Secular Right | Reality & Reason

Feb/09

20

Greenhouse gasbags

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More proof that greenhouse-gas environmentalism—for liberals, one of the main reasons for getting rid of the allegedly anti-science, religiously-driven Bush Administration–is just posturing.  

The California  legislature has been struggling to close a $41 billion budget deficit.  This is the same legislature that insists on imposing its own emissions standards on Detroit auto-makers—safely out of sight and out of the voting booth–because it cares so much about global warming.   Now, if ever, one would think, would be the time to increase gasoline taxes, a two-fer that would  raise revenue and discourage greenhouse gas emissions. 

So did a proposed 12-cents-a-gallon surcharge on gas make it into the crippling $12.8 billion in tax hikes which the California legislature finally passed yesterday?  Of course not.  Voters would raise bloody hell.  Better, apparently, to kill all businesses slowly with a sales tax hike than to interfere with Californians’ right to cheap gasoline.  Liberal politicians’ pious devotion to the science of global warming never translates into action, unless the costs of action can be safely transferred onto non-voters.  And environmental groups are just as cowardly.  I sure didn’t notice the Sierra Club or the NRDC protesting when presidential candidate Hillary Clinton called for a suspension of the federal gas tax last year.

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7 comments

  • harry flashman · February 20, 2009 at 5:03 pm

    Kallyfornia could’ve solved their deficit, not raised taxes and came out with a profit if they’s have let the estimated $50 billion in offshore oil drilling contracts they’re sitting on.

    Not to mention doing the rest of the country a service.

    But that would’ve taken political leadership, courage and will, the nexus where the State has it most serious deficit.

  • Andrew · February 20, 2009 at 7:09 pm

    I think a lot of the Green Movement is really just another variety of the Religious Left. Within the environmental movement there is a powerful strain of anti-scientific mysticism… and I don’t just mean the loopy eco-pagans. There’s a “faith-based” reverence for non-human nature that treats mankind’s intervention as *morally* polluting. Would be an interesting subject to investigate more, don’t you think?

  • hanmeng · February 21, 2009 at 4:05 am

    Heather,

    Now you’re just being mean, saying true things about liberal politicians. And anyway they’re just reflecting the wishes of liberal voters.

  • Heather Mac Donald · February 21, 2009 at 5:32 am

    @Harry Flashman: “could’ve solved their deficit, not raised taxes and came out with a profit if they’s have let the estimated $50 billion in offshore oil drilling contracts”
    Now I’m even madder!

  • Fritz · February 21, 2009 at 12:39 pm

    It was my understanding that the Republicans who killed the gas tax hike, not the Democratic state legislators. Blaming this on “liberal politicians” seems unwarranted to me.

  • Argon · February 22, 2009 at 7:53 pm

    Fritz is correct.

    From the WaPo editorial (Sat, 2/21):
    “The biggest disappointment in the California plan was the legislature’s last-minute abandonment of a 12 cents-per-gallon increase in the state gasoline tax. It was dropped as the price of winning over a Republican legislator whose vote was necessary to meet the state’s two-thirds majority requirement for passing a budget.”

    (emphasis mine)

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/02/20/AR2009022003621.html

  • Silus · February 24, 2009 at 1:21 pm

    “Better, apparently, to kill all businesses slowly with a sales tax hike”

    I would like to point out that the business does not pay the sales tax, the end user of the product does. The business adds the tax onto the final cost of the item and acts as a collector for the state, holding onto the money until such time as the tax comes due (usually monthly).

    Businesses which only sell products to other businesses and not to end consumers are not required to add any sales tax onto the items they sell. This does require some documentation for tax authorities, however.

    Granted, the final cost of an item will effect how many can be sold, and therefore some businesses will cut back on profits to encourage shoppers. A large sales tax increase dramatically favors big businesses over smaller ones, since the larger ones can often afford to temporarily lower prices to shut down competition (such as Wal-Mart does from time to time).

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