Posted: February 26th, 2009 by Militant Libertarian
“Alice laughed: “There’s no use trying,” she said; “one can’t believe impossible things.” “I daresay you haven’t had much practice,” said the Queen. “When I was younger, I always did it for half an hour a day. Why, sometimes I’ve believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast.” — from “Alice in Wonderland” by Lewis Carroll
President Obama gave a speech Tuesday night. He asked the American people to believe many impossible things at once. He claims he’s going to . . .
* Continue to intervene in the economy and bailout irresponsible companies and individuals
* Revolutionize health care
* Transform energy and the environment
* And cut government spending too
It was an “Alice in Wonderland” performance. His speech, to once again guote from “Alice,” demonstrated a complete mastery of “The different branches of Arithmetic — Ambition, Distraction, Uglification, and Derision.”
It’s hard to decide which, of all his many impossible ambitions, is the most frightening. However, since we can only fight one impossible thing at a time, we choose this one . . .
President Obama called for “cap and trade” legislation to limit carbon dioxide emissions.
“Cap and trade” would . . .
* Cap CO2 emissions
* Sell CO2 emission permits to businesses in amounts equal to the cap
* Allow companies to trade and/or sell these permits to allegedly create a market for innovations that would reduce CO2 emissions
* Use the proceeds from the permit sales to create a vast new research bureaucracy to help corporations cope with the cap
As a practical matter, “cap and trade” will . . .
* Raise your electricity and gasoline bills
* Provide politicians with new tools to control the economy, hand out favors, and punish enemies
* Be as ineffective in doing “research” as the Energy Department has been
* Probably (if the example of Europe is a reliable guide) have little impact on over-all CO2 emissions
Even if you accept that human CO2 emissions are causing problematic global warming, a government run “cap and trade” system isn’t the best way to deal with this problem. Here are some points to consider . . .
* Fossil fuels create massive amounts of air pollution, quite apart from CO2.
* This pollution causes health problems, none of which are reflected in the price of fossil fuels.
* Fossil fuels enjoy a “free ride” in terms of pollution costs that make it hard for alternative energy sources to compete.
* Air pollution is a form of trespass, and preventing trespasses is a legitimate function of government.
The federal government could do this by . . .
* Taxing fossil fuels
* Cutting other taxes so that your overall financial burden would remain unchanged or even reduced
Your energy costs would rise, but your taxes would fall by an equal or greater amount. Doing this would . . .
* Eliminate any justification for a “cap and trade” boondoggle
* Make fossil fuels reflect more of their true costs
* Provide an incentive for everyone to reduce their use of fossil fuels
* Make other sources of energy cost competitive
* Limit the financial impact on you and the economy
* Help reduce air pollution, including CO2 emissions
For those Americans who fear climate change a carbon tax combined with tax cuts in other areas would be a better approach than “cap and trade.” This impossible “cap and trade” proposal must be defeated, especially since the federal government already has so many other impossible things on its agenda.
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