There are people in the GOP establishment who just need to go away. This political croft is one big reason for President Trump's victory. And one of the symptoms of this rot is that every few months more establishment types will pop up peddling a "conservative solution to climate change."
The solution is always a carbon tax. Because nothing says a "conservative" solution like a tax. This time it's Bush consigliere James Baker and George Schultz peddling a carbon tax at the Wall Street Journal. While Tom Blumer at Newsbusters exposes who is behind this latest bid.
We suggest a solution that rests on four pillars. First, creating a gradually increasing carbon tax. Second, returning the tax proceeds to the American people in the form of dividends. Third, establishing border carbon adjustments that protect American competitiveness and encourage other countries to follow suit. And fourth, rolling back government regulations once such a system is in place.
Who doesn't love a gradually increasing tax? Or promises to bribe some voters with the money. Then forcing other countries to impose their own carbon tax.
The agenda here isn't really the imaginary Global Warming crisis. It's about the other kind of green. Money.
Even if you believe the hysterical alarmism of the Big Green lobby, a carbon tax would accomplish nothing. It's a way for certain special interests to cash in. That's why Al Gore made a fortune. It's why there's so much interest in sustainable investment.
Getting Baker and Schultz to lobby for it makes sense with Republicans in control of the national government. And it's the same tired old effort to dress up big government and special interest cash grabs as "conservative".
Doing so need not rely on heavy-handed, growth-inhibiting government regulations. Instead, a climate solution should be based on a sound economic analysis that embodies the conservative principles of free markets and limited government.
And what indeed is more free market and limited government than a carbon tax?
"Unlike the current cumbersome regulatory approach, a levy on emissions would free companies to find the most efficient way to reduce their carbon footprint"
Isn't that rhetoric wonderful? A carbon tax wouldn't be cumbersome or regulatory. Instead of forcing companies out of business, it would "free" them to find more efficient ways of going out of business.
Perhaps most important, the carbon-dividends plan speaks to the increasing frustration and economic insecurity experienced by many working-class Americans. The plan would elevate the fortunes of the nation’s less-advantaged...
So it's wealth redistribution. And I can't think of anything less conservative than that. Except maybe James Baker.
The GOP needs to get rid of the deadwood. Any any "conservative" carbon tax proposals need to be denounced. Loudly. Along with those proposing them.