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October 15, 2007

A Sustainable Policy

Last week it was great to see Al Gore acknowledged for his efforts in promoting the building of a more sustainable society.  With a decrease in pollution and energy consumption, we will have fewer incidences of illnesses such as asthma and thereby decreasing the amount we spend on health care, more money to spend on things aside from energy, greater domestic and international economic growth, and a more peaceful world because money will not flow en mass to dictatorships built off of fossil fuels, especially ones that finance international terrorism. 

One big problem with proposed policy measures is that they do not allow for both parties to get what they want from the table.  The Democrats want to help the environment, public health, etc., and the Republicans want to promote growth by lowering taxes.  To increases its chances of success, a policy should take into account these agendas.  One such as this:

  1. A cap-and-trade pollution system where the government sells credits that companies can buy for their needs.  The cap would need to be lowered each year to promote further decreases in energy used. 
  2. Requiring all business that produce goods in the United States or that sell goods to American consumers to participate in the system and to take into account a life-cycle analysis of their products.
  3. Requiring companies listed in the United States and those that want to have government pensions buy their stock to disclose their carbon footprint.
  4. Eliminating the corporate income tax in exchange for participation.

A policy such as this will promote business to adopt more energy efficient measures and reward the most energy efficient companies by allowing them to sell their credits and then not have to pay a corporate income tax.  The elimination of the corporate income tax would further spur innovation and accelerate the development of a more sustainable environment.

This acceleration of innovation will create millions of jobs in research, development, production, marketing, financing, and servicing these new products and make American-made products more competitive in the global economy.  These new employment opportunities along with the money the government makes by selling the credits will also offset the revenue lost by the elimination of the corporate income tax, keeping our national debt from increasing due to the program.

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