Think of it: no sales tax on green energy cars, powerboats, airplanes, appliances, machinery or heating and cooling systems. No income tax on revenue from those products, or on energy produced from green energy sources: wind, solar, hydro, geothermal, etc. No capital gains tax on the stock of green energy technology companies, and pro rata capital gains tax breaks for companies that are partly devoted to green energy. Such a simple straightforward policy will lead to massive new investment in these technologies, and massive consumer demand for them.
All we need to do is unleash the free market and level the playing field. Level the field? Currently the playing field is NOT level, because petroleum leads to many HUGE unintended costs (think pollution, global warming, Katrina, foreign wars, terrorism). These costs are mostly NOT borne by the oil industry, but by the American taxpayer. Green technologies do not carry these costs, and in fact will help America escape these costs. So Green Energy deserves to be tax free because it can save the taxpayer trillions in petroleum subsidies and cleanup costs. That tax break is the most painless cost our country can pay in order to escape our addiction to foreign oil, and all the massive extra costs that addiction brings.
This simple but radical idea is not yet on the radar of any presidential campaign that we know of, which all seem to be sadly ineffective when it comes to energy and environmental policies. We do not need government spending boondoggles disguised as "investment," as Mr. Obama now proposes. We don't need piecemeal tax incentives or inventor prizes for this or that technology, as Mr. McCain proposes. Government should not be in the business of promoting one green technology over another, but should make all of them tax free, and let the market choose the best. We need one simple clear policy that will massively bootstrap green energy, in all its forms: making ALL green energy technology tax free across the board is it.
This blog will consider the energy and environmental proposals of all major candidates and think tanks, applauding the worthy and hopefully improving the rest. We will offer online petitions and other tools for activist promoting green energy and green energy tax cuts. Readers will also find a section here devoted to cool green energy innovations, products and investments. You will see a lot of changes: this is just the first post.
And we want to hear from you: can you help? Are you the person that can introduce this idea to Barack Obama or John McCain? Do you know of any think tanks promoting a similar idea, or that should take up the cause of green energy tax cuts? Do you have any thoughts for the blog -- or technical abilities to contribute to online advocacy for our cause?
Hopefully, the Green Energy Tax Cut proposal will transcend left and right, and have an appeal across party lines. The idea combines the best of both the right and the left, to create what could be called Supply-Side Environmentalism. Supply-side economics holds that, if you want more of something (either prosperity or a clean environment) just tax it less. It will be a great accomplishment if we can motivate both the tax cutters of the right and the environmentalists of the left to drop the dogma and mutual suspicion to come together to solve the greatest challenge facing out nation today.
R. R. Richardson