At this point the only way anyone could justify supporting Rob Ford or any of his brainless, spineless minions is to literally shut oneself off in a cave somewhere and simply ignore reality.
First off there’s the budget surplus which seems to be growing by tens of millions per day, which runs exactly opposite to the claims that Rob Ford made about a budget deficit which, if they’re to be believed, is also growing ($382 million last February, $774 at present). I use the word “believed” because only a few short months earlier, Toronto was running a healthy surplus. What happened? Rob Ford got elected, that’s what.
The astute reader may say, “but we’re talking about the operating budget here”, to which there’s a simple reply: that’s the proposed budget — the one Rob Ford pulled out of his ass with the help of his overpaid buddies at KPGM, at the start of his term to support his idiotic cuts like the Vehicle Registration Tax. Yes, idiotic, because when you crunch the numbers, the savings for a small household are so tiny compared to all the outrageous cuts that are being proposed that, frankly, anyone who believes that an extra $0.16 per day in your pocket is “respect” has much bigger issues on their plate.
It’s simple: $60 saved on the VRT comes out to $0.16 per day, or $1.12 a week. Oooooh — big money! Now, with an increase in TTC fare hikes, assuming one person in the household takes transit only a couple of times a week (-$0.20), you’re now only saving $0.13 per day. Add to that an additional $5 (on average), for a Toronto Hydro rate hike which Ford could’ve helped to offset, you’re down an additional $0.08 a day.
So, really, you have roughly $0.03 more in your pocket thanks to Rob Ford’s cuts — but only if you drive a car. In exchange, everything else is being cut. And if you’re claiming that $10.95 a year is worth it to you in light of all this austerity (let’s call it by its real name), I feel genuinely sorry for you and your situation — you must be living in the most abject poverty imaginable.
But it doesn’t end there.
It was revealed today that the cost of Ford’s anti-bicycle campaign, which resulted in the ripping up of the Jarvis Street bike lane, cost around $272,000 which for some bizarre reason is more than twice as much as it did to put in under David Miller. So much for “efficiencies”. Oh, and in case you were wondering, had Ford not put his hatred of bikes into practice, it would’ve saved each and every Toronto taxpayer about $0.05 — or just shy of half of the stupendous VRT money that only drivers pocket (I’m assuming a population of 5 million for this calculation). Add to this the cost of the KPMG report at $3 million dollars and everyone could’ve had an additional $0.06.
Put all this together and it’s plain as day that Ford is costing taxpayers money, not saving it:
Saving for drivers: $0.03
Cost to everyone: $0.11
Average gain per taxpayer: -$0.08
And, of course, this doesn’t take into account the fact that services are on the chopping block which, if they’re necessary for some residents, could add a much larger chunk to expenditures. And for the home owners out there who think Ford’s other stroke of brilliance, removing the Land Transfer Tax, think they’re going to see more money every year, are sadly mistaken as well. At an estimated $300 million per year, and assuming that only half of Toronto residents are home owners, it averages out to about $0.32 of extra cash in the pocket of each household, or $0.17 per taxpayer. Except that’s a full elimination of the tax which Ford said he wouldn’t do. Instead, he’s pledging to reduce this by about 25% per year, which makes the real number close to $0.04 per taxpayer.
The revised numbers, sadly, are still in the red:
Average gain per taxpayer: -$0.08
LRT saving: $0.04
Average gain per taxpayer: -$0.04
Even under ideal conditions — no VRT, no LRT, etc. — taxpayers will be forking over an additional $0.04 this year, not saving it. And keep in mind this only applies if you drive a car or own a home — for everyone else it’ll be worse. So when Rob Ford then pronounces that we need to cut services in order to make up the shortfall that he created, that’s not “respect for the taxpayer”, that’s a slap to the face of every hard-working citizen of the city.