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There it is !

One of my daughters has an excellent coach who’s two favorite expressions from the bench are “There it is ! ” and “Attack, attack!”. Both have to do with offensively what the girls should be doing on the court, and I particularly like “There it is!”.

This expression in Basketball terms is, “You are the open player, who should make the offensive move”. The equivalent of reaching Nirvana in a basketball offense, and in my Financial Life I really wished and wish there was a voice or a sign of “There it is!”, it would make life so much simpler.

Some examples would be:

  • Driving by a Bank that will give me good service and no fees, a voice yelling “There it is!”, would be helpful, instead of having to slog my way around to three separate banks and horse trade with them to make them give me the services I want for free.
  • Seeing a Used Car that is in good shape, and the price is good, “There it is!” would help out to no end, but without that voice, I need to take the car to my mechanic and have him tell me whether this is a good deal or not.
  • I hear about a company that may be turning around its fortunes, but I am not sure whether I should invest in it, where is that “There it is!” voice? Nowhere, so I have to do the math, do the research and then take the risk on whether I should put my money there.

Is This Available?

Nope, sorry folks, there is no Voice or sign that says, “There it is!”, but there is always ways to at least give yourself a feeling of confidence that you have made the right decision, which is really what “There it is!” is all about, isn’t it?

Now if I could find the “There it is!” for buying Christmas gifts for my family, I’d be tap dancing down the lane for an easy layup!

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Humorous Rant: More Beer and Pretzels please…

Well the first GAFF of the election campaign on a topic near and dear to my heart, and for us beer swilling, popcorn chomping parents of toddlers, none too soon either.

“Don’t give people 25 bucks a week to blow on beer and popcorn,” Reid said during a panel discussion on CBC News: Sunday. “Give them child-care spaces that work. Stephen Harper’s plan has nothing to do with child care.”

I’d like to say for all the other Coors swilling parents, I represent that remark! This is why I love elections, when people who shouldn’t speak in public are forced out and make the remarks that are REALLY on their mind. Mr. Reid feels that we parents of young children can’t be trusted to use moneys given to us on Daycare (which some of us, don’t need), and we might squander it on things like Food, or Rent, shame on us! We should allow the government to spend their money (wait a minute that’s OUR money) on what we need. Good for them (for those of you without your sarcasm filters on, please read the previous paragraph with a very sarcastic tone).

Mr. Reid is evidently profusely apologizing for saying what he thought, which contradicts his bosses point of view (or does it?). I don’t see why he should apologize, if that is his opinion, opinions are what I like hearing (whether I agree with them or not). That way, I know what people are thinking, and now I know that the Prime Minister’s Communication person thinks, I can’t be trusted to spend $100 a month on my son, ok, sounds fair.

No, this is not a PRO-Conservative blog, nor a PRO-Liberal or even a PRO-Rhinoceros blog, rest assured, I will attempt to find other fun and humorous points to discuss during this election campaign, and believe me dear reader, there are going to be MANY more to come.

Keep a smile during this festive season, and remember to ask the questions you want answered, but remember to put down your beer when the candidates come to your door, but you could offer them some popcorn.

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Election: Income Splitting

So every election I complain and lobby for Income Splitting or Family Income or Household income, to allow single income families to be able to compete in this economy. This is from 2005, back when my style was a little more, um, brusque.

Remember when I first started this blog, I ranted about Single Income families and how they get screwed by the existing tax system. Well, the Conservatives seem to think the same way, now whether this is simply rhetoric or not, I cannot say (I am skeptical, just on the basis of how much this might cost the government in lost taxes).


Have a read, or look at the original post here Canadian Financial Stuff: Canadian Government Hates Single Income Families (Final Analysis)


So what have we learned?

  1. In our specific scenario (read all of my disclaimers in my previous posts) a Single Income Family as compared to a Dual Income Family, pays:
    $7424.00
    Approximately MORE in taxes (that is Provincial and Federal taxes combined).
  2. This means that the Single income family to NET the same would have to make over $12,000.00 GROSS more to bring home the same amount (that is just unfair). Remember the single income earner at that level is taxed at the HIGHEST level on that extra income.
  3. The Dual Income family is MORE likely to be eligible for:
    1. Family allowance cheques
    2. Provincial tax credits
    3. Pay less for the Ontario OHIP TAX
  4. The Dual income family gets to write off a great deal on Daycare including:
    1. Daycare costs
    2. Summer Day Camps costs

If this doesn’t convince you that the Taxman HATES Single Income families, I don’t know what would.

If you agree or disagree comment on this, I am willing to dialogue with folks on this, but if you agree that this is UNFAIR, contact your member of Parliament. Remember an election is just around the corner, and they MOST LIKELY will return your calls (as opposed to afterwards when they kind of forget you exist (IMHO)).

What can we do to fix this?

  1. Introduce a FAMILY or HOUSEHOLD income concept, where spouses or live-in folk can split the income (or even level the taxes) of the house and NOT get taxed at such a high level.
    • Might promote more folks to stay at home with kids (thus not as much daycare)?
  2. Overhaul the whole tax system, so that everyone pays the same thing. Here I should be careful, because they’ll just end up making dual income folks pay as much as Single income folks!
  3. National Daycare moneys should go directly to the families, (ALL OF THEM) and let THEM figure out what to do with the money (ok, now I sound like Ralph Klein).

The previous points are MY Opinion only, but maybe it’s time to get more than just crazy crackpots like ME thinking about this?

If you want to compare this and have Quicktax, it’s dead easy, just create an extra return in it, and compare what you might pay if you were a Single Income earner!

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Can I just have your SIN ?

I was reading an internal newsgroup at work, where someone posted a story about how they had gone to see a “Financial Planner” and this person had asked this person for a bunch of personal stuff including their S.I.N. ( Social Insurance Number for those who are not Canadian).

The S.I.N. is the basis of your identity in Canada. Without it, I am not sure if you even exist in the Government’s eyes, so it is a fairly important ID number (I wonder how it is encoded?). If someone gets this number they can become YOU very quickly (and if this happens go here to report it). The Canadian Privacy commissioner actually has a web page dedicated to reasons why you should not give out your SIN . To quote them directly:

Although only certain government departments and programs are authorized to collect and use the SIN, there is no legislation that prohibits organizations asking for it.

They can ASK for it, but you better not give it out, is the rough translation I read into this.

Who will ask for this number? Credit Card companies, finance companies, banks and the government nobody else (at least nobody else should). The Bank is about the only place you should give this out to, and even then, ask WHY they need it. I gave mine to Equifax, so that they could do a credit check on me, but that is the only other folks who get my S.I.N. (at least that is what I hope).

Can they have your Social Insurance Number ?

Your S.I.N. is the basis of your Governmental existence, if someone has it, they are you, and can do whatever they want. Protect this number, do not give it out, do not send it in e-mails, if you have it on a document duplicate the document with that information blotted out, and then SHRED the document (unless it is an official document you must keep the original of). I cannot emphasize this enough, protect your S.I.N. .

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Cut the GST?

So the first salvo of ludicrous and unimplementable promises was fired by the Conservative party yesterday, when they announced a plank in their platform that called for the cutting of the GST to 6% immediately and dropping it to 5% in 5 years. Do I believe they will do this? Who knows, this is a political campaign, it is as valid as any promise you hear, I guess.

Now my understanding is that the Conservatives believe the government is taking in too much money and that regular Canadians deserve money put back in their pockets, I applaud that point of view, but I also look at the big picture and worry. Canada is still a MASSIVE debtor nation, not as big as our friends to the south, but still, to fill the hole that the Governments of the 70’s and 80’s created for us, cutting DOWN on income is not really the answer.

As we debtors know, the faster you pay off your debt, the SOONER you get to enjoy life and then figure out how you can alter your income. Let’s repeat that, get OUT of DEBT FIRST.

Here is a good set of questions for any Political Huckster that appears on your doorstep:

  1. What is the size of the Canadian DEBT?
  2. When do you think your party can retire this debt? What year? What century?!?!?
  3. How will you do this, without cutting services any more than current levels?

I am not espousing any point of view here, other than the concerned Canadian who wants to think of his Country as a HAVE country without DEBT!

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