Renewable Energy Projects (Green New Deal)
Moving to clean, renewable energy as rapidly as possible is one of the key elements of responding appropriately to the climate crisis.
We recommend initiatives focused on putting Renewable Energy Projects in place in as many states as possible as a top priority. Workers would be hired to manufacture wind turbines and solar panels and to construct wind farms and solar farms.
Funding for these projects would come from a tax on long-term capital gains and qualified dividends equal to the difference between what a taxpayer has paid in federal taxes on this type of income (taxed at 15%) and what she or he would have paid on an equal amount of ordinary income.
The rationale for taxing capital gains at a lower rate than ordinary income was based on the claim that doing so would result in job creation. This “trickle down” theory has been thoroughly discredited by decades of failure. “Job creators” do not create jobs because they have extra money in the bank. Jobs are created when the demand for a company’s products or services exceed the supply. When more and more workers are unemployed or struggling to make ends meet, demand does not expand.
Taxing long-term capital gains and qualified dividends at the same rate as ordinary income and using the money raised to put unemployed and under-employed workers to work on socially useful jobs, is a much more effective and direct means of moving toward full employment.
The “New Deal” jobs programs of President Franklin Roosevelt proved the effectiveness of socially useful public sector jobs in reducing unemployment during The Great Depression.
Initiative proposals to put Renewable Energy Projects in place will demonstrate the power and the benefits of this approach in addressing the threat posed by the climate crisis and yield immediate benefits by providing a powerful boost to the economies of the states enacting this part of a Green New Deal.