Fuzzy Green Math


There’s something very strange going on with Obama’s proposed global warming tax.

First, we see the prescience of a colleague’s ruminations about the $300 billion per year the Obama administration had floated as the expected haul from selling ration coupons, being so much greater than any tax increase in history and such a breathtaking gamble that possibly they would pull their punch after word got around, or else come in lower than that staggering sum in order to finesse an “expectations” ruse.


Whichever occurred, we now read that they are projecting between $79 and $82 billion per year in cap-and-trade revenue from selling energy ration coupons (budget, p. 123). Well, at least this was well thought out . . .


Still, there’s something odd in what the administration is telling the press. According to Greenwire:


“The climate program would generate nearly $650 billion between 2012 and 2019, according to Obama’s proposal. About $80 billion of the climate revenues would go toward Obama’s proposed middle-class tax cut each year beginning in 2012, the draft says, and the government would spend $15 billion per year on ‘clean’ energy technologies.”


This is absurd on its face, of course: $650 billion taken in over 8 years, used in part to fund $640 billion over the same period to help ease the pain it causes, and the . . . er, remaining . . . $120 billion going for green pork, leaving us a balance of minus $110 billion.


Hey, look, the entire enterprise is premised upon make-believe, and computer models which now have been so debunked by observations that they seem obviously inadmissible in a court of law pursuant to Daubert v. Merrell Dow Pharmeceuticals (that’s for Wiki; the opinion is here). Therefore, one can’t be so picky about details.


Given the shifting claims, Iain Murray looked a little closer and notices that, according to the table from the budget preview, they are claiming that only $525 billion is targeted for the new welfare payment Obama calls a tax cut (approx. $52 billion a year, not $80 billion). With the $120 billion for green pork to major lobbying parties like GE (windmills, among other items) that still leaves them $5 billion short, by this calculation.


This paints a picture rather different than the one floated earlier, of raising energy prices and rebating a portion while paying down debt — instead it’s simply a new vehicle to raise revenue to pay for a permanent new welfare entitlement. Er, that is until the scheme succeeds in “bankrupt[ing]” its targets, as then-candidate Obama vowed was the purpose.


This is political dynamite of course, but I don’t suppose it would be too much to ask regarding such a massive energy tax for them to get their stories sort of straight?


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