Thursday, May 08, 2008

Carbon copy taxes

Liberal leader Stephane Dion will it seems announce plans to impose a "carbon tax" in the unlikely event he should ever become Prime Minister.

The media is spinning this as a bold move given that Canadians are already fed up with gasoline prices which are soaring faster than Michael Moore's cholesterol count.

But actually, for Dion it's a no-brainer.

A carbon tax, of some sort, is clearly in the works. Even some conservatives and libertarians support the idea.

In fact, I suspect the reason Dion spilled the beans for his carbon tax idea was to preempt the Conservatives who were probably planning something similar.

Does this make carbon taxes a good idea?

I don't think so. Once you set the precedent that raising taxes is a good way to save the planet you are guaranteed one thing -- more taxes.

I suspect that before long we will see such new measures as:

* Drive-Thru Tax
Everybody knows idling your car while waiting for you morning coffee in the Tim Horton's Drive thru adds to global warming, so why not tax it? To offset this tax, "roll-up the rim" prizes will include a one-time tax exemption.

* Toilet Paper Tax
The less said about this the better.

* David Suzuki Surcharge
This will be not so much of a tax per se, but more like tribute money paid to Canada's most famous environmentalist. He will use the money to dream up new environmental taxes.

We will be told, of course, that these taxes will be "revenue neutral", which is another way of saying, if you want to keep your revenue move to Switzerland.


Anonymous said...

And when global warming is proven to be a scam the media will turn it around and blame the Conservatives for jumping on the global warming, save the planet bandwagon before all the facts were in. This on a day when 25 cm of snow is predicted - and falling - in Alberta

Besides - won't a carbon tax "increase" gas prices. I think Ezra had it right - have regular gas and duck (earth) friendly gas and see which pump gets the business.

We all want to save the planet, until it hits us in our pockets.

Anonymous said...

This is a lousy idea on two counts:
In the first place, if the plan is to discourage the wasteful over-consumption of carbon based fuels, where is the incentive to conserve? If you raise the tax on these fuels and then turn around and give it back through lower taxes in other areas that doesn't change a thing except shift the tax around like a pea in a shell game. The tax breaks in one area can simply be applied to the increased tax on fuel.
In the second place, (and I believe this is Dion's "hidden agenda") I have never seen a tax that politicians didn't love. EI was supposed to function with only a small reserve fund for contingencies and the general income tax was imposed during the first world war as a 'temporary' measure. Some reserve! Some temporary!
Like the farmer said to the hired hand: "Don't eat it Elmer, the straw sticks in your teeth."

Anonymous said...

61% of people support this idiotic tax?; the only conclusion I can come to is 61% of the population are just plain out to lunch or very easily bamboozled; and by the way the planet is in NO DANGER WHATSOEVER, at least for the next 5 billion years or so

Anonymous said...

Hi Alberta Girl--yes I remember those days in May in Edmonton when it used to snow!

Looks like BC fruit tree growers are going to lose a lot of crops because of snow and frost what is usually the balmy interior. Try a carbon tax on those farmers right now and see what they think M. Dion!

I read in today's FP too that Europeans are getty a bit touchy about the impact of these carbon taxes on their pocketbooks!

zolton said...

To be or not to be that is the question. Conservatives are such metaphysical tools (rats running in a cage) that the whole meaning of life goes out the window.
Why not take care of the planet that sustains human life?

Anonymous said...

Went to buy a new Suburban the other day. (I need it due to the size of the family, plus I love them). There was a $3000 tax via the CDN government to help save the planet I guess. I told the sales person that I pay the extra tax when I fill up. I am already being penalized.
The CDN government has gone mad. You would think that you would want your CAW workers employed and building TRUCKS making $100,000 per annum. I guess not. Does the governemt not see the correlation between higer taxes and lower consumption and loss of tax base. I guess not. I wish Harper would not bend to the whim of the French citizen Stephan Dion. The salesman just lost the sale and the worker who produces them just lost the work because I'll stick with my old one. Looks like I passed the penalty along to someone else.

Anonymous said...

The idea will go over like a lead balloon in the Ontario manufacturing sector. The extra gas tax can hardly be offset by a corporate income tax cut because they aren't making large profits to begin with these days. You have to wonder what McGuinty's going to say about this.

Anonymous said...

Anon said: "Wonder what McGuinty's going say about this?"

My guess, NOTHING. He needs the gas tax to pay for his own spending--keep in mind public sector contracts (teachers' unions) are coming up for renewal soon. It's payback time.