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Winnipeg Free Press Newspaper Archive: February 15, 2001 - Page 16

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   Winnipeg Free Press (Newspaper) - February 15, 2001, Winnipeg, Manitoba                                Focus A13 WINNIPEG FEBRUARY 2001 Reagan years remain mundane Look back at presidency cant find proof of claimed achievements By Michael Kinsley RONALD Reagans 90th birth day has set off a national debate about the Reagan pres Was it as wonderful as we thought at the time on the other was it even more wonderful Happy Birthday to a patriotic who never we presume had oral sex near the Oval A great in the general view and on the question of the gen eral view by hard to On most other objective fact may be worth consulting as On that Reagans achievements as president appear in hindsight to be about as wonderful as I thought at the Not The nutshell case for Reagans greatness 1 He ended the crisis of stagflation and restoring our country to prosperity and self 2 He cut taxes and reduced the size of 3 He rebuilt Americas military strength and won the Cold 4 He lent dignity to the unlike a more recent expresident one could Larger nutshell The case against the case takes a slightly larger Start with the The eco nomic crisis of the late 1970s and early 1980s was doubledigit infla Doubledigit interest rates and a doubledip recession were the medi cine we took to cure The doctor who administered the medicine was Federal Reserve chairman Paul Vol Vplcker was appointed by Pres ident Jimmy who fecklessly allowed inflation to develop and then nobly naively sacrificed his pres idency to stop Reagan deserves a couple of points for not complaining too much as Volcker twisted the But Reagans ultimate thanks was to deny Volcker the third term he Reagan hagiographers dont even have a theory to explain how their man is supposed to have stopped They are happy enough to blame the pain of the cure on his pre ASSOCIATED PRESS Ronald Reagan is kissed by his wife Nancy at birthday while claiming credit for prosperity that That triumph and that prosperity a record of economic growth over eight years second only to Clintons helped to renew the countrys spir it as did the force of Reagans sunny and our victory over the island superpower of But what caused the prosperity Two things that did not cause it are smaller government and lower because this legendary Reagan revo lution barely Federal gov spending was a quarter higher in real terms when Reagan left office than when he As a share of gross domestic the federal government shrank from per cent to per cent a whopping one percentage The federal civilian workforce increased from million to three it increased even if you exclude Defence Department assuming a year or two of lag time for a presidents policies to take effect doesnt change any of these Under eight years of Big Govern ment Bill to choose another president at the federal civilian workforce went down from million to Federal spending grew by 11 per cent in real terms less than half as much as under As a share federal spending shrank from per cent to per cent more than double Reagans end ing up with a federal government share of the economy about a 10th smaller than Reagan left And taxes Federal tax collections rose about a fifth in real terms under As a share of they declined from per cent to per After they are up to 20 per Its hard to think of variations in this narrow range as revolutionary one way or the Income taxes For most working the share of income going to taxes went up even under Reagan enthusiasts say that what matters is marginal which declined sig nificantly during his Of course rates rose significantly under which doesnt seem to have done the economy any Critics say that if Reagans tax cuts fed the 1980s it was as an old fashioned Keynesian caused by the deficits the cuts pro Its easy to throw a party if youre willing to triple the national But even if Reagans defenders are right that lower marginal rates were theyre misstating history a bit to give Reagan The most dra matic rate reductions came in the tax reform of This bipartisan effort led by Democratic Senator Bill Bradley was a response to public outrage at revelations that Reagans earlier tax cuts had left many wealthy individuals and prof itable corporations paying no taxes at this is going to take a bigger nutshell than I Washington Post Letters to the Editor Gas bill doubles any way you cut it The recent jump from to per month imposed by Centra Gas on my billing is a 100percent increase any way you cut On top of the most recent we are advised that the company will seek another 32 per cent in This is not something to be treated It is a critical issue for all citizens of especially the lowincome earners and I suggest four courses of immediate The province should impose a freeze on prices until the books of the gas company have been fully by full disclosure to reputable account ing Should the audit disclose the need for some percentage then the company be restricted to that The provincial government should become involved immediately to come up with a rebate to assist us over the severe winter Nova Scotia and Alberta have already issued rebates to its Since the federal government is raking in huge GST because of those certainly it should be required to kick back some form of tax relief from the bulging surpluses being The federal effort of send ing cheques to other than those who should receive it is a poor solution to the So that pur children will not be burdened with this problem in surely the provinces should start immediate action by way of explo ration and tap more of our known resources for use in JOHN SNOW Winnipeg Give shoplifters criminal record As I was reading the article in Sun days paper about the major retailers sending a bill for the cost of catching you shoplift instead of pressing I couldnt help but think that they just bet me that I couldnt steal from Without the threat of a police officer taking me downtown to fingerprint and charge it now becomes a I can spend that much on any given night for entertain Talk about reality Wise up anyone would pay that and come back to one of your stores and get it back in one day in stolen sP Jt Give them something they give them a criminal record and then bill ROBERT BROWN Winnipeg Improved reporting under way Re I must take exception to the cynical generalizations of Helen Falldings unnamed business man in Lions feel as innocent as lambs The fact that he hides behind the cloak of anonymity attests to the credibility of his assertion that volunteer board members often join charitable groups to promote their so they may have little commitment to delving into messy I have been involved both as a vol unteer and employee with charitable organizations at various levels for over 15 It has been my experience that such board representation consists of diverse groups of communityminded individuals who freely share their valuable time and provide critical direction and insightful ideas for their respective ask for nothing in Individual i with hid den agendas simply are not tolerated for long on effective If mis takes they are made with the best of Perhaps the busi nessman has experienced isolated pockets of dysfunctional boards but It is irresponsible to extrapolate such incidents to the vast majority of chari ties and their clients that operate in an appropriate Such loose talk only serves to needlessly undermine donor As in the profit sec organizations that fail to serve the best interests of their clients do not survive in the long the businessmans mes sage is not Improved vigilance and disclosure of charitable activities reduce the opportunity for both honest mistakes and negligent This trend is In recent a major revision of the generally accepted accounting princi ples governing reporting on the finan cial statements of the notforprofit sector was undertaken by the Canadi an Institute of Chartered Accountants The new section provides much greater disclosure of In registered charities in Canada are required to file an annual charities return with the Canada Cus toms and Revenue Agency These returns are public information that highlights the organizations activ ities for the CCRA requires 80 per cent of a charitys gifts to be expended on charitable activities by the following all corporations including notforprofits must file as public information an annual return with the province disclosing the members of their respective Thus the donor has many avenues available to investigate Most notfprprofits that are publicly funded require an independent The CICA mandates all audits to exam ine management practices and internal A basic procedure is to review minutes of directors meetings among Engagements that do not examine these items are not audits therefore the entity would most likely not qualify for public given the integrity of most boards and and both the internal and external due dili gence required to the vast majority of charitable organizations quietly provide a valuable service for their IAN CGA Winnipeg Rent controls threat to innercity renewal Invest in it is the only province in Canada offering a com plete rentcontrol Is this the message Premier Gary Doer wants to deliver to investors in Hong Kong in his Team Canada trade mission to China The Winnipeg Real Estate Board does not think It commends the city councillors and others for calling on the province to replace rent At there should be a review among a number of we are not naive enough to realize there will be budget implications to the province in provision of affordable subsidized All the considerable money and effort going into addressing the inner city plight of Winnipegs housing stock will be shortcircuited if there is not a serious review of provincial legislation and regulations that hinder reinvest ment in affordable accommo MICHELLE ROWAN President Winnipeg Real Estate Board Winnipeg Canada Post profit allows better service Im responding to a letter discussing Canada Posts expansion of doorto dopr delivery in parts of the The writer expressed concerns about who would pay the cost for this improved service and was under the incorrect assumption that taxpayers would somehow be subsidizing the Canada Post has been making a healthy profit for many Our position is that the Crown corporation should reinvest those profits back into communities through improved deliv ery In our last round of nego we were successful in obtaining a commitment to expand doortpdoor delivery in a number of specific areas across the It is just a but we believe its an important start to ensure every home and business in the city receives letter carrier CINDY MCCALLUM National Director CUPW Prairie Region Winnipeg Are we getting full garbage story Some more on this stinking Definitely it is for us essential to do some serious recycling and to reduce the amount that is finding its way to the landfill site there are some puzzling concerns not being First of I dont believe that our footstamping mayor is giv ing us the complete He is giving us some facts but not all the What about the amount of garbage that is coming in from the surrounding municipalities and towns for which they only get charged a minute fee We are getting hammered by the mayor that we have to reduce the garbage levels but nothing is said about the content and the amounts of garbage coming in from the Maybe he should raise those fees first before messing around with our garbage tax What about the municipalities recy cling plans and levels of accomplish ment Where do those recycled items if there are and what happened to them What about the level of our own recycling program A lot of the items we put into the bins are ending up in the landfill via the recycling collectors efforts what a waste of labour hours and for many of those recyclable a levy has already been imposed on the To name a few car carton contain In for people col lect them and get money refunded by the food stores and other Why not here JACK VAN DAM Winnipeg Doonesbury BY GARRY TRUDEAU   

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