The carbon tax bill introduced by a House Democrat this week will kill at least 5,000 trees each and every year, according to a back-of-the-envelope calculation. Here’s how:
-The bill — a national energy tax that will raise the price of food, transportation, utilities, and all household goods — is an extremely large tax increase which will send billions of taxpayer dollars to Washington DC. The bill specifically authorizes the IRS, EPA, and State Department to siphon off taxpayer funds for what the bill calls “Administrative Expenses” and “Other Administrative Expenses.”
-Because the carbon tax will make everything in your life more expensive, someone in the government will be sending out monthly payments to every household in America. (The payments, by the way, are subject to the income tax. Wouldn’t it be easier if they didn’t take your money in the first place?)
That brings us to the 5,000 trees.
-According to the FDIC, there are 8.4 million American households that are unbanked. Becuase these households do not have a bank account, it means the government will have to send paper checks through the mail.
-8.4 million households mutiplied by 12 (one check per month per recipient) equals 100,800,000 paper checks, not to mention the accompanying envelopes, check stubs, any accompanying informational forms, and mandatory end-of-year tax forms showing the amount received, since the payments are subject to income tax. Due to rigid security and quality specifications of U.S. Treasury checks, there are practical limits on the amount of recycled fiber content.
-According to the Sierra Club, a 45-foot, 8-inch diameter tree produces 10,000 to 20,000 pieces of paper.
-100,800,000 paper checks divided by 20,000 equals 5,040 innocent, pristine trees killed each and every year.
Of course, once the carbon-tax-trees are chopped down, they’ll be loaded on fuel-burning trucks and taken to a processing plant. Then the trees — now in paper form — will be loaded on another fuel-burning truck for delivery to the government. The government will put the paper checks on fuel-burning mail trucks. If the unbanked households actually receive the checks, they’ll have to find a place to cash the check. To get there, perhaps the recipient will ride in a fuel-burning vehicle, and then pay a check cashing fee upon arrival.
Adding to the joy, during tax filing season the recipient will need to track down a newly created tax form from the government showing the amount they received, adding to the complexities and frustrations of meeting the April 15 deadline. The amount must be reconciled on federal and state tax returns. Excited yet?
Further details of the bill are below:
Imposes a massive and continually racheting national energy tax, allowing politicians to raise taxes without ever having to vote. Just like the French proposal that starts with a big tax that gets more oppressive with time, the bill imposes a $15 per ton carbon (energy) tax, increasing by $10 per year into the future. Within five years the tax would automatically rise to $55 per ton. For reference, the carbon tax handily rejected by blue Washington state voters in November started at $15 and ratcheted up by $2 per year. Perhaps Deutch thinks the voters just want to be taxed at even higher rates.
Shovels taxpayer money into a giant vat for IRS, EPA, and State Department bureaucrats. The IRS and EPA will develop a cozy relationship — and what’s not to love about that — to siphon cash from the vat of taxpayer funds for what the bill calls “Administrative Expenses” and “Other Administrative Expenses.” For reasons unclear, State Department bureaucrats will also have access to the vat of taxpayer funds. What could go wrong?
Gives broad powers to IRS chief to find new products and entities to be carbon-taxed. The IRS is directed to work with the EPA in order to find more tax targets: “Any manufactured or agricultural product which the [Treasury] Secretary in consultation with the [EPA] Administrator determines” is a tax target. The newly-carbon-taxed items will be added to the long list already specified in the bill: Iron, steel, steel mill products including pipe and tube, aluminum, cement, glass, fiberglass, pulp, paper, chemicals, and industrial ceramics.
Gives broad powers to the EPA chief. The bill gives czar-like powers to the EPA chief including the power to impose “monitoring, reporting, and record-keeping requirements” on Americans. The bill also gives the EPA chief power to conduct investigations and force “information collection.”
Establishes a creepy DC-based “Carbon Dividend Trust Fund” that seeks a backdoor two-child limit on families. The “Carbon Dividend Trust Fund” leftovers will somehow be routed from DC on a per-person basis and households with more than two children are considered unworthy: The legislative language specifically imposes “a limit of 2 children per household.”
Here it is, straight from the bill text:
“A carbon dividend payment is one pro-rata share for each adult and half a pro-rata share for each child under 19 years old, with a limit of 2 children per household, of amounts available for the month in the Carbon Dividend Trust Fund.”
Gives broad powers to the Treasury Department to issue even more rules and regulations. The bill language states:
“The Secretary shall promulgate rules, guidance, and regulations useful and necessary to implement the Carbon Dividend Trust Fund.”
Imposes income tax on the carbon tax “dividend.” Yes, the government fleeces the taxpayers and sends the carbon tax money to DC, where it is siphoned off by bureaucrats. Then a leftover “dividend” is supposedly sent out to the countryside where it is then subject to income tax! Here is the bill language:
“(D) FEE TREATMENT OF PAYMENTS. — Amounts paid under this subsection shall be includible in gross income.
A tax on a tax, which will likely increase the complexity of your annual tax filing. Here’s an idea — how about not taking the money from taxpayers in the first place?
Greases the skids for a European-style Value Added Tax, a cash cow for big government by erecting a complex carbon tax border adjustment scheme.
Authorizes armed carbon tax enforcement agents. The bill authorizes armed carbon tax enforcement agents to collect the new tax on energy used by Americans. As if customs enforcement doesn’t already have enough on its plate, the bill states:
“The revenues collected under this chapter may be used to supplement appropriations made available in fiscal years 2018 and thereafter –
“(1) to U.S. Customs and Border Protection, in such amounts as are necessary to administer the carbon border fee adjustment.”
Authorizes certain government sharing of Social Security information. The bill states:
“(B) COMMISSIONER OF SOCIAL SECURITY. — The Commissioner of Social Security shall, on written request, disclose to officers and employees of the Department of the Treasury individual identity information which has been disclosed to the Social Security Administration as is necessary to administer section 9512
Americans for Tax Reform opposes the bill. “The proposed carbon tax is a gas tax and a tax on your electric bill. Worse, it increases automatically year after year so the politicians can raise your taxes without ever having to vote,” said Grover Norquist, president of Americans for Tax Reform. “The tax will be hidden in the price of all goods and services. A hidden tax. A permanent tax. An uncontrolled tax that increases without end.”