I have been shining a light this week on the fake conservative group republicEn’s participation at the CPAC annual conference this week. The central agenda of republicEn and its fake conservative allies is to impose on Americans the largest tax hike in the nation’s history. Taking money from leftist interests, republicEn hopes that by deceitfully calling themselves conservatives, they can scam people into believing that climate activism and carbon dioxide taxes are conservative political principles.

RepublicEn Executive Director Bob Inglis is a former member of Congress who was so liberal that – even with all the advantages of the incumbency – he lost a 2010 primary to conservative challenger Trey Gowdy. Inglis claims that his massive global warming tax really isn’t a tax. He claims that if Republicans support a carbon dioxide tax, they can insist that all collected taxes are returned to taxpayers in the form of tax rebates or cutting other tax cuts.

As an initial matter, Inglis lives in political La-La Land if he believes Democrats and Congress would actually support and pass climate activism legislation that does not grow government and government revenue. But more importantly, Inglis is proposing a dishonest bait-and-switch in which he tells people that something being GOVERNMENT revenue-neutral is the same as being HOUSEHOLD revenue-neutral. Let’s take a closer look:

The sole purpose of a carbon dioxide tax is to dramatically reduce or eliminate carbon dioxide emissions. To do this, a carbon dioxide tax must make conventional energy so expensive that wind and solar power become a bargain by comparison. Yet wind and solar power are currently more than twice as expensive as conventional energy. So, the net result of a carbon dioxide tax will be to send electricity and gasoline prices through the roof. Not only will people have to pay much more in direct electricity bills and gasoline prices, but goods and services throughout the economy will become much more expensive as high energy prices will raise production costs for virtually all goods and services. Without dispute, households will have to divert substantial amounts of money that they currently spend on valuable goods and services and instead divert that money to higher energy prices.

But what about the promised rebates or lower taxes elsewhere? Well, here is the catch: when carbon dioxide taxes coerce the economy to run on wind and solar power, government collects few or no taxes. To accomplish its goal of dramatically reducing carbon dioxide emissions, taxes must be so high that conventional energy drops out of the economy. And when that happens, government collects little or no carbon-tax revenues. The end result is household energy costs skyrocket in a wind-and-solar economy, families suffer dramatic losses in disposable income, while government collects almost no carbon dioxide tax revenue and therefore returns almost no carbon dioxide tax revenue to the people.

Ultimately, liberals like Bob Inglis and republicEn don’t really care about conservative principles such as limited government and low taxes. Their first, second, third, fourth, and fifth priorities are imposing the environmental left’s climate-activism agenda on the American people. Their proposed “carbon tax and dividend” is a dishonest scam aiming to deceive conservatives into supporting leftist ideology and leftist policies.

Just like Bob Inglis attempted to do when he was a member of Congress.

Author

  • James M. Taylor is an American lawyer, senior fellow for environment and energy policy at The Heartland Institute and a CFACT contributor. James Taylor is a keen analyst of science and public policy and a competition level poker player.