" I am for doing good to the poor, but I differ in opinion of the means. I think the best way of doing good to the poor, is not making them easy in poverty, but leading or driving them out of it." -- Benjamin Franklin, November 1776 Just maybe, if the poor were taxed more heavily than the wealthy, it would encourage them to better their position in life so that they could avoid paying so much in taxes. The government frequently taxes things to discourage it. Things like tobacco and alcohol come to mind. The cap and trade will be a tax to discourage certain types of energy usage the government doesn't want.