Petraeus et al. notwithstanding…
Americans for Tax Reform chief Grover Norquist says a carbon tax would not necessarily violate his group’s “no-tax” pledge. According to the National Journal:
In a step that may help crack open the partisan impasse on climate change, Grover Norquist, the influential lobbyist who has bound hundreds of Republicans to a pledge never to raise taxes, told National Journal that a proposed “carbon tax swap”—taxing carbon pollution in exchange for cutting the income tax—would not violate his pledge.
Norquist’s assessment matters a lot, and could help pave the way for at least a handful of Republicans to support the policy. Over the past six months, a growing number of conservative voices, including former Republican officials and renowned economists, have amped up pressure on their party to finally address climate change…
I will explain in a forthcoming commentary why a carbon tax is pointless and inflationary — regardless of any illusory tradeoff. Stay tuned.
Meanwhile, why is Norquist giving aid and comfort to greens who manufactured the “climate crisis” in order to arrest and control the economy?
Update: Politico reported late this morning that Norquist has backtracked on support for a carbon tax saying,
The creation of any new tax such as a VAT or energy tax — even if originally passed with offsetting tax reductions elsewhere — would inevitably lead to higher taxes as two taxes would be at the disposal of politicians to increase taxes. Two smaller tapeworms are not an improvement over one big tapeworm. Tapeworms and taxes grow. There is no conceivable way to add an energy or VAT tax to the burdens American taxpayers face that would not violate the pledge over time.
Unless Norquist was misquoted by the National Journal, he will keep the Bonehead of the Day award for his initial and erroneous foray into the carbon tax debate.