Sen. John Kennedy (R-La.) used a series of odd-ball questions on Wednesday to highlight the far-fetched hypothesis of one carbon tax advocate.
During a Senate Budget Committee hearing addressing intersecting issues of the economy and climate change, Kennedy began his time grilling two witnesses, Dr. Douglas Holtz-Eakin and Dr. Robert Litterman, about the costs associated with carbon neutrality.
Litterman, a devout advocate of a carbon tax, admitted he does not know the cost, while Holtz-Eakin estimated it would cost $50 trillion. When Kennedy followed up, asking how carbon neutrality would positively impact the climate, neither man could provide a substantive answer because they both agreed it would be contingent on China and India, which count for more than one-third of the world's population.
Kennedy then zeroed in on Litterman's apparently uninformed advocacy.
"Do you believe ... based on your observation of [Chinese President Xi] Jinping that Mr. Xi Jinping will ever do anything that is inconsistent with China's best interests in the name of global climate change?" he asked Litterman.
Litterman responded that China indeed has a carbon tax. Of course, that was not Kennedy's question. The Republican senator then clarified his inquiry, asking Litterman whether he believes Xi Jinping would ignore China's domestic interests in lieu of global ones.
"I think that President Xi understands that we have to work together to address this global problem, yes I do," Litterman responded.
Kennedy questions Litterman, Holtz-Eakin on climate in Budgetwww.youtube.com
To register the implausibility of Xi ever putting China's interests second to the international community, Kennedy then asked Litterman three questions that exposed the absurdity of Litterman's suggestion.
"Do you believe in the Tooth Fairy?" Kennedy asked.
"No sir," Litterman responded.
"Do you believe in the Easter Bunny?" Kennedy followed up.
"No sir," Litterman shot back.
"Do you believe that Jimmy Hoffa died of natural causes?" Kennedy asked again.
"No sir," Litterman said.
President Joe Biden has directed the U.S. government to take steps to reach carbon neutrality by 2050. But two major questions about carbon neutrality, which Kennedy highlighted, remain unanswered, namely how it will be financed and whether it will work at all without all-in support from India and China.
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