David Foster’s post on the cost to industry of EPA overreach gave me an idea of how to pit one group of Leftists against another group of Leftists.
The upper-class, white, environmentalist Leftists might not care if Shell lost 4 billion (with a b) dollars when forced to shelve their exploration plans in Alaska but I wonder if, say, an African-American redistributionist Leftist struggling to find funding for urban social-welfare programs might care about all the Federal tax revenues lost when Shell is forced by the environmentalist to forego the profits they would have made pumping the oil.
If Shell was going to spend $4 billion in development, then they planned to make at least twice that in profits. With the 35% US corporate tax rate, the means that the Federal government alone just lost $1.5 billion in tax revenues. That’s a bit simplistic of a calculation but nevertheless once you take into account the loss of income and social security taxes from the jobs that won’t be created, the EPA’s actions just cost the government a lot of tax revenues.
Leftists who base their politics on redistribution have to eventually become sensitive to the cumulative effect of the shutdown of economic activity in the name of extreme environmental protection. It’s one thing for a Leftists to say, “Yea! We cost the oil companies a lot of profit!” and another to say, “Hey, we just reduced the amount of money the government has to redistribute by billions of dollars!”
Perhaps, we need to sneak a bill through that requires the Government Accounting Office to calculate how much tax revenues all these EPA stunts cost. If we can get Leftists to start thinking of environmental restrictions as costing Leftists themselves money for their pet projects, we might be able to shutdown support for extreme environmentalism among the remaining Leftists who care more about people than trees.