OK, now here's the column before the editor(s) decimated it. (Chopped out parts in red)
“Carbon taxes are a catastrophic waste of public money and have created elites that will fight to the death to keep their privileges, no matter the damage caused to the vulnerable.”
Well, as Stephane Dion can attest to, carbon taxes certainly aren’t popular. Are they? Hmm, wait a minute. Nickson’s column mainly looked at British Columbia’s carbon tax, and since it was instituted in 2008, Christy Clark’s government got re-elected twice.
So what is Nickson saying? Is she saying that the electorate got hoodwinked? Are they really that dumb?
No. I’ll tell you what Nickson is saying. In her recent column, she wrote that the money from BC’s carbon tax went into a cap-and-trade system. And from there, it went into the pockets of the elites that supposedly will “fight to the death to keep their privileges”.
There’s just one problem. Nickson either didn’t do her homework, or she deliberately twisted the facts. BC’s carbon tax (as any quick google search will show) does not go into a cap-and-trade system. It goes into reduced income taxes. That’s right; the carbon tax has enabled BC to have the lowest income tax in Canada. Maybe that’s why public support for the tax in BC has grown to 64%. Maybe that’s why 71% said that they would support an increase in the tax, as long as the extra revenue went into health and education.
So where did the mention of the cap-and-trade system come in? And what is it? Back in August, 2009, I wrote that it was an inferior system that requires an “army of auditors” to implement. So you can see why Nickson doesn’t like it. And you can see why the NASA climatologist, James Hanson called it the “path focused on corporate greed”.
But for the purposes of Nickson’s column, it was a convenient red herring to toss into the mix. However, BC’s carbon tax does not get funneled into it. Period. And anyone with an IQ of 50 and a connection to the internet can easily see that.
So I e-mailed Nickson to ask her why she omitted the most important part of the supposed subject of her column. Her reply was that “income tax reductions are virtually the same thing as revenue.” Huh??? That’s not from Econ 101. That’s not even from Crayons 101. That’s just gibberish from someone who was quite sure that her e-mail response would never see the light of day.
Nickson’s column also implied that a large part of the reduced emissions in BC are from people crossing the border to get cheaper gas in Washington state. Really? Let’s try a bit of math. The carbon tax is slightly under seven cents per liter. A Chevy Equinox V6 has a 79 litre gas tank. That equals a savings of $5.53. Are you going to hop across the border because that Bolshevik Christy Clark made you pay an extra five bucks?
Maybe if you’re already going there on a shopping spree. But the carbon tax won’t do it by itself. The carbon tax just means that you’ll get a bigger refund cheque at income tax time. But since we’re talking about right-wing ideology and inconvenient CO2 molecules, you didn’t hear me say that.
So just who is Nickson? And is there something about being a right-wing columnist that allows you to write silly things? Obviously not, since I’ve never heard Andrew Coyne say anything remotely dumb or false.
So let’s type her name into Google. Elizabeth Nicks__. Aha! Even before I finish typing her name, the search engine offers up the word “plagiarism”. Seems she got booted off of a major national paper for being a bit too liberal…with the copy and paste functions on her computer.
So is it any surprise that she’d write a column about BC’s carbon tax without mentioning the associated income tax reduction? Not really. And now we have a much better idea of whom she was really writing about when she mentioned the “…elites that will fight to the death to keep their privileges...”