Wednesday, October 4, 2023

ANALYSIS: Green Energy Advocates’ Carbon Dioxide Tax Requires Huge Gov’t Entitlement Program

‘A carbon tax increases the power, cost and intrusiveness of the government in our lives…’

Oil Industry And Left-Wing Enviros Find Common Cause In A Carbon Tax
Photo by JeepersMedia (CC)

(Ben Sellers, Liberty Headlines) In Orwellian fashion, the left-wing green-energy lobby has continued to torque its messaging on Obama’s failed cap-and-trade initiatives—but the numbers don’t lie, according to Americans for Tax Reform.

The idea of raising rates on carbon-dioxide-emitting energy sources, to deter consumption and promote innovation in clean-energy alternatives, has now taken several iterations, including the simply put “carbon (dioxide) tax,” and the newly prettified “carbon (dioxide) dividends,” noted the conservative economic-freedom advocates.

The House of Representatives is currently considering a bill titled the Energy Innovation and Carbon (Dioxide) Dividend Act of 2019, which is cosponsored by 44 Democratic congressmen as well as Florida Republican Francis Rooney.

While Rooney’s support has earned him considerable criticism from energy advocates, others, such as Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-Fla., a member of the Freedom Caucus, also have broken rank recently to endorse climate-change initiatives.

And ATR reported that Sen. Mitt Romney, R-Utah, was “looking at” a parallel bill in the upper chamber that was being pitched by Sen. Chris Coons, D-Del.

In fact, one group of notoriously centrist right-wing dignitaries penned what they called “The Conservative Case for Carbon (Dioxide) Dividends” in February 2017, in which returns from the carbon dioxide upcharges would go back into Americans’ retirement accounts, overseen by the Social Security Administration.

“We the People deserve to be compensated when others impose climate risks and emit heat-trapping gases into our shared atmosphere,” said the plan, with names like former White House Cabinet secretaries James Baker, Henry Paulson and George Shultz attached, as well as Walmart board chair Rob Walton and a slew of other academics and economic advisers.

“The new ground rules make intuitive sense: the more one pollutes, the more one pays; the less one pollutes, the more one comes out ahead,” they said.

However, warned Americans for Tax Reform, “It would also create a large new entitlement spending program and give the government more power over your life.”

Just as the existing Social Security fund is riddled with bureaucratic waste that offsets its public benefit, so, too, would any massive increases in its scope prove to be as cataclysmic, financially speaking, as any climate disaster Al Gore can concoct.

ATR was among 75 groups that recently submitted a letter to Congress voicing their opposition to carbon dioxide dividends in a brief paragraph, which noted that Americans would pay more in untold ways for the diminishing returns.

“A carbon (dioxide) tax raises the cost of heating your home in the winter and cooling your home in the summer. It raises the cost of filling your car,” they wrote. “A carbon (dioxide) tax increases the cost of everything Americans buy and lowers Americans’ effective take home pay. A carbon (dioxide) tax increases the power, cost and intrusiveness of the government in our lives.”

With 295 million monthly payments to disperse—or 3.5 billion payments a year—based on current figures and discounting population shifts, even if the moneys earmarked for rebates were not dipped into to cover socialist special-interest pet projects like the Green New Deal, some would surely be siphoned along the way.

“Energy and environment reporters dutifully note each new corporate honcho or Nobel economist who endorses a carbon-(dioxide)-tax-and-dividend framework,” said ATR. “Yet these same reporters have shown a remarkable lack of curiosity as to the real life ramifications of such a complex redistribution regime.”

In a recent report, the group broke down the numbers to reveal just how much government bloat the carbon dioxide plan would entail.

Ironically, for a proposal pitching itself as environmentally conscious, it would require massive reductions to the tree population while adding reams of red tape (and more than a few pads of carbon paper) into the ecosystem.

“[T]he carbon (dioxide) tax scheme will task some agency or agencies with a significant bureaucratic undertaking: Enrollment, eligibility determination, fraud prevention, case workers—to resolve lost, missing, or inaccurate payments, custody and divorce issues (kids get the payments too) and bank account number updates—software development, IT staffing, human resources management, legal staffing, and dozens of other logistical undertakings,” said ATR.

“Congressional offices will spend some quantity of time on carbon (dioxide) tax problem calls, letters, and related casework,” it added.

Moreover, the so-called dividends would then be taxable, meaning the IRS would also be involved.

“This will require coordination across the federal government and trigger an enormous quantity of paperwork for the government, employers, and households,” said ATR.

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