An unprecedentedly radical government grab for control of the American economy will be debated this week when the Senate considers saving the planet by means of a cap-and-trade system to ration carbon emissions. The plan is co-authored (with John Warner) by Joe Lieberman, an ardent supporter of John McCain, who supports Lieberman's legislation and recently spoke about "the central facts of rising temperatures, rising waters and all the endless troubles that global warming will bring."
Speaking of endless troubles, "cap-and-trade" comes cloaked in reassuring rhetoric about the government merely creating a market, but government actually would create a scarcity so government could sell what it has made scarce. The Wall Street Journal underestimates cap-and-trade's perniciousness when it says the scheme would create a new right ("allowances") to produce carbon dioxide and would put a price on the right. Actually, because freedom is the silence of the law, that right has always existed in the absence of prohibitions. With cap-and-trade, government would create a right for itself -- an extraordinarily lucrative right to ration Americans' exercise of their traditional rights.
If you want to read more on this type of silliness, go and read Krauthammer's Op-Ed. Here's a taste:
Only Monday, a British parliamentary committee proposed that every citizen be required to carry a carbon card that must be presented, under penalty of law, when buying gasoline, taking an airplane or using electricity. The card contains your yearly carbon ration to be drawn down with every purchase, every trip, every swipe.
There's no greater social power than the power to ration. And, other than rationing food, there is no greater instrument of social control than rationing energy, the currency of just about everything one does and uses in an advanced society.
What a brilliant solution. Wonder who is going to get damaged the most by such rationing? I'm also betting that the Brits will be considering taxing anyone who desires to go over their carbon ration. I've been told by a British friend that gasoline (petrol) is so expensive in Great Britain because they tax it at around 80% of the cost.