Don't do us any favors

Matthew Hoy
By Matthew Hoy on February 23, 2014

Back at the height of Catastrophic Anthropogenic (human-caused) Global Warming alarmism, our betters in Sacramento passed Assembly Bill 32 which created a carbon marketplace (a concept championed by the likes of Enron) that oil producers and power plant operators would have to participate in by buying credits to offset their carbon dioxide output.

After several years of ramping up, AB32 kicks into high gear next year. Like most government forays into the marketplace, it's having unintended consequences in the form of even higher gas prices.

Experts expect that will lead to a rise in gas prices that could fluctuate unpredictably.

Read that carefully. It's not suggesting that under some circumstances gas prices would go down. No, gas prices will fluctuate from "a little higher" to "Arm, leg."

But Democrats have a plan that will solve this problem: A new tax.

"We must reduce the amount of carbon we put into the air, and that will come with a price.
Nothing is free. A carbon tax is not free and cap and trade is not free," Steinberg said while unveiling the proposal to the Sacramento Press Club.

"Under either, applied to fuel, consumers will undoubtedly pay more at the pump. It may not be popular to say, but that's necessary. Higher prices discourage demand. if carbon pricing doesn't sting, at least a little bit, we won't change our habits."

Which, of course, will further the income inequality in the state as gas taxes are inherently regressive. Google's billionaires in the Silicon Valley will whine, but the people in the Central Valley will feel the real pinch.

But this is all for your own good.

Steinberg's plan calls for spending the taxes generated — estimated at more than $3 billion in the first year — to improve public transportation and give income tax credits to California families making up to $75,000 a year. That would give about $600 back to the average qualifying household, Steinberg said.

"How many more Californians could we lift from the reach of poverty while healing our climate at the same time?" Steinberg said.

It's a tax that heals the planet and lifts people out of poverty! Also, unicorns!

Seriously, think about the math there for a second. Does anyone really believe that anyone making less than $75,000 is going to come out ahead under this scheme?

On a related note: Government raises taxes on cigarettes with the belief that higher prices will lower demand. It raises taxes on gasoline in the belief that people will drive less the more the price goes up. Both of these are logical and have sound economic theories behind them. Then they go and raise the minimum wage and state that higher prices on labor won't cause businesses to try and use less of it.


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February 2014



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