(This column originally appeared in the Toronto Sun)
Canadians are taxed to death.
We pay taxes when we earn money, taxes when we spend, taxes when we save and taxes when we invest.
We pay taxes on basic necessities, such as food, housing, clothing and heating our homes during the long Canadian winters.
We even pay taxes on our taxes. When Canadians fill up at the pump, we pay a sales tax that gets applied on top of the hidden gasoline taxes.
According to the Fraser Institute, Canadians pay 42% of all the money we earn in taxes.
This is all important context when discussing Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s carbon tax grab.
Trudeau, being Trudeau, doesn’t call it a tax. Much like how he calls terrorists “foreign travellers” and those who illegally cross into Canada “irregular immigrants,” Trudeau calls his carbon tax a “price on pollution.”
The Liberal government, joined by its friends in the mainstream media, loves to tout that carbon taxes are recommended by economists as an efficient way to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
For people who claim to have economists on their side, they sure seem to lack a basic understanding of how markets work.
Trudeau’s tax is imposed on carbon, which means it’s imposed onto everything.
To help make this more palatable, Trudeau has pledged to bribe Canadians with our own money, using another sly euphemism, a “climate action tax credit.”
But Trudeau’s rebate will only help offset a portion of tax portion paid by Canadians, not the endless unseen increases to our cost of living coming as we pay higher prices on everyday goods and services. But that’s the entire point.
The carbon tax is specifically designed to make our lives more expensive. By imposing a regressive tax, the Trudeau government is purposefully lowering our standard of living.
We will drive less, buy less, do less and have less.
Getting a modest rebate during tax season, if you trust this cash-strapped, spendthrift government to follow through, is little consolation.
Trudeau is making Canadians feel artificially poorer, in pursuit of a pie-in-the-sky United Nations scheme that disproportionately punishes North American consumers.
In recent years, however, Canada and the U.S. have reduced carbon emissions. As technologies improve and consumers become more savvy, rich countries have an impressive record of curbing emissions — without heavy-handed, top-down, government-knows-best schemes like Trudeau’s.
Canada’s carbon emissions dropped by 1.4% in 2016 without a carbon tax; carbon emissions fell by 2.7% last year in the U.S., after they withdrew from the UN Paris accord.
Meanwhile, global emissions continue to rise. Developing countries, such as China and India, don’t really care what UN bureaucrats and global boy scouts like Trudeau have to say and continue to expand their resources sectors. They’re doing what’s best for their citizens.
In Canada, the opposite is true.
Trudeau is punishing us through higher taxes, killing our resource industry through endless red-tape and, all the while, pretending he’s helping us. But even he knows his tax grab is futile when it comes to saving the planet; he admitted so much this week on a Quebec talk show.
“Even if Canada stopped everything tomorrow… it wouldn’t make a big difference.”
What Trudeau’s carbon tax does, instead, is give governments a new and lucrative way to pry more money away from overtaxed citizens and ensure we get to keep less of our own hard-earned cash.
Canadians should do everything possible to stop Trudeau’s destructive…(READ MORE)