NO… Conservatives do not support a carbon tax!

Ed Dolan writes on the Econo Blog:

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.

Greg Mankiw, George Schultz and David Frum aren’t so much conservative as they are Big Government Republicans.

Read Dolan’s blog.

18 thoughts on “NO… Conservatives do not support a carbon tax!”

  1. Formerly important Republican appointees = Conservatism? Good enough for government work, I guess.

  2. I know what you mean about big-government Republicans–the kind who support generous farm subsidies, foreign wars, a bloated surveillance budget, and all that. Maybe the three I cite fall in that category–you know better than I do, so I’ll accept your characterization for the sake of argument.

    Having said that, let me point out that my case for a carbon tax does not depend on the authority of these three, nor on the size of government you want. Even if you want a minimalist state–say spending at 9 percent of GDP, half that of the House republican budget–you need revenue from somewhere. I prefer to get it from a tax that is consistent with a resilient economy and a market-based environmental policy than from investment-killing, job-killing taxes like corporate income tax and payroll tax.

    PS I would welcome it if you posted your comment on my blog. Thanks for your input. To help you find it, the correct name is Economonitor, not Econo Blog

  3. A new layer of taxes — any kind — will only shackle an economy that’s already “…bound in double irons…” The result will be a loss of wealth, a lowering of standards of living except for the wealthy, and a loss of revenue to various levels of government.
    That’s true whether the advocates bill themselves as conservative, liberal, libertarian (who usually won’t propose new taxes anyway), or “progressive.”

  4. Every from of energy is already taxed. A carbon tax is nothing more profound than “more” tax. I’m not a Harvard professor and I figured that one out.

  5. I really couldn’t imagine anybody advocating carbon taxes excepting stoned-out environmental lobby organizations – which would in the end kill them, because discretionary spending by ordinary gullible people would decrease and so would lobby group contributions

  6. “A new layer of taxes ”
    All conservative supporters of a carbon tax advocate the revenue-neutral form, that is, it replaces other taxes. That is one of the main points of the post–you don’t have to love a carbon tax, you just have to recognize that other taxes are even more hateful.

  7. “I really couldn’t imagine anybody advocating carbon taxes excepting stoned-out environmental lobby organizations ”
    To stretch your immagination, try reading some of the links in the post.

  8. In any conflict, the worst enemies are the ones who are traitors to the group they have lived and worked with all of their lives

  9. Howdy Ed
    There are economic and liberty reasons to support consumption taxes over income taxes or asset taxes. Energy taxes would be a form of consumption tax. A policy based on “carbon”, though, would give credibility to charlatans, so a straight-up energy tax would be far more valid.
    If I actually believed that a consumption tax would displace other taxes, I’d be ready to discuss. Since I think it would be an additional tax, I consider it a danger rather than a blessing.

  10. “In any conflict, the worst enemies are the ones who are traitors to the group they have lived and worked with all of their lives.”

    A very revealing reply. I think that the preoccupation with ideological treason, and the unwillingness to address the substance of any ideas that depart from preconceived notions, are the fundamental weakness of American conservatism today.

  11. That is crazy. Carbon Taxes are the most regressive and imbecilic concept devised.

    Every producer is going to pass their taxes down to the consumer, the price of everything will escalate, the poor will be hurt the worst and priced right out of existence.

    That is not “conservatism.” That is nothing but sick greenie eugenics.

    You ought to be ashamed of yourself, as far as I am concerned, thanks for listening.

  12. Australia has a Carbon Tax (an oxymoron, if I ever heard one). What has changed? Well, if you have a very good income, probably nothing. However, the rest of us have found that food, transport, rent and other peripheral necessities, have increased incrementally, since the introduction of the tax, and impacting on our ability to provide what should be basic necessities.
    What does it do for the environment: well, nothing whatsoever. So, my questions: Why a Carbon Tax? Where does it go? Who does it serve?
    As taxing “carbon” does not do anything to the environment, good or bad, it must a tax for tax sake.
    The Australian Labor federal government is in deep, deep debt. It must have been wringing its hand with glee when the idiots came up with this tax. And, mark my word, idiots they are.
    However, the rest of us are paying. The poverty which the government has to address is increasing. And nothing will change environmentally.
    It doesn’t take an intellectual to work that out.

  13. I can take any junk science concept I want to, get 100 people to agree with me, and then cook up an argument about “helping the environment” will “help the poor” and justify any tax I want to based on my junk science. Or “help the children.” Resort to my favorite, “If you don’t buy into my junk science, you’re hurting children.”

    I’m not buying into “global warming” fraud for any reason, least of all taxes, and there is no “tax” that will “help” any “poor.”

    You have neither discernment nor logic, but I congratulate you for identifying a few stupid individuals to agree with you. Throughout history, that has not been a particularly difficult task for anybody.

  14. You mention getting 100 people to buy off on almost anything that sounds silly. I wonder what one could do with a petition about oxidized hydrogen and its solvent properties, its presence in all natural bodies of water, its capacity to carry other chemicals in solution or suspension, etc.

  15. Thanks for your comment. You say that the carbon tax in Australia does nothing for the environment. I’m not sure whether you think that is beause carbon emissions are not harmful or because people like you have perfectly inelastic demand for carbon-based energy, that is, that you buy the same amount of gasoline, electricity, etc. whether the price is high or low. Can you clarify/

  16. Ed, you’d have better luck selling Dialectical Materialism around here.

    Or the Brooklyn Bridge.

  17. Rubbish. You are talking through your hat. You don’t know what kind of person I am and to assert that I must be a dullard who spends money regardless is disingenuous.
    And, yes, I do say that the carbon tax in Australia does absolutely nothing for the environment.
    Which carbon emissions are you talking about anyway? The hot air that is expelled every time someone equates carbon to pollution?
    If you have proof that the carbon tax – which is hurting the majority of Australians – has done something useful for someone (or the environment) please don’t leave us little people in the dark, enlighten us.
    My comments were not directed at you personally or anyone else. They were simply observations.
    The US does not have a carbon tax – yet – hence I speak with a little authority based on experience.

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