What Experts Are Saying
What Conservatives Are Saying About Market-Based Solutions to Climate Change
[A] regulatory approach is fraught with problems… Fortunately, a policy broader in scope is possible… If the government charged a fee for each emission of carbon, that fee would be built into the prices of products and lifestyles… The crucial point is what is done with the revenue raised by the carbon fee…[If] the new revenue [is used] to reduce personal and corporate income tax rates, a bipartisan compromise is possible to imagine. Among economists, the issue is largely a no-brainer.
If you can find a tax that already exists that is doing more damage than the carbon tax would do dollar-for-dollar, it is a no-brainer to switch that tax that is doing a lot of damage for the carbon tax, and we’ll all be better off.
There’s no question that if we get substantial changes in atmospheric temperatures, as all the evidence suggests, that it’s going to contribute to sea-level rise. There will be agriculture and economic effects – it’s inescapable. I’d be shocked if people supported anything other than a carbon tax – that’s how economists think about it.
Those who believe the climate is not changing might do well to use the possibility that it is as an excuse to reach a goal that has always eluded conservatives. Here is an opportunity to transfer the tax burden from work to consumption, from payroll taxes to, dare I say it, a carbon tax.
According to polls, the majority of Americans are worried about climate change and want their leaders to act on it … Even if you’re skeptical, you should probably still back a carbon tax. When you consider the range of things that could happen, odds are the country will still be better off.
But where can revenue scorers get the $1 trillion over 10 years the border tax was supposed to raise? Well, ahem, a carbon tax is also a consumption tax. To make it acceptable to free marketers, it would have to come with a full stop to all climate-related mandates and subsidies including fuel-mileage rules. It would also have to be clear that all carbon-tax proceeds are being used to cut payroll or income taxes.