Saturday, May 06, 2006

The Softwood - Budget Connection

To believe in coincidence you have to believe that two or more events occurred in isolation but the individual results compliment each other. I've known a few criminal investigators and not one of them believes in coincidence.

Ted and Jeff pulled this out of the Toronto Globe and Mail.

As a final indignity, Canadian softwood producers will have to pay tax on the $4-billion in U.S. timber duties they stand to recoup under a deal between Ottawa and Washington to settle the five-year-dispute.
And remember, the lumber producers are not getting back what they paid. The U.S. is only returning 55 cents on the dollar. That is an apprehension rate of 45%. One helluva tax.

It still boggles the mind that anyone could consider this a "good" deal. In fact, it isn't a deal. It's a massive ripoff which should have been rejected at the table. But it does make one wonder why the federal government rushed to accept it.

This would mean a potential revenue windfall for Ottawa and the provinces of $1-billion if all companies end up paying tax on the duties.
Wow! What an unexpected bonus.

Oh, maybe not.

From page 11 of the 2006 Harper/Flaherty federal budget:

The President of the Treasury Board will identify savings of $1 billion in 2006/07 and 2007/08.
My, my, my.

What a goddamned coincidence.

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