Sunday, December 21, 2014



The latest crusade by the CARP / Zoomer / Znaimer empire is for the feds and Revenue Canada to reduce the mandatory annual withdrawals from RIFs. Talk about a fat-cat crusade!
There are much more important and significant issues for pensioners. As I wrote recently, the way the CRA cheats us on the value of deductions we are allowed to make for medical bills and charitable donations is nothing more than a dead hand slapping wrinkled faces.
Throw in the health system, the economy, and charity too.
After all, surely more pensioners would continue the health insurance they enjoyed with their former company if they got a better break in deducting those high premiums. And that would help with those huge public health budgets because that would be beneficial in improving the general health of seniors who worry about the costs if they seek help for the latest malady.
As for charity, the deductions allowed are laughable, about as funny as the fact you get more when you donate to obese politicians and their parties.
Saying that we shouldn't be forced to withdraw the current percentage amounts from the RIFs after they are converted from RRSPs may concern those getting rich running the CARP business, because, remember, it is not a non-profit organization.
The forced deductions for many  are irritating but not a major concern. You can always take the withdrawals and deposit them as your annual $5,500 TFSA deduction and reap the benefits later when it is advantageous.
The New Classical 96.3 FM is a station I listen to, alternating with Jazz 91.1. What drives me away is those awful sugary testimonials for Marilyn Lightstone's program at night.
She is a talented woman and creates a delightful ambience despite some of the poetry being incomprehensible. I will try to forget her silly TV commentary that tried to take the Jesus out of Christmas by saying that festivals at this time of the year have been common through the ages. Of course, they were. But this one is based in Christianity despite this Jewish attempt to explain that away.
No doubt, however, we are bombarded with regular promotion for her because she lives with the boss of the Zoomer empire,  Moses Znaimer, the legend in his own mind, who is a great broadcaster but is known to be a controversial control freak.
Obviously he is upset about his compulsory RIF deposits.
I find the Zoomer empire fascinating, but not so fascinating as to take its crummy magazine run by Suzanne Boyd who calls herself elegant. Believe me, you're not elegant if you preen that way.
Then there's Susan Eng, who has settled down from when she wrecked relations with the police while running the police board. She states the obvious in her representations to government which are repeated ad nauseam by the Zoomer empire.
CARP is now just initials but started off as the Canadian Association of Retired People. Then Moses saw you could sell more memberships and insurance etc. if you broadened the reach. I heard hosts on the FM station, which is now the oldest "new" station in the world, talk about CARP issues being of interests to those in their 30s and 40s which is, of course, nonsense because younger people really have different concerns than seniors issues.
 So he went to initials and said it was an organization for those over 50,  although I notice the magazine, which I no longer inflict on my mailman, says it's aimed at 45 plus.
Moses is on to a good thing and keeps expanding. And despite my dislike for the idiosyncratic promotion of CARP and the Znaimer family in all the media he controls, I do wish him well, sort of.
After all, the clever investor, Prem Watsa, known as the Warren Buffet of Canada, owns 28% of the Zoomer empire through Fairfax. And Watsa, a modest man I have met a few times, is noted as being as smart at the legendary Buffet when it comes to buying into good companies. And  I do have a titch of the family fortune invested in the giant Fairfax financial empire.
So I wish you well, Moses. Just don't go wandering too long in the wilderness in your incessant drive to promote you and yours.

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