Remember the hysteria prior to the introduction of that “Great Big Tax on Everything”, when the Australian economy was going to spiral into not merely a recession – or even a depression – but back into the Dark Ages?
It was going to usher in a period of madness: men and women impoverished by the tax would be forced to live on the street; cats and dogs living together in sin; fire and brimstone and the wrath of economic gods; parents forced to sell children into bondage; a leg of roast lamb to cost over $100!
According the alarmists such as Tony Abbott, the Liberal National Party and the entirety of News Limited (or so said Andrew Bolt, Terry McCrann and the other lessor lights in its stable of culture-warrior hacks) the very modest price on carbon was going to be the “roon of us!”.
Time and time again the claim was made the tax was going to destroy jobs:
“The coal industry will step up its campaign against a carbon tax, seeking to highlight job losses that will be caused by such a scheme…”
It is an article of faith among all the die-hard climate sceptics. Only a few weeks back the Astroturf and fossil fuel funded Committee For A Constructive Tomorrow (CFACT) claimed such a tax would destroy American jobs:
If you want to know what a carbon tax on emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2) would do to America you need only look at the destruction of industry and business in Australia, along with the soaring costs for energy use it imposes on anyone there.
“The carbon tax is contributing to a record number of firms going to the wall with thousands of employees being laid off and companies forced to close factories that have stood for generations”, Steve Lewis and Phil Jacob reported in a March 18 issue of The Daily Telegraph, a leading Australian newspaper.
Oh my god its true!
According to CFACT and the Daily Telegraph (Sidebar: Australians’ call it the Daily Terror for its tabloid, over the top style) we poor Aussies are suffering under the carbon tax. In fact, you can see the long lines at the soup kitchens already…
But is that true?
How does the claim a carbon tax will destroy jobs?
Pesky things numbers: they often refuse to conform to our opinions.
Here is the truth – not the “truthiness” of CFACT and coal miners.
The Australian economy is doing OK.
Now there are a number of challenges facing the Australian economy due to the high dollar (vis-a-vis the USD) and the end of the mining boom. Government revenue has taken a hit due to the aforementioned reasons; also the mineral resources tax has woefully underperformed. I guess that’s what happens when you invite the mining companies to effectively write the law.
Surprise! They don’t get taxed!
But how does the economy-wreaking carbon tax fit into this picture?
Not at all.
Remember the hysteria, the public protests and the shrill braying for blood by the likes of Alan Jones who stated PM Julia Gillard should be stuffed into a bag and drowned?
End of life as we know it?
However, both Abbott and the hacks at News Limited have moved onto their next meme: “The Great Big Deficit on Everything”.
Yes, it will be the “roooooon of us!” again.
Australia has accrued a very modest deficit during a period when most of the global economy is sputtering: actually this is quite an achievement. Australia has had 21 years of continuous growth. The size of the public service, compared to other OECD countries is also modest – despite the fact both population and the need for services has grown, public services numbers have remained stable for years.
There is not a surplus of fat-cat public servants down under. But hey, wasn’t that another thing the carbon tax going to do? Create a unwieldy, bloated bureaucracy?
But let’s not get facts in the way of a good waging ideological warfare eh? There’s the free-market to evangelise and climate science to disparage!
I joke of course. The truth is this: all the posturing, sound and fury generated by the likes of Abbott and his cheer squad at News is divorced from reality.
Indeed, if there are any alarmists in the climate – or any other debate – I think we know where to point the finger.
But don’t believe me.
We’ll be roooooooned! Roooooooooned I tells ya!