By Lorne Gunter of Sun News Media
Carbon tax myths
It is not possible for consumers to get more back in rebates than they pay in tax
If you ask average Ontarians why their province has lost upwards of 300,000 well-paying manufacturing jobs in the past dozen years, most would probably blame globalization.
Average Ontarians (particularly those in the Greater Toronto Area) vote Liberal by default. So, it’s easy to convince them that greedy corporations have used freer trade to move jobs offshore in search of higher profits at the expense of workers.
The truth, though, is that Ontario’s obsession with “green” energy drove up input costs for manufacturers by doubling their electricity bills.
Most didn’t flee to Third World economies with cheap labour
Most merely moved south to states that weren’t forcing industrial and residential consumers to pay the cost of politicians’ wind, solar and biofuel fantasies.
The problem for Canada — and specifically for Alberta — is that many of the same geniuses who devised Ontario’s ruinous “green” energy program are now plotting Justin Trudeau’s net-zero carbon crusade, including the federal carbon tax that was imposed on Alberta beginning Wednesday, Jan. 1.
The carbon tax will not only make the price of a fill-up more expensive (by about 4.5 cents a litre) and raise the cost of heating your home by more than 50 per cent, it will also drive away investment, prevent jobs from being created, lower Alberta’s projected GDP and stall the opening of new or expanded businesses.
Of course, you’d never know that from listening to the federal Liberals or the activists and media outlets who share their “green” dreams.
To hear the pro-tax side tell it, most Canadians will make more money from federal carbon rebates than they pay in carbon taxes.
Yeah, that’s always the case, isn’t it? Governments always give us back more than they take in taxes.
The Mulroney government, for instance, promised the GST would be “revenue neutral,” too.
It’s simply impossible for a government to give away more than it takes in, unless it increases taxes elsewhere or goes deeper into debt.
The pro-tax Pembina Institute said this week Albertans had nothing to fear from Ottawa’s carbon tax. After all, not one dime raised by the tax would stay in the federal treasury.
This is as clueless as the claim by former Alberta premier Rachel Notley that her government’s carbon tax would be revenue-neutral because every dollar would be spent immediately. (Huh!?)
With a consumption tax such as the carbon tax — one that includes at least five provincial variations and a complicated rebate formula — you can expect bureaucratic administration costs to equal at least 10 to 15 per cent of the amount raised.
On revenues of $9 billion annually, let’s call that $1 billion in administrative costs.
If those bureaucratic costs don’t come out of the money raised by the carbon tax, they will come out of income tax or some other tax.
I know cultish True Believers in the eco-world are convinced we can convert to a totally “green” economy with no cost and no pain. However, that is simply delusional.
The CBC — the always reliable cheerleader from all things Liberal — even trumpeted how the carbon tax would be “good news for your wallet.”
Similar claims were made in the 2010s in Ontario. For instance, the Ontario Liberals reassured that for every manufacturing job lost a well-paying “green” job would be created.
According to the Ontario auditor general, the reality was 12,000 “green” jobs were created to replace the 300,000 lost jobs. And most of those only lasted until government subsidies ran out.
You can buy all the hokum spewed by the Liberals and the environmentalists about the benefits of a carbon tax The truth is, the tax will stunt economic growth (especially in energy-dependent Alberta) and it will achieve no emission reductions.
A claim for equality of material position can be met only by a government with totalitarian powers. Friedrich August von Hayek