Monday, November 18, 2013

No New (Carbon) Taxes


By Norris McDonald

Robert Samuelson wrote a great piece in The Washington Post today, but he lost me when he proposed a tax on carbon as a solution to global warming. 

Here is what Samuelson said:
"For years, I’ve advocated an energy tax — my preference now is a carbon tax — because it could advance other national goals. It could reduce budget deficits and enhance energy security by pushing consumers toward more efficient cars and trucks. That’s my standard: Support policies that, though they might address climate change, can be justified on other grounds."
Now at the end of the article he suggests that such a carbon tax could replace the income tax -- I could support that. Except he didn't come right out and say it as a tit for tat replacement:
"But we do know the size of the budget deficit, and we do know that revenue from a carbon tax might help finance a simplification of the income tax. By addressing multiple problems, an admittedly unpopular carbon tax might command broader support."
We prefer a cap and trade program.  It is market based and at one time or another, has been supported by both Republicans and Democrats.  In addition, we believe technology fixes are the most effective and we are recomming a program called Energy Defense Reservations, which utlizes the military in partnership with the private sector to convert carbon dioxide into transportation fuel.

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