Seven months after first trying to re-brand congressional climate change legislation as an “energy tax,” Senate Republicans were back at it today with a new report and op-ed that attempts to expose the climate bill as a “$3.6 trillion gas tax.”
Sens. Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-TX) and Kit Bond (R-MO) gathered outside the Capitol today, flanked by aides wearing black stickers imprinted with the slogan “CAP & TRADE = GAS TAX,” to promote a new report [PDF] that presents their “gas tax” assertions.
There’s plenty of reasons at the link why this re-branding is lame, wrong and just might work (hey, there’s slogan!). But holy Chateau D’ what If, batman, what if that proposition was granted? That even though the numbers don’t support it, what if the climate bill was construed as a gas tax ( you know, the gas tax that’s actually needed)? Now, Bailey, Hutchinson et al are doing it simply on the basis of knowing that Amur’cans will reject any tax out of hand, especially a gas tax. But, and this is where we could really use the guile of Edmond Dantes, the only way we’re going slip the chains of present usage and wastage is if the price of energy – and the cost of wasting it – goes up. Land use and urban planning will follow, not lead, this curve. So their ploy might be doubly-ingenious, and may be we protest too much by rejecting it out of hand. Look at the arc of the health care bill; can the lies permeate and end up producing a stronger bill?