Terrible Details of the Coons-Flake Carbon Dioxide Tax

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Posted by ATR on Wednesday, December 19th, 2018, 6:00 PM PERMALINK

On Wednesday Sens. Chris Coons (D-Del.) and Jeff Flake (?-Ariz.) released a carbon tax bill to impose a new national energy tax on the American people. The bill is a tax increase which will increase utility bills and the price of all products and services. In classic politician-speak, Coons and Flake dubbed it "The Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividend Act of 2018."

It's no wonder Flake threw his name on the Coons bill on his way out of town -- voters across the USA have consistently rejected carbon taxes when faced with the issue at the ballot box.

Regarding the Coons-Flake bill:

The bill is a very large tax increase. Coons and Flake claim the bill is revenue neutral. This is  false. The bill is a tax increase.

How big is the tax increase? Likely north of $1 trillion over a decade. There isn't an official score, but a recent CBO report estimated the revenue a generic $25 per ton (increasing 2% per year) carbon tax bill would raise: $1.1 trillion over ten years. The Coons-Flake bill starts at $15 per ton and increases by a much steeper $10 per ton per year (and in some cases by $15 per ton per year). By any reasonable estimate, the Coons-Flake carbon tax will impose an extremely large tax increase on the American people.

The bill gives czar-like powers to EPA and IRS chiefs. The bill directs the IRS and EPA to work closely together on enforcement. The EPA chief is given 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." Surely these powers will not be abused.

The bill shovels taxpayer money into a slush fund for IRS, EPA, and State Department bureaucrats. The IRS and EPA will have direct access to taxpayer money for what the bill calls "Administrative Expenses" and "Other Administrative Expenses." For reasons unclear, State Department bureaucrats will also have access to the taxpayer funds. What could go wrong?

The bill 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 various agencies. Then a leftover "dividend" is supposedly sent out, which is then subject to income tax. Got it? The "dividend" will need to be reconciled on your federal and state tax return. You'll have the joy of chasing down another tax form before April 15 each year. Here is the bill language:

 “FEE TREATMENT OF PAYMENTS. -- Amounts paid under this subsection shall be includible in gross income."

The bill attempts backdoor family planning by considering a child -- and anyone under the age of 19 -- to be one-half of a person. Because the carbon tax will raise the cost of everything, household budgets will get squeezed. Since energy is built into the price of everything, the government will end up with increased control over your livelihood. And the carbon tax bill considers children and all Americans under the age of 19 to be one-half of one person. Why? Backdoor family planning? 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 of amounts available for the month in the Carbon Dividend Trust Fund."

The bill greases the skids for a Value-Added Tax, a cash cow for even bigger government.

The bill authorizes carbon tax enforcement agents. The bill authorizes 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.”

The bill authorizes certain government sharing of Social Security "individual identity information." More bureaucrats will have access to your information. The bill states:

“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 Coons-Flake carbon tax bill. "The tax will be hidden in the price of all goods and services. Worse, it increases automatically year after year so the politicians can raise your taxes without ever having to vote," said Grover Norquist, president of ATR.

 

Photo Credit: Jim Heath

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