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September 27, 2007
How to Fight Climate Change if you're a Democrat
There can really be only one option if you want to fight climate change and are a Democratic member of Congress; raise taxes, of course. Lots:
"I'm trying to have everybody understand that this is going to cost and that it's going to have a measure of pain that you're not going to like," Rep. John Dingell, who is marking his 52nd year in Congress, said Wednesday in an interview with The Associated Press. Dingell certainly likes that word "pain," doesn't he? Just exactly what kind of "pain" does the Michigan Congressman have in mind?
Dingell will offer a "discussion draft" outlining his tax proposals on Thursday, the same day that President Bush holds a two-day conference to discuss voluntary efforts to combat climate change.
But Dingell, chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee that will craft climate legislation, is making it clear that he believes tackling global warming will require a lot more if it is to be taken seriously.
"This is going to cause pain," he said, adding that he wants to make certain "the pain is shared in a way that is fair, proper, acceptable and accomplishes the basic purpose" of reducing greenhouse gases, mainly carbon dioxide from burning fossil fuels.
A 50-cent-a-gallon tax on gasoline and jet fuel, phased in over five years, on top of existing taxes. Uh-oh. Anytime a Democratic uses the words "pain" and "fair" in the same sentence, it's time for the middle class to lock up their wives and daughters and grab their wallet and hold on for dear life.
A tax on carbon, at $50 a ton, released from burning coal, petroleum or natural gas.
Phaseout of the interest tax deduction on home mortgages for homes over 3,000 square feet. Owners would keep most of the deduction for homes at the lower end of the scale, but it would be eliminated entirely for homes of 4,200 feet or more. He estimates that would affect 10 percent of homeowners.
He says "it's only fair" to tax those who buy large suburban houses and create urban sprawl. Historic and farm houses would be exempted.
The idiocy of raising taxes on fuel in order to discourage use can best be answered by short haul and over the road truckers - most of whom are independent businessmen barely scraping by already thanks to high fuel costs - and who deliver most of the food, fuel, and other goods that we purchase on a daily basis. Driving many of them out of business by raising the tax on gas would only make everything we buy more expensive, increasing inflation and probably interest rates as well.
What Dingell is offering is a quick way to get the country into a deep recession. And this is what we have to look forward to if a Democrat is elected president.