The numbers don’t add up

MLA Bill Bennett called J.C. Vallance an NDP apologist. When Mr. Bennett spins something it always ends up backwards. Mr. Vallance has praised, boasted about and given thanks for the NDP but never apologised. There is no need to.

Indeed, visionary actions such as creating the Agricultural Land Reserve, Forest Renewal B.C., value added wood products, tax assistance for small business, initiating the bid for the 2010 Olympics, selling electric power to California etc. are nothing to apologize for.

In fact they kept B.C. productive and well employed when the OPEC oil embargo of the seventies created a global recession and again in the recession of the nineties when they actually balanced the budget twice and in their tenth year were able to turn over a $1.5 billion surplus to the B.C. Liberals. Gordon Campbell took that surplus, told the media the financial situation was worse than expected and immediately cut income tax rates by 15 per cent in order to increase revenue.

That Conservative creative accounting is about as realistic as adding 2+2 and getting 6. B.C. income tax rates presently range from 5.06 per cent at $35,859 income to 14.7 per cent at $99,987 income. A 15 per cent reduction at today’s rates would give you $272.17 at $35,857 and $2,204.71 at $99,987 income.

Those numbers may have been slightly different in 2001 but you get the idea. If you get three times the wage you get eight times the payback in that reduction.

The Tyee’s book “Liberalized” (on the first four years of Gordon Campbell’s government) tells us that the provincial debt was $31.8 billion when the B.C. Liberals took over in 2001. Mr. Bennett tells us half of that was 31.8 billion when the B.C. Liberals took over in 2001. Mr Bennett tells us half of that 16 billion was created by the NDP over 10 recessionary years. Shortly after the 2009 election I caught Global’s legislative reporter, Keith Baldry, looking disappointed in his heroes as he announced that in the eight years of the B.C. Liberals doing wonders in a booming global economy they had increased the B.C. Liberals debt to $60 billion and by the end of their third term expected to reach $80 billion. How does an increase of $28 billion in eight years compare to 16 billion in 10 bad years and how about $48 billion in 12 years. Especially when they slashed services like Mike Myers from Halloween slashes teenagers.

We have a triple A credit rating because there is a demand for our resources and we dependably pay a lot of interest on our huge debt rather than on services. Mr. Bennett didn’t offer any numbers and I expect asking for them would be as productive as asking Stephen Harper how much the new jet fighter bombers will cost.

 

Peter Ross

Fernie