May 04, 2015

$7.2 billion reasons why Toronto should be missing Rob Ford

Neil FlaggRebel Blogger
 
May 04, 2015

$7.2 billion reasons why Toronto should be missing Rob Ford

What price Ford-hate, Toronto? At least $7.2 billion over the next four years, with certainly more to come. Was it worth it, folks?

In October 2010, riding a wave of righteous taxpayer indignation, populist-conservative city councilor Rob Ford was elected Mayor of Toronto. Despite being demonized immediately by the vested interests of the modern liberal big-government industry and its useful idiots in the media culture, Ford’s four-year term successfully accomplished what no one else could: a virtual halt to new spending at City Hall, a tight lid on property tax increases, and a halt to the stampede of new taxes and fees being imposed as “revenue tools” by the previous lib-left regime.

From 2010 to 2014, the city’s operating budget increased from $9.2 billion to $9.6 billion – a paltry 4% increase over four years, or less than 1% per year on a compound basis. Similarly, residential property taxes were increased at 0%, 2.5%, 2%, and 2.5% over Ford’s term, for an average of less than 2% annually. Ford’s term also saw the elimination of the Toronto-only car surcharge (a taxpayer savings of $60 per car per year), an elimination of the mandatory five-cent plastic bag fee, and the defeat of all attempts to add new “sin taxes” on roads, booze, and entertainment.

In October 2014, tens of thousands of mid-Toronto bourgeoisie, and south-Toronto Millennials, were convinced that a vote for the Ford Brothers was socially unacceptable, tipping the scale of victory to John Tory’s side. Tory’s success with this demographic laid in his campaign’s ability to fool them with this basic message: “John Tory will give you Ford’s policies, without the drama”.

Here we are, five months after Election Day, and the proof is in: It was a big lie. The drama may be gone, but the policies are gone, too.

John Tory’s first budget, passed on March 11 by a council now unified behind an open spigot, increased spending from $9.7 billion to $11.5 billion – a 19% increase in year one! This is the new spending baseline going forward, in an era where spending never goes down. Even if you assume that the Mayor holds the line at $11.5 billion from here until his term ends in 2018 (fat chance), we’re talking about a cumulative $7.2 billion in new operations spending in his term. Compare that to Rob Ford’s four-year cumulative new-spending total of $1.6 billion.

This massive spending increase has been matched so far by a residential property tax increase of 3.2% for 2015, and huge increases in transit fares, water rates, and garbage collection fees. Hold on to your wallets, folks. This is only the beginning. The re-introduction of the $60/year vehicle registration tax is back on the agenda for 2016, and the debate over the imposition of even more “revenue tools” has already begun.

Well before the 2014 election campaign, when John Tory was a simple Ford-bashing talk radio host, his nickname in Ford Nation had become “John Liberal”. How right we were.

As it stands here at the end of April, 2015, we can hope that a new awakening of righteous taxpayer indignation will arise before the Liberal tax-and-spend agenda moves too far along its inevitable self-destructive path – a path that ultimately leaves only carnage in its wake.

But more importantly at this moment, we can pray for the man who, for four years, held the line against all odds. Godspeed, Councillor Ford, as you head under the knife in less than two weeks, hopefully with the ultimate result of leaving cancer behind for good.

(Photo: Rick McGinnis)

 

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Comments
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commented 2015-05-06 14:19:23 -0400
With all due respect, issuing a correction on a separate blog post is unacceptable — not when the original, false claim remains: "increased spending from $9.7 billion to $11.5 billion " in extra-bold, flaming-red letters.

Since the headline and most inflammatory figure in the article are inflated by 600%, the editorially-appropriate thing to do is to include a correction notice, right at the top of the article, in equally-highlighted text — with a link to the second blog post for completeness.
commented 2015-05-06 13:51:45 -0400
Error is noted, caused by unannounced change in city budget reporting policy. Will address it in next post tomorrow that explains why city changed the way it reports budgets.
commented 2015-05-06 11:45:26 -0400
Well Neil Flagg is either purposely misleading in this article (aka lying) or he is so ignorant of the facts that he doesn’t understand that he is comparing TWO SEPARATE Budget documents.
The figures he compares are two budget papers produced 2014 gross operating budget with the combined total of the gross operating budget and rate-supported budget in 2015. If you did this same comparison to Ford from year to year, Ford budget increases would also be close too or in the double digits.

So I expect Neil will print a correction now, right? Why is everyone laughing?
commented 2015-05-06 10:44:16 -0400
It’s a big lie that Rob Ford wants to keep the lid on spending. Like any other politician, he has his favourites, like his cronies getting a $140k job in his mayor’s office. And he’s quite happy to go for the most expensive transit option of subways, subways, subways. And that is where the money is going on the spending increase. So don’t be deceptive. He’s quite happy to spend $500 million on upkeep on the Gardiner, but not $1 million on cycling facilities at City Hall or $500k on washrooms at Cherry Beach. So he picks and chooses. The biggest lie he tells is that we can have government but not pay for it. That’s his lie and he is quite happy to get votes with it.
commented 2015-05-05 23:40:11 -0400
Maybe not PM Terry. Love Rob, knows his city. But that is as far as I’m going. His conservative fiscal stance however , should be an inspiration to all.
commented 2015-05-05 20:11:54 -0400
Mr. Ford for Prime Minister! Mr. Ford is a down to earth people person. He enjoys life and being social in society like the rest of us! Some one, probably harper, who tore apart Mr. Ford because he is a people person and not the typical closed in Canadian politician. Mr. Ford is a human being and a good man and he was taken down by Ottawa. Couldn’t believe Tory was voted in because I could see the consequences we would have to pay for voting a moron into power. Your wallets getting thinner ? Ottawa’s control of the medias who constantly put down Mr. Ford, day after day swayed the brains of really stupid people who landed up voting. Mr. Ford did an excellent job with OUR tax money and tory put us back in the gutter! Mr. Ford, get well and hopefully people will realize what they lost. A better life! Would love to see Mr. Ford on parliament hill. Would be so good for this country! Thank you all ! Mr. Ford would give me a reason to start voting again. Otherwise it’s the same shit, different asshole!
commented 2015-05-05 12:47:44 -0400
God Speed to Rob Ford. I saw that coming. Toronto – the future Baltimore – if we don’t change our ways.
commented 2015-05-04 23:21:05 -0400
The man knows how to run a city! I’m rooting for him, always have. All the best Rob.
commented 2015-05-04 21:06:54 -0400
And the truth is that it will be every little Ontario town which has no public transit, every little Ontario village that has no recreation facilities, every rural family that will never be able to afford to attend the ‘Can – Am’ games that will be taxed to pay for Tory’s massive spending inside the GTA. It is fast approaching time that the Province of Ontario is split off from the GTA so that Toronto is forced to pay for their own profligate ways.
commented 2015-05-04 18:34:25 -0400
Ford nation will rise again!
commented 2015-05-04 17:29:32 -0400
tory has been a big disappointment thus far… but on the bright side he isnt olivia chow..
commented 2015-05-04 16:36:07 -0400
Neil, thanks for your very important expose of tax and expense creep at city hall. Keep the flag burning, even though the gravy train has left the grossly over budget station.
commented 2015-05-04 16:36:07 -0400
Neil, thanks for your very important expose of tax and expense creep at city hall. Keep the flag burning, even though the gravy train has left the grossly over budget station.
commented 2015-05-04 16:36:06 -0400
Neil, thanks for your very important expose of tax and expense creep at city hall. Keep the flag burning, even though the gravy train has left the grossly over budget station.
commented 2015-05-04 16:15:38 -0400
Thanks for pointing out this issue, Neil.
Toronto’s City Hall is also a cesspool of corruption.
So, I hope you’ll expose this issue, too! (I’m tired of feeling like a ‘one-man army’.)

- William F. Sheehan
Toronto, Ontario
Comments
You must be logged in to comment. Click here to log in.
commented 2015-05-06 14:19:23 -0400
With all due respect, issuing a correction on a separate blog post is unacceptable — not when the original, false claim remains: "increased spending from $9.7 billion to $11.5 billion " in extra-bold, flaming-red letters.

Since the headline and most inflammatory figure in the article are inflated by 600%, the editorially-appropriate thing to do is to include a correction notice, right at the top of the article, in equally-highlighted text — with a link to the second blog post for completeness.
commented 2015-05-06 13:51:45 -0400
Error is noted, caused by unannounced change in city budget reporting policy. Will address it in next post tomorrow that explains why city changed the way it reports budgets.
commented 2015-05-06 11:45:26 -0400
Well Neil Flagg is either purposely misleading in this article (aka lying) or he is so ignorant of the facts that he doesn’t understand that he is comparing TWO SEPARATE Budget documents.
The figures he compares are two budget papers produced 2014 gross operating budget with the combined total of the gross operating budget and rate-supported budget in 2015. If you did this same comparison to Ford from year to year, Ford budget increases would also be close too or in the double digits.

So I expect Neil will print a correction now, right? Why is everyone laughing?
commented 2015-05-06 10:44:16 -0400
It’s a big lie that Rob Ford wants to keep the lid on spending. Like any other politician, he has his favourites, like his cronies getting a $140k job in his mayor’s office. And he’s quite happy to go for the most expensive transit option of subways, subways, subways. And that is where the money is going on the spending increase. So don’t be deceptive. He’s quite happy to spend $500 million on upkeep on the Gardiner, but not $1 million on cycling facilities at City Hall or $500k on washrooms at Cherry Beach. So he picks and chooses. The biggest lie he tells is that we can have government but not pay for it. That’s his lie and he is quite happy to get votes with it.
commented 2015-05-05 23:40:11 -0400
Maybe not PM Terry. Love Rob, knows his city. But that is as far as I’m going. His conservative fiscal stance however , should be an inspiration to all.
commented 2015-05-05 20:11:54 -0400
Mr. Ford for Prime Minister! Mr. Ford is a down to earth people person. He enjoys life and being social in society like the rest of us! Some one, probably harper, who tore apart Mr. Ford because he is a people person and not the typical closed in Canadian politician. Mr. Ford is a human being and a good man and he was taken down by Ottawa. Couldn’t believe Tory was voted in because I could see the consequences we would have to pay for voting a moron into power. Your wallets getting thinner ? Ottawa’s control of the medias who constantly put down Mr. Ford, day after day swayed the brains of really stupid people who landed up voting. Mr. Ford did an excellent job with OUR tax money and tory put us back in the gutter! Mr. Ford, get well and hopefully people will realize what they lost. A better life! Would love to see Mr. Ford on parliament hill. Would be so good for this country! Thank you all ! Mr. Ford would give me a reason to start voting again. Otherwise it’s the same shit, different asshole!
commented 2015-05-05 12:47:44 -0400
God Speed to Rob Ford. I saw that coming. Toronto – the future Baltimore – if we don’t change our ways.
commented 2015-05-04 23:21:05 -0400
The man knows how to run a city! I’m rooting for him, always have. All the best Rob.
commented 2015-05-04 21:06:54 -0400
And the truth is that it will be every little Ontario town which has no public transit, every little Ontario village that has no recreation facilities, every rural family that will never be able to afford to attend the ‘Can – Am’ games that will be taxed to pay for Tory’s massive spending inside the GTA. It is fast approaching time that the Province of Ontario is split off from the GTA so that Toronto is forced to pay for their own profligate ways.
commented 2015-05-04 18:34:25 -0400
Ford nation will rise again!
commented 2015-05-04 17:29:32 -0400
tory has been a big disappointment thus far… but on the bright side he isnt olivia chow..
commented 2015-05-04 16:36:07 -0400
Neil, thanks for your very important expose of tax and expense creep at city hall. Keep the flag burning, even though the gravy train has left the grossly over budget station.
commented 2015-05-04 16:36:07 -0400
Neil, thanks for your very important expose of tax and expense creep at city hall. Keep the flag burning, even though the gravy train has left the grossly over budget station.
commented 2015-05-04 16:36:06 -0400
Neil, thanks for your very important expose of tax and expense creep at city hall. Keep the flag burning, even though the gravy train has left the grossly over budget station.
commented 2015-05-04 16:15:38 -0400
Thanks for pointing out this issue, Neil.
Toronto’s City Hall is also a cesspool of corruption.
So, I hope you’ll expose this issue, too! (I’m tired of feeling like a ‘one-man army’.)

- William F. Sheehan
Toronto, Ontario