This isn’t exactly related to cap and trade, but it ties in directly to the notion, held dearly by leftists, liberals and environmentalists, that the government can tax and control your behavior because, well, they can* (see tangent below).
And this shouldn’t be rocket science to anyone – when you tax something, you get less of it. Why do you think politicians tax cigarettes? Or want to tax alcohol or “junk food”? It’s because they want you to do less – less smoking, less drinking, less eating.
The purpose of “cap and trade” is the same. It is designed to make energy prices skyrocket (in Obama’s own words) so YOU use less energy. Not by choice, but by fiscal mandate.
The same thing applies to gas taxes. Sure, politicians can bloviate all they want about the “evil” oil companies and exorbitant prices. But taxies levied against an oil company for “excessive profits ” aren’t paid by the company. They’re passed along to the consumer. And anyone who tells you otherwise is either naive or a liar. So when you raise taxes on oil companies to “punish” them, the consumer gets it in the end and high gas prices discourage driving.
How do I know that?
Because it’s been on the eco-facists’ agenda for a while. They, of course, always look at Europe as the model of efficiency, forgetting that most of the European continent (3,930,000 sq mi) is only slightly larger than the entire COUNTRY of the United States (3,794,066 sq mi). In a lot of European cities, public transportation makes sense because the cities are laid out in a commuter-friendly way. Only a few major metropolitan areas in the United States can say the same (I, for example, probably wouldn’t drive a car on a daily basis if I lived in Chicago, because we’ve spent time there getting around easily on public transportation – including the EL and the subway…something my home city doesn’t have).
Lots of people live in suburban areas that were not designed to accomodate such mass transit.
And I believe – thanks to American ingenuity and hard work – people should be able to leave the city (especially when cities are often rife with violence and other crime) and live where they please.
Anyway, if increased taxes are designed to curb behavior, they work. When gas prices were up in my area around $3-$4/gallon last year, it curbed driving.
But there’s an unintended consequence politicians either forget about or plan to compensate for by more taxes. And that’s decreased tax revenue. Because even if you raise taxes on a product with the intention of forcing people to use less of the product, people will use less, but you’ll also reap less tax revenue. It happened with gas taxes.
So what’s the new proposed solution? Abolishing the gas tax and taxing you by the mile. GPS systems in your car. Which, yes, means the government will know not only how far you drive, but where you drive** (more on that below, too) and tax you accordingly.
As of right now, the proposed measure is 1-2 cents per mile for cars and light trucks. Okay. I drive about 1,200 miles a month give or take. That’s about $12 bucks. But what’s to stop the government from raising that to 10-cents a mile? 50-cents? A dollar? Or more?
All in the name of protecting the environment. On top of cap and trade, which will pretty much raise the price of energy by 100% and everything else anywhere between 50% and 100%, can you afford that, too?
Tangents within a tangent
* Why is it liberals think they can control everything you say and do, including what we eat and how we exercise, and even endorsing moratoriums on children and/or sterilization in the name of “environmental protection” but will turn around and absolutely blow a gasket if someone dares talk about abstinence education, points out that the pill causes environmental damage too, or that perhaps random promiscuous sex is bad for your health?
When the government limits what we can eat, how many kids we can have, or hauls some of us off to fat camp in the name of “national health”, my body is suddenly their business. But the second I (who am pro-life) say they shouldn’t kill another human being who happens to be “inconvienient” or “unplanned”, or oppose same-sex marriage, suddenly what they do in the privacy of their homes or the abortion clinic is none of our damned business.
** Like this won’t be abused. Come on, you just KNOW that there’s some politician or PC leftwing group out there who’d be absolutely itching to use the GPS information to track all sorts of things. Like, you know, if you make too many stops at the local custard stand or if you just happen to go to a church that professes an “old attitude” toward something like gay marriage. If cap and trade is going to have government officials coming to your house to inspect it for “eco-friendliness” before you’re allowed to sell your own personal property, what’s going to stop some Food Czar or Goodthink Czar from showing up to talk about your little side trips to unapproved places that make Obama sad?