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Parade Pushes Another Gas Tax

     Parade magazine wants you to push Congress for higher taxes. Just don't generate too much carbon dioxide on your way there.

     Alongside author Eugene Linden’s alarmist June 25 article, “Why You Can’t Ignore the Changing Climate,” the syndicated Sunday magazine included a sidebar with suggestions on “What We Can Do” to stop global warming. But by the fifth and final item, the editors made it clear they thought government, not free individuals in a free market, is the solution to climate change problems.

     “Encourage your Representative and Senators to enact a carbon tax,” Parade told its readers, arguing that “imposing a tax on carbon would guide everybody to the least-harmful products for the climate.”

     What’s the problem with simply conserving energy without a coercive tax? “If we conserve energy without such a tax, it will simply lower gas prices – then once again encourage waste and pour more carbon into the atmosphere.”

     So at the start of the summer holiday road trip season, Parade was advocating artificially high gas prices via even more taxation.

     While Parade avoided telling its readers just what a “carbon tax” is, other proponents have been more brutally honest.

     It’s another tax you’ll have to pay on gasoline, admitted William Schlesinger, a proponent of the carbon tax and dean of the School of Environment and Earth Sciences at Duke University.

     “A tax on carbon, which would show up in higher costs for electricity or gasoline, would provide an incentive for each of us to use energy more efficiently if we wanted to pay lower taxes,” Schlesinger wrote in a May 16, 2005 article on the Duke University Web site.

     “Still want an SUV? Buy it, but each year you’ll pay more for gasoline than your neighbor who has a Toyota Prius,” he smugly added.

     But SUV drivers already pay more for fuel because of lower gas mileage. And gasoline taxes already account for a large chunk of the price of gasoline. The Energy Information Agency (EIA) estimated that 23 percent of the cost of a gallon of gasoline was taken up by taxes in 2004.

     Parade’s push for the carbon tax came a day before the U.S. Supreme Court agreed to hear a case which may force the Bush administration to regulate carbon dioxide as a “greenhouse gas.”

     The Business & Media Institute has previously written on Parade’s downbeat coverage of the economy.