Everyone keeps griping about how much the cap and trade will cost Americans ["Numbers Adding Up Against Obama's "Cap and Trade" Bill in the Senate," usnews.com]. However, a cap and trade system is capable of making the tax anywhere from $1 to $10,000. The tax is determined by where the "cap" is set. Consequently, the cap and trade system can be tweaked on the fly to balance the cost benefit equation. Obviously a per person cost of $10,000 per year would kill the economy and a $1 cost would not. The cap and trade system just puts a mechanism in place to tax energy. More importantly, where does the tax money go? The government doesn't collect the money. The money is shifted between private companies. Companies that generate new technologies to reduce our dependence on traditional energy sources will benefit whereas phlegmatic companies will suffer. Jobs will be lost at companies that don't innovate and jobs will be created at companies that do innovate. How's that a bad thing?
Comment by Andrew of UT
I have traveled to enough Third World countries to know that the United States is not the major contributor to carbon emissions. Right here in our own hemisphere, many Latin American countries purchase aging school buses from Miami and use them as their intra-city public transportation. The noxious emissions from those open exhaust pipes choke the population with billowing clouds of pollutants, continuously. Those responsible for the most egregious emissions aren't participating. What little we do to support this ridiculous effort will be mitigated by regions that ignore even the most basic anti-pollution efforts. It's just another way to enforce a regressive tax on the already thinning American pocketbook.
Comment by MA Lone of IL
The American people have to stop letting politicians and bureaucrats off the hook when they support legislation that damages the economy, and that robs them of their freedom. Look at California. The people have looked the other way for decades, and our "leaders" have been so inept, and so corrupt, that it may take decades for us to truly recover, and now our national government is trying to do exactly the same thing. Anyone who participates in these new policies should be ousted. If the people have to suffer, so should the politicians who caused the suffering and losses.
Comment by Eric Robinson of CA
Everyone seems to be focused solely on the current cost of reducing CO2 emissions. There is also a cost associated with doing nothing. The key differences being: the cost of doing nothing now could easily be eclipsed by trying to deal with the issue 10 or 20 years from now, and that the cost of delay will be borne by others.
Comment by Dennis of AR
I keep hearing from voters that this is about cleaning up the environment. Actually it represents a major short-term boost to the global economy, just as the "tech" bubble had once done for Bill Clinton. In terms of international trade it is the ultimate money laundering scheme—enabling yet another unregulated multibillion-dollar market that corporate officers may use to generate personal short-term financial advantages. This—not the uncollectible new taxes—is what threatens the United States the most. The buy-in is Obama's plan to show you how many new jobs this will create ... jobs which will flee this country.
Comment by TS Gordon of AR