NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis

TAX AND WANE

December 18, 2007

The big news from the United Nations (U.N.) global warming conference was the last-second agreement on a pact for cutting greenhouse gas emissions.  A day earlier, however, a panel at the U.N.'s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) conference urged the United Nation's to adopt taxes on carbon dioxide emissions that would be "legally binding to all nations," a step that will have a more lasting impact than an empty agreement, says Investor's Business Daily (IBD).

Consider:

  • IPCC panelist Othmar Schwank estimates the CO2 tax would generate "at least" $10 billion to $40 billion a year in revenues; but anyone who believes that has not paid attention.
  • Even in nations that have a legitimate and more-or-less-limited government, such as ours, bureaucratic programs and taxes always grow bigger than first expected.
  • It's a good bet that Schwank's low estimate was done intentionally; if the public found out what he and others like him really want, the backlash would put the alarmists out of business.

The driving force of the environmental movement is not a cleaner planet -- or a world that doesn't get too hot, in the case of the global warming issue -- but a leftist, egalitarian urge to redistribute wealth, says IBD.  A CO2 tax does this and more, choking economic growth in the United States and punishing Americans for being the voracious consumers that we are.

Source: Editorial, "Tax and Wane," Investor's Business Daily, December 14, 2007.

 

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