Letter to the Editor

If Congress is intent on passing a tax-reform bill, leaders from both parties should insist that it not pump more steroids into the national debt [“Tax reform for cowards,” editorial, Sept. 29]. Publicly held national debt now tops $14 trillion. It’s already headed for almost $25 trillion over the next 10 years, pushing the ratio of debt-to-gross domestic product higher than ever, even the peak just after the end of World War II. President Trump’s proposal is pouring gasoline on the fire, endangering our capacity to fund a strong national defense and to take care of our aging population.

The best solution would be a creative, bipartisan compromise that gives our dealmaking president the lower rates he seeks without piling on more debt: a fee on carbon emissions to pay for the tax cuts. A $49-per-ton fee on emissions, increasing by 2 percent (plus inflation) a year, would generate $2.2 trillion over 10 years. Rebate half to cover the impact on low- and middle-income households and use $1.1 trillion to cover cutting rates. It would also enable our country to honor its Paris climate pledge. This is an efficient, free-market, nonregulatory idea that deserves bipartisan support.

Walt Minnick

Co-founder of the Partnership for Responsible Growth

Washington Post: My company’s carbon footprint is the size of a small country. We need to act.

Global businesses are, quite rightly, under scrutiny for what they are doing to tackle challenges such as climate change and poverty. Last month, the United Nations asked business leaders the same questions we’ve heard countless times: What are businesses doing to help deliver on the Paris climate agreement? How can business and government work together to drive change at scale?

The Washington Times: Carbon tax may be on table for GOP reform effort

The reform plan released this week by President Trump and congressional leaders doesn’t mention the highly controversial idea of a carbon tax, but analysts believe there’s a real opportunity for Democrats to push for fees on emissions as part of a broader, once-in-a-generation compromise on taxes.

Wall Street Journal: A Grand Bipartisan Bargain on Tax Reform

As Republicans take on tax reform, they seem hell-bent on repeating the tactical mistakes they made during their attempts at health-care reform. Again GOP policy makers have cloistered themselves to develop a bill whose prospects will hang by a thread in the Senate. Yet there is a powerful bipartisan grand bargain in corporate tax policy waiting to be struck.

New York Times: We Don’t Deny Harvey, So Why Deny Climate Change?

Imagine that after the 9/11 attacks, the conversation had been limited to the tragedy in Lower Manhattan, the heroism of rescuers and the high heels of the visiting first lady — without addressing the risks of future terrorism.

That’s how we have viewed Hurricane Harvey in Houston, as a gripping human drama but without adequate discussion of how climate change increases risks of such cataclysms. We can’t have an intelligent conversation about Harvey without also discussing climate change.

NYMag: How Democrats Can Get Trump to Enact a Carbon Tax

Environmentalists have been trying for a quarter of a century to enact a tax on carbon emissions without coming anywhere close to success. At first blush it seems absurd to believe they might achieve it under a president who denies the very existence of anthropogenic global warming and can’t seem to pass even bills he likes. In the face of this discouraging reality, some Democrats think they have a chance to pass a carbon tax in this congressional term. And the crazy thing is, it’s possible they’re right.