Let’s get this straight. The Liberal government, under Gordon Campbell, introduced the carbon tax. (If you didn’t gas up before July 1, you should have as the tax has continuously increased the price of fuel at the pump.)
Okay, we’ve established that the Liberals introduced the tax. That’s why a press release from Environment Minister Terry Lake seems just a little incredulous and shows how incredibly twisted logic can become when politicking.
“The NDP has shown once again that they don’t understand British Columbia’s competitive economy, and that their policies will kill jobs in the province,” reads the first line of the press release.
Okay, that’s a standard issue line that all Liberal cabinet ministers are indoctrinated to repeat 1,000 times every week.
(“Good morning, dear, what would you like for breakfast?” “The NDP has shown once again that they don’t understand British Columbia’s competitive economy, and that their policies will kill jobs in the province.” You get the picture.)
Lake, however, was responding to a comment NDP environment critic Rob Fleming made about the carbon tax. Fleming said the Liberals should “fix” the tax by using it to fund transportation projects.
“Raising taxes on business will only kill jobs in B.C.,” Fleming said, seemingly oblivious to the fact the Liberals have just increased the carbon tax.
And that’s just the start. Here’s where it really gets convoluted.
According to Lake, “the carbon tax has returned $500 million more to taxpayers than it has raised in revenue.”
Have you seen any of that money?
Lake added that “the carbon tax is revenue-neutral: Every dollar generated is returned to British Columbians through reductions in other taxes.”
Firstly, every time a politician tells you something is revenue-neutral what they’re really saying is that it doesn’t cost government anything, which is still a misnomer … everything costs something. And, more importantly, it still costs you.
But Lake’s figures just don’t make sense. He says the carbon tax has returned $500 million more to taxpayers than it has generated in revenue. That’s an ambiguous statement. It seems to suggest that the Liberals have returned $500 million more to British Columbians, through lower taxes, than has been generated by the carbon tax, which means they had to take that $500 million from somewhere else in the budget. Revenue-neutral? Hmmm?
In addition, Lake says more has been returned than it has generated in revenue, indicating that there is revenue somewhere. Once again, revenue-neutral? Hmmm.
Quite simply, the carbon tax is a farce. If all the money collected is returned to British Columbians, what’s the point? It’s like telling your child that because they’ve been bad you’re they’re not getting their $20 allowance this week, but then buying them $20 worth of treats. It’s senseless.
The idea of a carbon tax is to reduce our penchant for driving our gas-guzzlers. Seen any gas stations go out of business lately? We’re not driving less, despite the tax.
So, let’s recap. NDP taxes bad because they kill jobs. Liberal taxes good because they tax us only to give it all back in tax breaks, which, in turn, creates jobs, reduces our carbon footprint, and save kittens stranded in trees.