Yes, that George Shultz, President Ronald Reagan’s Secretary of State. But not everyone who served with Reagan was a Reaganite. Reagan’s VP, G.H.W. Bush, famously campaigned on a platform of “Read my lips: No New Taxes.” Not two years later he raised taxes in a 1990 budget deal that torpedoed the economy and sank his presidency.
Yesterday, in an interview puff piece penned by two associates, Shultz, a distinguished fellow at Stanford University’s Hoover Institution, called for a ‘revenue-neutral’ carbon tax. This is unsurprising. As the article reminds us, in 2010, Shulz, partnering with Tom Steyer, a Democrat, “led the successful campaign to defeat Proposition 23, a California ballot initiative to suspend the state’s ambitious law to curb greenhouse gases.”
Nothing in the article indicates that Shultz thinks a carbon tax should replace California’s cap-and-trade regime established by AB 32. Nor is there any hint that Shultz would condition the enactment of carbon taxes on repeal of the EPA’s court-awarded power to regulate greenhouse gases via the Clean Air Act.
This pattern is becoming boringly familiar.