Is it possible for America to learn from the mistakes of others?
Australia was ahead of America in making an ill-advised decision to impose a national carbon tax on their citizens. Now they will also lead America retreating from their economic foolishness.
More than 90 percent of the funds related to global warming have been axed from upcoming budget considerations, down to $500 million from a previous level of $5.75 billion.
Leftists and environmental authoritarians are beside themselves but the conservative government of Prime Minister Tony Abbott has promised still more sanity is on the way.
While climate alarmists rail against the move, Abbott describes the cuts as vital to reducing the size of Australia’s government and improving the economy.
Industry Minister Ian Macfarlane said, “The coalition government acknowledges the role of renewable energy in Australia’s energy mix. There is over $1 billion in funding for existing renewable projects to be completed over the coming years.”
He continued saying, “Given the tight fiscal environment as a result of [liberal] Labor’s legacy of debt and deficit, the government considers there is a very significant investment in renewable energy.”
Last fall’s elections handed a landslide victory to the Liberal-National coalition, with Abbott’s commitment to repeal the carbon tax and other environmental regulations playing a major role.
The carbon tax had only recently been enacted in 2012 by former Labor Prime Minister Julia Gillard. It quickly became hugely unpopular, once the costs of higher power bills and inflation moved from the realm of discussion into the reality of daily life.
Although the Liberal-National plan to completely repeal the tax has been blocked by a coalition between the Labor and Green parties, other methods to minimize the economic impact have had some success. The budgetary reduction is one example.
Prime Minister Abbott said last March, “The carbon tax is an act of economic vandalism. You can’t trust [Labor] anywhere near an economy.”
Abbott plans to restore the health of the Australian economy by removing the shackles of mining taxes, green energy funding and the carbon tax.
Dr. Alex Robson, an economist at the University of Brisbane, wrote in a study for the Institute of Energy Research, “Poor policy processes tend to lead to poor policy outcomes. Australia’s carbon tax experience provides a number of important lessons in how not to go about implementing sensible climate change policy.”
In one year, since the implementation of the carbon tax, 2.2 million Australians had their taxes go up while having no impact on the nation’s carbon emissions. Estimates indicate that under the existing plan, carbon levels would not be reduced until 2043.
Even more damning, Robson’s research found that the carbon tax had resulted in a 15 percent rise in electrical rates and an additional ten percent jump in the unemployment rate.
Not being devoid of common sense or rational thought, Prime Minister Abbott recognized that, “The carbon tax is bad for the economy and it doesn’t do any good for the environment.” In an interview with The Washington Post last year, Abbott said, “Despite a carbon tax of $37 a ton by 2020, Australia’s domestic emissions were going up, not down. The carbon tax was basically socialism masquerading as environmentalism, and that’s why it’s going to get abolished.”
Maybe we could send a team of America’s deluded Democrats and other Chicken Little’s who are determined to “un-carbon America to death” down to Australia. Perhaps the real-life experience of our friends down under would be enough to open their eyes and minds.
The political realities of what took place in Australia might have an influence on them as well. If they continue to force this farce upon us, they’ll be out of office soon enough.
That’s what happened to Australia’s previous Prime Minister, Gillard. She was adamant, she was arrogant, she didn’t listen and now she’s gone.
Rick Wells is a conservative writer who recognizes that our nation, our Constitution and our traditions are under a full scale assault from multiple threats. Please “Like” him on Facebook, “Follow” him on Twitter or visit www.rickwells.us