French Supreme Court overturns proposed carbon tax
Last week, as something between a Christmas present and New Year's resolution for the French people, France's Supreme Court ruled that a carbon tax which was scheduled to take effect on January 1st was unconstitutional.
The court's ruling was based on two aspects of the law: One was that the tax would not be equitably applied across sectors of the economy, with the damage being greatest to petroleum products, particularly gasoline and heating oil. Essentially, the process of the law (much like our own current health care bill) became so politicized that the exemptions given to favored (or feared) groups caused the final result to be against France's equivalent of "equal protection".
Second, the court ruled that all the exemptions -- it was estimated the 93% of industrial emissions outside of using fuel as fuel would have been exempted from the tax -- caused the measure to violate its stated intent, i.e. to lessen man-made global warming.
Again, it's somewhat like our health care bill, with all of its provisions having impact directly opposite the politicians' stated intent to "bend down the cost curve" of health care inflation.
It's remarkable to see the French lead the way with a court upholding their own constitution. Let's just hope that our Supreme Court does the same thing when the inevitable challenge to Obamacare gets to them.
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