The Lemonade Stand test

As noted, the “revenue” part of the government’s new argument against cap-and-trade is a red herring. But Greg Fingas is willing to respond to it anyway.

Now, keep in mind that this is a minister within the same government which is shutting down and selling off vital public services – depriving countless Canadians of life, limb or livelihood in the process – in the name of deficit reduction. Or, put another way, in the name of closing a gap between expenses and revenue. One might then think that any even faintly competent administrator would consider more revenue to be a plus. And that goes doubly if the increased revenue is paired with a more efficient means of reaching another stated policy goal.

But according to Kent, the Cons’ overriding principle in making government decisions is the glibertarian theory that “revenue = bad”. Which would thoroughly disqualify his party from holding office based on the elementary test of being competent to run a lemonade stand … Moreover, by any reasonable comparison of climate change policies, the Cons would then be choosing to impose higher compliance costs on industry (and ultimately consumers) for the sole purpose of avoiding the “evil” of revenue – even when that revenue would serve to reduce exactly the deficit they claim to be fighting.