Let's Wait Till the Fever Breaks

About that futility I was going on about yesterday, Kevin Drum nails it:

Are the fever dreams of the right worse than the fever dreams of the left? I’d say they obviously are, but that’s a matter for evidence and argument, not listicles. But nobody on the right is ever going to acknowledge this anyway. They really do think of carbon taxes as tantamount to Stalinism and they really do think of national healthcare as a socialist experiment in starting up death panels for old people. I’m not even sure how you have a conversation about this stuff.

15 Responses to “Let's Wait Till the Fever Breaks”

  1. Dean_1230 says:

    It all has to do with scope.  Many of the “carbon-tax” plans are more interested in wealth-redistribution than funding sustainable energy research.
    For example, the Cantwell Carbon Tax plan refunds 75% of the taxes gathered, independent of energy usage.  While this protects against the plan being a regressive tax against the poor, it also is pretty evident that it’s redistributing the wealth to the poor.  From Cantwell’s Senate website’s “Clear Act Overview Memo”, it’s pretty evident that the author even understands this to be redistribution of wealth:
    “The refund feature of the CLEAR Act promotes economic efficiency and protects the income of American consumers””particularly low-income families””as it reduces greenhouse gas emissions. Three quarters of auction proceeds would be returned each month, to each individual legally residing in the United States, on an equal per capita basis in the form of non-taxable cash refunds.”
    Another question that comes to mind is that if 75% of the money is immediately going back to the public, why is that money being gathered in the first place?  Why not just lower the tax rate by 75%? Those of us who do not believe the government to be an efficient organization will question giving it access to so much more money.  Will that 75% turn into 65% because they need more money to build a bridge in Alaska?  How long before it’s 50%?
    A much better plan would be a very low energy tax and have it be law that 100% of that tax would go to energy research.  It would be very hard to argue with such a proposal.

  2. JD Ohio says:

    Compare Mike Roddy who has been featured on Climateprogess
    ” If there’s anyone alive to write the history of corporate funded climate science denial, the following list of 14 Heinous Climate Villains will, by the sheer magnitude of death their lies wrought, make the infamous dictatorial monsters of the 20th century seem like incompetent children. Enjoy!”  Link  http://www.buffalobeast.com/?p=1237

  3. Steven Sullivan says:

    What’s the fever dream there, JD Ohio — the idea that corporations are funding climate science denial, or that such denial is indirectly murderous?

  4. Steven Sullivan says:

    Here’s what underlies Dean)1230’s scenario, where cap’n’trade is ‘of course’ merely a poorly-concealed ploy for ‘redistribution of wealth’  (a right-wing buzz phrase even more popular than ‘job-killing Obamacare’).
    People like him hold as a matter of faith that if you’re poor, it’s all your fault.  And if you’re rich, it’s because you did it all yourself.  Therefore any plan that distributes a national economic burden more on those with money,  than on those without, is ‘redistribution of wealth’ rather than common sense.
    Couple that with the dearly-held view that government inefficiency renders it unfit (not just functionally but morally) to collect and distribute its citizens’ money  — a view that would if enacted as law, basically shut down the National Institutes of Health, to name just one example — and you have the rabid anti-tax faction (which basically encompasses, but is not limited to, the GOP today) in a nutshell.   And I use the word ‘nutshell’ advisedly.

  5. JD Ohio says:

    #3 Sullivan
    “What’s the fever dream there, JD Ohio “” the idea that corporations are funding climate science denial, or that such denial is indirectly murderous?”
    Thanks for confirming my point that the left’s rhetoric is equally as extreme as the right.

  6. Steven Sullivan says:

    JD, I was simply recasting what Roddy wrote, that you quoted
    “by the sheer magnitude of death their lies wrought”
    Do you think I mischaracterized Roddy’s sentiment? How does my question ‘confirm’ it?  I’m asking you if you think that sentiment is a ‘fever dream’.

  7. Steven Sullivan says:

    As for the supposed rhetorical equivalency,  there was a time in memory of some today when incendiary rhetoric from the left was both widely publicized, and taken seriously or even adopted by the most powerful political and media figures.  That time was called the Sixties (whcich slopped over into the 1970s).   It’s long gone.
    The fact is, TODAY, the ‘extreme’,  incendiary , ‘revolutionary’ rhetoric that has the most power behind it, and gets the widest play,  and is legitimized at the highest levels of media and politics,  is coming from the Right.  You can’t deny it honestly.

  8. Dean_1230 says:


    The government is terribly inefficient.  NASA is right now spending 500M on a program that’s already been canceled but can’t stop spending it because of being under a continuing resolution.  That’s not a political issue, it’s a simple fact that happens every time congress reverts to using CRs instead of getting their jobs done on time.

    The problem I have isn’t that the government can’t do things, but that the government has no self-control.  Maybe I’m just a cynic, but I do not for one instant believe that the government would just hand back 75% of the money gathered by that carbon tax.  They’d see that pot of money and they’d take from it to feed their insatiable needs… just like they do now when they raid from government retirement accounts and the social security funds to minimize the deficit.

  9. Dean_1230 says:


    Listen to Olbermann much?  There’s as much hatred there as there is anywhere else.  And read the comments at HuffPo.  Again, a lot of hatred there too…

  10. Stu says:

    I don’t know. If I had a dollar everytime I sat in a conversation with a ‘Left Wing’ enviro crowd and heard something along the lines of ‘The Earth is about to enact it’s revenge over humanity’s environmental crimes’ I’d have enough money to buy a second hand combi van. The apocalyptic rhetoric coming out of the left is sometimes truly amazing to me. And these are the same people who look down on the Christian Right for doing the same thing.

  11. Jim Owen says:

    @Steven Sullivan #4

    And if you’re rich, it’s because you did it all yourself.  Therefore any plan that distributes a national economic burden more on those with money,  than on those without, is “˜redistribution of wealth’ rather than common sense.

    Of course it’s redistribution. But the real point is that the rich have been carrying that load for a long time.  Now the “redistribution” ideas have come down to “make the rich poor and then we’ll have a lavel playing field.” 

    No.  That’s dumb. If you make the rich poor, then the poor become destitute and without hope.  The UK has discovered – or at least is discovering  – that.

    Level playing fields
    are the illusions of the reality-challenged. 

  12. ‘Make the rich poor’ is a strawman.

  13. #9 Dean.
    When Democratic powers publicly grovel and apologize for having dared criticized Olbermann or Huffpo,  like Phil Gingrey and Michaal Steele and Mark Sanford have to Limbaugh, I’ll start to take argument for equivalence seriously.  Until then, it’s absurd to think the Olbermanns or Huffpo currently have anything like the voice or influence on the reins of power, the ability to drive the discourse and change the size of the ‘Overton window’,  that the right wing rabble rousing noise machine does.
    Efforts to tamp down this pervasive ‘extreme’ rhetoric are rather desultory on the right. At the same time uniformity of ‘message’ — particularly as handed out weekly by the Frank Luntz, coordinated with Fox, think tanks,  and blogs — has become a right-wing obsession.  So one might conclude that they kind of like things this way.  Have you noticed we don’t see the lockstep voting in Congress on the Democratic side that you do on the GOP side?  That;’s because the Democrats still have ‘moderates’ and ‘progressives’ and ‘centrists’ in their ranks.  The GOP has all but purged their ranks of anyone but the ‘hard liners’.

  14. JD Ohio says:

    Paul Krugman (who claims to want civility in public discourse) from today’s column:
    “As I tried to explain in my last column, the modern G.O.P. has been taken over by an ideology in which the suffering of the unfortunate isn’t a proper concern of government, and alleviating that suffering at taxpayer expense is immoral, never mind how little it costs”
    Much of his column was a fair attack on Republican numbers.  However, he can’t resist an illogical and emotion driven jibe at Republicans at the end.  More Krugman and liberal hypocrisy.

  15. JD Ohio says:

    Last post I will make concerning extremist rhetoric of the left.  Just stumbled on it, but couldn’t resist.
    From Joe Romm:

    “Further delay is beyond immoral.”

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