Thursday, August 28, 2008

Stephen Harper's "Tax On Everything"

Assume for a moment, that the Conservatives plan to deal with GHG's is real, it will deliver what it promises. That assumption is a gigantic IF, because every independent analysis suggests the plan is a sham. However, for arguments sake, let's take the Conservatives at their word, their plan will impart costs "that are not trivial". So, if the argument becomes a debate about the relative merits of each parties plans, then the Conservatives will be forced to confront a fundamental hypocrisy- accusing the Liberals of doing exactly what the Conservatives propose, while failing to provide relief on the other side of the ledger.

Isn't this interesting:
Tory or Liberal greenhouse plans will raise gas prices: experts

Energy industry experts say consumers will pay more for gas at the pump, regardless of whether Conservative or Liberal policies are adopted to cut the greenhouse gas emissions that cause climate change.

But the Conservative approach to cutting greenhouse gases -- a mix of regulations, technological investments and new markets to trade emission credits -- will also result in higher pump prices, said energy industry executives after testifying yesterday at a House of Commons committee.

Warren McLean, who recently retired as a vice-president with Suncor Energy, said the Conservative plan to put a cap on emissions will push pump prices up.

"How do you get to those caps? You have to make investments to get to those caps. And that investment ultimately has to be passed through," said Mr. McLean, who cautioned that he was expressing his own opinion and not that of any company or association.

That's right, so when we see Harper and his minions tell easterners that their reliance on fossil fuels, "dirty" energy sources, will make them big losers under the Liberal plan, they are indirectly acknowledging the same burden under their plan, since the "big emitters" will simply pass the cost to the consumer. The Conservatives are presenting a intellectually dishonest argument, and it might explain why Baird's recent release on the regulatory framework was issued late on a Friday. The last thing the Conservatives want is an honest analysis of what their supposed claims will mean to consumers.

Let's get the message out, backed up by expert analysis- under the Conservative plan, you will see a "tax on everything", not upfront like the Liberal plan , but prices will rise on electricity, natural gas, oil and gasoline. Have the Liberals done any analysis to compare the impacts of the various plans? And, if we have, shouldn't that be part of any mailing during an election?

The real kicker, in this entire debate, is that the Liberal plan is the only one to acknowledge the impact of rising prices, with an offset on the income tax, credit side. The Conservatives offer NOTHING to mitigate the rise in prices, under their plan, yet have the audacity to accuse the Liberals of unfairly hurting people, particularly those in the most precarious economic position.

Anyone who is paying attention can see the glaring hypocrisy, not to mention the dishonest presentation. The trick for the Liberals, to be properly armed and succinct enough to make that case, expose the fact that the Conservatives have really backed themselves into a farcical corner. You know what is realy "insane" and "nuts", projecting doom and gloom, while simultaneously embarking on a supposed similar path, all the while pretending it isn't so, all the while telling consumers TOUGH LUCK.


Gayle said...

"Have the Liberals done any analysis to compare the impacts of the various plans? And, if we have, shouldn't that be part of any mailing during an election?"

Exactly what I was thinking.

They can do a side by side comparison of how each plan will affect, say, your average hard working family of four.

Steve V said...


I hope they are working on something like that, because I think it would be powerful flyer at the door. I also think an ad, quoting various oil and gas interests on the Con plan, who be a nice way to expose the hypocrisy, without looking overtly negative. Who is being honest with Canadians?

Oxford County Liberals said...


Here's a report in the National Post today about the Conference Board of Canada recommending that carbon taxes be implemented:

The federal and provincial governments should accelerate business tax reforms to help Canadian firms be more productive to deal with the strong dollar, the Conference Board argued in a report yesterday.

The reforms should include the introduction of controversial carbon taxes, along the lines of what British Columbia has already introduced and what federal opposition Liberals have proposed, which would not only help reduce greenhouse gases but would provide additional revenues to cover the costs of accelerating tax cuts in other areas, such as corporate income taxes, Mr. Hodgson said in an interview.

"The easiest way to do it, frankly, is by putting a tax on fuel related to the amount of CO2 produced by a litre of gasoline or heating fuel in the home," he said, noting that the federal Liberal carbon-tax proposal draws upon an earlier conference board recommendation. "Any time you raise the price of something people are going to look for alternatives or ways to become more efficient.

Bloody socialist Conference Borders of Canada ;)

Steve V said...

Scott, that's great. Another arrow for the quiver.

Gayle said...

All of which better end up in the campaign material, both written and on TV.

Anonymous said...

I'm with Gayle. It does beg the question why this hasn't been part of the roll-out from day one?

It's not like they were announcing this plan in a vacuum. Tell me someone considered the push-back - please!!!

Steve V said...

At the beginning, we really didn't have much in the way of details from the Cons. Now we do, and this should surely be incorporated into a straight forward presentation.