Vitter: Carbon Tax Discussions Should Be Done Openly

Metamars has recently expressed his conviction that Republicans will eventually support a carbon tax. Oh, not ALL Republicans, but rather ENOUGH Republicans. And, of course, I’m talking about Republicans in Congress, not rank-and-file Republicans, who (wisely) show no sign of supporting a tax that will help degrade their own freedoms – including the freedoms that come from being a citizen of a sovereign country, so that you are at least subject to beauraucrats who are your countrymen.

While writing a whole diary on that subject should wait until I write a whole diary on the Exxon Mobil Dog That Didn’t Bark (i.e., Exxon-Mobil not doing what it could easily afford to do, which is educate the public about non-catastrophic and anti-catastrophic climate science; e.g., can you picture the uproar of Exxon Mobil blasting this recent story about the

, all across America, during prime-time?? The uproar would attract more eyeballs via youtube than the boobtube!), metamars now offers this intriguing sign of things to come:

There’s a lot of talk in Washington about raising taxes, including by finding “revenues” in creative ways, to avoid driving off the fiscal cliff.
But there’s one tax that is purposefully not being discussed openly — a carbon tax. Unfortunately, that doesn’t mean that the Obama administration and their allies aren’t actively working toward this goal. There is a lot of evidence that there’s a lot of discussion toward this ultimate end, including within the Treasury Department.
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I believe Congress must assert its constitutional responsibility in this important matter. If President Barack Obama and his administration are considering a carbon tax, a revised cap and trade plan, or anything similar, then they must work through Congress to achieve it. We cannot allow them to legislate by administrative fiat, withhold information and circumvent the law.

Now, let’s just think about this, boys and girls. The last I heard, the President cannot declare a tax by fiat. I can’t think of any reason why a carbon tax would be an exception, can you?

So, what is Vitter really afraid of?

Well, I’d say that he’s afraid of a carbon tax, alright, but what this letter hides is a more realistic fear- viz., that Obama will negotiate something in secret (gee, where have I heard him doing things like that, recently?), and then ROLL ENOUGH REPUBLICANS IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES TO PASS CARBON TAX LEGISLATION THAT OBAMA WILL GLADLY SIGN Oh, and you KNOW what the headlines will say: “Obama praises the bipartisan Republican who made the carbon tax a reality, showing patriotic concern, and concern about future generations, above and beyond their ideology, blah, blah.”

Earth to Vitter: Obama doesn’t care about your op ed! If you want to mobilize the public against a carbon tax, you need to get the public educated as to the state of climate science, Australia’s wonderful carbon tax ($2,500/year for a family of four), etc. The Republican base also needs to issue credible electoral threats, which they have some capability of doing, thanks to Tea Party aggressiveness. (Compare to the sad state of progressive wimpiness and the Democratic Party. Not a pretty picture.)

Obama’s no dummy. Or, as Glenn Ford, of Black Agenda Report simply put it: “Fake debt crisis shows Obama is smarter than you are. Apparently, he’s not going to allow Congress into a public, blow by blow of a carbon tax bill, which risks enraging and engaging the part of the public (Republican base) that can sink it, if they successfully turn the screws on their Republican Representatives. If he’s as smart as I think he is, he will, instead, cut enough backroom deals with Republicans until he’s sure he can gets what he wants.

Oh, yeah, Senator Vitter: Don’t expect any help from Exxon-Mobil. If they were going to use their ample cash to educate Americans on the true state of climate science, they surely would have done so, already. Indeed, a carbon tax might help Exxon Mobil, as it would likely speed the retirement of coal fired plants. (So yes, a more realistic source of funding for a large education program is the coal industry. Can’t say that excites me, but it is what it is.)

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Update: While the President can’t declare a carbon tax by fiat, according to Senator Inhofe, a carbon cap and trade scheme could be mandated via regulation, if there is an “endangerment finding”. See also the link by Cal222, which talks about “the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) finding that carbon dioxide is a public danger and the decision to set limits for emissions from cars and light trucks were legal.”

So, maybe Obama will line up his EPA ducks, sit some House Republicans down, tell them what is going to happen, but give them an opportunity to share in some boodle for their districts if they sign up for legislation towards the same end. This way, the Dems and Repubs will share the blame glory.