Rob Ford fiscal plan

Rob Ford's back on YouTube with his fiscal platform

Rob Ford has taken to YouTube to make a campaign announcement once again -- this time unveiling his "Saving Our City Plan," which is another way of saying his proposed fiscal policy. I'm honestly not really sure if it's worth doing a little half-assed analysis of his program. It is, after all, not really news -- one need only wait until the 24 second mark to hear the phrase "gravy train" uttered -- nor is it particularly difficult to grasp from a conceptual standpoint. (What is sometimes difficult, however, is watching this man read!). But, hey, why not?

Ford emphasizes four strategies in the roughly six-minute video, which I'll summarize here so as to spare those not willing to invest that portion of their life into watching the clip.

1. Reduction of city council. Ford points out that "Toronto has 22 federal MPs, 22 provincial MPPs, and 22 public school trustees." Thus, according to the mayoral front-runner, "it should have 22 City Councillors." He continues awkwardly, "The City of Toronto Act gives us that power to make this change happen for the next city election." This should, he notes more confidently, save $15-million a year.

2. Reduction of government salaries and benefits, "which make up almost half of the city's budget." How to do this? Not hiring freezes, but staff attrition. With 6% of the City's workforce retiring each year, a Rob-Ford-led City Hall would only replace half of these employees. Best part of this segment? Ford explains this mind-bogglingly difficult concept by saying, "In other words, if six people retire, we'll only hire three people to replace them." Thank you for that, I was a little lost.

3. Reduction of waste at City Hall. There's a lot of busy-talk at first, but Ford ultimately reveals that his plan would aim to reduce the budget by 2.5 per cent in the first year of his administration "and smaller targets in the two years after that." How to reduce the budget without doing the same to services? By being more efficient, of course. Concrete example: contracting out garbage removal.

4. The "Saving Our City Program." City staff will be encouraged -- via public recognition (woohoo!) and cash rewards (woot!) -- to save money and "improve the bang that taxpayers get for their bucks." I guess those cash incentives couldn't really be too much, lest the whole thing become something of a pyramid scheme. But, I'm not Rob Ford's father. Rob Ford's father says, "If you look after the pennies, the dollars look after themselves." That's just never worked for me...

The video then ends with some inspirational words and a little awful music. Want to fill in the gaps? You'll have to watch the thing...

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