Monday, July 15, 2013

BC's revenue neutral (Not!) carbon tax

Willis Eschenbach's fourth of a four part series taking a comprehensive look at the "British Utopia" carbon tax:
... The first cost to me in this is the cost to common sense. Making energy more expensive is going in exactly the wrong direction. Forcing people to pay more for energy makes no sense at all. I want to see energy get CHEAPER, not more expensive. I cannot put this too strongly:
Cheap energy is the salvation of the poor ... This means that anyone advocating policies that add to the price of energy is actively harming the poor ...  slowing economic development in the parts of the planet that need it most.
... The second cost involves the concept of a “revenue neutral” tax. ... To understand the problem with this, let me try to disambiguate two concepts—“revenue neutral” taxes, and “sin” taxes. ... the more just and equitable the revenue-neutral sin tax is, the less it will affect behavior. In other words, in order for a revenue-neutral sin tax to be effective, it needs to be unfair …

... The third cost is one of fairness, and this one has huge ramifications. Children I know all over the world have a clear sense of what’s not fair. Despite being revenue-neutral, which the BC plan demonstrably is, the plan is far from fair.

... The fourth cost is the cost to the poor. I give them their own category because the poor are hit the hardest by rising energy costs.

The fifth cost is the tax on the tax. Of course, the Government of Canada gets to charge the Goods and Service Tax (GST) ...

The sixth cost is the overhead. You can’t run a complex program like a carbon-based energy tax without lots of paper pushers.

The seventh cost is the pensions. Every person taking your tax money today and faithfully giving it back to you tomorrow in blessed revenue neutrality will be taking your tax money for thirty years after they retire and not giving back a dime.

The eighth cost is the rent-seekers. These include folks like Sustainable Canada and other organizations for whom this is a grant-raising bonanza. ... They produce nothing useful, they are a dead weight on society, but they come right along with the tax, they mate for life.

The ninth cost is the cost of tax avoidance/evasion. ...under any definition there are several costs in this arena of what might be called creative responses to the BC tax.

The tenth cost is the hours people will spend filling out the paperwork.

The eleventh cost is official hypocrisy. One surprising thing I found out in researching this is that the good burghers of BC have fields containing evil natural gas …  and even more coal ...

The twelfth cost is officials denying inconvenient reality. The so-called “fugitive emissions” (meaning leaks) of methane are a big issue with the radical left who would like to end fracking (and civilization as well, apparently).


Alain said...

No amount of words can hide the fact that the carbon tax has zero to do with the environment and is just another tax grab by government. They might as well call it a pixie dust tax, since it would amount to the same thing and same result.

JR said...

Yep. And the "climate change" is the convenient scare they use to get the folks to go along. The saps and suckers are legion.