An­der­son’s ob­jec­tion to ‘cap and trade’ shows lack of un­der­stand­ing

The Southwest Booster - - OPINION - James Sifert Leader

To the ed­i­tor: Last week our Mem­ber of Par­lia­ment, the Honourable David An­der­son cu­ri­ously chose to blan­ket the South­west with a po­lit­i­cal at­tack ad not-so- clev­erly dis­guised as a let­ter to the ed­i­tor. In it he chose to launch an as­sault on the leader on the fed­eral NDP, Thomas Mul­cair for his stated sup­port for a “cap and trade sys­tem” for ex­ces­sive car­bon emit­ters.

It is crit­i­cal to note that “cap and trade” is NOT a “car­bon tax”. A car­bon tax would be paid by in­di­vid­ual Cana­di­ans to the gov­ern­ment, a cap and trade sys­tem would fine com­pa­nies that could not re­duce ex­ces­sive car­bon emis­sions. Yes, there would be costs to some com­pa­nies to com­ply and those com­pa­nies might choose to pass these costs on to con­sumers but there is no way to pre­dict these ef­fects and global mar­ket fluc­tu­a­tions have proven to do more to af­fect con­sumer costs than any do­mes­tic fac­tors.

Se­condly, Mr. Mul­cair stated that he was against a re­gres­sive car­bon tax ... this is true, but since cap and trade is not a tax (by any def­i­ni­tion) then Mr. An­der­son is mis­lead­ing us when he ac­cuses the NDP of sup­port­ing a tax.

Fi­nally, I won­der if Mr. An­der­son re­ally knows what taxes are, or what they do. In case he has for­got­ten, they pay for our schools, hos­pi­tals, in­fra­struc­ture and even his salary, his apart­ment in Ot­tawa and his golden pen­sion. Mr. An­der­son in­di­cates that he is against “re­gres­sive” taxes, and his party re­duced the GST ... but the GST is a sales tax and thus it is a “pro­gres­sive” tax (the more you spend the more tax you pay).

If we are wor­ried about taxes how about look­ing at the things Mr. An­der­son sup­ports such as spend­ing $40 bil­lion on fighter jets or the many bil­lions on more pris­ons to make our crim­i­nal sys­tem more like Texas.

I worry that Mr. An­der­son doesn’t un­der­stand tax­a­tion, but I worry more that he thinks we are not smart enough to see through his flim-flam; politi­cians that pur­posely mis­lead their con­stituents do so at their peril. In­deed, given his in­abil­ity to se­cure a cab­i­net po­si­tion it seem Mr. An­der­son’s boss feels the same way.

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