If you think government health care would be bad ... Posted by: McQ
on Saturday, May 31, 2008
George Will covers the other end of the "carbon market" proposals - the crux of the issue, if you will:
Speaking of endless troubles, "cap-and-trade" comes cloaked in reassuring rhetoric about the government merely creating a market, but government actually would create a scarcity so that government could sell what it had made scarce. The Wall Street Journal underestimates cap-and-trade's perniciousness when it says the scheme would create a new right ("allowances") to produce carbon dioxide and would put a price on the right. Actually, because freedom is the silence of the law, that right has always existed in the absence of prohibitions. With cap-and-trade, government would create a right for itself— an extraordinarily lucrative right to ration Americans' exercise of their traditional rights.
This is precisely the point Krauthammer makes below. There is no greater power than the power to ration. It gives a level of control by which behavior, commerce, you name it, can be controlled.
And Will also has correctly identified the misleading rhetoric being employed. There's no right being created - the right exists now. What government would do with its cap and trade system is limit that existing right and make you pay them for something for which you previously paid no one - all in the name of an unproven theory.
Is this the sort of power we want to grant government? A trillion dollar plus bureaucracy which will, in effect, be collecting a new tax in a "market" of its own making?
A carbon tax would be too clear and candid for political comfort. It would clearly be what cap-and-trade deviously is, a tax, but one with a known cost. Therefore, taxpayers would demand a commensurate reduction of other taxes. Cap-and-trade — government auctioning permits for businesses to continue to do business — is a huge tax hidden in a bureaucratic labyrinth of opaque permit transactions.
The proper price of permits for carbon emissions should reflect the future warming costs of current emissions. That is bound to be a guess based on computer models built on guesses. Lieberman guesses that the market value of all permits would be "about $7 trillion by 2050." Will that staggering sum pay for a $7 trillion reduction of other taxes? Not exactly.
It would go to a Climate Change Credit Corporation, which Lieberman calls "a private-public entity" that, operating outside the budget process, would invest "in many things." This would be industrial policy, a.k.a. socialism, on a grand scale — government picking winners and losers, all of whom will have powerful incentives to invest in lobbyists to influence government's thousands of new wealth-allocating decisions.
Lieberman's legislation also would create a Carbon Market Efficiency Board empowered to "provide allowances and alter demands" in response to "an impact that is much more onerous" than expected. And Lieberman says that if a foreign company selling a product in America "enjoys a price advantage over an American competitor" because the American firm has had to comply with the cap-and-trade regime, "we will impose a fee" on the foreign company "to equalize the price." Protectionism-masquerading-as-environmentalism will thicken the unsavory entanglement of commercial life and political life.
We worry about government being handed our health care and the resulting problems that would bring. Yet here we are, on the brink of handing over energy to the greedy hands of government. And what will they do with that power? Well, as stated, instead of letting the market decide what is worthy of investment in the alternate energy field, government will make those decisions- you know, like food based ethanol. And you - you and the business which now exist and support our present lifestyle will have only one function in life - pay for the "right" to exist - i.e. in your case, as a carbon based lifeform, the "right" to exhale.
Is this really what you would consider a good idea?