Like an old joke turned ironically true, it seems that the government is now preparing to actually tax us for breathing. This comes in the form of the American Clean Energy and Security Act of 2009 sponsored by Representatives Henry Waxman (D-CA) and Edward Markey (D-MA) which is likely to come to the floor of the Congress as early as this Friday. It is the legislative culmination of the ongoing eco-madness based on the idea that carbon dioxide is a form of toxic pollution, despite the fact that it is produced in nature, is part of the atmospheric cycle on which all life is based, and is shown to stimulate plant growth and the replenishment of the atmosphere.
Of course, the truth is that carbon dioxide is not an environmental threat, but is merely being raised as a bogeyman to allow for the passage of laws like this new energy bill whose real purpose is social engineering and anti-capitalism. It's the perfect bogeyman because it's everywhere and can never actually be eliminated plus it's produced by almost every human activity — we even breathe it out with every breath. This means that a "carbon tax" can be applied to almost anything and becomes an excuse for raising taxes on everyone through indirect methods where the taxes end up being passed on to consumers in the form of energy price increases. John Dingell (D-MI) who is the senior Democrat in the House admitted recently that "nobody in the country realizes cap and trade is a tax, and it's a great big one."
The heart of this energy bill is the idea of a tax on emissions of carbon dioxide and other more serious pollutants, specifically targeting fossil fuels and making it costlier to use them, thereby pushing energy businesses to move into more earth-friendly sources of power. This is combined with the idea of "cap and trade" which allows companies which produce high emissions to buy offsets from companies which produce low emissions, thereby subsidizing the low polluters at the cost of the high polluters.
This all sounds great in abstract, but the problem is that 85% of America's energy currently comes from fossil fuels of one sort or another, so the initial aggregate cost of the program will be huge. The other problem is that cap and trade just doesn't work. As has been demonstrated in those nations where it has been used, energy companies find it more practical to just pass on the additional cost to consumers so the net result of all of this is not a reduction in pollution, just a massive increase in prices for energy consumers — effectively a big additional personal tax on every man woman and child in the nation, something they can ill afford in hard economic times.