A lot of readers laugh. And it does seem comical, in a way: I am a conservative because I want to help the poor.

Now, that is supposed to be the exclusive domain of liberals. Indeed, there is said to be a direct correlation between liberalism and compassion. Yet it was only last week that I truly understood the folly of such logic.

Crammed into the tourist class of a Southwest 737 spewing greenhouse gases over the slums of St. Louis, I read about how a truly good government looks after its poor, hungry, huddled masses yearning to breathe free. It taxes them.

While venting about Donald Trump overtaxing trade, the city fathers and mothers of Seattle enacted a tariff of 23 cents per gallon of home heating oil. The policy behind the move was to make Seattle carbon neutral by 2050. Its Space Needle-shaped brain trust simply did not care that antiquated, inefficient oil heating systems were most prevalent among the old and the poor, the people who can least afford higher home heating costs. Neither can they afford to convert their homes to solar, especially in an area where there is more rain than sun.

Rather than have the rich, mostly white limousine liberals give up their private airplanes housed at local airports, or rather than place a tax on caviar and Courvoisier, Seattle decided to freeze those who can’t afford to stay warm.

It was just then that my flight hit an air pocket. My cup of Coca-Cola sloshed perilously near the woman in the center seat beside me. It was then that my attention turned to a Washington Post editorial advocating a new carbon tax. This tariff would surely best Seattle. Not only would home heating oil costs skyrocket, gasoline costs would do the same. Workers, as well as retirees, would jointly fund the quest to lower the rising seas, protecting seaside real estate from Malibu to Martha’s Vineyard.

Unfortunately, when carbon neutrality greets the Messiah in 2050, all those old people who traded food for fuel will be dead. At that point they will not need that liberal compassion anyway.

But what happens if the tides don’t fall? So what? Given enough global warming, who will need a heater? Moreover, If the liberal left can raise the cost for a middle-class worker to drive his 10-year-old Ford and can simultaneously raise the cost to heat his home, all while capturing the workers’ votes and their support to impeach Donald Trump, then such politicians may not be compassionate, but they are brilliant.

And, perhaps that is their lure. Politicians like California’s Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom may be smarter than their Republican rivals. Newsom can support policies that double California’s homeless population while attacking Republicans for lacking compassion. He can even blame greedy California gasoline retailers for his greenhouse gas regulations that cause middle class workers to pay fuel costs $1.50 per gallon greater than the national average. He can do all this and still retain overwhelming middle class support.

When I landed in Los Angeles, I passed by the county’s Zuma Beach. I noticed that California’s sea level did not seem lower than the surf in South Carolina. As I drove down California’s Pacific Coast Highway, I wondered what Californians were buying with their excessive taxes on the working class. I also wondered how the Seattle heating oil tax would help those without six- or seven-figure salaries. I wondered about those huddled masses, my immigrant grandparents among them, who did not come to America yearning to be taxed.

Then I understood. Workers, immigrant or not, do not want liberal compassion. They want to breathe free from precisely the government oppression that oil taxes and carbon taxes impose.

To breathe free means that a worker can live free, eat well and stay warm. I am a conservative, because I want the best for those who too often have known the worst. I pledge to dedicate my political life to their freedom and prosperity. And the best way I can do that is to oppose the feel-good crusades of limousine liberals who regressively tax the working class.

(10) comments

Keith Miller

Just for conversation...the article I read from the Seattle Times dated Sept 30, 2019 / Updated Oct 1, 2019... By Daniel Beekman...has some interesting numbers.

The new tax ( on home heating oil ) is 24 cents per gallon starting Sept 1, 2020 and is expected to $1.6 million in 2021.

In the article it is stated in Seattle the average cost to convert the estimated 18,000 homes that use oil to heat their homes at a cost of $3.00 per gallon is $10,000 to $15,000 to convert each home to electric heat pump system...according to a Council memo. Using the Council's numbers...split the difference and the cost average would be $12,500 to convert each home.

"The city expects about 3,000 household to receive grants and rebates, ( doesn't say how much ) including about 1000 low-income household that will have their conversions completely covered."

The numbers don't add up, just take the 1,000 homes...at an average cost of $12,500 each...the 1,000 homes would cost $12,500,000.00 and in the first year (2021) of the tax Seattle would take in an estimated $1,600,000.00...so it would take approximately "7.81 years" to collect enough home heating oil tax revenue to convert the 1,000 low income homes that the Council says it will convert for free...and that is only if the cost to convert the homes doesn't increase !! And if they wait 7.81 years so they can pay for the 1000 low-income homes...one would have to question if money would still be in the home heating oil tax account !!

My question is...where does the Mayor or Council state how much they will have to raise taxes on everyone that lives in Seattle to make up the difference ??

Sally Larson

I don't think you can make an assumption without knowing how much the grants and rebates are going to be.

Conrad Meyer

Sally, it seems to me that the figures quoted by Keith are accurate and they assume a 100% rebate. This is usually not the case which means the paybacks will be even longer.

Buy hey, liberals never turn down an opportunity to stiff the middle class and poor people in the name of "carbon" or "global warming" or whatever the left decides is appropriate this month.

Kent Misegades

Liberal journalist Arthur Brooks set out a few years ago to prove that liberals are more compassionate than Conservatives. He found just the opposite to be true. This is no surprise to Conservatives. The book is full of statistics and is a good read: Who really cares: the surprising truth about compassionate conversatism: America's charity divide--who gives, who doesn't, and why it matter. Arthur C. Brooks

Sally Larson

Kent. get over liberal/conservative nonsense. Try expressing yourself as an individual worried about your issues. It's so childish to go there.

Conrad Meyer

I have not read the Arthur Brooks book, but plan to. Sally - have you read it? I suspect not since you are simply attacking Kent because you tend to disagree with him.

Sally Larson

Hardly, Conrad, I'm taking a stand against this ridiculous constant back and forth liberal/conservative argument. Are you all Conservative or all Liberal???? I don't associate completely with either side so I'm suggesting people try to have conversations based on their own concerns without this BS. Chances are people will listen to what you're saying if you try to have a serious conversation.

Mark Hayes

Sally, taking a stand that only includes Kent Misegades ? I as yet have not read one comment, ever, by Kent Misegades that attacks others on this site, unlike his predators who take cheap shots at every opportunity, he most often sticks to the issue, not personal attacks. Stick with the issues and don't take on the task of criticizing others, we all have opinions, your own is of no more importance than others. BTW, you may not associate, but outward appearance is very telling, you are a closet liberal.

Sally Larson

No, Mark, I was raised a Republican but am more interested in voting for the person, not the party. That's why I'm an Independent. And yes, as far as this president goes, I can't stand someone who's constantly lying just to make themselves look good without a moral compass. I believe he is misusing the office of the President and doesn't respect his pledge to uphold the constitution. It's definitely the person for me. You do know he was a democrat before he ran for president? No one is just one party, we all have some overlapping concerns and beliefs so I don't see any point to dismiss each other by throwing out labels as though that's all that needs to be said.

Sally Larson

Mr. Levy, first, when are you going to let go of the childish name-calling and write a thoughtful column? If you really want people to hear your argument try writing without all the labeling nonsense unless all you want to do is give little digs to those who don’t vote with you.

I gather your argument about taking care of the poor is about not taxing their oil. Is that right? And that you feel you are a compassionate person for being concerned for them.

I read the Seattle Times article and it seems you overlooked this statement made by the Mayor. “The new revenue will be spent on grants and rebates to help residents move to electric heat. The city expects about 3,000 households to receive grants and rebates, including about 1,000 low-income households that will have their conversions entirely covered.”

So what exactly was your point?

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