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Taxing The Weather
Global climate taxing change...
[Ray Haynes] 12/19/05

Last week, the Governor’s “Climate Action Team” released a report on how to stop global warming. Next week, we expect a report on how to stop earthquakes, tidal waves, the changing of the seasons, and the tilt of the earth.

Let’s start with the title of the government unit that issued the report: the “Climate Action Team.” That title suggests the arrogance of those participating. What climate action is the team going to take? I’ve got an idea, why don’t they get rid of the winter fog in the Central Valley, and those hot Palm Springs summers, that would be a climate action that would have some positive benefit to someone. The fact is the climate action team can’t take any action on the climate, because nothing we humans do affects the climate. Global warming, if it is occurring at all, is occurring because of natural phenomenon, not because you drove your kids to school last week.


Ray Haynes

Mr. Haynes is an Assembly member representing Riverside and Temecula. He serves on the Appropriations and Budget Committees. [go to Assembly Member Haynes website at California Assembly][go to Haynes index]

Next, let’s look at the team’s suggestions to reduce “greenhouse gases.” (By the way, every time you breathe you emit greenhouse gases). First, the report recommended mandatory reporting of greenhouse gas emissions. Second, the bureaucrats wanted a “public goods charge on petroleum products” (a gas tax for those of you who don’t speak bureaucrat). Third, the report said that the state should “reshape” its investment strategy (this by the folks whose current investment strategy led to an $8 billion deficit) to invest in businesses that create greenhouse gas emission reduction technology. Finally, these bureaucrats wanted to make sure we got credit for reducing greenhouse gases.

So, the way to solve global warming is to raise taxes. For goodness sake, is there no problem that the bureaucrats think could not be solved with a tax increase? Plagued by crime – raise taxes and start a preschool. Mental illness a problem – raise taxes on the rich. The globe gets too hot – raise taxes on gasoline.

Forget that the one organization that makes the most money off of gasoline is government, (today, government makes 44-55 cents per gallon of gas depending on the price of gas) they want more. Forget that a tax on gas will do absolutely nothing to reduce global warming. Give the bureaucrats more money; they will cure what ails ya.

In light of this recommendation, I have some suggestions for future studies and reports. First, we should form an “Earthquake Action Team” to study the cause of earthquakes. They could recommend a tax on all construction as a means of reducing earthquakes. After all, the more dirt we move, the more likely it is that we might disturb some fault, and cause an earthquake.

Next, we should form a “Tsunami Action Team,” to study the cause of tidal waves. That team might recommend a tax on all watercraft, since the more boats there are on the ocean, the more water is displaced, thus leading to higher tides and danger on shore.

How about a “Hurricane Action Team,” which would study the cause of hurricanes. The tax for that? A tax on helicopters. Can you imagine just how much wind is generated in order to lift one of those heavy machines off the ground?

I could go on and on, but the absurdity of their recommendations is obvious. I think if we are going to institute a system of mandatory reporting of greenhouse gases, we should probably start with reporting the amount of carbon dioxide emitted by blowhard-bureaucrats, who issue meaningless reports, the obvious purpose of which is to build their bureaucratic empire, and increase their power and control over our lives. If we actually limited those emissions, or taxed their reports, we might really accomplish something beneficial for all Californians. -CRO-

Mr. Haynes is a California Assembleyman representing Riverside and Temecula and frequent contributor to


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