Carol Browner a Socialist? - The American Spectator | USA News and Politics
Carol Browner a Socialist?

There’s a tendency of conservatives to carelessly toss about the “S” word.  Like John McCain, who opposed the Bush tax cuts while spouting left-wing rhetoric, then accusing Barack Obama of being a socialist because the latter proposed to increase taxes on the rich.  It was bad liberal redistributionist policy, but McCain–for every bail-out as well as cap-and-trade–was in no position to call his opponent a socialist for advocating the same dumb liberal redistributionist policies.

However, as the Washington Examiner pointed out last week (and the Washington Times mentioned today), Carol Browner really is a socialist.  Or at least, she belonged to the Commission for a Sustainable World Society, which is part of the Socialist International.  Granted, these are pretty wimpy socialists, rather than serious guys with guns intent on seizing everyone’s property.  But still.  Reports the Examiner:

Conservatives are often accused of scaremongering when they claim left-wing environmentalists are actually socialists hiding behind green disguises. But with Carol Browner, incoming President Barack Obama’s freshly appointed Assistant to the President for Energy and Climate Change – the so-called White House “Climate Czar” –  there is no question about the socialism.  Browner is a member of the Commission for a Sustainable World Society (CSWS), which is a formal organ of the Socialist International. Oddly enough, the group’s web site was recently scrubbed to remove Browner’s picture and biography, but her name is still listed next to the photo-biographies of her 14 colleagues on the commission. The Socialist International is no group of woolly-headed idealists. It is an influential assembly of officials from across the international community whose official Statement of Principles describes an agenda of gaining and exercising government power based on socialist concepts.

Browner’s CSWS is similarly open about the economic costs it is willing to impose, across national borders to achieve its environmental utopia. On Sept. 5-6, 2008, the commission noted that the costs of its proposals would “rang[e] in the hundreds of billions of dollars over the next two decades,” and it called for a “redesign of the international rules on intellectual property.” That is international bureaucratese for compelling an inventor to surrender property rights in order to “share” technologies with less-developed countries.

At the Congress of the Socialist International held last June 30-July2, the CSWS officially resolved that “market solutions alone are insufficient and will not provide the financial support and resources necessary to achieve the required combination of deep emission reduction, adaptation to already changing climate conditions, energy security and equitable and environmentally sound economic development.” Again, that’s bureaucratese. It means that international taxes should be imposed to provide the “resources necessary” to impose what the CSWS repeatedly refers to as a ‘regime” against “global warming.”  By appointing Browner to a White House post, Obama has at the least implicitly endorsed an utterly radical socialist agenda for his administration’s environmental policy. The incoming chief executive thus strengthens critics who contend environmental policies aren’t really about protecting endangered species or preserving virgin lands, but rather expanding government power and limiting individual freedom.

The best part is that Browner obviously is embarrassed by the connection, since someone has engaged in a bit of Stalinist air-brushing of history by eliminating her picture and bio from the socialist website.

Alas, she’s headed to the White House–ironically, to be “Czar” of the Climate.  (Didn’t socialists revolt against the last real Czar?).  That means there will be no Senate confirmation process, with an opportunity ask appropriate questions.

Doug Bandow
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Doug Bandow is a Senior Fellow at the Cato Institute.
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