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