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.
TODAY, LET’S take a cue from the poet Max Ehrmann and go placidly amid the noise and haste and disarray, the conflict, confusion, and incompetence, the rancor, recrimination, and scheming, the whingeing, whining, and self-pity . . .
The most important thing about a carbon tax plan proposed last week may be the people behind it: prominent Republicans like James Baker III, George Shultz and Henry Paulson Jr. Their endorsement of the idea, variations of which have been suggested before, may be a breakthrough for a party that has closed its eyes to the perils of man-made climate change and done everything in its power to thwart efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
The Feb. 9 article “GOP statesmen propose replacing Obama climate policies with carbon tax” failed to remind readers of a compelling reason — highly relevant to the current debate over tax reform — that a carbon tax is the most workable approach to addressing carbon emissions. Any regime we adopt must have a means to impose our “carbon price” on imports. If not, we can expect major producers of climate gases (e.g., steel furnaces) to be replaced by plants in low-carbon-cost countries (long known as “leakage”).
Not everything went perfectly for Ted Halstead this week.
A GROUP of prominent Republicans brought a refreshing message to Washington on Wednesday: Climate change is a threat that deserves serious attention, and the GOP should embrace smart ways of dealing with it. What sorts of ways? The group — which calls itself the Climate Leadership Council and includes two former secretaries of state, James A. Baker III and George P. Shultz; two former chairmen of the Council of Economic Advisers, Martin S. Feldstein and N. Gregory Mankiw; and former treasury secretary Henry M. Paulson Jr. — has a carbon emissions-reduction plan ready to go. And it is excellent.