Thursday, November 20, 2008

The state of corporate welfare

"Though Canada's disappearing surplus is partially the result of a global financial crisis, the report says the minority Conservative government shoulders some of the responsibility because of policy decisions during Prime Minister Stephen Harper's first term in office.
"The weak fiscal performance to date is largely attributable to previous policy decisions as opposed to weakened economic conditions," the report says.
It pinpoints the government's second one-percentage-point reduction in the goods and services tax and reductions in corporate income taxes for causing the lowest budget balance in the first five months of the fiscal year in recent times.
In August, the year-to-date budget surplus stood at $1.2 billion, down from $6.6 billion the year before."
Thank you, Mr. Kevin Page.

Meanwhile Chrysler Canada has asked Ottawa and Ontario for $1-billion in aid, after the "big three" in the US hit up their taxpayers for $25-billion.

On the US side, Ford CEO Alan Mulally took home $28 million in pay in 2007 while GM's Rick Wagoner struggled by on $15.7 million.
As a private company, Chrysler is not required to disclose the salary paid to its execs and CEO Robert Nardelli has offered to reduce his salary to $1 till business picks up, but don't feel too bad for him - Home Depot paid him $210 million to piss off last year.

About now one usually hears the free market argument that CEO's must be "adequately reimbursed" in order to remain competitive.
All three U.S. auto industry leaders flew to the Washington bailout hearings to ask for money in separate luxury jets. Each flight was estimated to cost $20,000 (U.S.)
One final note. While knocking around google, trying to find out how much the Canadian Chrysler CEO makes, I ran into this at The Truth About Cars :
Chinese May Buy GM and Chrysler from The Middle Kingdom Herald.
An editorial at TTAC notes : "As of September, the U.S. Treasury owes China $585b. With GM’s market cap now standing at a pocket change rate of $1.35b, and getting cheaper by the minute, China could buy 433 General Motors with their T bills alone."
On Oct 7, Harper told Peter Mansbridge that there's probably "some great buying opportunities out there ... I think there are probably some gains to be made in the stock market. That's my own view."


West End Bob said...

As Jennifer Smith says at her place:

Somehow, "I told you so" just doesn't cut it....

Anonymous said...

American bloggers are pointing out that in the US the likely refusal to prop up oilbiz is just simple union-busting.
OK but that only masks the real problem which is that oilbiz has been using the gov to rip us all off for years.


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