Carbon offset justice for all

Jerry Schmitt
In a "clarification" reported by CNS News here, it now appears that Al Gore receives "offsets" for his enormous "carbon-footprint" as an employee benefit from his London-based company, Generation Investment Management. This revelation brings to mind a couple of questions:

Does Al Gore report this as income?  We don't know since he is a private citizen who is not required to divulge his tax returns. 

If not, is this an allowable tax-exempt employee benefit akin to employer provide health insurance?

Pondering this matter it occurred to me that such benefits would be distributed unevenly since many American would not benefit from employer-provided Carbon Offsets. Small businesses and the unemployed might not have access to such benefits. Can we live with such an injustice?

Furthermore, the proliferation of Carbon Offset benefit providers will result in inefficiencies and opportunities for excess profits in such private sector plans. Unequal access, plus profiteering by big business ought to upset everyone concerned with Social Justice. Liberals: this means you.

For consistency's  sake, I think Liberals should at a minimum promote laws to permit all Americans to deduct their carbon-offset expenses on their income tax returns. 

Better yet, why not bypass the messy private sector and legislate a Federal plan for universal carbon-offsets to all Americans with a single-payer system so we all can share the same benefits afforded to Al Gore.

Senators Obama and Clinton: the ball in is your court.
In a "clarification" reported by CNS News here, it now appears that Al Gore receives "offsets" for his enormous "carbon-footprint" as an employee benefit from his London-based company, Generation Investment Management. This revelation brings to mind a couple of questions:

Does Al Gore report this as income?  We don't know since he is a private citizen who is not required to divulge his tax returns. 

If not, is this an allowable tax-exempt employee benefit akin to employer provide health insurance?

Pondering this matter it occurred to me that such benefits would be distributed unevenly since many American would not benefit from employer-provided Carbon Offsets. Small businesses and the unemployed might not have access to such benefits. Can we live with such an injustice?

Furthermore, the proliferation of Carbon Offset benefit providers will result in inefficiencies and opportunities for excess profits in such private sector plans. Unequal access, plus profiteering by big business ought to upset everyone concerned with Social Justice. Liberals: this means you.

For consistency's  sake, I think Liberals should at a minimum promote laws to permit all Americans to deduct their carbon-offset expenses on their income tax returns. 

Better yet, why not bypass the messy private sector and legislate a Federal plan for universal carbon-offsets to all Americans with a single-payer system so we all can share the same benefits afforded to Al Gore.

Senators Obama and Clinton: the ball in is your court.