I am a global warming alarmist.
I’m alarmed by the fact that every plan put forth to deal with the “problem” of global warming involves higher taxes, more government regulation, more centralized authority, and a general loss of liberty.
The latest government power grab is the so-called “Cap and Trade” system. In a recent editorial The Wall Street Journal exposed the “Cap and Trade” scheme for what it is, a massive tax and spend scheme:
As the Senate opens debate on its mammoth carbon regulation program this week, the phrase of the hour is “cap and trade.” This sounds innocuous enough. But anyone who looks at the legislative details will quickly see that a better description is cap and spend. This is easily the largest income redistribution scheme since the income tax.
But perhaps even more pernicious is the way that “carbon credits” are distributed.
The credits are best described as a pulled-out-of-thin-air government-created fiat currency, that is accepted only by the government in exchange for the government’s permission to let you emit CO2. (If ever a system was perfectly set up to be abused and politicized by politicians, this is it.)
Government bureaucrats will decide sector by sector and industry by industry which companies get the credits. Implicitly, that same decision by government regulators also determines which companies will need to buy credits from the politically-connected companies who could get their carbon credits for free.
Later in the iteration of the “Cap and Trade” scheme currently being proposed, government bureaucrats would gradually reduce the number of credits being given away and replace them with credits that would be auctioned off, meaning that every year lobbyists will have to fight to ensure that their company continues to get their credits for free, but never more than half are auctioned of.
Politicians will then get to select their various pet projects to send the money raised through the auction to. (John Kerry has already said that he is worried about the effect of warming on lobsters, so expect to see some pork sent in the direction of the tasty crustaceans.) Apparently, giving it back to the taxpayers who are going to have to pay higher prices to cover the added manufacturing costs of purchasing credits never crossed the politicians’ minds.
Considering this “Cap and Trade” disaster is supported by both John McCain and Barack Obama (fortunately Bob Barr has good things to say on the issue) you can consider me very alarmed.