UPDATED BELOW THE FOLD
Why is the mainstream media --which keeps lecturing Americans that Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson's Bailout Package Version 2.0 must be passed immediately-- ignoring what might be the most earth-shattering provisions in Paulson's package?
The media needs to start asking hard questions. Here is where they need to start. If you look at page 180 of the 451-page monster bailout bill that easily passed the Senate yesterday (PDF here), you will see that it includes at Section 116 language about the tax treatment of "industrial source carbon dioxide." It also provides, at Section 117, for a "carbon audit of the tax code."
What could a provision about the tax treatment of "industrial source carbon dioxide" and another provision about doing a "carbon audit" of the tax code possibly have to do with restoring confidence in Wall Street's troubled credit markets?
The answer: NOTHING.
This appears to be an attempt by global warming fanatics to lay the foundation for an economy-killing carbon tax just like the "cap-and-tax" system that is now destroying European industry.
If you think the Mother of All Bailouts is bad, just wait till you see the carbon tax. Get ready to reduce your standard of living drastically.
It really shouldn't be a surprise that these non-germane provisions are included in legislation that is supposed to save all of us from economic Armageddon.
After all, Henry Paulson is a confirmed environmentalist and global warming true-believer who abused his power at Goldman Sachs. While Paulson headed Goldman Sachs he simultaneously headed the Nature Conservancy and his wife was a former Conservancy board member. (See "In Goldman Sachs We Trust: How the Left's Favorite Bank Influences Public Policy," by Fred Lucas, Foundation Watch, October 2008.)
Henry Paulson presided over Goldman Sachs's donation of 680,000 acres of land it owned in Tierra del Fuego, Chile to the New York-based Wildlife Conservation Society.
One of the trustees of the Wildlife Conservation Society was H. Merritt Paulson, the son of Henry Paulson.
As green critic Paul Driessen observed, at no time did anyone "assess the vast area's potential value for timber, oil or metals, so that locals and [Goldman Sachs] shareholders would at least know the true cost of the giveaway."
And the media tells Americans to trust Henry Paulson to do the right thing when doling out taxpayer dollars to his former colleagues on Wall Street?
Update: An expert offers a better explanation of one of the carbon-related provisions that is in the Bailout 2.0 bill. According to this wizard of Wall Street, one provision provides preferential tax treatment for publicly-traded partnerships when they trade so-called carbon offsets. It was reportedly already passed in another bill: What's so urgent about that tax provision that it absolutely had to go into another bill that aims to deal with a financial emergency? So, you can see it's a little more complex than explained above.
However, it's still bad because it gives legitimacy to these strange indulgences known as carbon offsets and provides a tax incentive for trading them. I am also informed by this source that Henry Paulson did not push to insert these two carbon-related provisions, but he certainly didn't object to them, and his track record strongly suggests he would support them.
When he ran Goldman Sachs, Paulson released a statement specifically endorsing carbon trading. As the Washington Post reported (June 1, 2006) reported:
Last year under Paulson's direction, Goldman Sachs issued an eight-page position paper on environmental policy, saying it accepts a scientific consensus, led by United Nations climate experts, that global warming poses one of the greatest threats this century.
Like Bush, the Goldman Sachs statement endorsed a market for businesses to buy and sell rights to emit greenhouse gases, saying it will spur technology advances by companies "that lead to a less carbon-intensive economy." But, it added, "Voluntary action alone cannot solve the climate change problem," a position contrary to the Bush administration's view.
(Hat tip to Paul Chesser, of Center for Climate Strategies Watch, as posted at AmSpecBlog)
(Crossposted at Capital Research Center's blog here)