The Economist’s U.S. correspondent, who writes under the nom de plume of “Lexington,” is exasperated about the lack of straight talk from Congressional advocates for government limits on greenhouse gas emissions. Lexington believes in taking action, with the most straightforward way being a carbon tax. But, since the public regards taxes as bad, politicians “waffle and obfuscate” on energy policy.
From “The myth of green jobs“:
John Kerry, who is neither stupid nor ignorant, claims not to know what “cap and trade” means.
And Barbara Boxer, asked what the government should do to create jobs, said we should pass an energy bill, ie, the cap and trade bill that dare not speak its name. This, she said, would “allow this economy to take off“.
For heaven’s sake. The point of putting a cap or a tax on carbon emissions is to curb carbon emissions, thereby saving the planet from cooking. It is not about creating jobs. It will certainly create some, but it will destroy plenty, too.
Both presidential candidates last year vigorously promoted the notion that halting climate change will not merely be painless but will actually provide a huge boost to the economy. Kevin Hassett explains why this is nonsense.
If politicians insist on pretending that everything is a free lunch, they should not be surprised if a) many voters don’t believe them and b) the rest get angry when the bill arrives.
The Senate bill sets a target of reducing C02 emissions by 20 percent from 2005 levels by 2020. The House bill set a target of a 17. The NAM and the American Council for Capital Formation analyzed the House bill, Waxman-Markey, and found the legislation would result in up to 2.4 million lost jobs, higher energy prices for businesses and consumers, and cumulative GDP losses of up to 3.1 trillion dollars over an 18-year period.
Yeah, for heaven’s sake.