I’M NOT FALLING FOR THAT, MR. MARTIN

What would you say to someone that told you they would trade you two $5’s and a $10 for that $50 you were holding? What’s that? You’re too smart to be conned like that? Remember that the next time you vote, because that is exactly the scam that Prime Minister Paul Martin is trying to pull over your eyes. The only thing worse than being bought off is when it is done with my own money.

The Liberal government announced some huge spending promises in the last week. The federal cabinet gave approval for a $2.3 billion energy relief package that will give low-income families and seniors rebates to offset the high cost of heating their homes this winter. Why is it that only low income families will qualify? Do high income families not pay taxes and heat their homes as well? Is this not class warfare? Again, this government shows us that they truly don’t see everyone as equals.

The federal government also announced that it will set up a new federal agency (want to bet it will be run by someone in or from Quebec?) to monitor gas prices at the pumps. (Read: Bigger government, more politicians, more spending.) Are you kidding me? Simply look at the profit margins of the oil companies. They have gone up sixfold. As well, get a high school student to show you how much faster pump prices have risen than oil prices. He or she can draw you one of those really neat line graphs. Perhaps we could even persuade our oil company executives to explain to us how pump prices go up the instant oil prices rise, but then take months to come down with the same price.

I can explain this fairly easily without the need for more bureaucrats, Mr. Martin. We are being taken for a ride. You of all people should be able to recognize this. Then again, maybe you do, but are just playing with us. Another quick and tidy solution? Figure out how much the gouging of consumers has cost Canadians, take that figure and raise the taxes on the oil companies accordingly. You will recoup the money that has been stolen from us, whereby you can return it to us through a federal energy tax credit on top of the one you have already introduced. In this way, Canadians can quickly reinsert the money into our economy that has been sucked out of it. This, by the way, would cost minimally, negating the need for yet another government department.

On to the real confidence job now. Mr. Ralph Goodale has announced that he is going to be generous. That’s right, he is going to give us back a third of what was unjustly taken from us. It seems that the Liberals are going to split any federal surplus above $3 billion, and will use it in three ways. (Is it just me, or is today’s number the Number Three? “Sunny days. How to get to Sesame Street”)

Let’s look at this slowly. We will take the money we overcharged Canadians, take off the first three billion, and then split the balance into three parts and mail each Canadian a share equal to roughly 33% of it. Cool. Will we receive this in three easy installments?

It seems that no one is too excited, nor should they be. The only positive aspect of this bill, which is called the “Surplus Allocation Act”, is that it is aimed at taxpayers. What a novel idea. Imagine giving back the proceeds of over-taxation to those who paid it! Mr. Goodale was quick to point out that the surplus in 2005 would not have triggered a rebate, as it was only $1.6 billion. As the government had thrown around the figure of 15 million taxpayers, that money would have seen each hardworking Canadian given back $106.

Mr. Goodale has stated that the first $3 billion dollars of any surplus will go towards a “national emergency contingency fund.” This is a disingenuous tactic, and not a reasonable one. Why, for instance, is there no contingency fund in our federal budget, and if there is, then why this on top of it? Why will we only contribute to an emergency fund if there is a surplus, do bad things only happen in good years? What is the cap on the fund, or will it continue to grow forever to prevent the federal government from giving us back all of our money? What kind of emergencies will qualify to access these funds and who will decide this? To go further, why isn’t anyone asking these questions in the House of Commons, and if they are, why are we not being told this? I haven’t seen this many unanswered questions since high school.

A big one now. What is to prevent the federal government from simply increasing spending on all of their ‘pet projects’ to the point where a surplus simply doesn’t exist. This will prevent them from having to return our money, and will simply help to erode the standard of living that we (no longer) enjoy by reducing our spending power through increased unjust taxation. There used to be a time when Canadians cared about this.

Once again, this government has absconded with our money, and nobody seems to be calling them on it. Can you imagine if you gave the guy at the gas station an extra thirty bucks, and he turned around and told you that he would give ten back, but you had to spend the other twenty on car repairs and your car loan? You would ask him just who the heck he thought he was to tell you how to spend your money! That is just what Paul Martin just did, and most Canadians didn’t even blink.

As expected, the socialist NDP party has decried the move, calling it discrimination. It seems that they are upset that only taxpayers will see a rebate. You see, that is how a rebate works, you rebate the money back to where it came from. Thus, those who work and contribute to our country will receive some of the benefit of that hard work. Isn’t that a neat system?