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Heartland Weekly - A Fool’s Errand: Al Gore’s $15 Trillion Carbon Tax

May 15, 2017

Al Gore, through his newly created Energy Transitions Commission, wants to reverse modernity and save the world from itself by eliminating its fossil-fuel-based energy system. This and more on this week's edition of Heartland Weekly.

If you don’t visit Freedom Pub and the Heartlander digital magazine every day, you’re missing out on some of the best news and commentary on liberty and free markets you can find. But worry not, freedom lovers! Heartland Weekly is here for you every Monday with a highlight show. Subscribe to the email today, and read this week’s edition below.

Pruitt Should Call for End to Ethanol Subsidies
Peter Ferrara, The Daily Caller
Scientific American reports roughly 40 percent of today’s corn crop is used for ethanol made from corn, which is added to gasoline. That is more than the second largest use of corn – as feed for livestock – which consumes 36 percent of the annual corn crop. New EPA Chief Scott Pruitt and the rest of the Trump economic team need to recognize that the Renewable Fuel Standard and ethanol mandate represent a net loss to the economy, subtracting from growth. Abolishing the RFS and its tax would consequently amount to a pro-growth boost to the economy. READ MORE

Blame the Free Market, Comrade
Michael Hamilton and Chad Savage, Investor’s Business Daily
In the 2000s, self-described patient advocates blamed free-market policies (which were never tried) for the broken health care system that prompted Congress to pass and President Barack Obama to sign the Affordable Care Act in 2010. These same voices now say replacing Obamacare with free-market policies would make health care and insurance even less affordable. The fact is that market forces are not to blame for America’s broken health care system any more than two plus two equals five. Let’s break down the math. READ MORE

A Fool’s Errand: Al Gore’s $15 Trillion Carbon Tax
Fred Palmer, Washington Examiner
Al Gore, through his newly created Energy Transitions Commission, wants to reverse modernity and save the world from itself by eliminating its fossil-fuel-based energy system. It’s the same scheme Gore has been pushing since his awful 1992 book, Earth in the Balance. Gore’s $15 trillion carbon tax plan would destroy the market for continued robust development of the world’s fossil-fuel base. Our economic growth and personal well-being depend on robust fossil-fuel use, so Gore’s plan would destroy these as well. READ MORE

Featured Podcast: Jonathan Bydlak: The Omnibus Bill and Government Spending
Budget & Tax News Managing Editor Jesse Hathaway is joined by Jonathan Bydlak, president of the Coalition to Reduce Spending. They discuss the recently passed $1.1 trillion omnibus spending bill, which will fund the federal government through September. The bill contains few of the spending cuts President Donald Trump proposed earlier this year, and it includes taxpayer funding for Planned Parenthood, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the National Endowment for the Humanities. Some government agencies and programs, such as the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, are even getting more money than they got last year from President Barack Obama. But why? LISTEN TO MORE

Charter Schools Prove Even Slight Separation from Government Yields Better Results
Teresa Mull, Townhall
Last week was National Charter Schools Week, and parents, students, teachers, and community members across the nation celebrated the success of their independent schools. Charters are public schools, since they’re publicly funded, tuition-free, and open to all students, but they’re privately managed and generally held to higher accountability standards than traditional public schools in exchange for increased flexibility in other areas. READ MORE

Kimmel, Congress Teach How (Not) to Message on Health Care
Michael Hamilton, Consumer Power Report
Students of the Obamacare replacement effort were assigned two lessons in health care policy messaging in the past week, courtesy of comic television host Jimmy Kimmel and Rep. Raúl Labrador (R-ID). Would the class like to guess who taught which lesson? One speaker demonstrated the persuasive power of emotional assertions not grounded in reason or fact. The other speaker demonstrated the futility of using only reason and fact to persuade an emotional audience. These lessons are especially applicable to health care policy debates, which frequently and irrationally place the interests of the few ahead of those of the many, thereby failing to serve either group well. READ MORE

Group Tries to Halt Expansion of Arizona’s ESA Program
Teresa Mull, School Choice Weekly

Arizona families scored a huge win in April when the legislature voted to expand the state’s education savings account program. Now, the group “Save Our Schools Arizona” is trying to make sure families who want a choice in how and where their children are educated don’t get one. I’ve asked this question many times but have yet to receive an answer from the pro-public school people: If your schools are so great, why are you afraid the ESA program “could dismantle public education”? READ MORE

Dear Ivanka, Please Consider This
Joseph Bast and H. Sterling Burnett, Climate Change Weekly
This week’s lead essay is excerpted from an open letter Heartland Institute President Joseph Bast sent to Ivanka Trump, daughter of and top advisor to President Donald Trump. The essay, published in The American Spectator, explains why the United States should not stay in the Paris climate agreement. Writes Bast: “Once you look at the underlying science – the same sort of number-crunching you would perform for a complicated business transaction – you will discover there is no scientific case for reducing our use of fossil fuels.” READ MORE

Bonus Podcast: Michael McShane: SCOTUS Hears Arguments in Blaine Amendment-Centered Case
School Reform News Managing Editor Teresa Mull talks with Michael McShane, director of education policy at the Show-Me Institute. They discuss a Blaine Amendment case before the U.S. Supreme Court in which a Missouri school with religious affiliations is challenging the state’s denial of a grant to the school. The school sought to take part in a program that helps schools access rubber to make playgrounds safer, but the school was denied the grant because of Missouri’s Blaine Amendment, which prohibits public money from funding “sectarian” purposes. LISTEN TO MORE

Political Planning Versus Personal Planning by Everyone
Richard Ebeling, Future of Freedom Foundation
​​In politics everyone has a plan. A plan to “fix” the health care problem. A plan to “protect” the environment. A plan to “guarantee” everyone a “living wage.” A plan to “control” immigration. A plan to have “sustainable” economic growth. The list goes on almost endlessly. Planning is inseparable from being a conscious, thinking human being. So if we all do it, what’s wrong with people proposing and governments implementing political plans attempting to impact upon, influence, or direct outcomes in society? A fundamental difference between the plans each of us make as individuals and those made by government is that of voluntary choice versus political compulsion. READ MORE

Defund Climate Change Research to Pay for Pre-Existing Conditions
Joe Bastardi, Environment & Climate News

Here’s a novel idea. Take the billions of dollars going toward what supposedly is a settled science issue – climate change – and use it to create a health insurance pool for those with pre-existing conditions. It is our duty to help those less fortunate and for the government to provide a safety net. So let’s form that safety net, dealing with a known problem today, not a ghost that may or may not be there tomorrow – especially since in the age of fossil fuels, human progress has skyrocketed. READ MORE

Author
Jim Lakely is the director of communications at The Heartland Institute.
jlakely@heartland.org @jlakely