What universe is Jason Kenney living in?
The Alberta PC leadership candidate has been telling some pretty incredible tall tales on social media, making wildly exaggerated statements claiming Alberta is being "destroyed" by out-of-control taxes.
Skim Kenney's Twitter feed for 30 seconds and you'll discover all kinds of outlandish claims:
And you'll hear the same over-the-top anti-tax hysteria from others on Alberta's right, as well:
Well, it turns out the data shows Kenney and his friends are completely disconnected from reality.
University of Calgary Economics Professor Trevor Tombe recently crunched some numbers and offered a much less nightmarish picture of where Alberta stands on taxes and spending.
For example, when it comes to size of government, Alberta has the lowest share of revenue and spending out of any province in Canada – suggesting Alberta has a revenue problem, not a spending problem:
And what about taxes?
Yep, Alberta still has the lowest provincial taxes in Canada too:
Although that chart doesn't mention Alberta's new carbon pricing measures to address climate change.
If you add that to the total, here's what 2017 looks like compared to 2016 – Alberta's still the lowest in Canada, once again:
So, to sum up: Kenney says Alberta is being "destroyed" by taxes, and yet Alberta has the lowest taxes of any province in Canada – including Brad Wall's apparent "socialist" utopia next door in Saskatchewan.
Of course, the real issue isn't whether taxes are low or high. The real issue is whether or not provinces are generating enough revenue to invest in communities, things like schools and hospitals, as opposed to, say, subsidizing millionaires or snowmobile enthusiasts.
Those are a few things Kenney can tell you more about:
Socialism: taking ever more money from people in the belief that politicians & bureaucrats know better how to spend it than taxpayers do. https://t.co/5lkNmf2IjB— Jason Kenney (@jkenney) January 7, 2017
A reasonable description of government spending during your time in federal cabinet on things like venture capital and snowmobile trails... https://t.co/R8uFooAl2o— Andrew Leach 🇨🇦 ❄ (@andrew_leach) January 7, 2017