Let's be clear here.
Changing the rules on Income Trusts out of the blue was not what Harper promised.
Quite the opposite.
Indeed, over at HarperBizzaro, you can read word for word what Tories had to say about this in opposition.
Today, Flaherty is arguing that it needed to be done, that too many trusts would threaten the balance between the proportion of taxes corporations pay (about 30% of national revenue) and the proportion individuals pay (about 60%, with the GST covering the remaining 10%).
That may be true.
But what didn't need to be done, was lying about it.
The policy may or may not have been the right decision.
Whatever the fiscal ins and outs of this, millions of Canadians invested their retirement funds, their savings for the their first home, and the money the scraped up to put aside for their children's education, into the stock market and mutual funds.
When they made those investments, they knew the stock market involves risk.
But Tories had been clear on not raising taxes, or messing with the status of income trusts - lying Tories was not part of the risk.
But they did lie.
And when Boards of Directors and CEO's lie to their investors, they get sued, fired, booted off the board and go to jail. Ask Kenneth Lay. Ask Jeffrey Skilling.
Changes in the income trust rules didn't cost anything, lying about them did.
The Tory lie cost Canadians about $20 billion.
What's the betting no one goes to jail?