Wednesday, February 17, 2016

This Day In Clarkland...How To Take The Boom And The Bust Out Of Gov't Revenues.


A number of very fine folks that periodically dart out of their hidey-holes, almost as if on cue, were gleeful as they tweeted-up the following Alberta dissing tax graph yesterday:

Which, of course is fiction when you realize the following 'non-tax' aggregate revenue number, as noted by Mr Willcocks in what, in my opinion, was the Tweet of Budget Day (and which appeared well before the Opposition noted the same thing):

So, with that in mind...

There is the fiction of the graph, which we're sure Lotuslandian proMedia members will continue to ignore from now until at least June 1st 2017.

But there is also something else to consider here.

Which is that the backs of rank and file British Columbians that are being continuously being gouged for MSP (and more!) will never take a powder like the Oil, Gas, Mining and Logging Co's. when the going gets tough.

And/or demand massive subsidies on mass if they don't.

Disappear for the duration of the hard times, I mean.

Which also means that things like the MSP Mass Gouge removes that old boom and bust problem that governments around here used to have to live with (and budget for).

The proof of that, in case you are doubtful of such an analysis can be found in the $100 LNG Prosperity Fund pudding pop that pretty much matches in dollar number the extra MSP revenues that will be collected this coming year.

Imagine that!

U of Calgary Economics guy Trevor Tombe redrew graph above after adding in MSP....Here. (note, does not include other usurious user fees).



paul said...

Thanks, I´m going to write more about this for The Tyee in a day or two. Part of the challenge is not getting sucked into the construct that holds lower taxes are automatically a good thing.

RossK said...

Looking forward to your piece Paul.

Re: Good v. bad thing of taxation...The main issue for me is progressive vs. recessive. My view of the MSP business is that it is regressive in the extreme.

Even with yesterday's fiddling by BCL gov't you can really see that regression illustrated in Prof. Tombe's redrawn graph that includes the MSP premiums (note, in particular, what happens to the lower income levels end of the graph).


J MacDuff said...

Perhaps we should have everyone to read this missive on "journalism". Pretty much sums up the validity of the MSM "political" repeaters (not reporters) that we are saddled with in BC and everywhere else. They will publish or say anything.
Case in point the Keefer's Global interview on the budget. All that was missing where the pom-poms.

Anonymous said...

MSP management outsourced for 150 million taxpayer dollars every year?

RossK said...


That 'article' in that 'journal' is pretty infamous amongst science geeks.



Longtime reader Lew had the lowdown on that 'contract' in the comment threads yesterday....Here.

Anonymous said...

Well, like so much this government does, it has positive aspects ... BUT.

They increase the income levels at which a person or family qualifies for premium assistance, which is good, and put in a low-income means test for the application of MSP premium increases, which is also good ... BUT ...

They dismiss out of hand the idea of raising the funds for our public health care from general revenue - that is, from income tax, for which there's an efficient system already in place, and instead choose to make the inefficient MSP collection system even more complex. In doing so they refer to the fact that public health costs are funded out of general taxation in "some" other jurisdictions. "some" = "all"

Can't say I much like this government's choices, but "we" voted for them!


Anonymous said...

MSP BC management outsourced to the tune of 150 m a year?

RossK said...

Thanks DH--

I agree that there are some half measures there but I see that purely as deflector spin fodder.

Regardless, given that it would, as you rightly point out, not be 'hard' (despite what the Premier keeps saying), why will the Clarklandians not use the income tax as the instrument to raise the required funds?

My take...

Reason #1 - then it would be called a tax which would blow the ideology (and anger their monied supporters, both individual and corporate)

Reason #2 - income tax is still relatively progressive which means that those who can afford to pay more really would have to.


Lenin's Ghost said...

Hmmm....prosperity fund (cough, cough)- that will need many her hangers-on/unemployable relatives to administer with golden parachute contracts

RossK said...



Lenin's Ghost said...

Always lurking, Ross......with little to add than snide remarks!