October 22, 2016

TAX WHAT YOU DON'T WANT:


A Workable Blueprint For Energy Freedom (NICOLAS LORIS, 8/05/2016, IBD)

The free-market approach outlined in the Heritage Foundation's "Blueprint for Reform: A Comprehensive Policy Agenda for a New Administration in 2017" would require both presidential and congressional leadership to rein in the size and scope of the federal government.

The blueprint calls for eliminating frivolous federal spending on energy projects that should be driven solely by private sector investment.  This means no more handouts for wind or solar or nuclear -- or carbon-based fuels, for that matter.

There's no need to risk spending any more taxpayer dollars on half-billion dollar boondoggles like failed solar manufacturer Solyndra. Truly promising cutting-edge energy technologies will have no problem attracting private investors.  There's no need to sweeten the pot by giving mega-corporations and wealthy financiers government-backed loans or preferential tax treatment.

Subsidies not only line the pockets of the wealthy, they wind up stunting the development of emerging technologies.  When the government plays favorites, both public and private dollars flow toward that project, starving other potentially groundbreaking ideas of the backing they need.

Moreover, when the government starts doling out tax dollars, the receiving companies have less of an incentive to innovative and more of an incentive to secure another handout. Companies quickly become dependent on federal funding and become bound to pursue the favored path, whether it's a mandate to use biofuels or a special tax break to produce wind power.

Government is bad at picking winners.  Markets are good.  Let the market pick the winners after government sets the market by taxing oil and gas at innovation forcing levels.

Posted by at October 22, 2016 8:45 AM

  

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