Thursday, June 19, 2008

The Green Grift

The Canadian Taxpayers Federation asks which came first, the SHIFT or the SHAFT? If Stéphane Dion gets away with this little confidence game, we'll be calling it the GRIFT.

A “carbon tax” in the style of Mr. Dion’s, which shields many people altogether from the price impact by various mechanisms, has nothing whatsoever to do with the Pigovian taxes economists favour as a response to negative externalities. It’s simply another way of picking and choosing.

What is more truly dear to Liberal hearts, we suspect, is the redistributive fashion in which the returned revenue from the carbon pricing will be used to re-jig the income tax system.


But the Liberals, in cutting the lowest tax bracket the most, and the highest not at all, are actually proposing to raise the already high marginal tax rates on upper-middle-class Canadians. And they’re not only writing cheques to rural dwellers to make sure they don’t belong to the carbon-priced class with us city folk; they’ll also be increasing the Northern exemption, creating another group that has non-negotiable “higher requirements” for pollution.

Will Canadians play willing marks to Stéphane's redistributive grift? Let's hope not.