Diary

Windfall “Flatulence” Tax

The Left in this country is tax-crazy. Since the passage of the federal income tax in 1913 they have sought a way to tax anything and everything that promises to raise enough revenue to line their socialistic pockets while simultaneously providing them yet one more ounce of control over the lives of the American people. Although they often sell their tax schemes through class-warfare tactics, “justifying” taking from one to give to another by showing that “there is far too great a discrepancy between the haves and the have-nots,” they are not above taxing us on a non-social matter like the environment (and not above stretching this issue a bit to make harming the environment the equivalent of harming the poor).

As a matter of fact, it is in the name of the environment that they have made some of their greatest gains. And the danger is that the Left feeds on itself. Each new tax they pass is immediately followed by a loonier tax proposal. And now, onerous and asinine taxes such the decades old gas-guzzler tax on the big cars we love to drive and the proposed windfall profits tax on the oil companies that provide the fuel for those cars are being “one-upped” by the Left’s “unofficial” pursuit of a flatulence tax.

That’s right, the Left wants to tax cow and pig flatulence as a way to “regulate” the emission of greenhouse gases (Michael Savage couldn’t have been more correct in his assertion that “liberalism is a mental disorder”).

Writing for the Business & Media Institute in December 2008, Jeff Poor cited evidence in the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) “Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking” report that demonstrates the EPA is open to the idea of levying “a tax on livestock.” More specifically, they are open to the idea of taxing livestock flatulence.

According to Poor’s research: “The tax for dairy cows could be $175 per cow, and $87.50 per head of beef cattle. The tax on hogs would upwards of $20 per hog…[and] any operation with more than 25 dairy cows, 50 beef cattle or 200 hogs would have to obtain permits” to continue doing business.

Of course, the Left has been quick to denounce the possibility that this “unofficial” tax proposal will ever really be enacted, but that’s their M.O. (and it is exactly what they said about many of the taxes we’ve now simply grown accustomed to paying annually). They often tell us not to worry in order to keep us from investigating the ramifications of their agenda.

But anyone who takes the time to go to www.epa.gov will see that the EPA seems to have taken the possibility of this tax seriously enough to work out it’s ramifications for us. And the EPA clearly states that this tax would bring “numerous farming operations that currently are not subject to the costly and time-consuming Title V permitting process [under the Clean Air Act] would, for the first time, become covered entities.”

Therefore, in classic class-warfare form, the same Left that tells us not to take this “unofficial” tax proposal seriously also promises that if passed, it will only be aimed at large (read “greedy”) farms, feed-yards, or dairy facilities that excessively contribute to global warming via their large number of cows or pigs. But if we read between the lines, and trust what Rush Limbaugh calls “knowledge guided by experience,” it doesn’t take long to see that we’re being sold a bill of goods here folks.

Just consider this: We told that in order to be liable for the tax, were it implemented, a farm, a feed-yard, or a dairy facility would have to produce a 100 tons of greenhouse emissions a year (www.epa.gov). But the use of “100 tons” is misleading because it distorts how easily the threshold for the tax could be met.

The easiest way to understand how many small farms and livestock operations would fall prey to this tax is to consider that 100 tons of greenhouse emissions can easily be produced by “dairy facilities with over 25 cows, beef cattle operations of over 50 cattle, swine operations with over 200 hogs, and farms with over 500 acres of corn.” Moreover, were this tax passed, such “small” operations would possibly be required “to get a Title V permit” – which is the permit to operate under the auspices of the Clean Air Act.

By the way, did I forget to mention that it costs approximately $100,000 to acquire a Title V permit? Actually, according to Thomas Sullivan, Small Business Administration’s Chief Council of Advocacy, by the time the late 1990s rolled around the process of getting a Title V permit exceeded $100,000 once “the cost of hiring consultants and technical personnel [was] considered.”

On the top of the Title V expenses there would be the actual taxes on flatulence and an additional fee of approximately $32 per ton for greenhouse emissions (http://www.epa.gov/air/oaqps/permits/fees.html). That means, if you were “wealthy” enough to have 26 dairy cows your initial bill would be approximately $107,750 (26 cows at $175 a cow, plus 100 tons of greenhouse emissions at $32 a ton, plus $100,000 for the Title V permit).

How much will it cost us in freedom and dollars to learn the simple lesson that
European Union President Vaclav Klaus has been trying to teach anyone who will listen to him or read his books? The “crisis mentality” attached to global warming is the only aspect of global warming which is demonstrably manmade, and it is now being pressed upon us to a freedom-robbing degree unfathomable since the fall of the Soviet Union.

The same kooks who floated the idea of this flatulence tax (pardon the pun), are telling us not worry about it becoming a reality too soon, but we need to be sure they know that if it is ever enacted it will be too soon for people who treasure liberty.

We must say “yes” to freedom by saying “no” to the assaults upon it, which are continually launched under the guise of environmentalism.