Straw men and the HST

Once again, Black Press columnist Tom Fletcher has demonstrated his skill in diverting the public from the real issues in B.C. politics.

He accuses the NDP and Bill Vander Zalm of setting up straw men because they object to the government’s bias in spending $5 million on pushing their HST in the guise of an “information campaign,” while the anti-HST side gets only one-20th of that amount.

Fletcher has the nerve to claim that “big business benefits most from the HST” is false when the government and its hand-picked “independent” panel state that this is why they are introducing this unfair tax. The B.C. Liberals have boasted that introducing the HST is equivalent to a 40 per cent tax cut on business investment.

The professional straw-makers, like Fletcher and an army of highly paid economists, are trying to make this a debate about HST versus PST. They divert attention from the government’s underlying agenda. If the HST is allowed in, the amount of tax drawn from the public will become so huge that there will no longer be any questions raised about dramatically reducing taxes on the friends of big business.

They may cut the percentage points on the HST for a while (or at least a promise of doing so) to try to win the vote but they will be able to raise the rate anytime they want – until it rises to 20 per cent as in many other countries with this type of tax.

This is the only chance B.C. taxpayers have to block this tax by temporarily going back to the PST so we can have a fair tax commission examine the whole question of who pays and who gains from taxes and resource royalties.

As Adam Smith (the father of modern economics) was well aware, economics is always about politics. The rich and powerful in capitalist and “mixed” economies have always successfully pushed a disproportionate share of taxes onto the general public, which as individuals, lack the power to directly influence government.

Herb Spencer


Surrey North Delta Leader

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Surrey students paint mural, paying homage to First Nations, at SkyTrain station

Artwork to showcase ‘positivity and racial inclusivity in the city’

PHOTOS: Residents showcased as ‘companion’ sculpture unveiled

Amica White Rock welcomes bronze guardian, celebrates resident talent

More than 50,000 checks: Surrey COVID-19 compliance, enforcement team’s role has ‘evolved’

Joint bylaw, RCMP team created to help with coronavirus education, support

Homemade explosives detonated in South Surrey

Police asking public for help identifying those responsible

White Rock highrise on hold after workers exhibit ‘severe’ overexposure symptoms

WorkSafeBC issued stop-work order at 1588 Johnston Rd. site on July 24

‘Don’t kill my mom’: Ryan Reynolds calls on young British Columbians to be COVID-smart

‘Deadpool’ celebrity responds to premier’s call for social influence support

Captain Horvat’s OT marker lifts Canucks to 4-3 win over Blues

Vancouver takes 2-0 lead in best-of-7 NHL playoff series with St. Louis

PHOTOS/VIDEO: Wings and Wheels set for weekend lift-off in Abbotsford

Fundraiser to raise money for Crystal Gala Foundation and the fight against breast cancer

Undercover video shows alleged animal abuse at Fraser Valley egg farm

One employee wearing logo of Chilliwack chicken-catching company already facing abuse charges

Widow of slain Red Deer doctor thanks community for support ahead of vigil

Fellow doctors, members of the public will gather for a physically-distanced vigil in central Alberta

Protesters showcase massive old yellow cedar as Port Renfrew area forest blockade continues

9.5-foot-wide yellow cedar measured by Ancient Forest Alliance campaigners in Fairy Creek watershed

Taking dog feces and a jackhammer to neighbourhood dispute costs B.C. man $16,000

‘Pellegrin’s actions were motivated by malice …a vindictive, pointless, dangerous and unlawful act’

Racist stickers at Keremeos pub leaves group uneasy and angry

The ‘OK’ hand gesture is a known hate-symbol

Most Read