Why Are Republicans Pushing Brand New Taxes?

James Baker

In the month since Republicans took control of the House, Senate and White House, they’ve been talking a lot about taxes. Unfortunately, the talk is about adding two entirely new taxes to the code.

Earlier in the year, House Republicans spent several days talking up the idea of a new 20% border tax, the folly of which we discussed in this space recently.

This week, a group of old-guard Republicans and business leaders — including Reagan administration officials, former Wal-Mart chairman Rob Walton, and venture capitalist Thomas Stephenson — were in the White House pitching a new carbon tax to fight global warming.

The idea is to impose a $40 tax for every ton of CO2 emitted in exchange for a “significant” rollback in EPA regulations.

This group, called the Climate Leadership Council, describes this as a conservative, free market approach to the fight against global warming, one that will, according to its report, “strengthen our economy, benefit working-class Americans, reduce regulations … and consolidate a new era of Republican leadership.”

On the surface, there’s a case to be made for taxing carbon rather than regulating it, because a tax is a far more efficient and direct way of getting results, while regulations are slow, cumbersome, scattershot and hugely expensive.

But dig just a little deeper and you can easily see that this new carbon tax won’t deliver on any of promises being made.

First, no matter where it starts, this new tax, like everyone other one ever enacted, will grow in size and complexity. The Council itself wants it to “increase steadily over time.” And they had to add another new tax on imports to prevent countries that don’t impose a comparable carbon fee from taking advantage.

No matter how well constructed, this tax will redirect resources away from their most productive uses and into government coffers. That is not how you strengthen an economy.

Plus, while the tax would start immediately, the EPA’s regulatory authority would only be “phased out.” This is naive in the extreme. Once the tax is in place, there will be endless pressure to keep both the tax and the regulations.

Consumers, of course, will ultimately bear all these costs in the form of higher prices on everything. But the plan proposes to return “all the proceeds” of the carbon tax (minus the government’s handling charge, of course) to the American people in the form of dividend checks.

In other words, these Republicans not only want to create a brand new tax, they also want to create a brand new middle-class entitlement.

Finally, the Council has deluded itself into believing that if Republicans get a carbon tax enacted, they will win over legions of young voters, Latinos and Asians who are “deeply concerned” about global warming.

Right.

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Comments (9)

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    Edmonton Al

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    Those old farts cannot believe that CO2 does NOT cause global warming, hence climate change.
    Also, at their age, they listen to nobody, so they will never learn.

  • Avatar

    JayPee

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    A carbon tax is a general consumption tax and is a tax on
    everything and is a national sales tax.
    How many goods / services does anyone use / consume that does not
    require the use of energy in its production &/ or delivery ?

    It is a tax on everything.
    It is a tax on living.

    Now that the republicans are thoroughly in power in the USA,
    will they as arrogant and stupid as their predecessors ?

  • Avatar

    G

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    Carbon taxes and carbon credits are the last gasp hope of the socialist left. Some old guard Republicans value personal accolades of the mainstream-left media over principles and duty.

    “Man-made-global-warming” turned “climate change” has never had anything much to do with the environment or science. If this were a legitimate scientific issue we would have solutions that were primarily scientific in nature. The tell is that nearly all the prescriptions proposed are primarily economic and political by design, fulfilling the global leftist political agenda.

    This is just a desperate attempt to foist another Trojan horse through the gates so that the dream of global redistribution of power and wealth is accomplished. While charlatans Like Al Gore get filthy rich dealing carbon credits, the socialist political agenda of equalized impoverishment and centralized global control is fueled by these schemes that surrender America’s sovereignty.

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    Sonnyhill

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    It has been pointed out, correctly ,that Trump will deliver corporate tax cuts while rebuilding the military, border walls, infrastructure, etc.. Watch the budget deficit grow and total debt grow. The payback from tax cuts and deregulation comes somewhere down the road. The old guys are fiscal conservatives. A dollar down and a dollar a week used to be frowned upon, now it’s the economy’s lifeblood. Politics and reality clash.

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    MCPR

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    For those of us that remember, the solution to “The Coming Ice Age” aka Global Cooling, was more taxes and regulation. The solution to AGW (or its nom du jour) is always more taxes and regulation. The solution to scary Malthusian scarcity (“Peak Oil”, anyone?) is more taxes and regulation. The solution to plenty (presented to us as “non-sustainable lifestyle”) is more taxes and regulation.

    If this continues, I might be able to sense a pattern here.

    None of this is about controlling our environment, it’s about controlling us.

    • Avatar

      G

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      Exactly right MCPR. The list of so-called solutions reads exactly like the 100 year wish list of world socialism. Coincidence?…

      If the far left has one talent it is dressing up their agenda as something it is not. Climate change is a brilliant Trojan horse as they are allowed to constantly change the rules as current strategies fail.

  • Avatar

    Amber

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    What Mr. Trump is starting to see are lobbyist front men pitching their crap . Packaging it as a means to lower EPA regulation really belays these clowns IQ’s . Congress has already had a vote to head off just this kind of nonsense and the carbon tax trial balloon was soundly shot down for good reason . Mr . Trump is going to be fed all kinds of complete BS to con the public . Remember Mr . Trump these people are not your friends and it is too bad your daughter is being used to help sell it .
    Mr . Trump is going to hear all about how the Liberals in British Columbia imposed a carbon tax promoted by a little clique of academics . British Columbia has had a steady loss of manufacturing and claims of carbon tax success by similar university professors is misleading non sense .
    What is truly astonishing is that some “Republicans ” are pushing this con .
    There is a reason Greens got so little support .They are playing you Mr . Trump
    count on it .

  • Avatar

    David Lewis

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    This article is right on as far as saying the carbon tax would continually increase. I don’t just read articles from places like the Climate Change Dispatch. I also read articles from the warming alarmists. They have said that a tax needs to be started at a low level, and once instated, then continually increased over time.

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    Amber

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    If EPA regulations are bad they will be rolled back regardless of a phoney carbon tax scam by a few old guard Republicans and their lobbyist pals .
    Draining the swamp includes the gators trying to eat your lunch inside the party who are closet Democrats .

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