On June 25, the House passed the Waxman-Markey climate stabilization act, which would institute a cap-and-trade system to restrict Americans’ carbon emissions. While proponents of the bill have sought to argue that the costs of such a system would be negligible, nothing could be further from the truth. In fact, the bill proposes a massive and highly regressive tax on the U.S. economy, and could potentially cause not only extensive business failures, unemployment and privation within our borders, but starvation among poorer populations elsewhere.
To understand this, it is only necessary to look at the numbers. According to a report issued by the Environmental Protection Agency in April, by 2015 the price of carbon emission indulgences required by the bill for industries to operate could be expected to run between $13 and $17 per ton of CO2 emitted. It may be noted that this estimate was made by an Obama administration agency highly favorable to the bill and that it did not take into account the very real possibility that speculators might act aggressively to buy up all the available indulgences and then, acting like ticket scalpers, force industrial users to purchase them at greatly inflated prices. So these EPA figures for carbon emission costs should be viewed as minimal. That said, let’s stipulate the $15/ton midrange of the EPA estimate, and see what it implies.
The United States emits about 9 billion tons of CO2 per year. Therefore, at a rate of $15/ton fee for emission indulgences, the bill would impose a tax of $135 billion per year on the nation. Divided by the U.S. population of 300 million, that works out to a cost of $450 per year levied on every American man, woman or child, or $1,800 for a family of four. While for wealthy individuals like Al Gore such an impost might represent a mere pittance, for working families struggling hard to make ends meet it would be a very significant burden.
The whole scheme of the Marxman-Wacky bill hinges upon the sale of what Zubrin calls, repeatedly, “indulgences”. This is quite apt, since that is exactly what the carbon warrants – or whatever they term these fictitious instruments – are.
This is nothing more than a handout to “green” speculators to make money by trading “green” credits to rake in lots and lots of green “dead presidents” for themselves. And to pass the high costs of the trading in indulgences on to the people of this nation. We will all pay the price for the buying, selling and trading of these indulgences. Some will pay more – those who can least afford it.
Everything will cost more – and more and more – to pump money into the pockets of the “green” speculators. The numbers don’t add up to anything more than an opportunity for well-connected speculators to make money off the poorest, weakest members of this society. This is a brutally regressive taxation scheme, passed by Democrats who portray themselves as champions of the poor and weak.
It is the sale of indulgences, nothing more. To make money for Democrat-allied speculators.
Someone had a few things to say about the sale of indulgences quite a few years ago:
The assurance of salvation by letters of pardon is vain, even though the commissary, nay, even though the pope himself, were to stake his soul upon it. – Martin Luther, Thesis 52
Those words were written almost 500 years ago now. They are no less true today.
Go read the whole thing to see how bad this bill is. It is very, very bad. I am calling it Marxman-Wacky for good reason.