Thursday, February 11, 2010

Ed Clark joins my call to have executive stock options taxed like income, not capital gains!

Ed Clark is headline news in the Toronto Star in an article entitled “PM’s office attacks top banker in deficit spat”.

I am glad to hear that Ed Clark favours higher taxes, as the first thing that needs to be taxed higher and more fairly is executive stock option gains that arise from no capital being at risk and derive solely from one’s employment and should be taxed as such and not as capital gains.

Executive stock options along with lax regulations are the two ingredients that caused the Global Financial Meltdown. One allowed executives with the freedom to transgress. The other incentivized executives to transgress, eg the entire sub prime mortgage industry debacle or Manulife deciding not to hedge its variable rate annuity liabilities. Taxpayers should not be subsidizing executive stock options by according them tax treatment at half the rate of income taxes, as if these people had capital at risk, which clearly they do not, and society suffers from such a tax treatment as opposed to benefiting, since the perverse reward system of executive stock options caused the global financial meltdown. I am pleased to see that Ed Clark agrees with me in principle , as the Toronto Star reports “Bay Street banker Ed Clark, lectured Canadians from sunny Florida on our need to pay higher taxes,"and ""We[Canadians Council of Chief Executives] had a meeting two weeks ago, and almost every single person said raise my taxes. Get this deficit done," Clark said"

No place better to start than at home, right Edmund?

Join the Facebook group: Raise tax on executive stock options from capital gains rate to income rate.

PM's office attacks top banker in deficit spat

`Bay St. banker' lashed after urging Ottawa cut deficit with higher taxes

TD’s Ed Clark says taxpayers are “extremely unhappy” about Ottawa’s “big deficit position.”

Les Whittington
Susan DelacourtOttawa Bureau

OTTAWA–Prime Minister Stephen Harper's office went after one of Bay Street's top figures – TD Bank CEO Ed Clark – for saying senior Canadian executives favour higher taxes to slay Ottawa's deficit.

It all started when Clark said at a a conference in Florida last week how much Canadians despise the budget deficit.

Although Canadians are "fiscally unbelievably conservative," Clark said, the government went into a "big deficit position" to stimulate the economy.

"The Canadian population is extremely unhappy to see these deficits," he added.

A member of the Canadian Council of Chief Executives, Clark recounted a recent meeting of the high-powered, 150-company group.

"We had a meeting two weeks ago, and almost every single person said raise my taxes. Get this deficit done," Clark said during a question-and-answer session at the TD Ameritrade Inc. conference.

He spoke about a prebudget consultation he recently had with Harper.

"He doesn't listen, but you get to chat with him," the TD Bank chief executive remarked. The comments did not go unnoticed in Harper's office.

A day later, an email labelling Clark a rich supporter of Liberal leader Michael Ignatieff went out from the PMO to senior Conservatives.

Entitled "Millionaire Ignatieff Economic Czar Calls for Higher Taxes," the email pointed out that Clark had been one of several financial experts who attended a dinner last spring to provide economic advice to Ignatieff.

"Yesterday, another member of Liberal party leader Michael Ignatieff's so-called `economic brain trust,' Bay Street banker Ed Clark, lectured Canadians from sunny Florida on our need to pay higher taxes," the PMO note said.

It went on to say that Ignatieff will use statements from "his well-heeled economic advisers" to justify massive tax hikes for "working- and middle-class Canadians."

The email ended: It's been reported "that Michael Ignatieff's Bay Street buddy Ed Clark earned $11 million in 2009. He can afford higher taxes. Can you?"

Sources said TD Bank was aware of the PMO email about Clark, but TD spokesman Mohammed Nakhooda declined to discuss it.

PMO spokesman Dimitri Soudas said: "This government will not entertain raising taxes on hard-working Canadians or cutting transfers to provinces."

John Manley, the former Liberal MP who now heads the Canadian Council of Chief Executives, said last week that the Harper government needs to have a "realistic conversation" with Canadians about balancing Ottawa's books, including the option of higher taxes. But the council has not taken a position on how the Conservatives should address the deficit.

The email to senior Conservatives about Clark was one of a series fired out of the Langevin Block, home of the PMO, on the subject of the deficit and possible tax hikes.

In a note earlier last week, the PMO cited remarks by former finance department official Scott Clark as proof that Ignatieff plans to raise taxes.

Clark, who has occasionally given advice to Ignatieff, prompted the response from the PMO by saying that the Conservatives will have to slash programs or raise taxes to trim the deficit.

"Today at an economic forum, Scott Clark, a member of Michael Ignatieff's so-called "economic brain trust," called for tax hikes. This is not the first time this Ignatieff adviser has argued for higher taxes," the email said, citing a newspaper op-ed article.

Fear of reprisals from the Harper government has made some people reluctant to take part in Liberal hearings on Parliament Hill these past few weeks, Ignatieff said Wednesday.

"I'll be frank with you. We've had a little of that," Ignatieff said, without providing details on who backed out of the events.

The Liberal leader hinted, however, that some people were afraid of possible damage to their business or livelihood.

"Let's be clear. Most of the people we asked were only too happy to come.

"But I will not deny that there were a few who were concerned. I think it's regrettable. I think everybody should come to the House of Parliament, give their testimony and go home, secure in the knowledge that whatever business they have with the government of Canada is unaffected."


Dr Mike said...

Stock option retention = tax on trusts , pure & simple , as the trust structure tied their hands to give themselves these perks.

Ed & the boys must have been kissing the butt cheeks of one Jim Flaherty on Oct 31st 2006---it must have been Chapstick all the way around that night.

Dr Mike Popovich

Anonymous said...

"PM doesn't listen says Ed Clark"

The PMO...... Your Tax Dollars at work.

Lying to you daily