The carbon tax bill recently introduced by House Democrat Ted Deutch of Florida is a $1 trillion net tax increase over 10 years.
According to a recent report from the Congressional Budget Office, a $25-per-ton-carbon tax increasing by 2 percent per year adds up to a total net tax increase of $1.1 trillion over 10 years, as shown below:
The Deutch bill hits the $25 per ton mark in year two, and increases by $10 per year, which means the $1 trillion tax hike estimate is a lowball estimate. In reality, the net tax hike would be significantly higher.
The carbon tax bill is a massive and continually ratcheting national energy tax. It allows politicians to raise taxes in the future without ever having to vote. Just as the French carbon tax law grows more oppressive with time, within five years the Deutch bill 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.
Voters across the USA and other countries continue to reject carbon taxes, but Democrats keep finding new ways to separate Americans from their money. The Democratic national party platform endorses a carbon tax, while the Republican platform rejects any and all carbon taxes.
Other Democrats have signed onto the Deutch carbon tax bill, including John Delaney, Anna Eshoo, and Florida's eternal politician, Charlie Crist. Deutch also convinced Florida Republican Congressmen Francis Rooney and Brian Fitzpatrick of Pennsylvania to co-sponsor the bill, though they were nowhere to be found during the bill-rollout media events.
Deutch's bill includes a number of other horrible provisions. Let's look at the details:
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" -- which also only considers children to be one-half of a person: The “Carbon Dividend Trust Fund” leftovers will somehow be routed from DC on a per-person basis -- except humans under the age of 19 are only considered half of a person.
Here it is, straight from the bill text:
"PRO-RATA SHARE.—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."
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."
Abigail Marone is a communications associate with Americans for Tax Reform.