With friends like these, who needs enemies?  Prominent members of the GOP establishment met with the Trump White House to unveil their proposal for a national carbon tax.

What is the carbon tax, and why is the GOP establishment embracing an Obama proposal to use fake science to redistribute income?

This recycled liberal idea is now being pushed by former George H.W. Bush administration Secretary of State James Baker and members of the so-called “Climate Leadership Council.”

They met with Trump’s economic adviser Gary Cohn, Chief of Staff Reince Priebus and senior aide Kellyanne Conway to discuss how to implement the scheme.

Under their proposal, power plants, factories, and other employers would be slapped with a $40 tax for every metric ton of carbon dioxide their facility emits.

The tax would be passed on to American consumers, who would pay the carbon tax in the form of higher prices.

A portion of that confiscated money would be redistributed to families to offset their now radically higher electric bills.

Proponents of the carbon tax claim a family of four would pocket $2,000 each year in rebates.

That’s why Baker and other ‘carbon taxers’ call their scheme “Carbon Dividends.”

They refuse to call it a tax and instead put the focus on the cash payouts to Americans.

That means the carbon tax could be used to buy votes, by promising bigger rebate checks to lower-income voters in exchange for electing politicians who will raise the carbon tax on facilities that cater to those who didn’t vote for them.

An unrelated analysis of carbon tax options by the US Department of the Treasury, released in January, suggests that 70% of Americans — those at the lower end of the income spectrum — would actually benefit from such a framework because they use less energy,” Nature magazine reported.

Trump came out against the proposal during the campaign, but with Congress looking to completely overhaul the tax code, a watered-down carbon tax or pilot program could make its way into the final bill – from which it could later be fully imposed.

Baker and his fellow GOP establishment schemers say there is no time to debate the proposal, and it must be implemented immediately or else the planet will perish.

The carbon tax has another prominent defender within the Trump administration.

During his time as Chief Executive Officer of ExxonMobil, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson supported a carbon tax proposal by Barack Obama and lobbied the Republican-led Senate to pass it.

The conventional wisdom is that while a carbon tax would especially punish oil companies, ExxonMobil’s large market share would allow it to survive the hit, watch as smaller competitors were driven out of business, and could then expand its reach.

Carbon tax supporters call their plan “free market,” but government imposes it by force, and Congress, not the market, sets the prices.

It’s the opposite of free market.

But the idea is building support with some Republicans, who see it as a way to buy votes by promising bigger checks, while currying favor with wealthy environmentalist groups and corporations who are willing to pay the tax if it means destroying competitors.

Baker’s “Climate Leadership Council” includes prominent Republicans like George W. Bush Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson, Reagan Secretary of State George Shultz, former Republican Congressman Bob Inglis and Rob Walton, Walmart heir and the ninth-richest man in the world with a net worth of $34 billion.

That translates into a lot of checks to Republican candidates.