The Carbon Tax-Based Social Engineering Trojan Horse

Conservatives have long known that one of the major reasons behind a carbon tax was social engineering, as much as the statists tried to deny it.  And so it is satisfying to see some of the carbon tax proponents admitting that -- in reality -- their taxation schemes would be used in large part for wealth redistribution and other social activities well outside the scope of simply reducing greenhouse gas emissions and shifting energy use to non-carbon based sources.

Sustainable Prosperity -- a government-supported "national green economy think tank/do tank" based at the University of Ottawa -- has long advocated for carbon pricing.  Far from just having its policy proposals limited to Canada, the group often sees favorable reporting in the international media, such as The Economist and the Washington Post -- thereby infecting a fairly broad audience (although I've debunked some of their claims previously in American Thinker).  Some purported conservatives -- such as Preston Manning, former leader of Canada's federal Reform Party and currently a senior fellow at the Fraser Institute -- even sit on Sustainable Prosperity's steering committee.

In one of its reports, this organization makes the following claims:

The following uses of revenue have been proposed in various jurisdictions that are currently, or are considering, pricing carbon: ... Deficit reduction -- Generating general government revenues which can be used to reduce the deficit and borrowing needs, thereby reducing the tax burden on future generations. A number of U.S. states participating in the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) have already taken proceeds from the auctioning of emission allowances for use in general government revenues ...

Reducing Poverty: Government could also put carbon revenue towards a more significant poverty-reduction program. Poverty can exacerbate environmental issues (and vice-versa); for example, low-income groups may be more dependent on natural resources, and more prone to over-harvesting to help meet basic needs ...

Carbon revenues have the potential to provide governments with a large new source of revenue. Research has identified the 'poverty gap,' i.e. the amount of money it would take to raise the incomes of low-income groups above Statistic Canada's [sic] after-tax low-income cut-off (LICO). At least some carbon revenues can be directed towards filling the $5.7 billion poverty gap that exists in Canada ...

Poverty reduction is another worthy use of carbon revenue as significant progress can be made with a relatively small investment, and in addition to individual benefit, there are many wider societal advantages of alleviating poverty.

Well, it is nice to see carbon pricing advocates clearly explaining the real reasons behind carbon pricing -- wealth redistribution and social engineering.  If putting a price on carbon were actually about the purported objective of reducing greenhouse gas emissions, then none of these other considerations would be either relevant or desirable.

Essentially, carbon pricing is apparently being used as the socialist Trojan Horse to both justify and pay for new and/or expanded social engineering programs.  Just as many of us long suspected.

Dr. Sierra Rayne writes regularly on environment, energy, and national security topics. He can be found on Twitter at @rayne_sierra.