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A Fitting End for France’s Carbon Tax


France’s Kyoto-inspired “carbon tax” has finally been abandoned after economists noted that increasing taxes in a country that is already at max-tax was a terrible idea.

Originally, the plan had been to save the planet by taxing anything that emitted a carbon atom. The enviro-left (but including Nicolas Sarkozy, whose project this was) would have included human breath, but it quickly became clear that the tax would have fallen most heavily on the poor – by taxing home heating fuel and gasoline – and on industry, where the resulting bankruptcies would have created even more shivering poor people.

The government of prime minister Francois Fillon backed off after suffering defeats in Sunday’s regional elections, where, as expected, voters punished themselves by electing lots of socialists, which, in a paradoxically French kind of way, is not the same as voting for higher taxes. The vote was rather against Sarko and his increasingly zany policies. I told my friend, M. de Grimouard, “Fillon buried the carbon tax today.” He looked at the ground and said, “Poor carbon tax.”

The new solution, as reported in Le Figaro, is to treat the hated tax like waste. And the best way to do that, said Fillon, is to flush the plan to Brussels, where, he said, the EU can decide if it’s a European tax or not. According to the paper, a massive Euro-wide tax on carbon will be on the EU’s agenda just as soon as global warming causes hell to freeze over.

Speaking of hell, the news was broken by a politician using Twitter.