By Rob Roper
Burning cars lit the Arc D’Triumph on Champs-Élysées in that Democratic Socialist paradise of Paris, France, this week as thousands of angry citizens protested that country’s carbon tax on vehicle fuels. Tear gas and water cannons were used to dispel the crowd. This was, according to the BBC, one of 1,600 protests across France on Saturday.
The source of citizen ire is primarily a fuel tax on gasoline and diesel fuel amounting to 3.9 euro cents per liter on the former and 7 cents on the latter. Another increase of 2.9 cents 6.5 cents respectively is set for January 1, 2019, with the promise of more to come. But, beyond the fuel tax, the BBC reports that the protests also “grew to reflect anger at rising living costs, particularly in rural areas, and other grievances against President Macron’s policies.”
Hmm. Sounds a lot like Vermont, doesn’t it?
French President Macron “insisted that the fuel tax rises are a necessary pain to reduce France’s dependence on fossil fuels and fund renewable energy investments, which is a cornerstone of his reforms of the nation.”
Sounds like the French president is wildly out of touch with the actual priorities of his people. This is what happens when politicians serve an ideology rather than the interests of the people who elected them. Which also sounds a lot like Vermont.
When our legislature returns in January, expect the new supermajorities of Democrats and Progressives to bring back a Vermont carbon tax bill. The Vermont Conservation Voters, a group that spent considerable money helping to elect these folks, has made this one of their priorities. If it passes, it will make Vermont a less affordable place to live, especially for rural, working Vermonters. The question is, who will our politicians serve?