February 8, 2017

Potential Agonistes

Friends, ThreeSourcers, Countrymen. A massive test of our new President's philosophic malleability is underway. I don't want to declare defeat early, but there is cause for concern.

Republicans of impeccable pedigree are lobbying for carbon taxes. George P. Schultz and James Baker III are lobbying for carbon taxes in the WSJ.

And a looming White House meeting is extant:

The group, including former Treasury Secretaries Hank Paulson and James Baker, is pressing President Donald Trump to tax carbon dioxide in exchange for abolishing a slew of environmental regulations. They unveiled their plan with a press conference in Washington and an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal.

"We know we have an uphill slog to get Republicans interested in this," Baker said before heading to the White House. But "a conservative, free-market approach is a very Republican way of approaching the problem."

Other possible attendees at the meeting include the president's daughter, Ivanka Trump, who weighed climate change policy during the campaign, and Vice President Mike Pence.

An inviolate will would come in pretty handy.

Trump Agonistes Posted by John Kranz at February 8, 2017 11:58 AM

Schultz and Baker have given admirable service to their country, but I'm pretty sure they're known to be big gov't schills (W paid them too much heed, IMO), and the part of the GOP most disliked by TP's and generally the great unwashed.

Now, trying to look at the bright side of things, what if it's an infinitesimal tax (that decreases in time)? Far easier to rid than a "slew" of environmental regs. Still, it;s ploy that might work on "The Boss"

Posted by: nanobrewer at February 8, 2017 3:08 PM

A carbon tax, no matter how small, would never remain small. It would also never go away.

But this is contradictory to everything Trump campaigned on. Did you note that the liked story is from Bloomberg? The most conservative people there are the RINOs. There's a different take at Breitbart.

President Trump has tweeted that he will not support or endorse a carbon tax:


White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus has said that President Trump's "default position" on climate change is that "most of it is a bunch of bunk."

This is one of those areas where we really want to have Steve Bannon in the room.

Posted by: johngalt at February 8, 2017 5:48 PM

Excellent; just another bit of fake news. GOP's gotta stay strong - now that the cabinet has been won, ACA and USSC are crucial. I really hope The Wall can wait a bit... Spencer's first proposal (tax the trade imbalance is economic ignorance write YYUUGE! Dr. Hanson has a better idea - tax remittances, and quit that when teh wall is done.

Another of his wise-iteis is:

Obviously, the Left in general sees almost any restriction on immigration as antithetical to its larger project of a borderless society run by elites such as themselves. Obviously Republican establishmentarians fear any media meme suggesting that they are complicit in an illiberal enterprise.

Read more at: http://www.nationalreview.com/article/444658/trumps-executive-orders-make-haste-deliberately

Posted by: nanobrewer at February 9, 2017 8:29 AM

And there's also Roger Simon, channeling Three Sources, pointing out the bad timing of Shultz and Baker's pitch coinciding with Climategate II. It's comparable to the unusually cold weather that invariably accompanies Global Warming conferences.

He also has this to say about the rush to "do something" even though so little is known about climate variability.

Climate science is very new. Whether the Earth is warming or cooling or for what reasons is not clear. Yet politicians, indeed just about everybody from Scarsdale to San Diego, from your hair dresser to your real estate broker, has an opinion about it of which they are absolutely convinced and unwavering. Nothing could more unscientific than that! Settled science is an oxymoron. Ask Einstein.

We are far from knowing enough about climate to invest billions in its "solution," certainly not in the absurd amounts agreed to in Paris and unfortunately not even on the more reasonable level recommended by Shultz and Baker.

Posted by: johngalt at February 9, 2017 5:54 PM

I cannot find it for proper attribution, but I saw an article with a(n unflattering) picture of Sec. Clinton and the head: "Hillary wants her carbon Tax Back!" Perhaps we are safe, but if such a a thing can get twi former GOP Secretaries of State and Treasury . . .

My buddy, N. Gregory Mankiw was the king of this. The Professer says: there is some deleterious effect to adding carbon to the atmosphere, let us tax it and not the generation of wealth. Pigou smiles down from on high.

Eve if I trusted a complete offset (which I don't), I don't like the government picking Good and Bad without more evidence.

Posted by: jk at February 9, 2017 6:57 PM | What do you think? [5]