Thursday, December 18, 2008

The cow fart tax really stinks

From the 22 December 2008 Greater Niagara Newspapers

By Bob Confer

(Warning: this column is totally bound-up with bathroom innuendo)

Excuse me! Everything you’ll read here is true. I’m not full of it….

Don’t let anyone tell you that the old farts in Washington aren’t good with dollars. Sure, they spend them like they’re going out of style, but they really know how to get their dirty hands on them. Tax this. Tax that. It’s an all-around crappy situation.

Because we’re such stinkers with our taxes, good ol’ Uncle Sam is flushed with excitement over the Environmental Protection Agency’s newest idea. The EPA is looking to suppress the (m)ass hysteria over global warming by letting rip with a tax on the production of greenhouse gases like methane and carbon dioxide. It just so happens that those gases are the same gases we live and breathe every day, whether we like it or not…the same gases that every man, woman, and child occasionally lets slip. Yep, The EPA wants to tax farts. No crap! Only from the deepest bowels of Washington could something as stinky as this creep up on us.

But, they know full well that we financially-strapped taxpayers usually don’t go down without a fight as we strain to fill the pot. So, the politicians, who have a nose for bloated government, have trained their sights on the derrieres that make dairy air. They’ve put serious thought into to taxing cows for supposedly dumping on all of us with their noxious fumes.

This dark cloud of taxation reeks of disrespect for our farmers and has them asking, “what kind of ass would do this?!” Oh, the irony of the words!

They can thank the United Nations. In 2006 the organization issued a BS report about BS called “Livestock’s Long Shadow” that anal-yzed the environmental impact of cattle rearing. According to those blowhards, cows are the most significant producer of human-related greenhouse gases, far exceeding the fumes that cars spew into the air. They say livestock creates 9% of the CO2, 37% of the methane, 64% of the ammonia, and 65% of the NO2. They believe the last one to be the worst because it has 296 times the global warming impact of CO2. It’s obvious they find cow farts to have a silent but deadly effect on the environment.

What really stinks is the fact the EPA might be unstoppable because it has the Supreme Court bringing up the rear on this one. Last year the Court let us know they weren’t behind the times by upholding the Clean Air Act of 1970 which they say allows the EPA to regulate gases (greenhouse and outhouse) if it concludes the gases will affect public welfare and health. Basically, the high court will turn their noses up at any farmer who comes to them looking to give the EPA a good ol’ kick in the behind.

You can’t blame the farmers for being mad. They are already struggling to make ends meet and this will serve only to pinch-off more profits, unless the marketplace can accept higher costs. It won’t be a cheap endeavor, either. The EPA must have done a lot of pondering while on the porcelain because the impact is ass-tronomical: They would like to tax all farms that have more than 25 dairy cows, 50 head of beef, or 200 pigs. The rate would work out to be $175 for a farting cow, $87.50 for every bull and its bull, and $20 for every piggish pig. The manure and farts from a 500-head dairy farm would cost that farmer $87,500 per year in taxes. How do you like them (road) apples?

Thankfully, a lot of people have caught wind of this idea and are poo-pooing the concept. Even Senator Chuckie Schumer, usually one to be full of hot air, makes scents - I mean sense - when it comes to the fart tax. He recently let his constituents know that the he thinks the EPA is full of it when he belched this classic line: "This goes in the category ‘you can't believe this.' This will impact New York from one end to the other." God bless that stinker.

Hopefully, the EPA and our more-liberal elected officials will wipe the slate clean and toss this legislation into the sewer where it belongs. Butt – I mean but - you never know…these smelly politicians might pass this like a good movement. Why? It’s usually like pulling teeth to bring in new tax revenues, but if they have their way it will be as easy as pulling a finger. To them this fart tax is almost too good to be true. One man’s garbage really is another man’s treasure.

How can they take themselves seriously? I sure the heck can’t!

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