Monday, July 1, 2013

Why Conservatives Should Love a Carbon Tax—and Why Some of Them Do

Last Week the White House released a long-anticipated Climate Action Plan. Conservatives have been swift to attack it as a “backdoor energy tax.” The critics could not be more wrong. A carbon tax, or energy tax of any kind, is the one big piece that is missing from the President’s plan.

Despite the criticism, though, some prominent conservatives see a better way of turning the issue of energy taxes to their advantage. Among those who support a carbon tax are Gregory Mankiw, Harvard professor and former Chairman of the President’s Council of Economic Advisers under George W. Bush; George P. Schultz, Treasury Secretary under Richard Nixon and Secretary of State under Ronald Regan; and  David Frum, former special assistant to George W. Bush.

Here are some of the reasons why conservatives, even the climate skeptics among them, should love a carbon tax.

A carbon tax would improve tax efficiency

Although conservatives don’t like taxes, they reluctantly agree that the government does need revenue. In recent years, their budget plans have called for a reduction in federal spending to a range of 18 to 20 percent of GDP. To fund even that level of spending without large deficits—which they also dislike—would require a lot of tax revenue. Where should it come from? >>>Read more

1 comment:

  1. Citizens Climate Lobby suggests a "carbon fee and dividend". Carbon sources are charged a "pollution fee", and those fees are rebated in full to households. More than 2/3 of households would get back more than they would pay in higher gas or heating prices, for example. It is not a "tax", as the government does not keep the fees, but returns them 100% to households.

    The purpose: to lower emissions. It would do this as lower relative costs of green energy would be stimulated. So, it uses the free market forces, rather than regulations.

    The only obstacle? Fossil fuel corporations, fearing loss in market share, demand that the "fossil tools" in Congress, oppose it, though the Earth be burnt to a cinder: Profit uber alles.