Warmist Lawrence Summers: With Gas Prices Low, Now Is Totally Time For A Carbon Tax
Of course, every time is time for a carbon tax in Warmist World. And, yes, this is the same Lawrence Summers who advised Obama from 2009-2010 as the economy cratered and Democrats authorized their trillion dollars in stimulus that failed
(Washington Post) The case for carbon taxes has long been compelling. With the recent steep fall in oil prices and associated declines in other energy prices, it has become overwhelming. There is room for debate about the size of the tax and about how the proceeds should be deployed. But there should be no doubt that, given the current zero tax rate on carbon, increased taxation would be desirable.
This is one of those “the debate is over” moments. So, if the only debate that’s allowed is how big the tax on “carbon” will be, I recommend we hold a national vote on it, and that the tax is $5 per gallon for anyone who votes in the affirmative for a carbon tax. Everyone else will be given the option to pay whatever they’d like.
The core of the case for taxation is the recognition that those who use carbon-based fuels or products do not bear all the costs of their actions. Carbon emissions exacerbate global climate change. In many cases, they contribute to local pollution problems that harm human health. Getting fossil fuels out of the ground involves both accident risks and environmental challenges. And even with the substantial recent increases in U.S. oil production, we remain a net importer. Any increase in our consumption raises our dependence on Middle East producers.
So, Warmists like Summers should be thrilled to pay a tax themselves. Why aren’t they doing that now? Better (and rather inconvenient for Warmists) question, why haven’t they given up fossil fuels and gone “carbon neutral” themselves?
All of us, when we drive our cars, heat our homes or use fossil fuels in more indirect ways, create these costs without paying for them. It follows that we overuse these fuels. Advocating a carbon tax is not some kind of argument for government planning; it is the logic of the market: That which is not paid for is overused. Even if the government had no need or use for revenue, it could make the economy function better by levying carbon taxes and rebating the money to taxpayers.
Did he just inadvertently call Warmists like himself hypocrites? Good luck getting that money back from the government.
While the recent decline in energy prices is a good thing in that it has, on balance, raised the incomes of Americans, it has also exacerbated the problem of energy overuse. The benefit of imposing carbon taxes is therefore enhanced.
I have to wonder if he simply wrote the piece and forgot to read before publishing. If falling energy prices is good for the incomes of Americans, exactly why would adding a tax, artificially raising the cost of living to Americans, be a good thing?
Progressives who are most concerned about climate change should rally to a carbon tax. Conservatives who believe in the power of markets should favor carbon taxes on market principles. And Americans who want to see their country lead on the energy and climate issues that are crucial to the world this century should want to be in the vanguard on carbon taxes. Now is the time.
Notice he fails to say that Progressives should actually pay carbon taxes themselves. As for Conservatives, how is a forced tax. implemented by government, again, artificially raising the cost of living, be anything resembling the power of the market? At the end of the day, when climate change is compared to other issues, it tends to come in next to last, last, or not even appear.