Let me say at the outset, there are probably (maybe) some good “think tanks” in Washington, DC, but I personally have looked at many with a jaundiced eye. I think mostly they are made up of ‘policy wonks’ isolated from the average American; many have become part of the permanent ruling class in Washington and indeed are simply more genteel (if you will) lobbyists.
So, here is a story of how the venerable American Enterprise Institute is now fostering, with the help of REPUBLICANS, a discussion about a CARBON TAX—what the heck are they thinking? If this keeps up, I might have to add a new category and call it “Republican sell-outs.”
From GlobalWarming.org (emphasis mine):
Today, the American Enterprise Institute (AEI), a prominent conservative think tank, hosted a secret, four-and-a-half hour meeting of pols, wonks, and activists, including several self-identified ’progressives,’ to develop a PR/legislative strategy to promote and enact a carbon tax. This was the fifth such meeting to advance the ”Price Carbon Campaign/Lame Duck Initiative: A Carbon Pollution Tax in Fiscal and Tax Reform.” An annoted copy of the meeting agenda appears at the bottom of this post.
Perhaps not coincidentally, earlier this week former GOP Congressman Bob Inglis of South Carolina launched the Energy and Enterprise Initiative, an organization promoting carbon taxes. Inglis obtained funding for the project from the Rockefeller Family Fund* and the Energy Foundation, both left-leaning foundations.
The Tea Party had taken out Inglis in the last election, but here he is apparently unable to leave Washington, so he has a new gig:
This is troubling because the dumb party has an uncanny ability to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory. Stopping Obama’s war on affordable energy is a key GOP campaign theme in 2012, and the base is upset because the Supreme Court just upheld the Obamacare individual mandate as a tax. Yet some GOP influentials now call for an open, unvarnished tax on affordable energy.
The GOP’s only clear product differentiator – and most durable political asset — is its reputation as the no tax increase party. The Inglis and AEI initiatives, if successful, would destroy this asset.
Inglis, by the way, proposed a carbon tax bill in the last Congress. He was roundly defeated in the primary by a Tea Party candidate, now-Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-S.C.). At least in 2010 Inglis could claim that he was offering a less mischievous alternative to cap-and-trade. But cap-and-trade is dead. There is no longer a prudential case to be made for carbon taxes as the lesser evil.
Be sure to see the update from GlobalWarming.org here.
* The Rockefeller “family” funds have long been the money bags behind supposed environmental causes. I was around when they were one of the prime sources of funding behind the manufactured “grassroots” campaign pushing the Alaska Lands bill that ultimately locked up much of Alaska from oil exploration. They are very bad news for conservatives.
Don’t ask me how or why these foundations whose money originated from capitalist ventures turned into the banks for Leftwing causes. The Richard King Mellon Foundation was involved at Antietam Battlefield and if you have a “green” church thank the Pew Charitable Trusts.