In case you missed the news, “cap and trade” legislation ostensibly to fight global warming, died in the US Senate late this week. Senator Domenici actively opposed the legislation (which would have resulted in a massive new hidden tax) and made an eloquent statement to that effect on the Senate floor.
In the meantime, a supposed “Republican” argued in the Albuquerque Journal that Sen. Bingaman should “stop trying to derail or weaken the climate bill.”
Robert Samuelson, also in the Journal, argued that “cap and trade” would:
Act as a tax, but it’s not described as a tax. It would regulate economic activity, but it’s promoted as a “free market” mechanism. Finally, it would trigger a tidal wave of influence-peddling, as lobbyists scrambled to exploit the system for different industries and localities. This would undermine whatever abstract advantages the system has.
As Samuelson points out, “cap and trade” is nothing but a tax. Worse, it lacks the simplicity and transparency of a tax on carbon (not that such a tax would be good policy) and opens the door to lobbying and political meddling. “Think of today’s farm programs — and multiply by 10,” argues Samuelson.
Unfortunately, both a prospective President McCain or President Obama would likely sign such legislation which would undermine New Mexico’s energy-based economy immediately and the entire US economy over time. Americans need to be educated about the very real problems of “cap and trade.”