The latest tax talk regards an old idea of a carbon tax. Democrats are at least blustering as if they believe they have enough political mojo following the election to combine their populist victory with a concern for the earth and convince enough Americans that a carbon tax on rich bastards is the way to go to both raise revenue and reduce carbon emissions -- it has the appeal of taxes on cigarettes. On one hand the purpose is to reduce smoking, but on the other hand government wants the tax money, so more smokers would bring in more money. A carbon tax will not save the earth, but it will cost jobs.
The Democratic obsession with raising taxes reveals their priorities in Obama's second term. It appears Obama has his eyes on a spectacular government investment effort that turns around the economy and brings back full employment, while also moving the progressive agenda along. With government in control of the investment, Obama and Company can invest in progressive projects. If Obama can coopt Boehner and McConnell, he can invest in projects that build on the Democratic political alliance that's shooting for a permanent majority. Both parties have dreamed of a permanent majority in the last few decades, but the Democrats believe that demographics and Silver-Science favor them now. This is not just a another political narrative for show -- this could be the real thing, a real permanent majority for a long, long time.
In order to complete and sustain this political alliance, Democrats need plenty of money. Hitting the rich up for higher taxes early in 2013 is a down payment -- it's going to take a lot more. When the Obama machine goes into campaign mode in 2013 it will be to convince the nation that statism is our hope, and that free market ideology is dead. As the economy continues to stagnate, Americans will become desperate to believe government has a plan. It's an investment plan. That's what we need, right? Investment. Yes, investment in the future, forward. I think the American people just might buy it. Well, the Democrats did win, so...America will get what she asked for.
As the country goes forward with this, I simply advise that all concerned Americans find a good source of economic information and follow the progress of the investments. This could go terribly wrong, and if it does, we'll have to act quickly to correct the course. I don't think government investment will work, but Democrats think it will, so we'll see. I also think that more than the rich will end up paying for this investment. Hold on, America, it's going to be a bumpy, and expensive, ride.