Sorry Andrewf but I do believe we all know somewhere down the line that the carbon tax will be just another tax revenue as the revenue neutral thing slowly disappears, it is just the way government works.
Harloldcrump it is good to see someone represent Ontario here because from what I hear taxes, spending, and crap of all kinds is out of control there. In fact I hear it is worse in Ontario then it is in California, again I could be wrong here.
Spidey you are correct we need more mass transit like sky train in Vancouver but paying for it is of course the hard part. We also have a lot of Nat Gas in North America and now may be the time to put in the infrastructure in conjunction with the US so we can make most trucks and buses on Nat Gas and they can fill up all over North America.
The funny thing is that a carbon tax wouldn't be necessary if people and businesses acted according to economic theory.
Reducing greenhouse gas emissions saves money; I've yet to see a single example of a company that lost money by reducing greenhouse gas emisisons, while there are thousands of examples of companies that saved money by doing so. DuPont, for example, reduced its greenhouse gas emissions by 70 percent between 1990 and 2004, while increasing its production by 33 percent and saving more than $2 billion through its efforts to reduce emissions.
In the United States, EPA's Energy Star program saves Americans $18 billion a year in energy costs, which is something like twice the entire operating budget of EPA.
There are dozens if not hundreds of studies exploring why households and businesses don't take better advantage of these cost-saving opportunities; it's like everyone's walking past $100 bills lying on the street. There are many reasons why it doesn't happen, but the carbon tax is designed to address one of them: energy prices are too low to motivate people to improve energy efficiency.
There are of course people like Harold Crump who have already done everything they can to improve their energy efficiency, leaving them with few cost-effective alternatives to improve further. But those people represent about 0.1% of the population. To encourage the other 99.9% to improve their efficiency you have to do something, because current market signals are not strong enough. Whether a carbon tax is the right approach is debatable, but education doesn't seem to work. Tightening efficiency standards helps (appliances on the market today are much more efficient than those even 10 years ago), as do feebate-style programs that provide rebates for energy-efficient equipment, funded by fees for energy-guzzling equipment.
Harold, I think you need to read what I write more carefully. We should argue about on what and how much we spend. Agreeing to how to fund it through taxation should be the easy part.
You are out of your mind if you think the last couple of decades have been a period of rising taxes. Size of government and tax rates have fallen since the 1980s. You may want it to shrink further, but let's get real about what has happened. I think there are plenty of decent ways to cut spending. We could eliminate OAS, for one. We should also put all highways on user fees. Bottom line is you need to take a deep breath and calm down. No one takes Tea Party types seriously.
China is already putting more effort into curbing its CO2 emissions than Canada. And their per capita emissions are still much lower than ours.
Originally Posted by Spidey
I don't think we should go to extremes before other countries start moving in the right direction. I think BC is justified in putting a pause on the rise in the carbon tax at $30 per tonne, although that amounts to ~6.67 cents per litre of gasoline.
You made up a bunch of things that would be necessary to achieve a significant reduction in CO2 emissions. Environment Canada estimates that a carbon tax of $65/tonne would be needed to reduce emissions by 20%, which Stephen Harper committed to. He intends to achieve that goal (if he's not a liar, that is) by imposing new costs on the economy by regulating industry by industry. And tens of thousands of new regulations is definitely the way to go over a simple new tax, with revenues used to cut other taxes, right?
It's also worth noting that the majority of British Columbians agree with me. 58% support the BC carbon tax (a figure that has risen since it was introduced), while those strongly opposed has fallen from 38% to 23%. British Columbians get it. I am sure you guys will eventually, too.
I agree that if we are going to impose incentives to conserve energy that a carbon tax is the most fair way to do it - particularly if an attempt is made to counter those carbon-tax increases with a reduction in income tax. The trouble is, I don't see it happening that way because it is a too honest and transparent way of doing things. Despite their purported worries about emission levels, we already see the federal NDP scream every time the price of gasoline increases even slightly and they have been pushing for rebates on home heating oil. So what we will likely be left with is a cap-and-trade system because even though it is less effective and less fair, it also has the political advantage of being grossly confusing. Such a system would result in money transfers from Alberta to hydro-electric rich Quebec on a national scale and from western nations like Canada to developing countries such as China and India on an international scale. Raise your hands everyone in Alberta who wish to transfer more money to Quebec. How about all Canadians who would like to see their tax money go to carbon credits to be sent to China?
Last edited by Spidey; 2012-07-01 at 01:21 PM.
I am in favour of more consumption taxes and less income taxes too. I am in BC now but I favoured them when I lived in Toronto too. At least carbon tax and gasoline taxes are in the same spirit...
I agree that a consumption tax is the best option as long as you did away with income tax all together. Do not give government more tools to tax us with because it just brings us more spending until they must raise the tax back to where it was before and worse.
So all tax would be collected through consumption and a certain amount would be collected through a payment fee we would all pay each month so that roads and health care for example are certain to have funding. So we would eliminate capitol gain and dividend taxes as well so we wouldn't have to even submit income tax anymore each year except to submit an employer slip saying what we earn. Poor people who do not earn enough money wouldn't have to pay the consumption tax through an official government slip or card or something. Tourists also wouldn't pay when they send in their receipts to earn a tax rebate.