Has Democrats’ “Green New Deal” Killed the Carbon Tax?

February 13, 2019

by Jonathan Decker


Much ink has been spilled over the last week on the absurdity of Democrats’ “Green New Deal.” Although it’s tempting to dive into the proposal’s specifics — especially since this legislation has been cosponsored by a number of 2020 Democrat candidates including Kirsten Gillibrand, Kamala Harris, Cory Booker, Elizabeth Warren, and, presumably, Bernie Sanders — I won’t bore readers with the recap as there is no use beating a dead horse (even if it would reduce methane emissions from farming as mandated by the Green New Deal).

Instead, I would like to focus on one aspect of the Green New Deal that I found eye-opening when reviewing the original, since-deleted proposal: the plan’s flippant dismissal of the carbon tax.

First, some background: for the past roughly two decades, a carbon tax has been at or near the top of the “Progressive Wish List” of policy achievements. Conservatives have, nearly unanimously, been opposed.

The conservative argument against a carbon tax boils down to two points:

  1. It would harm our economy.
  2. It would have a negligible impact on global temperatures.  

Intriguingly, the Green New Deal appears to fully concede to conservatives both of these points. According to the original blueprint:

“We cannot simply tax gas and expect workers to figure out another way to get to work… we’re not ruling a carbon tax out, but a carbon tax would be a tiny part of a Green New Deal in the face of the gigantic expansion of our productive economy… While a carbon tax may be a part of the Green New Deal, it misses the point and would be off the table unless we create the clean, affordable options first.” [Emphasis added]

First, the admission that the revenue generated from a carbon tax would not be remotely sufficient to fight global warming is stunning. Liberals have been telling us for years, “I can save the planet from imminent doom, if you would just let me raise your taxes.”

Second and equally stunning is the admission that affordable energy options must be created ‘first,’ as it concedes the economic harm caused by the implementation of a carbon tax.

Taken together, the progressive authors of the Green New Deal all but concede that a carbon tax would do nothing except make people poorer.

As the Green New Deal reveals with welcomed candor, to fight climate change, progressives really desire a massive government takeover of the U.S. economy — one so big that we must ‘print the money’ to pay for it. With this admission, we now have an opportunity for both sides to have a real debate about climate change. Now is the time for liberals to make their case as to why the world is going to end in 10 years, and how their radical transformation of the U.S. economy will stop it. And if they attempt to revert back to ‘a simple carbon tax is sufficient,’ we will know they are the ones blowing hot air.


Jonathan Decker is the Chief Economic Correspondent for TheNationalPulse.com.

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