View Full Version : Rex Murphy: Plummeting gas prices are a welcome break for Canadians

01-17-2015, 04:26 PM
Rex Murphy: Plummeting gas prices are a welcome break for Canadians — until a carbon tax comes along


God must have loved the common man: He made so many of them. Whether that quotation can authoritatively be ascribed to Abraham Lincoln or not, it does catch the tone of the man as his persona has come to be known through history and legend. A great part of Lincoln’s appeal, both to the people of his time and to the generations that followed, was his fine-tuned respect for “the common man,” his experienced understanding of, and respect for, the daily life of the majority of his fellow citizens.

Wynne refuses to rule out carbon tax, just months after saying it wasn’t part of her plan for Ontario

Premier Kathleen Wynne is leaving the door open to a new tax to combat climate change, just months after saying a carbon tax was not part of the Ontario government’s plan.

After winning a majority government last June, Wynne said a carbon tax was not something the Liberals planned to introduce, even though she wanted a new plan to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

The province could adopt a cap-and-trade system that lets the worst polluters buy credits from companies that burn less fossil fuels, or impose a tax on all carbon emissions, including gasoline burned by automobiles.

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If I did not fear flutters in the yuppie dovecote I would say Abraham Lincoln had more than a little bit of Rob Ford in him. What I will say without perturbation is that Lincoln loved the little guy.

Despite the shower of gloom and menace that shadows each day’s news, the little guy (and gal), at least on our side of the globe, has been getting a small break lately. For the first time in ages a tank of gasoline costs less per gallon than a handful of diamonds, or the cost of pimping up Neil Young’s now-electric 1959 land-yacht Lincoln Continental. For the first time in ages it’s possible for many people to travel to work, drive around on a weekend, take a driving holiday, hitch up the trailer, without offering up the children and the house as collateral/hostages to a bank before pulling up to the local Irving’s.

Both in Canada and in the U.S., the fall in gasoline prices has worked a real miracle, done a thing neither government nor industry has had the will or means to do: It has given peopled who actually work for a living, those who have the low-paying jobs — the clerks and secretaries, teaching assistants, fresh graduates toiling as low- or no-wage interns, taxi drivers, maintenance men, janitors, those waiting tables or clearing snow, fishermen and farmers — a break. De facto, the decline in the price of gasoline means a little bit of real money — finally — in the pockets of those who so very rarely have it.

For them, it’s the equivalent of an accidental tax break. The oil crisis, whatever else it may be doing, is giving a break to the one set of people all the political parties should be most sympathetic to, and whom they laud with pieties on every occasion. So here’s a time to act out the pieties, and make sure this little bonus stays with the people who need it most.

But will it? Already in Ontario we are hearing from politicians, “well, now is a great time to put on a carbon tax.” I beg furiously to differ. These politicians and warmist campaigners have no soul. Can you not leave Lincoln’s “common man ” alone? Just once? Please? Can you not, just one time, allow a little of the benefit to flow down and let those who most need and appreciate some small break have that break? Must their one parade be rained on?

It does not matter, of course, to politicians, or those with high incomes, or the protest lobby funded by foundations large and small, what the price of gas is. That crowd can fold the price into expense accounts or toodle by on their morally superior bicycles. It does matter to everyone else, to their neighbours, to immigrants toiling in the bleak ranges of 12-hour-a-day jobs, to the hardscrabble workers.

Mark this as well: If governments federal or provincial — for this will go beyond Ontario — hit gas with a tax now that prices are conveniently low, you may be sure, as fate is sure and death is certain, that they will keep them when the price, as it will, goes up again.

“Please, sir, I want some more,” famously pleaded sad famished young Oliver Twist. He was only asking for an extra dollop of grim-tasting porridge. I’d guess the millions who do the hard work of this county understand the young Mr. Twist’s mournful plea. They don’t plead, but it would be nice if our leaders, our political parties and the various anti-industry causes that own the public debate would keep quiet and leave these people, for once, alone.

01-17-2015, 04:28 PM
and it's not like that little extra money Canadians have saved from the cost of a tank of gas will simply disappear,, we'll spend it on other things,, like smokes and beer

01-17-2015, 04:37 PM
I know what will happen if they ever bring one of hose cap and trade deals in where the company I work for has a presence.....every last dime they have to pay out will be added right on to our work orders, and the customers will be billed for it.....then their prices to their customers will go up.....eventually, consumers foot the bill for all government BS business tax.

01-17-2015, 05:25 PM
McWynne already had a windfall when the HST was introduced, 8% overnight increase in gas. It went from 99.9 the night before to 108.99.

Ontario goes through approximately 15 billion liters of gas a year, so that change, just on gas raised 1.2 billion dollars a year if the price had stand at about the same level. Figure the years of $1.30 more more for gas added 1.5 billion to the government coffers, and they still managed to overspend like a drunken sailor with a terminal disease and someone else's wallet. And McLiar said over and over the HST was going to be "revenue neutral".

01-18-2015, 12:24 AM
and it's not like that little extra money Canadians have saved from the cost of a tank of gas will simply disappear,, we'll spend it on other things,, like smokes and beer

Well I did have enough left over for a nice bottle of Scotch.....

If Rex ever decides to take a run at politics he's got my vote.