A visitor from Mars or Pluto could reasonably conclude that Earth is a weird planet indeed. “It’s a heavenly body of great beauty,” he might report back to headquarters, “where everyone is trying to change his and her sex but is so squeamish about talking about sex that they must coin euphemisms, such as ‘gender identity,’ to describe it.”
President Trump’s boisterous press conferences sometimes cast a shadow over one of his most important achievements so far: his executive order suspending runaway Environmental Protection Agency rules that all but bankrupted the American coal industry. Three of America’s largest coal companies declared Chapter 11 in recent years largely as a result of rules like the Clean Power Plant Act, a gift of Barack Obama.
There’s a lot to be said about government regulation — and much of it not good. Some regulation, given that human nature is what it is, is necessary. But sometimes it seems there’s little difference between the government telling you how to spend your money and the government just taking it. Regulations are a lot like taxes.
The fight over who controls U.S. immigration policy is about to enter Round Two. President Trump pledges to come out swinging with a reformulated restriction on prospective immigrants. He seems deadly serious about defending the nation’s borders, and those who want to throw open the borders to everyone seem just as determined to stop him. The outcome will determine nothing less than who defines America.
Every problem in Washington finally finds a solution, and it’s usually called a tax. A group of policy mavens, eager to do something for everybody, proposes to tax carbon, the substance found in all forms of fossil fuels. It’s the fourth-most abundant element in the universe. The idea is that if there’s a levy on the carbon content of oil, coal and natural gas, consumers will use less of it. Presto! No more human-caused global warming. But it still smells like a tax.