June 2, 2008

Cap and Tax

The lead WSJ editorial today does a nice job taking down the Lieberman-Warner "Cap and Trade” bill. "[A]nyone who looks at the legislative details will quickly see that a better description is cap and spend. This is easily the largest income redistribution scheme since the income tax." Senator Barbara Boxer of California has already introduced amendments to spend this new largesse windfall.

Ms. Boxer expects to scoop up auction revenues of some $3.32 trillion by 2050. Yes, that's trillion. Her friends in Congress are already salivating over this new pot of gold. The way Congress works, the most vicious floor fights won't be over whether this is a useful tax to create, but over who gets what portion of the spoils. In a conference call with reporters last Thursday, Massachusetts Senator John Kerry explained that he was disturbed by the effects of global warming on "crustaceans" and so would be pursuing changes to ensure that New England lobsters benefit from some of the loot.

Of course most of the money will go to human constituencies, especially those with the most political clout. In the Boxer plan, revenues are allocated down to the last dime over the next half-century. Thus $802 billion would go for "relief" for low-income taxpayers, to offset the higher cost of lighting homes or driving cars. Ms. Boxer will judge if you earn too much to qualify.

I'm reminded of Boulder Refugee's post last week of climate change as "The New Socialism." Here it is right here at home. And, no matter who gets elected, the Executive Brach will be friendly to it after January 2009. (Well, unless Bob Barr wins...)

It is a perfect match for these folks. They can, in the name of saving the planet:

  • Take income from those who are productive and give it to those who are not

  • Impede growth.

  • Fund the rest of their agenda,

Karl Popper talked about those who would send us back to the caves. There is certainly some of that sentiment among many of the constituencies that would support this. I just don't feel Dr. Popper ever considered that such an ideal vehicle would ever present itself.

110th Congress Posted by John Kranz at June 2, 2008 9:47 AM

"Who is John Galt?" He's the man who said he would stop the motor of the world - and he did.

Ironic, isn't it, that McCain's first name is also John.

Posted by: johngalt at June 3, 2008 11:39 AM | What do you think? [1]