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Obama's Cap and Trade Policy: More Costly Collectivism


The another step in Obama’s agenda for advancing state power and economic collectivism in America is his carbon “cap and trade policy,” under which the government will formally nationalize the atmosphere above the United States and make businesses buy permits to emit carbon dioxide into the air.

I discuss the consequences of this policy in a new piece of mine on, “Obama’s Carbon Cap and Trade Policy is Costly for Consumers.”

The White House hopes to use this stealth tax under the name of selling emission permits to raise over $650 billion (or much more) in government revenue to help fund the administration’s planned and huge increase in redistributive, welfare state activities.

It will impose a huge cost on business and consumers that may lower by one percent or more annual GDP and consumer standards of living for years to come. The resulting higher costs for many consumer goods would be be equal to a $1,100 tax on a family of four in 2010. These costs would continue to rise and would increase to $3,000 on that family of four in 2050 (in inflation-adjusted dollars).

At the same time it will dramatically cause a redirection of jobs across the economy that would have no relationship to the distribution of employment in a free market with strict property rights to internalize externalities.

If passed and implemented, it would a further step on Obama Administration’s march toward the planned economy.

Richard M. Ebeling is the BB&T Distinguished Professor of Ethics and Free Enterprise Leadership at The Citadel.

Note: The views expressed on Mises.org are not necessarily those of the Mises Institute.
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