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Thread: To end the fiscal showdown, tax carbon (CNN Communist Party Rep. Opinion)

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    To end the fiscal showdown, tax carbon (CNN Communist Party Rep. Opinion)

    To end the fiscal showdown, tax carbon

    Editor's note: Van Jones, a CNN contributor, is president and founder of Rebuild the Dream, an online platform for political innovation focused on policy, economics and media. He was President Obama's green jobs adviser in 2009. He is also founder of Green for All, a national organization working to build a green economy strong enough to lift people out of poverty. Phaedra Ellis-Lamkins is the CEO of Green for All.

    (CNN) -- At his official post-election press conference, President Obama told reporters that he's serious about fighting climate change while creating jobs. "We can shape an agenda that says we can create jobs, advance growth and make a serious dent in climate change and be an international leader," he said, "I think that's something that the American people would support."

    We have just the answer. It's not a new idea, but as the two parties face off over the federal budget, it could be the path forward. There's a tool we can use to answer the public's call for more jobs -- without cuts to Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security: a carbon tax.

    One analysis by the Congressional Budget Office says a moderate, $20-per-ton tax on carbon emissions could raise $1.25 trillion over 10 years. And the savings don't stop there. For decades, the oil and coal industries have passed along their costs to the rest of us, in the form of asthma treatment, emergency room visits, doctor bills and missed days of school and work. Combined with droughts, wildfires, hurricanes and severe weather events like Superstorm Sandy, rising levels of carbon in the atmosphere cost our nation an estimated $70 billion each year.

    That's real money. And unlike cutting Medicare and Social Security, a carbon tax is a political winner. A large and growing super-majority of Americans -- 70% -- believe climate change is a real problem. A Yale University national survey found overwhelming majorities in favor of bold action like a carbon tax. Even the far-right American Enterprise Institute has been willing to talk about the benefits of a carbon tax, and anti-tax activist Grover Norquist has flirted with the idea.

    Yes, polluters will fight a carbon tax tooth and nail, just like tobacco companies raged against cigarette taxes. But far from costing jobs, a carbon tax will provide a net benefit to our economy, especially if we start the carbon tax conversation by making sure miners and other coal industry workers -- the people who have sacrificed their lungs, and in some instances even their lives, so that we can keep the lights on -- are among the biggest winners.

    Experts anticipate that the $500 billion in scheduled federal budget cuts will cost us nearly one million jobs. The $1.25 trillion from a carbon tax would allow us to avoid these cuts with money to spare to pay down the deficit, and to maintain clean energy investments that create 3.2 times as many jobs per dollar than subsidies for fossil fuels. A carbon tax would also reduce barriers to market entry for clean-energy startups facing an entrenched fossil fuel industry. There are already 3.1 million green jobs in America -- imagine how many more there would be if we leveled the playing field instead of subsidizing oil and coal companies.

    Finally, one study by the Center for American Progress and the Political Economy Research institute found that we could create up to 1.7 million jobs simply by putting a price on carbon. The fact is, our economy will only be stronger and our communities healthier if we tax pollution instead of subsidizing it -- and invest in the new industries of tomorrow.

    A carbon tax is really that rarest of ideas, a win-win-win solution that solves multiple problems at once. Tax polluters so we can pay down our debt without slashing the safety net? Win. Spur investment in new technologies and spark the creation of clean-energy manufacturing jobs right here in America? Win. And take a long-overdue step toward solving the climate crisis that already costs so much, and will only get worse? Win.

    The question isn't whether this vision is right for America -- nearly everyone wants to breathe fresh air, drink clean water, bring home a decent paycheck and retire with security.

    The only question is if Washington has the courage to seize this opportunity. If they do, this moment won't be remembered as a drawn-out partisan showdown over spending, but as the launching pad from which we began to sail into a healthier, more prosperous future.

    The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the authors.
    I don't know about you folks, I can't wait to pay $25/Gallon for Gasoline or be forced to buy an underperforming little cardboard box like a Volt, and of ocurse, simply changing my costs from a massive gasoline bill each month to a massive electric bill each month.

    Sounds like Comrade Van is right, this is a win/win/win idea....except who is going to Carbon Tax China and other industrializing and developing nations?

    Oh, right, no tax for them, because we'll be sending some of OUR tax to them to like, help and stuff, cause we're all in it together and we get more done united than divided, blah, bah, blah.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Warfish View Post
    I don't know about you folks, I can't wait to pay $25/Gallon for Gasoline or be forced to buy an underperforming little cardboard box like a Volt, and of ocurse, simply changing my costs from a massive gasoline bill each month to a massive electric bill each month.

    Sounds like Comrade Van is right, this is a win/win/win idea....except who is going to Carbon Tax China and other industrializing and developing nations?

    Oh, right, no tax for them, because we'll be sending some of OUR tax to them to like, help and stuff, cause we're all in it together and we get more done united than divided, blah, bah, blah.
    Van Jones, the 911 Truther wrote this. The losers with progressive fiscal policy are always the middleclass and poor. Rich people get richer selling carbon credits and such. Middle class get stuck paying higher prices for gas and electric. As a bonus they also lose their jobs because their employers can't compete with the higher costs of doing business. Thanks progressives.

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    Common Sense

    Quote Originally Posted by Warfish View Post
    I don't know about you folks, I can't wait to pay $25/Gallon for Gasoline or be forced to buy an underperforming little cardboard box like a Volt, and of ocurse, simply changing my costs from a massive gasoline bill each month to a massive electric bill each month.

    Sounds like Comrade Van is right, this is a win/win/win idea....except who is going to Carbon Tax China and other industrializing and developing nations?

    Oh, right, no tax for them, because we'll be sending some of OUR tax to them to like, help and stuff, cause we're all in it together and we get more done united than divided, blah, bah, blah.
    Common sense just sucks balls don't it. I drive a Honda Fit. If your driving anything that gets less that 30 mpg on the highway, your part of the problem, not part of the solution and can drop any claims of being conservative.
    Last edited by marano; 11-16-2012 at 04:51 PM. Reason: spelling

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    Tough sh*t.

    Lose an election because you nominated a walking, talking human turd. Suffer consequences.

    Learn and move on.

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    Instead of adding more layers of government, how about we start with ending the subsidies?

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    How about we start producing/selling the oil we are sitting on?

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    Quote Originally Posted by marano View Post
    Common sense just sucks balls don't it. I drive a Honda Fit. If your driving anything that gets less that 30 mpg on the highway, your part of the problem, not part of the solution and can drop any claims of being conservative.
    I wouldn't be caught dead....

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    Quote Originally Posted by marano View Post
    I drive a Honda Fit.
    Enjoy your Clown Car.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Warfish View Post
    I don't know about you folks, I can't wait to pay $25/Gallon for Gasoline or be forced to buy an underperforming little cardboard box like a Volt, and of ocurse, simply changing my costs from a massive gasoline bill each month to a massive electric bill each month.

    Sounds like Comrade Van is right, this is a win/win/win idea....except who is going to Carbon Tax China and other industrializing and developing nations?

    Oh, right, no tax for them, because we'll be sending some of OUR tax to them to like, help and stuff, cause we're all in it together and we get more done united than divided, blah, bah, blah.
    I think that some sort of "tax on pollution" may not be a horrible idea. There is no real business disincentive to polluting the air. The problem is the left comes at this issue from such an extreme position, that anything they propose is far to radical to be useful.

    *edit* and yes, i agree that producing our own oil, ending all energy subsidies, etc, are all more important than any sort of carbon tax. I just think in a vacuum it's not a crazy idea.

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    Punish your citizens. It's the socialist/communist way.
    Drive people to their knees and then have them thank the Commissars.

    How about just cutting back on spending Mr. Stupid President!

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    I do.

    Quote Originally Posted by Warfish View Post
    Enjoy your Clown Car.
    It is a great car. Gets me from point a to point b in comfort. Gets good gas mileage. Will haul a lot of stuff. Has good pick-up for such a small engine and has been flawless. Guess you guys feel entitled as "Americans" to drive something that gets bad mpg, and then have the gall to complain about Saudi Arabian citizens being pissed that their Royal family is selling their natural resources to America at a bargain basement price so that you can enjoy your entitlement as an American. You people make me sick. Your ass backwards thinking is just crazy. You want to poke fun at me but your the idiots. You are the problem. My little clown car says one other thing....I ain't compensating for ****....bet you can't say the same.
    Last edited by marano; 11-17-2012 at 02:57 PM. Reason: spelling

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    Using Less Gasoline = Communism

    Driving SUVs that get 14 mpg highway = Capitalism


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    Quote Originally Posted by marano View Post
    You people make me sick. Your ass backwards thinking is just crazy. You want to poke fun at me but your the idiots. You are the problem.
    No, the problem are people who think it's their job to tell others that "they are the problem" that must be dealt with., then taking actions politically to revoke their freedoms to do what you think is bad. I.e. the "no large soda in New York" crowd.

    Mind you own ****ing business, drive what you like, and I'll drive what I like. If thats not good enough for you, **** you, too bad.

    My little clown car says one other thing....I ain't compensating for ****....bet you can't say the same.
    Sure you are.

    You're compensating for being a smug, self-rightious, self-imporant, arrogant little waana-be-hall-monitor chucklehead.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Axil View Post
    I think that some sort of "tax on pollution" may not be a horrible idea. There is no real business disincentive to polluting the air.
    Sure there is, all the existing laws on pollution. Like gun control, this is an issue thats had more than it's fair share of legislation and regulation passed already.

    If they are not good enough, undo them, and pass better science-supported laws. Turning it into yet another form of progressive wealth redistribution is not the answer, for this or any other possible "tax it to stop it" foolishness.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Warfish View Post
    Sure there is, all the existing laws on pollution. Like gun control, this is an issue thats had more than it's fair share of legislation and regulation passed already.

    If they are not good enough, undo them, and pass better science-supported laws. Turning it into yet another form of progressive wealth redistribution is not the answer, for this or any other possible "tax it to stop it" foolishness.
    Can I bump this thread in 40 years when lower Manhattan is flooded by rising seas and half the world's population has no clean drinking water?

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    Quote Originally Posted by marano View Post
    It is a great car. Gets me from point a to point b in comfort. Gets good gas mileage. Will haul a lot of stuff. Has good pick-up for such a small engine and has been flawless. Guess you guys feel entitled as "Americans" to drive something that gets bad mpg, and then have the gall to complain about Saudi Arabian citizens being pissed that their Royal family is selling their natural resources to America at a bargain basement price so that you can enjoy your entitlement as an American. You people make me sick. Your ass backwards thinking is just crazy. You want to poke fun at me but your the idiots. You are the problem. My little clown car says one other thing....I ain't compensating for ****....bet you can't say the same.
    That car is super ghey. Sorry.

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    Quote Originally Posted by marano View Post
    It is a great car. Gets me from point a to point b in comfort. Gets good gas mileage. Will haul a lot of stuff. Has good pick-up for such a small engine and has been flawless. Guess you guys feel entitled as "Americans" to drive something that gets bad mpg, and then have the gall to complain about Saudi Arabian citizens being pissed that their Royal family is selling their natural resources to America at a bargain basement price so that you can enjoy your entitlement as an American. You people make me sick. Your ass backwards thinking is just crazy. You want to poke fun at me but your the idiots. You are the problem. My little clown car says one other thing....I ain't compensating for ****....bet you can't say the same.
    You shouldn't call anyone an idiot if you can't spell you're.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Warfish View Post
    No, the problem are people who think it's their job to tell others that "they are the problem" that must be dealt with., then taking actions politically to revoke their freedoms to do what you think is bad. I.e. the "no large soda in New York" crowd.
    You came out on the right side of that silly Park51 debate? Good for you.

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    Quote Originally Posted by detjetsfan View Post
    Can I bump this thread in 40 years when lower Manhattan is flooded by rising seas and half the world's population has no clean drinking water?
    You can do whatever you like in 40 years, although I doubt J.I. will be here in that time.

    I doubt that will come to pass in that timeframe, but

    /shrug, move inland, hoard water, go on "Doomsday Preppers" on NatGeo if you're that worried.

    30 years ago, we were told the New Ice Age would be here now.

    20 Years ago, we were told Acid Rain would have destroyed us by now.

    10 Years ago, we were told Global Warming would melt us soon.

    in 10 Years, there will be something new coming soon disaster that will destroy us all.

    I support climate science research and investment, and reasonale action if proven effective and warrented.

    I don't support hysterical rantings of impending doom more appropriate for a sandwhich board in Time Square than in serious discourse.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ciaran View Post
    You came out on the right side of that silly Park51 debate? Good for you.
    Last edited by Warfish; 11-17-2012 at 10:44 PM.

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    Experts anticipate that the $500 billion in scheduled federal budget cuts will cost us nearly one million jobs. The $1.25 trillion from a carbon tax would allow us to avoid these cuts with money to spare to pay down the deficit, and to maintain clean energy investments that create 3.2 times as many jobs per dollar than subsidies for fossil fuels. A carbon tax would also reduce barriers to market entry for clean-energy startups facing an entrenched fossil fuel industry. There are already 3.1 million green jobs in America -- imagine how many more there would be if we leveled the playing field instead of subsidizing oil and coal companies.

    I find this very interesting in light of the Solyndra collapse and other green companies declaring bankruptcy. Is he counting on people to not know or remember?

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