May 21, 2009

The Hangman

FROM-Heartland Institute

(Excerpt from )
Obama’s Cap-and-Trade: Lifeline or Noose?

Hidden Agenda?

Since cap and trade won’t fix “global warming,” will be very costly for a minuscule (if any) climatic benefit, won’t be a net job creator for the U.S., and is a poor means of funding alternative energy R&D, might there be something else going on here? The answer lies in the numbers.

If 23 percent of the tax money raised from Obama’s cap-and-trade policy is going toward alternative energy R&D, then 77 percent is going somewhere else. Where is all that money going? Most of it is going to two specific purposes.

First, a significant portion of this 77 percent will come right off the top and be used to fund the new gargantuan bureaucracy to administer CO2 emissions regulations and the cap-and-trade program itself. During the debate over Lieberman-Warner-Boxer last summer, it became obvious that 40 or more new agencies, departments, or other edifices of government would have to be created to administer the program. CO2 emissions allowances have to be calculated, tracked, and enforced. The legislation would create an entirely new government commodities market in CO2 emissions allowances out of thin air, and that would require regulation, monitoring, and other administrative efforts. These examples merely scratch the surface.

Second, as has become obvious over the past two months, the administration plans to use something on the order of 50 to 70 percent of the revenue raised from his cap-and-trade plan to directly provide “middle class” tax cuts, much of them to people who are already essentially net tax consumers rather than net sources of tax revenue.

All of this is to say that what’s really going on here isn’t about saving the planet, efficiently funding alternative energy R&D, creating green jobs, or helping America emerge from the current recession. What it is really about is using the Teflon shield of environmental apocalypse as one of many means to pay for Obama’s wealth redistribution agenda. As an added benefit, neo-environmentalists love cap-and-trade because it puts the brakes on economic growth, redirects America away from consumerism (which they blame for all planetary ills), and shifts more power to the government. A “three-fer,” if you will.

Are we really in a position right now to impose a huge added cost on society, burden our economic recovery, drive more manufacturing jobs overseas, and pay for tax breaks for people who don’t pay taxes, all for something that is inconsequential to the planet’s climate?

America may need a lifeline, but what it doesn’t need is to be sold a lifeline that turns out to be a noose.

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