No less a pair of lights than George Shultz and James Baker III have one regarding atmospheric carbon emissions. They’re prefacing their case on their then-boss, President Ronald Reagan’s successful negotiation of the Montreal Protocol to rein in the failures of atmospheric CFCs that were destroying the ozone layer. Not that the two have anything to do with each other, but it makes for good obfuscation.
Shultz and Baker have four “pillars” to their proposal:
First, creating a gradually increasing carbon tax. Second, returning the tax proceeds to the American people in the form of dividends. Third, establishing border carbon adjustments that protect American competitiveness and encourage other countries to follow suit. And fourth, rolling back government regulations once such a system is in place.
Their first pillar echoes ex-President Barack Obama’s (D) promise to let electricity generators use all the coal they wanted; Obama’s policies just would put them out of business. No carbon emissions. Period. Never mind that there’s very little need to reduce carbon emissions. Atmospheric CO2 used to generate acid rain, but that pollution is long since reduced to the point of elimination. Beyond that, the EPA’s pseudo-science “finding” notwithstanding, atmospheric CO2 is plant food, not a pollutant. We eliminate that plant food at risk.
Return the tax proceeds to us as dividends? That’s just wealth redistribution by government fiat. Haven’t we had enough of Progressive redistribution failure already? Not to mention the cynically internally illogical mechanism for the redistribution.
A $40-per-ton carbon tax would provide a family of four with roughly $2,000 in carbon dividends in the first year, an amount that could grow over time as the carbon tax rate increased.
How could the dividend grow—isn’t the tax supposed to reduce emissions significantly?
Border carbon adjustments? Pit importers against exporters again. That’s the outcome of the existing border adjustment tax being proposed in the House today.
Roll back the regulations once “such a system is in place?” Really? Can Shultz or Baker name two programs that have been rolled back once they’ve been enacted? They’re not that naïve.
This is just more Progressive foolishness, now being spouted by two fine gentlemen who’re past their age of usefulness.