Despite repeated claims of opposition to the Democrats’ global warming agenda, Republicans desperate for political power are embracing radical far-left climate policies, including the idea of creating of a carbon tax, the socialistic redistribute-the-wealth scheme gaining new momentum under Joe Biden.
In Biden’s first few days in office,
U.S. climate envoy global warming propagandist John Kerry made a new push for a “bold” carbon tax to end global warming. During a CNN interview with Fareed Zakaria back in January, Kerry was asked by the host if a carbon tax might be the “best way” to change the economy and tackle the so-called climate crisis. Kerry agreed.
ZAKARIA: “And to really tackle the climate crisis and to really take on the, you know, because carbon is produced in so many different ways — and cement and steel and plastics. It’s much more than just the burning of fuel for transport. You need a carbon tax. Do you think that the United States could do that? That is the simplest price signal that will change, slowly but surely, change the economy. Can we do it?”
KERRY: “Well, we could do it I think. I mean, theoretically, yes. It is one option of many things we’re gonna have to consider and may wind up doing. There are many people who make the point, and I personally accept it, that that is one of the most significant, bold steps you can take to actually have an impact in a rapid way. And I believe there are ways to do that and make it very progressive, to protect people who have to drive long distances to get to work. Do things like that. There are ways to cushion any negative impacts on it.” (emphasis mine)
I don’t want you to miss the last part. Kerry said carbon tax protections would be needed for people driving long distances. That means that his carbon tax policies won’t just target big, bad energy companies; it will target vehicle emissions.
Taxing vehicle emissions would be a perfect companion to the idea being pushed by Republicans to pay for infrastructure.
In yesterday’s piece about the difficulty Congress is having when it comes to financing the trillions of dollars both parties want to spend, we learned that Republicans have suggested creating a miles-driven “user” fee to avoid raising the tax on gasoline. An additional tax on vehicle emissions would be a perfect opportunity to feed Washington’s insatiable spending addiction.
Tying global warming to infrastructure spending together is another way Republicans are joining hands with Democrats on the carbon tax scheme.
In a recent op-ed, former Rep. Francis Rooney (R-FL) endorsed the idea of a carbon tax to pay for infrastructure and fight global warming, complete with nearly every Democratic Socialist talking point you’d expect (via The Hill):
When will Congress address our most pressing challenges? Another severe hurricane season is expected, our western states are bracing for more deadly wildfires and currently suffering the worst drought on record, and rising sea levels already threaten coastal neighborhoods. Climate change is real, occurring right now, and decisive action is needed — but the partisan Congress has so far proved unable to address the issue.
Senators from both Republican and Democratic parties have announced support for an infrastructure package, but are unable to agree on how to fund it. We have a bipartisan solution: price carbon. The industries that polluted our environment should bear the burden of cleaning it up and as the coal industry fades away, why make taxpayers, instead of the energy companies, pay to retrain displaced mine workers?
Putting a price on carbon will level the economic playing field in the energy sector, unlock market-driven innovation, and lead to the deployment of low, zero and negative carbon technologies. It will help create millions of new jobs and slash U.S. carbon emissions dramatically, making it a powerful tool for curbing climate pollution.
We learned in yesterday’s piece that the word “tax” isn’t very popular, so Republicans avoid using it by calling new taxes “fees.” Rooney’s call for a carbon tax follows the Republican playbook.
What’s the smartest step that Congress can take? More than 3,500 economists, including 28 Nobel laureates and several past chairmen of the President’s Council of Economic Advisors and most American CEO’s recommend enactment of a carbon tax.
The word “tax” scares many politicians from embracing this common-sense solution. Some might argue that a fee on carbon emissions would have a regressive impact on consumers’ electricity and gasoline costs but this is easily mitigated. Rebating 50 percent of the tax proceeds would negate the impact on low- and moderate-income households and a portion of the proceeds could be directed to communities whose economies are tied to coal in order to facilitate their inevitable transition to new sources of employment as we shift to cleaner, less expensive energy.
A carbon fee would reduce emissions across the economy, and using the tax as a disincentive is a free market solution, which is much better than a new regimen of government regulations. It would do far more to reduce greenhouse gas emissions than a much-discussed clean energy standard, which would deal only with the electric power sector and have no impact on transportation, agriculture, buildings and manufacturing. Those sectors account for three-quarters of U.S. emissions. (emphasis mine)
The “rebates” Rooney speaks of is an old idea, but it shows us how carbon taxes are another tool in the far-left’s redistribute-the-wealth toolbox. In a November 2019 article documenting how Republican were joining hands with Democrats on the carbon tax scheme, I featured a video from an ad campaign produced by the Republican-backed Americans for Carbon Dividends that proves this point.
A little over a year ago, in a failed attempt to win over young faux conservatives and win back the House in 2020, Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy proposed a package of global warming legislation that focused on carbon capture tax subsidies, planting trees, and funding clean energy innovation. Though he didn’t specifically address the carbon tax issue, his plan “put a price on CO2.”
The McCarthy-led Republican Party announced the formation of a new “climate caucus” earlier this week. Spearheaded by Rep. John Curtis (R-UT), the caucus will give members information and new strategies for how to talk about the issue in the hope of changing the minds of those who reject so-called climate change.
In an interview, Curtis was specifically asked about the idea of a carbon tax. “I think everything should be on the table,” he replied. “That doesn’t mean that I can ultimately support those things, but I think I need to be willing to talk about them.”
Republicans are joining hands with Democrats on the carbon tax scheme, so don’t be surprised when they announce a bipartisan plan creating it in the very near future. It’s the perfect “never let a crisis go to waste” opportunity to spread a little socialism, redistribute the wealth, and save the planet.
David Leach is the owner of the Strident Conservative. He holds people of every political stripe accountable for their failure to uphold conservative values, and he promotes those values instead of political parties.