Thursday, July 25, 2013

Yes, cap and trade is indeed a tax

There seems to be some debate as to whether cap and trade amounts to a tax, as the Pacific Legal Foundation asserts that it does. For what it's worth, as Congress was debating the national version in 2010, the Capital Press editorial board referred to it as "a massive, job-crushing energy tax." My editors explain:
Although farmers were said to be among the potential beneficiaries of the plan, the Heritage Foundation said Waxman-Markey would have cost agriculture hundreds of millions of dollars a year in increased fuel costs and billions of dollars in farm gate revenues. To achieve the economic benefits envisioned under cap and trade, an analysis by the USDA estimated farmers would have to plant trees on some 50 million acres of farm and pasture land. [...]

The ill-conceived plan has fallen victim to political reality. With the economy only limping along, there aren't huge blocs of voters asking Congress to increase the cost of gasoline, diesel fuel and electricity - or by extension the products and services dependent upon fossil fuel.
The courts will decide if California's cap-and-trade scheme fits the legal definition of a tax. But the fact that it meets the practical definition of a tax is undeniable, regardless of what the defenders of the government juggernaut would have you believe. Like the old saying goes, if it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck ...

No comments:

Post a Comment