Well, that’s what he says the taxes are for. He’s a Democrat, his lips are moving, you do the math.

Dealing with global warming will be painful, says one of the most powerful Democrats in Congress. To back up his claim he is proposing a recipe many people won’t like — a 50-cent gasoline tax, a carbon tax and scaling back tax breaks for some home owners.

“I’m trying to have everybody understand that this is going to cost and that it’s going to have a measure of pain that you’re not going to like,” Rep. John Dingell, who is marking his 52nd year in Congress, said Wednesday in an interview with The Associated Press.

Dingell will offer a “discussion draft” outlining his tax proposals on Thursday, the same day that President Bush holds a two-day conference to discuss voluntary efforts to combat climate change.

The basic points of the plan are:

—A 50-cent-a-gallon tax on gasoline and jet fuel, phased in over five years, on top of existing taxes.

—A tax on carbon, at $50 a ton, released from burning coal, petroleum or natural gas.

—Phaseout of the interest tax deduction on home mortgages for homes over 3,000 square feet. Owners would keep most of the deduction for homes at the lower end of the scale, but it would be eliminated entirely for homes of 4,200 feet or more.

And the revenues generated will go to pay for:

Some of the revenue would be used to reduce payroll taxes, but most would go elsewhere including for highway construction, mass transit, paying for Social Security and health programs and to help the poor pay energy bills.

In other words, they would just use the taxes to pay for stuff they’re already doing but want to do more of. How does highway construction or paying the poor’s energy bills do diddly for global warming? I could see someone making an argument that more highways lead to less traffic congestion, which leads to fewer traffic jams, which leads to less waste of fossil fuels, but the green counter-argument is usually that more highways leads to more drivers driving more cars.

At any rate, before we all run off ready to pay another half buck per gallon in gas taxes, perhaps we should bone up on the science that’s supposedly driving the global warming movement. Such as, the hockey stick may have been broken.