Monsieur Macron Retreats
Editorial of The New York Sun | December 4, 2018
Does the revolt of the Yellow Jackets in France vindicate President Trump’s decision to withdraw from the Paris Climate Accord? It’s certainly looks that way following the retreat by President Macron from the plan to boost taxes on fuel because of global warming. Mr. Trump’s complaint, after all, was about the cost to Americans of the accord. Turns out the French don’t want to pay for it, either.
Monsieur Macron’s retreat — or capitulation — on fuel taxes was announced today by the Prime Minister. With parts of Paris still smoldering from the riots, the premier suspended, albeit only for six months, plans to increase the tax on diesel. He also backed off plans to hike the cost of gas and electricity. To announce the retreat, the hard-pressed premier forewent a climate conference in Poland.
Feature, in any event, the language Mr. Trump used when he announced America’s withdrawal from the Paris Accord. The pact, he warned, disadvantaged the United States, “leaving American workers — who I love — and taxpayers to absorb the cost in terms of lost jobs, lower wages, shuttered factories, and vastly diminished economic production.” Workers and taxpayers were the key.
How was it possible for a president seen by the liberals as a lug nut to figure this out, when the reasoning was beyond all the graduates of Sciences Po? It’s doubly odd, since, compared to Americans, the French barely use their cars and trucks. They travel not even half the miles per capita that we do. Yet they pay a sharply higher percent of their income on gasoline. Go figure (allez comprendre?).
Not that it’s simply France. “The carbon tax revolt is world-wide,” the Wall Street Journal points out in a trenchant editorial this morning. It notes that only a month ago voters in Washington state rejected a carbon tax. When the Journal tried to estimate the Evergreen State’s contribution to global emissions it discovered its calculator couldn’t handle a number that small.
Investors Business Daily is also out today with a shrewd editorial, warning against ferment in Congress — including, it says, some Republicans — for a carbon tax. This ferment is a danger owing to the Democratic Party’s accession in the House. IBD warns of the idea that carbon taxes could be sold as redistributionist measures. Sounds to us like all this could ripen in time for the 2020 presidential election. If Mr. Trump is on the ballot, he can don a yellow vest.