Tuesday, December 15, 2009

A zombie lie is born

Yesterday, I noted one problem with the CCPA's report on the HST. But as has consistently been the case when it comes to the HST, the most-repeated talking point is one that's based on ripping two words out of context: in this case "revenue neutral". So let's make absolutely clear what the CCPA's analysis does - and doesn't - say about the effect of harmonization.

There are two key assumptions which explain where the phrase comes from in the CCPA's report. First, as I noted yesterday, there's the fact that the HST is being compared to unrelated tax measures applied to individuals. While the "revenue neutral" declaration applies only if one compares the price hike resulting from the expansion of sales taxes on individuals to the credits being offered through other tax channels, there's no reason to actually assume that one is inextricably linked to the other. And if one looks at the HST alone (which can easily be done at page 8 of the CCPA's report), the result is a tax hike on families averaging approximately $500 each year.

More importantly, the CCPA's global conclusions are based on the effect of the HST and other tax measures on individuals only, and don't take into account the loss in public revenue resulting from corporate exemptions. Which is where the growing zombie lie comes in.

The next wave of pro-HST spin seems to involve pretending that the CCPA's study somehow shows that the HST scheme as a whole would be revenue neutral for the provincial government. But in reality, the corporate exemptions which are explicitly excluded from the CCPA's study will cut provincial revenue by $4.5 billion per year (the same number as the oft-trumpeted amount of eliminated "embedded sales taxes").

So no matter how desperately its proponents try to rip phrases out of context, the HST isn't revenue-neutral by a long shot - whether one looks at its impact on individuals (where it imposes real costs), or on the government as a whole (where it substantially reduces the public resources available for the provincial government). And as with the "591,000 jobs!!!" declaration that's previously been debunked, anybody claiming the HST to be "revenue neutral" based on the CCPA study can safely be dismissed as arguing in bad faith.

Edit: fixed wording.

9 comments:

  1. Anonymous10:43 a.m.

    Does your website have a contact page? I'm having trouble locating it but, I'd like to shoot you an email.

    I've got some ideas for your blog you might be interested in hearing. Either way, great website and I look forward to seeing it develop over time.

    my weblog: snoring mask

    ReplyDelete
  2. Anonymous2:12 a.m.

    My brother recommended I might like this website.
    He was once entirely right. This publish actually made my day.
    You cann't imagine simply how much time I had spent for this information! Thanks!

    Here is my webpage :: juice fasting

    ReplyDelete
  3. Anonymous6:35 a.m.

    Pretty! This has been an incredibly wonderful
    post. Thank you for supplying this info.

    Here is my homepage; http://www.reddmaze.com/

    ReplyDelete
  4. Anonymous4:00 a.m.

    Hello there, just became aware of your blog through
    Google, and found that it's truly informative. I'm going to watch out for brussels.

    I'll appreciate if you continue this in future. Many people will be benefited from your writing. Cheers!

    my page; daytime tv

    ReplyDelete
  5. Anonymous12:26 p.m.

    Because the admin of this site is working, no doubt very rapidly it will be renowned, due to its
    quality contents.

    My website; vegetable juice

    ReplyDelete
  6. Anonymous1:50 p.m.

    Just desire to say your article is as astounding.
    The clarity in your post is just excellent and i can assume you're an expert on this subject. Fine with your permission allow me to grab your RSS feed to keep updated with forthcoming post. Thanks a million and please carry on the gratifying work.

    Feel free to surf to my page; virtuoland.com

    ReplyDelete
  7. Anonymous2:02 p.m.

    wonderful put up, very informative. I'm wondering why the other specialists of this sector do not understand this. You should proceed your writing. I am sure, you have a great readers' base already!


    Here is my web site reverse osmosis filtration

    ReplyDelete
  8. Anonymous8:58 a.m.

    WOW just what I was looking for. Came here by searching for magnetized flashlights

    Here is my page; Goodwill online Store

    ReplyDelete
  9. Anonymous3:06 p.m.

    This is a very good tip especially to those new to the blogosphere.
    Brief but very precise information… Appreciate your
    sharing this one. A must read article!

    Stop by my web site :: Recipes For Juicers

    ReplyDelete