Disagrees on carbon tax

Regarding John McClaughry's column in the banner on Nov. 12, I can practically hear John shouting, "To the Barricades! To the barricades! A new idea is coming!"

In fact, that's pretty much the gist of his latest column concerning the carbon tax proposal. John has, I believe, the biggest bag of what-ifs of any reactionary commentator going. Let's look at some of the list:

• The tax will be paid by distributors, not customers, but we'll pay it.

Yep, that's the idea. Funniest thing, when we tax something, the price goes up and people use less of it. That's the idea.

• The same people who pay the tax won't get the money back.

Yes, it's what you call a progressive tax, because it's collected from everyone but distributed to those who are most impacted by it. Want to know what a regressive tax is? The sales tax. If you're a person who has to spend every cent you make each month for necessities (John is not), that's a tax you pay that those with money to invest don't pay.

• Business will fail! Or leave!

• We won't be able to get to work!

• We'll freeze!

Hmm. Then how come so many businesses are buying their own renewable energy installations? And why do they see renewables as a means to insure a reliable, predictable supply of energy without worrying about which group of crazies is in charge of the spigot half way around the world? And there is no, absolutely no, way you could get to work without jumping into your five-passenger car alone? And there's nothing you could do to improve the energy efficiency of your home?


And here's the last question I hope John considers: That money we're paying for gas and heating oil now — where is it going? Best case, it's going to North Dakota or Texas. Worst case, it's going into the hands of people who really don't wish for our success. One thing's for sure — it isn't staying here in Vermont, unlike the paychecks for those renewable energy contractors.

There will be much discussion about the carbon tax proposal. John has one view. There is another. Listen and learn. See what you think.

— Bruce Lierman North Bennington