Is Rob Ford a self-loathing, Tea Party–parroting mayor?
Seriously, we’re not even kidding here. After reading a thought-provoking piece by Toronto Star urban affairs bureau chief David Rider arguing that Rob Ford’s painful budget exercise is more about shrinking government than slaying the deficit, we can’t help but wonder if the mayor thinks that the City of Toronto’s civic government (you know, that thing he’s the head of) is actually worth having at all.
Ford’s actions and words, to the public and those around him, are not those of a bean counter trying to solve a financial puzzle. While real, the hefty “structural deficit” is his ammunition, not his target.
The colourful gut-led ideologue is on a mission to radically reduce the size and cost of city government — amputating services, grants and agencies. In doing so, he wants to erase most or all the 5,000 mostly unionized jobs added under his predecessor, David Miller.
In carefully chosen words before the start of Thursday’s epic executive meeting, Ford decreed that “must have” services stay and the “nice to haves” go. In his mind-the-shop view, cities don’t hand out arts grants, bolster poor student’s meals, spur environmental research or own a zoo.
Of course, that what Ford thinks the size of the Toronto government ought to be is significantly smaller than what the size of the Toronto government is isn’t exactly news. But just how small Ford believes government should be is worth noting. In an interview on CP24 with Stephen Ledrew, he summed up his model city with three bullet points (cops, roads and garbage pickup). There was nothing there about transit, arts grants or, really, anything else.
During last year’s election campaign, Ford’s handlers tried very hard to avoid comparisons to the Tea Party south of the border, but their efforts returned mixed results (the often-quoted likeness to Sarah Palin wasn’t exactly ideal in this regard). But given Ford’s small-government mindset and his willingness to use a fiscal mess to reshape government to achieve his own ends, it’s hard not to recognize the similarities.
• Shrinking government, not deficit, drives Ford [Toronto Star]
14 thoughts on “Is Rob Ford a self-loathing, Tea Party–parroting mayor?”
I think YOU are a self loathing Toronto Star-parroting loser.
Well we know he’s a piece of garbage if that makes him loathe himself I don’t know, when you are that dumb you may not have the capacity for such things.
He doen’t have enough originality in him to loathe himself. That ‘self loathing’ implies a quality of self-criticsm- a quality that Our Boy Bob does not have.
Is Toronto Life a Self Important, Narcissistic and Smug publication?
Yes, yes it is.
Best comment on the Toronto Star:
A Conservative would sell a Cow to buy Milk.
… Sums it all up.
It’s public (our) land … Toronto doesn’t have much free, open land.
We should put a lot of thought and consideration into what is built on these open spaces.
Ford – ain’t no friend of Toronto.
You can decide if you want to be part of the problem or part of the solution.
Problem – Toronto’s deficit is out to lunch.
Seems like many of you on here love to be part of the problem. Ford, like myself are part of the quiet majority who are focussed on finding are solution. The options are limited. Raise taxes significantly ie increase revenue (are you ok with that?, probably not). Cut costs (are you ok with that? maybe, as long as it doesn’t you directly of course).
I don’t want my taxes raised like most of the quiet majority. What we want is our tax dollars to be used more efficiently….its frankly ridiculous that more than 1/2 of the revenue is spent on labour…….
Actually, Sam, labour makes up just 48% of the City’s budget. Doesn’t seem like such a ridiculous amount to me, for a healthy, liveable city.
MT, there you go yet again proving my point of being part of the problem. Your ‘solution’ is to ‘keep everything status quo’ and ignore the 790 million dollar deficit and enjoy a healthy, liveable city. Where is your REAL solution??????????????????
I look back at some of the taxes brought upon by the Miller regime i.e. the vehicle registration tax and land transfer tax…and I look at the demographics of these people who are happy with the status quo. I would think that the a good portion of those who support the status quo probably don’t own homes (or buy a new property) and/or likely don’t drive. Therefore, taxes like the vehicle registration tax don’t affect them. To these individuals, why not keep taxing drivers when they themselves don’t drive. Doesn’t affect them after all. Taxing a portion of the population is good until you are one of those who is affected by the taxes. Try and see it from the other side of the coin and then tell me if status quo is ok.
It’s hypocricy in action.
If a vehicle registration tax were still in effect, I would love to see that applied to bicycles too. After all, cyclists say that they are entitled to their part of the road just as much as motorists. Let’s apply an additional tax to TTC fares to compensate for the vehicle registration tax that that each bus should otherwise be paying as well per year.
Let’s see a renter’s tax too. Every time someone moves in to a rented apartment and signs an agreement, maybe they should be taxed a ridiculous sum of money just for changing properties. What would you say to that?
Let’s be fair here. Just because you are not being taxed in a particular area, doesn’t mean that someone else isn’t affected in some way.
Continuing on with spending and taxing in order to spend more is not how a responsible government operates.
Mayor Ford has proven time and again that he’s not an idea mayor, or a mayor with a plan.
All he’s done is bring his football player/coach philosophy to the mayors office. Stick to the game plan that got you there, and waiver not. It’s not usually until the final 2 minutes that coaches realize they need to make a last effort change to win.
But we should first ask Doug Ford. He seems to be the one running the show. Too bad as a Torontonian we only have a voice about our city if we’ve been elected.
Both comments are very well said!
CORE SERVICES ONLY MAYOR FORD, THAT IS WHAT THE MAJORITY OF TAXPAYERS ELECTED YOU TO DO!
I’d like for all the CUT CUT CUT folks to speak up and let us know what should be eliminated. I’d also like to ask that group to tell me where they think their property tax rate sits in regard to the rest of the GTA.
I own a detached home, in the city.
I own a car, but barely drive.
I ride my bike to the gym, the grocery store, and more.
I hate taxes… all of them.
I also realize that having the lowest tax rate in the GTA is great, but if it means a crappy city to live in then I’d rather fork out a few dollars more.
Perhaps it’s time we start charging those who use Toronto services/facilities without paying taxes… like all of the 905’ers who drive into the city? How about a toll highway?
I also think we should GREATLY reduce the salary of incoming city employees to try to fend off the growth in salaries as a percentage of the overall budget.
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