How to Tax Carbon
By Andrew Moylan
Rather than acknowledge climate change as a major public-policy issue and draft a serious proposal to deal with it—to counter the left’s plan to expand dramatically the size, scope, and cost of the federal government—the right has too long pursued a course of obstructionism that amounts to little more than political theatre.
If this sounds familiar, it’s because similar circumstances allowed Democrats to pass Obamacare after decades of agitating for universal healthcare. Liberals spent years building a policy infrastructure to advocate for greater government involvement in healthcare, while according to Reason’s Peter Suderman,
Republicans, on the other hand, all but ignored health policy for all those years. Yes, there were think tank wonks and a handful of administration staffers who were deep in the weeds of health policy, but the party and its allies didn’t invest in developing ideas or consensus. Your average Republican legislator didn’t have a great grasp of the issue, and would have struggled to tell you what the party was actually for when it came to health care.
So it is today with climate change. Despite the consensus of 97 percent of scientists that the planet is warming and that human activity is a significant part of the cause, a March 2013 Pew Research Center poll found that just 44 percent of Republicans believe in climate change at all. To the extent that establishment conservatives talk about climate change, it’s to question its scientific validity or complain about the left’s policy response.
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