A government program similar to legislative proposals from the Obama administration has been rejected by the people it would “benefit.” France’s carbon tax is no more.
Elections held in France this past weekend, as well as massive blocks of protesters taking to the streets, sent a resounding message to President Nicolas Sarkozy – no tax on carbon emissions. Popular sentiment was that the tax was not only unjust to the poor because it would tax heating and transportation fuels (and anything else that emitted carbon including, according to some, human breath), but it would also place French industry at an unfair competitive disadvantage with other nations, especially neighboring Germany.
Sarkozy’s ruling party lost all but three of 26 regions to competing parties, and two days later, he retracted his efforts supporting the carbon tax. As reported by the BBC,
“Prime Minister Francois Fillon told parliament that the government should focus on policies that increased France’s economic competitiveness. We have to amplify measures that help reinforce the competitiveness of our economy,” Mr Fillon was quoted as saying by Reuters news agency.”
The Financial Times further quotes Fillon as saying that
“We want decisions that are taken in common with other European countries, or else we will see our competition gap widen.”
The alternative now being espoused would be to defer the taxing of carbon to the European Union, this making it consistent across the EU. But a Union wide carbon tax will be considered, according to Le Figaro,
“…just as soon as global warming causes hell to freeze over.”
Viva la France! Imagine living in a nation where public opinion matters. Imagine living in a nation where elected officials listen, and respond, when the public voices an opposing collective opinion.
There was a time when America was such a nation – where elected officials truly represented the electorate, listened to the will of the people they served, and knew they could be out of work come election day.
That silly notion no longer prevails here, though. Angry protests, and countless polls denoting opposition, held no sway with the majority party over the same weekend that France held its elections, and costly healthcare legislation was passed and now is law. Elation over that success brings us to the very topic France was protesting, as Obama worshipers in Congress are again pushing for carbon emissions taxation in this country, believing they can push it through in the same way as they pushed the healthcare bill.
As in France, carbon emissions taxes in this country will take a heavy toll on the less fortunate, as it will impose heavy taxes on hydrocarbon based fuels used to power utilities and cars/trucks/buses. As in France, it will place our manufacturing jobs, the drivers of our economy, at a severe competitive disadvantage against other nations of the world.
Would that our leadership would listen as did the leadership in France. But they don’t read the polls, and they don’t hear the protests.
They will hear the election results in November.
Will that day come soon enough?
Oh, to hear a president of the United States, speaking to a joint session of Congress, say
…the government should focus on policies that increase America’s economic competitiveness. We have to amplify measures that help reinforce the competitiveness of our economy.