Carbon fee is nothing more than a tax to redistribute wealth

August 12, 2011

In her recent op-ed piece on climate change ("Cool solution for a warming planet," Aug. 9), writer Dana Knighten exposes herself as a liberal or "progressive," by first parsing the language of revenue. She proposes putting a price or fee on carbon, but never uses the word tax. But by using the government as the collector and distributor of these proposed fees, this amounts to nothing more than a tax meant to redistribute wealth. Socialist indeed.

Secondly, and perhaps most important, is her utter lack of knowledge as to how a (reasonably) free market operates.  Only when the price of a product, or in this case, a commodity, reaches a point where the consumer changes purchasing habits will a new supplier (her new technologies) come to market and fill the void left by the out-of-favor supplier. 

It must be done at "the market" without Adam Smith's "invisible hand" of government intervention and subsidy.  When the price paid (be it pump price or her litany of whines), is more than consumers are willing to pay, new technologies will become profitable and supplant the old ones. That is how the market works, not through a continued expansion of government. 

Finally, (and this is where she jumps the shark), Ms. Knighten proposes the IRS be the revenue collector.  Does anyone really want more IRS involvement in the daily lives of Americans?  The issuance of off-setting "green checks" would only make a free citizenry less free and more dependent of her beloved big, and ever-expanding government.  She couldn't possibly be more out of touch with the realities of today's economic and political environment.

Craig R. Piette, Reisterstown

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