started homes for $350 to $550k – starter homes in SASKATCHEWAN!!!!!!! As young couple spend more on real estates there will be less left over for other things – like for instance kids. High real estate prices and the emphasis on new IKEA crap to furnish houses may reduce our birth rate over the long-term. This will result in fewer taxer payer 20 to 30 years downy he road which will take a toll on our ability to fund social programs.”

Totally agree with your comments. As we go back in time early 2006ish (can’t remember exact time) it was the Harper gov’t that introduced the 0 down, 40 year mortgages when the economy was firing on all cylinders and in good shape. This is something I could never figure on why the govt stuck their nose in this area. This added massive fuel to the fire and now were at unaffordable house prices for many couples in their prime i.e. child bearing years. That is one area I wish the gov’t would of stayed out of the free market system. Unfortunately, this could cause severe issues going forward in Canada, just have to look south of the border. Anyways, totally agree many couples are postponing kids or having none, and this could be tied closely to house prices and affordability.

#49 bigtown on 05.17.15 at 8:58 pm

Home prices in Canada represent a miscallocation of capital on a massive scale as a result of close to Zero borrowing rates of interest…

ONEX private equity firm went to Vegas back in 2007 and picked up the TROPICANA HOTEL AND CASINO for $330 million and did a reno for $200 million which turned out to be a bad bet for Onex who have since unloaded the Trop for a low bid of $50 million to Penn National.

There is misallocation in capital in many assets and homes are so ubiquitous and too easy to see. Are homes just the beginning of what could be a major adjustment in asset values? It is disturbing knowing Onex guys can sit down at the BLACKJACK table and forget the rule that THE HOUSE ALWAYS WINS and play knowing the deck is stacked against them.

#50 Nagraj on 05.17.15 at 8:59 pm

Dear Garth,
It’s Vox Populi Vox Dei.

Some of us happen to know that the Deus in question has a vicious sense of humour, He goes bowling on weekends (the smart angels always let Him win) and invariably ties one on (beer goes to His head). That’s just how it is in Heaven.

BUT, Mr. Turner, none of the above in any way diminishes the democratic political divinity of His Vox.

If that Vox is the Vox of – as you so delicately say – a bunch of horny idiots, well, practice saying Amen.

[Come to think of it, the Nazis would’ve disappeared you early on, as a mouthy enemy sympathizer, well before 1933.]

#51 espressobob on 05.17.15 at 9:00 pm

Lifestyle today is about one-upmanship. The more debt, the more prestige. It seems those of us who don’t care about impressing others have the upper hand. Why not take advantage of the TFSA?

Those who laugh last, laugh best.

#52 gtrz4peace on 05.17.15 at 9:05 pm

#18 – Made In BC

Please google Robert Reich and read his writings, and you will understand why higher taxes on higher incomes are better for society as a whole.

The failed “trickle down” economics of the Reagan era have been discredited worldwide — the US has the most income inequality of any western nation, and it does have a cost.

Is that really where you want Canada to go? How about no taxes to pay for infrastructure, or Coast Guard stations? Or schools, hey why not just make education only available to the highest bidder.

These are failed policies, and BC in particular is about to reap the “benefits” of industrial deregulation, the muzzling of scientists, the dismantling of public education.

The spill in English Bay? Peanuts. Wait until they have all those tankers fueling in English Bay, with virtually no Coast Guard monitoring because the Coast Guard is being systematically gutted. And all the FRacking up north? Who cares that all other “westernized” countries are now banning it or attempting to in municipality after municipality, because it has been proven to cause earthquakes and destroy groundwater quality.

Are you not aware of WHY the NDP was able to make inroads in Alberta? It’s not just because of economics. There are people there that can now light their water on fire. Is that what you want for BC?

Be careful what you wish for. You may not like it once it’s here.

If you live in BC, as I do, surely you must have some sense and be able to se

#53 Ardy on 05.17.15 at 9:06 pm

The only people who care a whit about TFSA contribution limit increases are the ones who have the money to use it.

Let the 7% who care all vote for Harper.

The other 93% will be voting for some other reason.

#54 gtrz4peace on 05.17.15 at 9:07 pm

Comment continued — If you live in BC, surely you must have some sense and be able to see that destroying our water, our coastlines and our tourism industry, to enrich the fossil fuel barons is not the path to a sustainable future…or maybe you can’t see that.

#55 Cyclist on 05.17.15 at 9:10 pm

All i want is a new bike……and maybe some groupies….

#56 Mark on 05.17.15 at 9:11 pm

“just maybe if savers received a positive return on the money they try to put away for retirement we would not need to be told to save.”

Savers do just fine. Read Garth’s often-repeated comments about the sort of returns savers have seen — 8%/year for the past 10-15 years, for example.

Now if you think its the government’s job to guarantee a rate of return to those who refuse to take any risk and just dump it all in GICs or cash savings accounts, well, I don’t think that’s a reasonable thing to wish for. Low returns on those asset classes, IMHO, are a sort of tax on people stupid enough not to diversify.

#57 Shawn on 05.17.15 at 9:12 pm

Too Much Capital in Houses?

Home prices in Canada represent a miscallocation of capital on a massive scale as a result of close to Zero borrowing rates of interest…

****************************************
That may be true. It is true to the extent that we have built too many houses, built them too large or did too many renovations.

Some of the high cost of houses reflects the high cost of land. Paying more for raw land does not put more capital into the raw land. It just transfers purchasing power to the former owner of the raw land.

To the extent that house prices go up for the same house due to location that does not put more capital into the house. It just transfers purchasing power from the new owner to the old owner.

Have we, in physical terms of real land, labor and materials put too much resources into houses?

Or are we just willing to transfer purchasing power from buyers of houses to sellers of houses?

Is Canada’s housing stock too large and of too high a quality?

#58 David McDonald on 05.17.15 at 9:12 pm

I am afraid the Liberals have a winner when they criticize the TFSA. Even my wife finds it unfair and I have built her account up over $65K.

Harper has imported American politics into Canada with success but there is a cost. His partisanship has overshadowed his sensible accomplishments like pension splitting and the TFSA. Even a conservative Canadian voter like myself won’t vote republican.

#59 gtrz4peace on 05.17.15 at 9:13 pm

Another comment! From the BC Peanut Gallery (we manage to live pretty well on peanuts):

Overspending here has been a plan encouraged and systematically grown by both political parties. If the masses were to really feel the impact of the economic inequity here in North America, well, they might revolt.

So cheap credit keeps everyone thinking they too, are just that one lucky break away from being the 1%. Thinking you’re a millionaire because your home is artificially inflated in value makes people spend more.

Now consumer spending is crucial in a market economy, so consumer spending is not all bad. And current rates of spending continue to create debt slaves — which serves the purposes of the 1% who own the debt.

So there is little or no incentive for anyone at the top to rain on their own parade.

However, rain it will. As it always does sooner or later.

#60 Hot Albertan Money on 05.17.15 at 9:16 pm

Why are the Libs/NDP even wasting time threatening the TFSA? Sure, it jumped to $10k, but it’s not mandatory. The Cons didn’t just impose an extra $4.5k in taxes on people…they just let people put away MORE of their money. Be it $1 or $10,000

Turner in 2015!!!

#61 Hot Albertan Money on 05.17.15 at 9:18 pm

(forgot to ask)

Garth, what would it take for you and Prentice to start a political party?

#62 Mark on 05.17.15 at 9:20 pm

“Is Canada’s housing stock too large and of too high a quality?”

I wouldn’t say there’s been a lot of overbuilding in Canada. The problem in Canada is that we have a lot of idle capital in our innovation/engineering/technology/manufacturing sector, and then we have a few sectors which are obviously quite overheated and are now in the process of collapsing.

By allowing the CMHC to effectively alchemize $900B of subprime credit into pristine government-guaranteed credit, effectively the innovation end of the economy has been starved for capital, while the business of housing supply has been overstimulated.

Its not that we didn’t need housing in Canada. The 1990s were an era of under-investment in housing, particularly in the major cities. However, as an economy, we have probably sacrificed a lot of long-term output by artificially stimulating one sector (housing) to the detriment of other sectors. This government-induced innefficiency, among many other reasons, is why Canada’s economy has an awfully hard time going over 2% real GDP growth, while more dynamic economies can hit 3-4% annualized real GDP growth and even higher before they overheat.

#63 hohoho on 05.17.15 at 9:28 pm

> … I would not take pride in ripping off small businessmen even with government approval.

why not simply bid your cost plus a reasonable profit? win win for every one.

if you don’t bid, others keep on getting ripped off like you described.

#64 TS on 05.17.15 at 9:31 pm

Harper uses ridiculous numbers when he talks about TFSAs though which is why I don’t trust him.

He says TFSAs are the middle class and there’s tonnes of examples of people who earn under $60,000 that max them out.

Maxing out with new money is different from transferring cash from non-registered accounts or moving RRSPs/RRIFs to this shelter.

If you’re going to be truthful with the facts, ask Canadians what their income is, what age they are, and where they’re getting the money for their TSFAs.

Then I’ll judge whether it’s a program for the wealthy or not.

#65 charles on 05.17.15 at 9:32 pm

Hopefully a significant number of the 93% are saving in real assets (shinny rocks) outside the banking system, the only choice for savers who are awake and can read.
Junk away.

What is a shinny rock? — Garth

#66 Smoking Man on 05.17.15 at 9:34 pm

#53 Ardy on 05.17.15 at 9:06 pm
The only people who care a whit about TFSA contribution limit increases are the ones who have the money to use it.

Let the 7% who care all vote for Harper.

The other 93% will be voting for some other reason.
……..

That spread was a bit wide. But your right, libs are going to win.

No wage growth, just debt fueling spending. Corps using TFW to suppress wage growth. Slaves are starting to get it.

They know some things wrong, but can’t put there finger on it. Justin will exploit that sentiment.

Harpo is on his wayout , but Justin is still owned by the machine.

You can’t beat the machine, less off course you initials are. VP

#67 Victor V on 05.17.15 at 9:41 pm

Send Ralph a tweet and let him know what you think of his proposal:

https://twitter.com/RalphGoodale/status/599275315270131712

#68 Paul on 05.17.15 at 9:43 pm

Mark @ #56
I don’t think it’s the Governments job to flood the market with cheap money and back up CMHC back up with taxpayer.

Just saying

#69 lee on 05.17.15 at 9:44 pm

The carrying costs on a million dollar home now sit at $7000 a month. You need to earn $12000 a month pre-tax to pay this. A $100,000 down payment just drops this to $6650 or so a month. Real estate is not going up up up. These people are already stuck with a loss if they sell within five years. For them it’s going down down down. It is an illusion to think reasonable people will pay this for at least 15 years before getting a real break. It’s not agents’ fault. But it is disrespectful to their clients to keep harping prices only go up. We are at the limit of prices no matter what the boards say. When exactly are they going to man up and tell us their methodologies?

#70 Spaccone on 05.17.15 at 9:49 pm

Maybe I can’t read between the lines or my reading comprehension is lacking but what’s being left out? For something that “no one” is using what’s the threat with keeping the TFSA as-is or even putting the limit higher?

#71 waiting on the westcoast on 05.17.15 at 9:57 pm

#67 Smoking Man on 05.17.15 at 9:34 pm
“You can’t beat the machine, less off course you initials are. VP”

Putin is insecure… he pushed when he felt strong and is retreating when weak. Watch his glorious exploits as his reserves continue to dwindle. He doesn’t have the balls to take it to the next level.

He didn’t beat the machine…. No one beats the machine ;-)

#72 Nemesis on 05.17.15 at 9:59 pm

“What is a shinny rock?” — Garth

#ShinnyExplained:

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/2/29/Sarnia_Shinny.jpg

#RockVersion:

https://youtu.be/4wVbf-FnIOE

#73 Kreditanstalt on 05.17.15 at 10:01 pm

They’re not short of money because of buying real estate.

They’re short of money because of soaring inflation, rising debt and a stagnant career (NOT “job”!!) market.

The “recovery” that ate living standards.

#74 Shawn on 05.17.15 at 10:01 pm

Capital in Houses

Mark said:

I wouldn’t say there’s been a lot of overbuilding in Canada.

**************************************
So then there is no excess of capital that went into houses.

If John builds a house for $200k and ten years later sells the same house to me for $1 million the only capital on the house is the original $200k.

John originally put in $200k of true capital to cover labour, land and material. (let’s ignore that part of the land cost was just profit to a former owner).

John now gets back the $200k in capital and $800 in profit from me. In effect I have paid for the $200k capital that is “in” the house and put $800k into John’s pocket and he is free now to invest that in whatever he wants (assume he will rent his new place).

I find it hard to believe that there is any industry that is deserving of capital but starved for capital in Canada when interest rates are this low. If money is failing to go into certain industries it is for reasons other than lack of investment dollars. Like low profitability for various reasons. Or lack of government permits.

#75 rosie "moving forward" in the knowledge that, "this won't end well" on 05.17.15 at 10:02 pm

I wonder how the Chinese pronounce “POP”.

http://www.reuters.com/article/2015/05/18/us-china-economy-houseprices-idUSKBN0O302I20150518

#76 espressobob on 05.17.15 at 10:21 pm

The old HOSP (Home ownership savings plan) was collapsed way back in the 80’s with no tax implications at that time.

#77 small steps on 05.17.15 at 10:21 pm

But isn’t the TFSA also for people who feel priced out of the housing market to build wealth? That is what we are using it for.

#78 Smoking Man on 05.17.15 at 10:33 pm

#72 waiting on the westcoast on 05.17.15 at 9:57 pm
#67 Smoking Man on 05.17.15 at 9:34 pm
“You can’t beat the machine, less off course you initials are. VP”

Putin is insecure… he pushed when he felt strong and is retreating when weak. Watch his glorious exploits as his reserves continue to dwindle. He doesn’t have the balls to take it to the next level.

He didn’t beat the machine…. No one beats the machine ;-)
……

Wasent taking about Putin. Stay tuned , my best writing is a few months away.

The machine has a weakness. Not that I’m dumb enough to share it.

Less of course I get really really hammerd and depresed. But the editor and cheif of GF will save my ass again.

#79 Wise Guy on 05.17.15 at 10:34 pm

So I guess I fall into the average family income here in Canada. I make $80,000/year, have two kids under 2 and a stay at home Mom that has no intentions of going back to work as she essentially made $12/hour working full time despite having a University degree. With the cost of Daycare, it doesn’t make sense at all, so my wife stats home, yet each year I’ve been able to max out my TFSA and my wife’s. In fact, I was even able to top it off for both of us to $10,000/each this year.

Fortunately, a car is provided for me with my work, so that’s one less payment. We don’t own, we rent a house for $1600/month, 45 minutes north of Toronto, but live very comfortable. I’m smart enough to know that if I did lose my job we’d be severely screwed, so right now we save.

I see my neighbours with two cars in the driveway, bills coming out of their eyeballs, yet they are constantly renovating and doing home improvements. We don’t care about that stuff as we rent a very nice home and if there is a problem, we call the landlord.

I’m not sure whom I will be voting for this coming election, I hate Harper, but love the income splitting and the increased child benefits. I’m far from rich, so the Liberals angle on the Consevatives policies only benefitting the rich do not make sense to me at all and I’m not even sure what the NDP are offering me and my family. Has Harper bought my vote? Maybe…at least for now he has!

#80 Ralph Cramdown on 05.17.15 at 10:36 pm

#47 Chris — “Really, Liberals are running on taking the TFSA back down to $5k? That would mean death to them. Nobody on their strategy team has a brain that means. It is political suicide to say to people you are taking away something that is free (tax free in this case) even if they are not using it.”

I disagree. When the TFSA was first introduced, it was, if you will, an aspirational savings plan. People could say to themselves “hell yeah I’ll save $5k per year and avoid tax on the income!”

Six years on, it is no longer aspirational. Most people probably know whether they’ve maximized their contributions so far, and most have not. It takes a lot more wishful thinking in that case to think the increased contribution room will soon benefit them personally. Further, your typical TFSA person with $10,000* contributed so far is probably dimly aware that the tax he saves on the 0.75% his bank is paying him won’t buy him a case of beer.

So when the Liberals come out and say “there’s not a lot of people who at the end of the year have $10,000 laying around that they can invest,” most people do not think “*I* usually have $10,000 laying around at the end of the year!” No, they think “this tax break does nothing for me.”

The Conservatives probably didn’t help themselves by upping the limit but deindexing it, tacitly admitting that the PBO had a point, but that’s small ball for the average voter who isn’t into the minutiae.

Unless the Conservatives have a soon-to-be-announced policy broadly beneficial to the middle class that doesn’t cost much, it looks like they’ve picked the TFSA as their hill to die on. It ties directly into their core message of economic competence. As in “If you’re steering the economy so well, how come I can’t save any money?”

Their best hope is that Liberal campaign messaging and advertising proves, once again, to be weak and ineffectual.

* — typical account value is a wild-ass guess

#81 Frustrated Kiwi on 05.17.15 at 10:45 pm

In political news from downunder, NZ is finally going to start collecting reliable data on foreign investment in housing:
http://www.nzherald.co.nz/business/news/article.cfm?c_id=3&objectid=11450516
The need to register with the tax department before purchasing will also make it more difficult for money launderers (which I suspect is one motivation for this change).

#82 Gregor Samsa on 05.17.15 at 10:47 pm

It doesn’t matter if the TFSA benefits average Canadians or not. What matters is that Harper is telling Canadians that it benefits them. The airwaves are literally blanketed with this message (paid for by the taxpayer).

By this, and a hundred other devious ways, Harper will lie and cheat his way back to power.

Another recent gem was Harper’s move to have a bunch of obscure debates on private networks that nobody will watch vs the traditional public debate on CBC.

Millions will believe the lies and vote Harper back in again. The current polling shows an even vote split between the Liberals and the NDP (with the Green party sucking off a few more % for good measure) all but ensuring his victory if that holds.

#83 kommykim on 05.17.15 at 10:48 pm

RE: #17 Linda on 05.17.15 at 7:04 pm
So if 93.3% cannot do it, we are really left with two choices.
a) Something is wrong with the plan.
b) Something is wrong with the people

It’s the people. They refuse to save. They cannot differentiate between a need and a want because they’ve literally bought into the consumer lifestyle.

#84 Mark on 05.17.15 at 10:48 pm

“So then there is no excess of capital that went into houses.”

Yeah, you sort of caught me in a contradiction, because, while there hasn’t necessarily been overbuilding, there certainly have been excesses in the sort of furnishings and types of structures built.

For instance, how much do you think granite countertops (washrooms + kitchen) add cost-wise to an average house? $20k? That’s a decent chunk of coin, repeated thousands of times, that could have probably been better used to modernize certain aspects of Canada’s manufacturing sector. Delivering a return on investment rather than being simply an inanimate piece of granite forever ensconced in somebody’s house until it is either damaged or that particular colour/type of granite goes out of style.

I find it hard to believe that there is any industry that is deserving of capital but starved for capital in Canada when interest rates are this low

Interest rates are *not* the cost of capital. Capital includes, among other things, equity (very expensive for Canadian business, particularly startups), debt, even labour. For instance, in Calgary, many businesses in the Calgary ICT sector have closed down over the past decade simply on account of capital inputs being so high that profit could not be achieved.

I’ve written many posts where I’ve pointed out the distortions in the Canadian economy. Large cap companies with good balance sheets and excellent assets (ie: BCE) paying higher net interest rates than residential RE borrowers.

#85 Timing is Everything on 05.17.15 at 10:51 pm

#118 mitzerboy aka queencity [Regina] kid – happy Victoria day weekend –

Thx mate! Happy May two-four weekend.

http://tinyurl.com/kjchprm

( ^_^)o自自o(^_^ )
——————————————————
I don’t care who ‘wins’ elections. I’ll just roll with the punches (and throw a few if need be). After all, we’re just a ‘temporary collection of atoms’.

http://tinyurl.com/n39zkmj

…Now, back to your regularly scheduled ‘program’.

#86 Brewski Bob on 05.17.15 at 10:57 pm

Garth

Would have been better if you had gone all out and entitled the article, “Vox populi, vox Dei”

BTW when you have ministers and VIPS over to your jackpad, is it a BYOB affair or do you shout for the brewskies???Just asking….

#87 Marlene from Victoria on 05.17.15 at 10:58 pm

The Greater Fool Election Desk Predictor Team has yet to arrive at its consensus for the result this October. But there is one verity to remember. Nobody ever got elected telling people they’re a bunch of horny idiots.

Did I mention I’m not running?

___________________________________________

And with today’s comment Garth, you are officially…..

…….really old.

I say this half in jest – I am close to your age too. But we are quickly becoming irrelevant. As the poll I linked to the other day shows, millennials and other younger-than-boomer types think differently and are chomping at the bit to boot us boomers into the past.

http://news.nationalpost.com/news/canada/canadian-politics/new-poll-puts-federal-ndp-ahead-of-tories-and-liberals-suggesting-race-has-changed-drastically-after-alberta-election

Can’t say we don’t deserve it, either. We have royally messed up our economy for decades, making it all about us and our short term wants and boy, have we screwed it up!

All signs point to much more engaged, ready to vote younger cohorts ready to kick to the curb the neoconservative and neoliberal garbage ideas that have dragged us down for decades now. Many of the blog dogs will not be pleased. Tough luck.

These groups do vote, at least in key areas that will swing the next election, and are more engaged than our generation ever was, especially with new media and in the aftermath of flameouts like that complete idiot Jim Prentice.

Whether they put in the NDP or Trudeau is the only question mark for now. But for the next twenty years or more, we better get used to new paradigms. That’s the rest of life for most of us boomers.

For every boomer among us who wants to try to pin the blame on younger groups for the woes they inherit without nearly the choice and opportunity we took for granted, there will now be a millennial/gen x/y who will be voting against our Harper-style 1% ideology, giving us a big finger and an f-you, with a smile on their faces.

Times are changing, Garth. It has started with Alberta and will sweep from coast to coast. We boomers have fkd up our economy and the prospects of the young far too much for that not to happen now.

We deserve every slap in the face we get from now on for suggesting we know better. We never have, and certainly don’t now.

As boomers, we need to be thinking of the grandkids now and the world they will grow into.

If we can’t do that, we really deserve to be cast off as selfish, entitled, irrelevant douchebags.

Democracy, however imperfect, has ways of doing just that when it is time.

That time is upon us.

#88 Nattie on 05.17.15 at 11:18 pm

People earning under 60k can’t save 10k? Rubbish. Perhaps a breadwinner of a family can’t, but as a single person I’ve been putting 10k away since I earned 30k. If a lower-income person scrapped their RRSP and only used their TFSA they’d be better off.

#89 Hurly on 05.17.15 at 11:21 pm

This boils my blood. My family is frugal and lives within our means and can max out TFSA room every year. Now the libs want to take away the only reward I have for not being a credit junkie. Unbelievable. I know how I am voting! You are right GT about what it takes to get elected. H

#90 Smoking Man on 05.17.15 at 11:22 pm

Vox populi

Coincidentally VP

#91 Never on 05.17.15 at 11:26 pm

#27 LazyJason

So with most Canadians being saddled (self inflicted mind you) with mortgage debt, are you still sure a party won’t introduce tax deductible mortgage interest like the US? Seems a pretty sure way to get into power.

Never. — Garth

——–

Garth, it sounds really weird when to certain things you simply declare “never”.

Probably because I grew up in a former Communist country, where this “never” used to be the token answer for many basic political or economic questions, arguments.

Ever since, when I hear “never” as an answer I am always tempted to ask: why not?

In this case, is tax deductible mortgage interest against Canadian identity? Is it a subject of some secret treaty with the natives or the French?

If none of those, what makes it a seemingly non-negotiable item of economy, politics?

More importantly, why does Canada even have any economic policy issue, classified as non-negotiable?

Garth, I am not trying to pull your leg, I guess you are just the messenger, knowing the realities of Canadian politics.

Still, I can’t imagine why does the Canadian public accept “never” as an answer, instead of a discussion for any economic policy.

Whether it is TFSA contribution limit or… anything else, really.

Canadians need to rebel for putting on the table for discussion anything – instead of blind protest votes, swinging provinces, the country from one opposite spectrum to the other without making economic sense.

#92 Paul on 05.17.15 at 11:39 pm

Wise guy @81

You hate Harper strong emotion, Best save it in case Justin gets in. Lol

#93 Paul Brown on 05.17.15 at 11:43 pm

How do you feel about the fourth option in this globe and mail article? It seems to work for Germany.

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/report-on-business/economy/canadas-household-debt-future-challenges-and-potential-solutions/article24470920/

#94 will on 05.17.15 at 11:43 pm

The tfsa is great. but all this bluster about it wont be part of my voting thinking. I’ll be voting on foreign policy. and I will not be voting for the current non-conservative frauds. harper’s gotta go.

#95 nonplused on 05.17.15 at 11:54 pm

I hate politics. Politics is like listening to your sister tell you why she shouldn’t have to chip in for your parents care and then following that with why she should get the lion’s share of the estate.

All of the stats quoted to day were useless, even the ones Garth used. Of course people earning $60,000 a year cannot afford to save $10,000 a year, at least in general. Stupid, stupid argument. The limit is to prevent people who make a million dollars a year from saving $100,000 in the TFSA. The point is there is still a limit so it isn’t a vehicle for the rich.

Goodale and Trudeau are shameless politicians, and I mean that in the worst way. A savings vehicle that you can put $10,000 a year in is not something Trudeau needs to or even can utilize. Daddy’s money nets him that in a week. (Don’t forget folks, the Trudeau’s are old money in Canada.)

Goodale and Trudeau are committing the worst form of class warfare, trying to pit those earning $60,000 a year against those who make $120,000 a year, whilst they count their incomes in the millions. It’s sick.

So here is where the stats break down if you focus on the $10,000 limit.

Let’s say everyone saves 1% of their income in a TFSA. So the folks making $60,000 a year save $600, and the folks making $120,000 save $1,200, and yes folks making $1,000,000 get to save the full $10,000. It’s still proportional but if you make $2,000,000 oh boo hoo you can’t shelter $20,000. So where is the problem? That a guy making $240,000 a year might skip the new Porsche and save $10,000? That is so trite.

It’s all about pitting us against each other folks. Rich people like Trudeau couldn’t care less what the TFSA rules are. The fact that poor people (when did $60,000 a year make you poor???) can’t save the maximum is just stupid. They can buy Porches like Mr. Trudeau either.

#96 NoName on 05.17.15 at 11:56 pm

I was reading post I keep thinking maybe I should jump to vox.com to see what’s new, then it hit me… I remembered my mom helping my cousin with her latin study while she was going thru med school. One time cousin was over, my dad was drifting in and out of alcohol induced coma on a couch, and he decided to teach me life lessons so he sad:
omnia mea mecum porto and oderint dum metuant.
Funny thing is that I remembered both quotes, but for years I didn’t know what It means. Now I know.

So back to the TFSA and politics around it. I know that for an average family earning around 80k there is no way to max out tfsa-s either way 5k or 10k, so I wonder what resetting tfsa down to 5500 actually does for an average family, guess makes no difference anyway.

In my ** yrs in Canada, I always voted cons, but now that I see what is going on with fed. gov. I don’t see my self voting for cons any time soon. Liberals, no chance, maybe if they bring Mr. Martin back. At this point Mulchair looks lot better alternative that other two, but on a another hand I am not big fan of hammer and sickle…

#HoustonWeHaveAProblem.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EfJiNPZ38kY
#HowDidWeEverGetThisWay
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6M4_Ommfvv0

#97 JacqueShellacque on 05.18.15 at 12:13 am

Silly TFSA myths:
1) “Gov’t will lose revenue”. Er, not quite. TFSA contributions are after-tax money. Those who contribute to a TFSA are either choosing not to consume, or not to contribute the equivalent funds to an RRSP. So it’s true that HST/GST on the money that would’ve otherwise been consumed but now isn’t may be lost. How significant can that be? If it’s truly only the rich that are maxing TFSAs, surely they weren’t simply going to blow the cash. And its doubtful TFSA contributions will *entirely* crowd out RRSPs, as there is still benefits to making use of the latter.
2) “Not everyone can max it, therefore its unfair”. Silly, silly lefties. The word “fair” should really never be used by anyone over the age of 9. Are we really to the point where our gov’t doesn’t believe the citizenry exercises any choices at all? If so, we’re fried, and the TFSA is our only hope. The true value in TFSAs is to show the world’s most indebted citizenry the opportunity cost of their porcine consumption.

#98 Panhead on 05.18.15 at 12:38 am

#70 lee on 05.17.15 at 9:44 pm
The carrying costs on a million dollar home now sit at $7000 a month. You need to earn $12000 a month pre-tax to pay this.

______________________________________________

Sold my Pa’s house for him in 604 a little over a year ago. It was torn down right away. Drove by there today as I was in the neighbourhood. Still no one living there but a new house is nearing completion. On the front of the house are three separate addresses. Two for the house and one for the lane house. And all this on a 33×120 ft. lot. This is how financing works out here I guess. What a way to live …

#99 Carpe Diem on 05.18.15 at 12:41 am

I had my wife’s buddy (born in Taiwan) visit from Vancouver this weekend.

I told him my thoughts and my recently deleted post.

He laughed lots about it since color, creed or sex don’t mean shit to me … if you are smart you matter … if you are dumb …. I don’t bother.

(Garth … I’m now discriminating on dumb people .. will you know “Deleted” me?) Canadian-born people are dumb. Actually white and dumb. Dumb to a point that they have no clue what dumb is.

He also acknowledged that there are Vancouver areas being bought by mainland Chinese and converted into new homes all over Vancouver!

Being a Dog … I asked him are locals buying the end-product or are mainland folks buying them?

His pause in words validated Garth’s thesis!

I’m white. So me saying white people people are dumb-asses can’t be racist.

Me saying boomers are ….

I end it here since I would not want be Deleted again.

#100 John Prine on 05.18.15 at 12:46 am

At this point it looks like the “orange guys” couldn’t possibly make a bigger mess of this countries finances than the “Harper Government” has…..Good at kicking the can down the road with no thoughts of the consequences .

#101 Protea on 05.18.15 at 12:59 am

Having immigrated to Canada over 40yrs ago I have always said that Canadians are the biggest whiners on this globe. This blog does endorse my perception when I hear all the moaning and groaning. You folks don’t realize how lucky and fortunate you are to be living in the best country in the world. Harper is not perfect has his faults but the alternative gives me the shivers .Christ I came to this country over 40yrs ago with $300 in my jeans ,never been on unemployment or welfare but with hard work and self reliant have looked after my own financial affairs love the TFSA best thing since sliced bread .I bet you if you do a pole on this blog the majority of the whiners are Canadian born. Whats going to save this country and make it the great place it is will always be massive immigration.

#102 Godth on 05.18.15 at 1:01 am

The People’s Fighter: Rocco Galati on Globalization, Sovereignty and Civil Liberties
http://www.globalresearch.ca/the-peoples-figher-rocco-galati-on-globalization-sovereignty-and-civil-liberties/5367066

#103 Don on 05.18.15 at 1:02 am

#71 Spaccone on 05.17.15 at 9:49 pm
Maybe I can’t read between the lines or my reading comprehension is lacking but what’s being left out? For something that “no one” is using what’s the threat with keeping the TFSA as-is or even putting the limit higher?

Randy Randerson on 05.17.15 at 7:50 pm
I can totally imagine the day when the government eliminates income tax entirely, and the poor decry it because it benefits the rich more so than the poor.

When one person dodges tax, someone else has to cover the shortfall. I don’t understand why people struggle to get their heads around that. If only very well off people can dodge taxes in the extra TFSA room, all of the rest of us have to pay to make up for it.

So, likewise, Randy, of course the middle class would decry eliminating income tax. We have to fund our services somehow, or give up on them – or deficit-fund them and let it a problem for another generation. By his own admission, that’s the solution Joe Oliver prefers.

#104 millenial1982 on 05.18.15 at 1:04 am

Unfortunately investing and tax sheltering strategies are not the same horny and popular topics the common folk dwell on as us weirdo’s do. The statistics speak for themselves and the majority will probably find sentiment with JT’s platform from a financial point of view (herdonomics as smoking man PhD says). There’s a reason we have HGTV porn and not investing porn. However, one should consider the famous expert quote along the lines ….if you want to be successful look at what everyone else is doing, and do the opposite…

#105 Jock McGurt on 05.18.15 at 1:09 am

Again with the ‘punish the rich’ meme in the Liberals diatribe. Savings or not in a TFSA or RRSP is not a ‘rich peoples issue’. Average people aren’t saving because they’re stupid with their money.

The lack of savings in Canada and the gorging on cheap debt is a direct result of the governments own greeeeeeed ( I wish I could make that sound like a squealing piggy) when loaning itself uncounted billions at zero interest rates and now keeping them at zero because they themselves can’t afford to pay back what they owe if they raise rates even a quarter point.

The people who manage to save should be applauded not vilified. Saving is a discipline….not a mystery that only rich people have mastered. I’m not rich and I save money instead of blowing it on frivolity.

I max out every tax deferred dollar and tax free advantage I can …..at the expense of not having 2 newly leased BMW’s in the driveway of a million dollar mortgaged house in Pooville. Not to save every dollar the government clowns aren’t stealing from you is just idiocy.

I didn’t see the big unions and liberal sycophants screaming back about the excessive hiring of civil servants during the recession…or all the big raises in budgets for pet projects to keep them from feeling the pain.

Ralph Goodale is not famous for being a man of fiscal prudence while in office…he’s no man to be giving personal financial advice to Canadians.

#106 Cici on 05.18.15 at 1:17 am

Wow…if they take away the TFSA, Canada’s got nothing going for it except for an oversupply of condos and generally ugly, overpriced detached homes.

The States, on the other hand, has cheaper real estate, salary paid in stronger currency, ROTHs and 401K, cheaper beer, cheaper groceries, cheaper gas, and better weather.

#107 chapter 9 on 05.18.15 at 1:54 am

It is really a shame that Justin Trudeau hasn’t a clue what it is like to be in the middle class. It was amusing to read his comment in the Ottawa Citizen about being a Trudeau, “Being born into this family was like winning the lottery”. Just imagine, what it would be like having RCMP body guards when you a kid,never having to do a resume, look for a job,borrow money for a car,getting laid off,putting money aside for your kids education, not taking holidays and taking on extra work to make ends meet or waking up in the middle of the night sweating bullets that you could loose your home. But, don’t we all have trust funds that we can dip into or as a sitting member MP go speak to a school board and bill them $15,000 dollars or a charity $10,000 for 30 minutes of ego tripping. This is the guy that wants to take away your ability to provide security for your family,a retirement fund, a nest egg for a rainy day by scrapping TFSA. Sad!!

#108 BS on 05.18.15 at 2:11 am

52:

Please google Robert Reich and read his writings, and you will understand why higher taxes on higher incomes are better for society as a whole.

Why stop there. Just google communism and you can read how to really make society great. The government can spend your money better than you can is the theory. Everyone is equal. The perfect society. Except the part about there being no incentive to work.

The failed “trickle down” economics of the Reagan era have been discredited worldwide — the US has the most income inequality of any western nation, and it does have a cost.

Last time I checked the US economy is the envy of the world. Making everyone poor does not help the poor. Go to Cuba to see a society where there is almost universal income equality. Pretty much everyone in Cuba are worse off than the poorest people in the US. But at least they have income equality.

#109 Don't split the vote. on 05.18.15 at 2:25 am

Election can be decided now. Don’t split the vote. Greens exist to help out the Cons (con MP Lisa Rait is Green Party leaders best friend).

NDP is a corporate media bs pollster favourite. They won’t win.

Vote liberal and this will oust Harper.

#110 BS on 05.18.15 at 2:34 am

Six years on, it is no longer aspirational. Most people probably know whether they’ve maximized their contributions so far, and most have not.

The problem with the Liberal TSFA policy is for those who have not used their TSFA room it probably will not change their vote one way or the other. Since few have used the extra TSFA room the difference in taxes collected at this point is minimal so it not like he can promise to spend the money of goodies.

But for the segment of voters who have used it or plan to use the extra TSDA room it almost guarantees those voters will not vote Liberal. You are essentially voting for a personal tax increase.

Keep in mind a lot of the population who do not use or plan to use TSFAs are the people that don’t vote anyway.

#111 drydock on 05.18.15 at 3:14 am

#73 Nemesis on 05.17.15 at 9:59 pm

#RockVersion:

https://youtu.be/4wVbf-FnIOE

%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%

He shoots,he scores.

#112 P.Bocanegra on 05.18.15 at 4:05 am

Anyone who votes for Stephen Harper and his band of vile cretins is either:

a) A member of the 1%.
b) A stupid moron.

Justin Trudeau is a vapid empty suit and he would still make a far better PM than Harper.

#113 FutureExpatriate on 05.18.15 at 4:56 am

Come now, Art, how else can the 1% snap up EVERYTHING when the prices crash and everyone else loses everything?

All going according to plan. Not the first time this happened either, nor will it be the last.

It took decades to create a middle class; it will take less than a decade to rape and pillage it into nonexistence.

#114 Julia on 05.18.15 at 6:17 am

Sorry Garth, don’t want to feed the HAM comments, just found this article interesting.

NY Times: Want a green card? Invest in real estate.

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/05/17/realestate/want-a-green-card-invest-in-real-estate.html?smid=fb-nytimes&smtyp=cur&bicmp=AD&bicmlukp=WT.mc_id&bicmst=1409232722000&bicmet=1419773522000&_r=0

#115 0down40 on 05.18.15 at 9:18 am

Increase the minimum down payment from 5% to 10% CMHC based and ta daaaa housing problem solved.
I can see SOME foreigners buying RE in Canada, but the majority is you and me and CMHC.
Forget interest rates, they can go up or down, viable businesses will survive, that’s what Garth is saying.

#116 Incubus on 05.18.15 at 9:18 am

“which means people have used cheap money to load up on debt rather than pay it off. It’s been a lesson in irresponsibility and greed.”

Poor people behave like that that’s why they are poor.

“Appreciation is Income

There is a noticeable difference between the behavior of rich and poor when it comes to home price appreciation. The rich view home price appreciation as adding to their net worth. If lower interest rates allow them to refinance, they will restructure their debt to pay off the loan more quickly in order to increase their wealth. Poor people view home price appreciation as income; free money for them to spend. If lower interest rates allow them to refinance, they will restructure their loan to pull as much home equity as possible and reduce their payment as much as possible so they can spend more. If any net worth happens to accumulate, they obtain a home equity line of credit and spend the appreciation as quickly as possible–it makes them feel rich even though it really makes them poor.”

http://www.irvinehousingblog.com/2010/04/04/bubble-market-psychology-part-2/

#117 Ralph Cramdown on 05.18.15 at 9:31 am

#106 Jock McGurt — “Ralph Goodale is not famous for being a man of fiscal prudence while in office…he’s no man to be giving personal financial advice to Canadians.”

He’s delivered more balanced budgets as Finance Minister than Stephen Harper has as Prime Minister.

But please, continue to regale us with the facts as you misremember them.

#118 ANON on 05.18.15 at 9:34 am

“Did I mention I’m not running?”

Smart. And wise.

#119 michael on 05.18.15 at 9:35 am

Finance is Garth’s thing not security but this election *should* be about the rise of Harper’s police state and bill C-51 not TFSA’s. The TFSA limit is totally irrelevant if you have been arrested for dissent.

The inevitable consequences of C-51 are far, far more important than just about anything else. A repeal of C-51 promise gets my vote.

#120 Realtor007 on 05.18.15 at 9:38 am

This anti-TFSA rhetoric has nothing to do with whether people can max out or not but the nanny state hating the idea of people keeping more of their own money, might as well get rid of the RRSP as well because most people don’t even come close to maxing it out. Of course the government knows that they will get a much bigger chunk later from allowing people to postpone the taxes they owe in an RRSP.

Canada is getting worse and worse every year as governments get more and more involved in our lives, higher taxes, red tape and regulation, SM is correct, the incentive to work and operate a business in Canada is dying.

#121 Sheane Wallace on 05.18.15 at 9:46 am

#72 waiting on the westcoast

Putin does not need to be secure as the Chinese are. Chinese ETFs up 15 % in 2 months.

#122 Geokall on 05.18.15 at 10:15 am

Garth
I think you should run. Start the Real party. Seriously.

#123 Drill Baby Drill on 05.18.15 at 10:32 am

Dear Pathetic Blog Dogs: With all of the problems that require solutions in this country TFSA’s are not one of them. The statement that this only assists the top percentile is politics of envy. This politics of envy has been used against Alberta for decades and is just now going to shift to the top earners.

#124 fixie guy on 05.18.15 at 10:34 am

“No political leader so far has told Canadians they’re spending too much, not saving enough or warned them from buying real estate that is beyond their means. The current finance minister, unlike the feisty F, has even given up on trying to stop a race to the bottom among mortgage lenders and refused any meaningful action to curtail speculation or the exploding subprime lending market.”

The self-contradictory disconnect between the action of the Feds and the impact on borrowers in that paragraph is head spinning. The worst drug dealers build a customer base on free samples, the Feds do it with free first mortgages.

#125 Oot der Hoos on 05.18.15 at 10:38 am

To #76 Shawn

Yes, profit margins are the issue. The supply chain, which is resource extraction, machine tools, and consumption goods, is damaged by artificially low interest rates. For example, you named the rampant real estate inflation. It does affect a price component: business location prices.

If anybody is interested, read Austrian economics, http://www.mises.org regarding the consumption and capital investment competition for limited resources, and free market signals damaged by central banks setting interest rates too low.

Besides interest rates, uncertain tax policy and government Stasi oppression spying on our commercial ideas (bills C-51, S-7) require higher profit margins to entice an investor to risk his savings for potential profits. The steal-from-others to keep my OAS/hospitals/schools/CPP mentality, is scary to me because it also will scare away investors and cause poverty. Why do some think and fear those services will not be provided by free will by our neighbours, without stealing and spying?

Socialism is failing and they know it, but they do not know why.

I am looking at this video next (Jim Grant talking):
https://mises.org/library/hazlitt-my-hero

Economics in One Lesson by Hazlitt:
https://mises.org/library/economics-one-lesson
https://mises.org/library/case-against-fed-0

#126 Alberta Ed on 05.18.15 at 10:55 am

I thought the point of the TFSA (as well as other tax sheltered savings plans for retirement, education, etc.) is to begin building wealth. Few people can plop in the full annual amount, aside from trust fund babies like Junior Trudeau, but that doesn’t mean they can’t start contributing a lesser amount. Most people start small and grow their investments over a lifetime.

#127 CHERRY BLOSSOM on 05.18.15 at 11:02 am

did anyone consider that the amount in the TSFA if invested in say REITs is helping companies as well/

I do not believe there is a CANADA anymore. The politicians have ruined it. We should rename our country. MISHMASH COUNTY

#128 rawdiswar on 05.18.15 at 11:10 am

The zero sum thinking taught in school is coming to its logical conclusion. Someone else has something you don’t, so vote for it to be taken away.

If any government tries to take away my TFSA, I will seriously consider moving countries.

Wife and I are 28 and 30, no help from parents, I killed my student debt of $29K in 6 months, together we’ve socked away what I thought was a good nest egg by filling our TFSA’s. Not everyone with a maxed out account was born with a silver spoon, but camp counsellor Justin wouldn’t understand that.

First the Bush clan, now maybe the Clinton clan, and here in Canada the Trudeau clan. Say what you want about politics, but its no different than Kings and their heirs taking the throne.

Canadians are passive sheep and won’t wake up until its too late.

Hands off my TFSA, I mean it.

#129 Daisy Mae on 05.18.15 at 11:13 am

#81 Wise Guy: “With the cost of Daycare, it doesn’t make sense at all, so my wife stays home…”

********************

An economist stated many years ago…unless the wife is making a substantial salary there is really no advantage after factoring in daycare costs, more convenience meals, wardrobe, travel to/from and other associated costs. Many are working shifts so spouses ‘pass in the night’. Always rushing home to take son to hockey and daughter to basketball. High stress level.

Argument always is the ‘need’ to have both working. But what comes first, anyway — chicken or the egg?

#130 Squirrel meat on 05.18.15 at 11:17 am

Bonnes fete des Patriotes

http://montrealgazette.com/storyline/bonne-fete-des-patriotes

http://ssjb.com/files/uploads/2015/05/Affiche_jnp_2015_-_V21.jpg

#131 Ronaldo on 05.18.15 at 11:22 am

#89 Nattie on 05.17.15 at 11:18 pm

”If a lower-income person scrapped their RRSP and only used their TFSA they’d be better off.”

Exactly Nattie. And that was the whole intent of the TFSA to begin with in order to correct the inequities created by lower income persons contributing to RSP’s and later on realizing what a tax trap it ended up being. One of the reasons lower income seniors do not draw from their RSP’s since it will reduce their other means tested entitlements to the point that it could result in a 50 to 70% tax grab and would place them into a higher tax bracket and disentitle them from other benefits. The TFSA for many, was years too late in coming and for those that could benefit from it, either don’t have the funds or are just too financially illiterate (like most people) to take advantage of it. It does appear to have turned out to be to the advantage of the middle to higher income wage earners once again and not for those that need it the most. Unless the government institutes some form of forced savings on these lower income people like an increase to CPP, nothing will change. For those that are able to take advantage of the TFSA I say all the more power to you. It’s a gift and the best savings vehicle so far.

#132 crowdedelevatorfartz on 05.18.15 at 11:24 am

@#113 P.BocaRattan
“Anyone who votes for Stephen Harper and his band of vile cretins is either:

a) A member of the 1%.
b) A stupid moron.

Justin Trudeau is a vapid empty suit and he would still make a far better PM than Harper…..”

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Thankyou for that overly simplistic estimation of the choices we will have in 5 months. Lets see if I can “dumb down” the conversation even more….

Between:

This Boy

https://www.google.ca/search?q=justin+trudeau+boxing&biw=1440&bih=766&tbm=isch&imgil=2jCfolTHIKYw8M%253A%253BmmuQE_tg1KYkvM%253Bhttp%25253A%25252F%25252Fwww.cbc.ca%25252Fnews%25252Fpolitics%25252Fjustin-trudeau-regrets-f-bomb-after-wife-scolds-him-1.2592697&source=iu&pf=m&fir=2jCfolTHIKYw8M%253A%252CmmuQE_tg1KYkvM%252C_&usg=__1DTWLONzfx3-3Qdmh346Ov3NIs8%3D

And this man

http://www.google.ca/imgres?imgurl=http://backofthebook.ca/wp-content/uploads/2011/04/stephen_harper-goofy-220×300.jpg&imgrefurl=http://backofthebook.ca/2011/04/04/stephen-harper-funny-guy/4765/&h=300&w=220&tbnid=z9_fJVBjUbsQIM:&zoom=1&docid=VfPQoABtwm1GUM&ei=PwFaVb7cK4mMsQSil4GIBw&tbm=isch&ved=0CEIQMyg6MDo4yAE

Or THIS man

https://www.google.ca/search?q=thomas+mulcair&biw=1440&bih=766&tbm=isch&imgil=ErQiKuiORk-fXM%253A%253BvL9HDU1HN1uArM%253Bhttp%25253A%25252F%25252Fwww.huffingtonpost.ca%25252F2014%25252F03%25252F27%25252Fthomas-mulcair-satellite-offices-trick_n_5043460.html&source=iu&pf=m&fir=ErQiKuiORk-fXM%253A%252CvL9HDU1HN1uArM%252C_&usg=__W0ABcqcN9SuE_J-cn-pr68_iQNQ%3D

#133 Ronaldo on 05.18.15 at 11:33 am

#106 Jock McGurt on 05.18.15 at 1:09 am

Your absolutely right Jock. Good post.

#134 Ronaldo on 05.18.15 at 11:38 am

#105 Millenial1982

”….if you want to be successful look at what everyone else is doing, and do the opposite…”

I wish more millenials would clue in to that quote and stop blaming others for their shortfalls. You obviously have what it takes to become a success in this world. Not like so many others in your group who feel they should have everything now.

#135 Mike T. on 05.18.15 at 11:51 am

This is probably not going to be popular but alas….

voting for the lesser of two evils is still voting for evil.

I choose no evil.

When will I be able to vote for the highest good? That is my choice.

#136 Paul on 05.18.15 at 11:53 am

#123 Geokall on 05.18.15 at 10:15 am

Garth
I think you should run. Start the Real party. Seriously
————————————————————-
He couldn’t run long enough or fast enough he is a machine going at this blog every day.
All the parties would be on him like white on rice

#137 Prairieboy43 on 05.18.15 at 11:57 am

“The Wealth of a Nation, is based upon it’s citizens. Not the Nations Raw Resoures or Commodities”.
Martin Armstrong

Based on comments, Canada is Poor.

PB43

#138 Doug in London on 05.18.15 at 12:04 pm

Ralph Goodale seems to have the good sense of what Canada really needs, so why didn’t he run for leadership of the Liberal Party?

@Protea, post #102:
I remember hearing David Chilton, author of The Wealthy Barber) speak and he said what you said, that Canadians are the worst whiners and complainers in the world, it’s our favourite pastime. You are both quite right about that observation. I am obviously the weirdo here, as I believe I won the lottery by being born in Canada.

Garth said: everyone who reads this pathetic blog. I thought that was quite funny!

#139 crowdedelevatorfartz on 05.18.15 at 12:08 pm

WHO’s the richest politician?

Steve-O?
https://www.google.ca/search?q=thomas+mulcair&biw=1440&bih=766&tbm=isch&imgil=ErQiKuiORk-fXM%253A%253BvL9HDU1HN1uArM%253Bhttp%25253A%25252F%25252Fwww.huffingtonpost.ca%25252F2014%25252F03%25252F27%25252Fthomas-mulcair-satellite-offices-trick_n_5043460.html&source=iu&pf=m&fir=ErQiKuiORk-fXM%253A%252CvL9HDU1HN1uArM%252C_&usg=__W0ABcqcN9SuE_J-cn-pr68_iQNQ%3D

Justin?

http://www.google.ca/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&frm=1&source=web&cd=4&cad=rja&uact=8&ved=0CC0QFjAD&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.huffingtonpost.ca%2F2015%2F01%2F28%2Fstephen-harper-justin-trudeau-trust-fund_n_6566340.html&ei=oQ1aVfTKCbSCsQTs2IOYAw&usg=AFQjCNFSyjCq8D5FkptWVWrQ4U4ST41-HA&bvm=bv.93564037,d.cWc

Or Mulcair

http://www.google.ca/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&frm=1&source=web&cd=2&cad=rja&uact=8&ved=0CCMQFjAB&url=http%3A%2F%2Fnews.nationalpost.com%2Fnews%2Fcanada%2Fmulcair-has-remortgaged-his-quebec-home-11-times-since-early-1980s&ei=6g1aVcG9BZD9sATl1IHIDA&usg=AFQjCNFXhTr-S9w6UUdQwIyj7ahyVwOIEg

#140 Ralph Cramdown on 05.18.15 at 12:41 pm

#132 Ronaldo — “And that was the whole intent of the TFSA to begin with in order to correct the inequities created by lower income persons contributing to RSP’s and later on realizing what a tax trap it ended up being. […] It does appear to have turned out to be to the advantage of the middle to higher income wage earners once again and not for those that need it the most.”

I often hew to the maxim “never ascribe to malice what can be explained by incompetence.” But here? What, the government introduced the TFSA, saw it wasn’t working as originally intended for the po’, but upped the limit anyway?

#141 Ralph Cramdown on 05.18.15 at 12:43 pm

I love how reversing a tax policy that’s only been law for … WAIT, IT ISN’T EVEN LAW YET!

I love how keeping the status quo gets called “the politics of envy.” I remember when it was called conservatism.

#142 Squirrel meat on 05.18.15 at 12:47 pm

Cowboy to cowboy

https://s1.yimg.com/bt/api/res/1.2/wuj1nA6lrQkV3nhESAwLlQ–/YXBwaWQ9eW5ld3M7cT04NQ–/http://www.macleans.ca/wp-content/uploads/2015/04/MAC17_PRENTICE_POST04.jpg

#143 Sheane Wallace on 05.18.15 at 12:52 pm

#129 rawdiswar

You think the TFSA is yours? Are you sure? And what do the indebted municipal/local/provincial/federal governments, facing shortcomings in THEIR pension funds think? That it is theirs!

So keep saving.I am sure they will find good use for your money.

#144 JO on 05.18.15 at 1:09 pm

canadstan politics on full display. Don’t worry folks, this is just the 1st inning in the ugly game we will watch over the next 10 years
We’ve got a taste of the disastrous politics our junk economy has created. Since when is allowing
Average people lucky enough to save $10 k per year a major issue ? That savings was after tax and even when tax sheltered is still being taxed through inflation
These scumbags want all of our money to help them continue the out of control borrowing and spending on their special interest groups

It remains very likely people with ” big” RSPs and TFSAs will be ” asked” to ” do more”

If all fails and we end up like Greece you can bet
They will act suddenly and help themselves to these accounts

Canadstan , true north strong and free comrades

False. There will never be any confiscation of personal accounts,nor will RRSP or TFSA funds ever be taxed (beyond current provisions). This is total tinfoil. — Garth

#145 The American on 05.18.15 at 1:27 pm

At #52: gtrz4peace, oh I know. It is horrible, JUST HORRIBLE here in the U.S., what with all of the horrific income inequality. Or is it really? Truth is, income inequality only means there is a wider gap between the rich, middle class, and poor, where as a concentration of wealth is housed at the top. Also, in nearly every developed country on the planet, this holds to be true, including Canada. Just saying. And if you didn’t know this fun fact, there is greater income inequality in the U.K. than in the U.S., as well as Sweden has the same percentage income inequality as the U.S. People LOVE to hate on the U.S., without really understanding what these terms really mean. Here’s some perspective…

http://www.forbes.com/sites/jeffreydorfman/2014/05/08/dispelling-myths-about-income-inequality/

#146 CalgaryRocks on 05.18.15 at 1:30 pm

When one person dodges tax, someone else has to cover the shortfall. I don’t understand why people struggle to get their heads around that. If only very well off people can dodge taxes in the extra TFSA room, all of the rest of us have to pay to make up for it.

What a crock. Churches don’t pay taxes, people with kids get all sorts of tax breaks, Vancouver RE lottery winners don’t pay taxes. Old people get to tax split on pensions that aren’t even available to young people.

But God forbid someone should be allowed to keep some of their already taxed money, growing tax free for a while, before it’s spent AND TAXED AGAIN.

#147 Nemesis on 05.18.15 at 1:55 pm

#TheyShootCowsDon’tThey?…

[Independent] – Cow shot dead by armed police after three-hour chase through fields near Newcastle

…”A cow has been shot dead by police after it escaped from a field near Newcastle during a three-hour operation involving armed units and a helicopter…

…A spokesperson for Northumbria Police said: “The cow was in a highly distressed state and considered to be a significant risk to members of the public and motorists.”…

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/cow-shot-dead-by-armed-police-after-threehour-chase-through-fields-near-newcastle-10258039.html

#It’sBonusTime… #ManhattanStyle…

[Independent] – The Manhattan women that get ‘wife bonuses’ for good housekeeping

…”She discovered the wife bonus – the not uncommon practice of a bonus outlined in the pre-nup or post-nup, distributed not only on how well a husband’s fund had done but on a wife’s own performance. This could include how well she managed the home budget and whether the kids had got into a ‘good’ school.”…

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/business/news/the-manhattan-women-that-get-wife-bonuses-for-good-housekeeping-10257218.html

#148 Ray Vasquez on 05.18.15 at 2:08 pm

Politicians and anyone that works for government should be stuck with the same retirement, pensions as Canadians are.

This is it, C.P.P, OAS, GIS etc. and RRSP’s, TFSA’s, RRIF’s, non-registered investments from savings accounts to dividend paying investments, REIT’s, bonds, term deposits, GIC’s, mutual funds, ETF’s, mortgage investments, MLP’s etc., etc.

They should have no gold plated pensions subsidized from taxpayers.

The Liberals and NDP talk a good game but they know the war on poverty is a joke. It never works just like making society more equal.

It is a colossal failure in the U.S. too!

Can’t afford a house? Blame the Chinese! Can’t afford to retire? Blame politicians! Way easier than endeavour. — Garth

#149 hohoho on 05.18.15 at 2:26 pm

> … Hands off my TFSA, I mean it.

awww you guys sound just like the unions demanding to keep what was promised to them … they had a legal contract though, what makes TFSA policy “yours”??

#150 Pete on 05.18.15 at 2:32 pm

If we see the TFSA as an alternative vehicle to housing to earn tax free capital gains, we should be completely in support of it. Perhaps it is a first, timid attempt to draw investment away from the unproductive housing sector towards more productive uses.

If we look at it this way we should be outraged at the measly $10K per year limit. After all there is no limit as to what can be invested in housing in order to earn a tax free capital gain. The annual limit should either be much higher than $10K or there should be strict limits placed on tax free capital gains from housing.

#151 Ralph Cramdown on 05.18.15 at 2:39 pm

Wife bonus? I thought she said bonus wife!

#152 gut check on 05.18.15 at 2:53 pm

@ #6 Shawn — concise & true. thank you for the post.

#153 gut check on 05.18.15 at 2:56 pm

@ #145 Jo – yes, I see this unfolding, too. TFSA investors are a prime segment to lure, really. Not too big, not too little – just like In Cyprus.

Bunk. — Garth

#154 I'm stupid on 05.18.15 at 3:07 pm

149 Ray Vasquez

That would be fine but then the contributions made on behave of public servants would be added to their pay. My wife is a teacher, here salary is around 90k, her pension and benefits are deducted from the 90k salary so it really becomes around 70k. If you remove her pension, that money should be added to her gross income.

Even the published sunshine list is meant to enrage average people, when most these people don’t get $100k salary. It includes all benefits.

Just saying you’re looking at it wrong. If my wife got 20k extra in salary and it was invested for 30 plus years she would end up with more income in retirement than her teachers pension will pay her.

#155 gut check on 05.18.15 at 3:13 pm

I knew you’d love that one. :)

#156 pinstripe on 05.18.15 at 3:18 pm

many Albertans did learn a big lesson what happens when big government and big money make all the decisions for the people. the politiicans took all the direction from the lobbyists and totally ignored the peoples voice.

When the corruption and cronyism gets bad enough the people move in mass and throw the crooks out.

the ndp will have their hands full when they open the books and learn that waste is so deep rooted with long term contracts and that will produce a massive recession in alberta.

fortunately many Albertans took the initiative now because with prentice and four more years of corruption would have closed the door for alberta.

today the construction industry is at a minimum. no new money added. what has started last year will finish but no more. everything is in the maintenance mode.

the talk at the coffe shop is for harpo to better start packing his bags.

#157 pinstripe on 05.18.15 at 3:34 pm

harpo made the wrong decisions and created a big mess for Canadians. rather than admit to the mistakes and correct them, harpo chose to support those stupid decisions with more stupid decisions. the consequence is showing result of those stupid decisions.

the Pcs in alberta followed the same script but Albertans were smart enough to say Enough is Enough and voted to throw the crooks out the door.

when the politicians do not know when to change then it is up to the voter to make that decision for them.

big government is Bad. big government and big money is BAD.

#158 Slow Canada on 05.18.15 at 4:02 pm

Garth, if the election were about personal finances, the Conservatives might have my ear. Even then, however, I would prefer to see a sustainable TFSA as opposed to one that Harper’s granddaughter had to repair.

To me, however, the election is about trust, and I don’t trust the Conservatives an inch. From contempt of Parliament, to omnibus bills, to gutting the census, to refusing debates, they have shown themselves to be persistently anti-democratic. No good can come of that.

#159 young & foolish on 05.18.15 at 4:47 pm

Politics, politics, politics ….. A lot of rhetoric and empty promises. It’s unfortunate to be so young and cynical already.

RE the TFSA …. How much tax are you really going to save anyway?

#160 Bottoms_Up on 05.18.15 at 4:52 pm

So if 93.3% cannot do it, we are really left with two choices.

a) Something is wrong with the plan.

Or….

b) Something is wrong with the people.

I say a). I just don’t have enough blame within me to fling at so many diverse families with such particular situations.

Garth chooses b).

You are on the wrong side of history, Garth.

And common sense.

When the common people lose their sense is it still common? — Garth
—————————————————————–
Linda is right. Choice a), something is wrong with the plan. The government’s plan. 70% of our economy is dependent on the current spending habits of those 93.3%.

#161 Mister Obvious on 05.18.15 at 5:05 pm

#102 Protea
#139 Doug in London

Canadians are the biggest whiners in the world and Vancouverites are the biggest whiners in Canada.

World class! Some days I just brim with pride.

#162 Canadian Politicians on 05.18.15 at 5:26 pm

I have no problem with MPs getting their pensions regardless of how generous the benefit. Simply put, these people put their lives on hold to participate in the ultimate act of public service. Sure, some of them are rascals, some are ideologues, some are scum but by and large, our elected officials are hard working, unsung heroes for their commitment to serving all of us.

#163 NoName on 05.18.15 at 5:41 pm

I am not even gonna come on this one.

READ

http://www.ctvnews.ca/mobile/canada/documents-show-navy-mechanics-had-to-use-ebay-to-find-ship-parts-1.2379240

#164 Smoking Man on 05.18.15 at 5:54 pm

Fellow herd Sheppard’s , enterprenuers, get the hell out of Canada.

We are going full blown communist within the next year.

Harpo is going to get broomed. I understand he’s not going to be debating.

His handlers are fkd.. Really Fkd.

As much as I hate him coming after my free speech.

Three levels of government, all bleeding heart commies.

Its time to roll.

Uncle Sam.. I promis I will behave ..but then again , I tell fibs .

#165 espressobob on 05.18.15 at 6:02 pm

Having to have today for fear of not having tomorrow is a genetic fear engraved in our DNA. Loosing today with the expectation of further losses creates the fear in the first place, usually with more downside. Usually realized.

Herd mentality.

#166 Fed-up on 05.18.15 at 6:09 pm

#102 Protea on 05.18.15 at 12:59 am

Whats going to save this country and make it the great place it is will always be massive immigration.
——————————————————————————

Please explain exactly how to those that don’t know or fully agree.

#167 crowdedelevatorfartz on 05.18.15 at 7:28 pm

@#163 Canadian Politicians
“I have no problem with MPs getting their pensions regardless of how generous the benefit. Simply put, these people put their lives on hold to participate in the ultimate act of public service. Sure, some of them are rascals, some are ideologues, some are scum but by and large, our elected officials are hard working, unsung heroes for their commitment to serving all of us…..”
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

O…..M……G
You were kidding , right?

6 years as an MP qualifies you for an average pension of $59,000. per year.

Absolutely criminal.

http://www.google.ca/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&frm=1&source=web&cd=1&cad=rja&uact=8&ved=0CB0QFjAA&url=http%3A%2F%2Fo.canada.com%2Fnews%2Fnational%2Fby-the-numbers-your-guide-to-political-pension-payouts&ei=DXVaVa_wMIex7Qb8l4C4AQ&usg=AFQjCNG1MNK3tJ-FP6ltVASPEcH11ZHQ_g

I was an MP for nine years, and a cabinet minister, and worked for 50% of what I made in the private sector. My pension is $26,000. I donate it. How about you? — Garth

#168 Ray Vasquez on 05.18.15 at 7:43 pm

We are all Canadians, no matter what your profession is in life.

Save and invest your own money as most of us have to do. There should be no special or specific treatment for pensions no matter who you work for.

Professionals and higher skilled workers of all kinds have no excuse as they are higher income.

I pointed out already many ways to save, invest for future needs, wants so there is no excuses.

Blame is only valid if there is no reality to back it up. People should stop living in a dream world of trying to keep up with the Jones’.

#169 Future Expatriate on 05.18.15 at 9:47 pm

America to Smoking Man:

Stay where you came from. You’re not going to like it here.

Even in Texass. America is far ahead in change you don’t like, and it’s not ever going back.

#170 crowdedelevatorfartz on 05.18.15 at 9:48 pm

“I was an MP for nine years, and a cabinet minister, and worked for 50% of what I made in the private sector. My pension is $26,000. I donate it. How about you? — Garth”
++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Im in the private sector. No pension plan. Still working.
All I’ve invested will be my retirement income (plus the CPP OAS cat food supplement).

Sorry Garth but working 6 years at ANY job shouldnt allow a person to draw a 50k+ per annum pension at 65.

But if I win the lotto I’ll send my CPP and OAS to the charity of your choice.

Stay tuned.

#171 Armando on 05.18.15 at 10:16 pm

Leftists like the Libs in Canada and Dems in the USA are truly disgusting. Their #1 priority is turning as many of their citizens as possible into government dependent parasites. Unfortunately they have been quite successful in this regard. The so-called Right in both countries is more interested in helping their Crony Capitalist friends than having honest free markets. Both of these groups love modern Central Banking, the one that artificially keeps interest rates below what they would be in the free market. Artificially low rates (and money supply manipulation) help Crony Capitalists by providing access to unlimited amounts of practically zero cost money, it also helps those who love Big Government since it facilitates never ending deficits as they sell the populace the idea that we can “have our cake and eat it too”. All these shenanigans also increase Income Inequality as the Middle Class falls into a debt spiral that prevents them from ever accumulating capital. An impoverished Middle Class is of course exactly what Libs/Dems want as this provides them with more “clients” for government services, while the Crony Capitalist friends of Cons/Repubs are happy to strip mine the indebted middle class for big profits. Real free market capitalism is nowhere to be found in this mess…

#172 X on 05.19.15 at 10:23 am

Right, so because most people are morons with their money, and have indebted themselves for decades into home ownership, take away one of the only things that could actually help people with their financial futures.

Genius.

#173 Steve on 05.19.15 at 11:33 am

The current system is a broken as it gets. I have clients who are millionaires by networth asking for advice on how to reduce income so they would be eligible for GIS. And then there’s me who fears crucification for reminding them that it is a program meant for those truly in need.

What kind of retards came up with a non-networth tested income supplement plan anyways?

And why should immigrants who JUST landed be eligible for OAS/GIS that we paid for in taxes all our lives? I can’t even begin to understand how the government has yet to collapse under its own idiocity.

Disclaimer: I am an immigrant myself too.

Residents of Canada must have lived here for at least 10 years before they can receive OAS. — Garth

#174 slashed U.S. equities exposure in May on 05.19.15 at 11:42 am

The rest of the world is running from US stocks like it’s 2008

LONDON (Reuters) – International investors slashed their exposure to U.S. equities in May to its lowest in over seven years, while maintaining the euro zone as their leading stock market destination, a closely watched survey said on Tuesday.

Driven by worries about a string of disappointing U.S. economic indicators and the strength of the dollar, global investors cut their allocation to U.S. stocks to 19 percent underweight from 12 percent underweight the month before.

That’s according to the monthly Bank of America Merrill Lynch survey of 169 fund managers who run $479 billion of funds, which was conducted May 8-15, and comes just as the S&P 500 hits record highs.

“Relative positioning of the U.S. vs the rest of the world is now at the most extreme since November 2007,” BAML said in its report. “Contrarians would go long U.S. equities relative to the broader market.”

While 70 percent of respondents expect global growth to strengthen and the rise in oil has pushed inflation expectations to a 10-month high, expectations for the first U.S. interest rate increase have been pushed back.

More than half of those polled now expect the first Federal Reserve rate hike since June 2006 to come in the fourth quarter of this year or later.

Meanwhile, a net 49 percent of those surveyed were overweight euro zone stocks in May, up from 45 percent in April. Only one in 10 managers polled was underweight euro zone stocks.

“Positioning in euro zone equities remains crowded,” BAML said in its report.

Overall, investors reduced their global equity allocation to a net 47 percent overweight, the lowest in six months. Global bond allocations were cut to a net 60 percent underweight, the lowest in nine months, as the global bond rout of April and May took hold.

While both equities and bonds may be richly valued, investors think the biggest risk of volatility this year is in bonds. Only 5 percent of those surveyed said they expected bond yields to fall this year.

With crude surging some 50 percent from a January low, only a net 13 percent of investors thought oil was undervalued, the lowest percentage in eight months.

Demand for safe-haven cash slipped to a still “elevated” 4.5 percent in May from 4.6 percent in April. Cash levels above 4.5 percent are a contrarian “buy” signal for equities, and below 3.5 percent triggers a “sell” signal, BAML said.

The US ended stimulus. The ECB began it. Duh. — Garth

#175 Steve on 05.19.15 at 1:47 pm

“Residents of Canada must have lived here for at least 10 years before they can receive OAS. — Garth”

Yes Garth, the problem is, these people come in their 50s and come RETIRED.

A universal benefit is universal. I said clearly in my article than nobody contributes specifically to an OAS fund. So, you do not get to pick who is worthy of it, and who is not. Suck or blow. Choose. — Garth

#176 crowdedelevatorfartz on 05.19.15 at 6:49 pm

@#177
Yo Steve!
I always wondered how someone could suck AND blow simultaneously.
Thanks.