Monday, December 29, 2008

The gas tax (a.k.a. the carbon tax)

This blog has long supported a carbon tax (see this or an older post). There are many reasons, but among them,

  • Regardless of where you stand on global warming, pollution is bad. Clean air is good. Without external restraint, our shared environment becomes a tragedy of the commons. A carbon tax is an effective, market-neutral means of increasing the cost of pollution production.
  • A carbon tax, unlike cap-and-trade, permits the market to choose where and when efficiencies can be achieved/improved upon.
  • Unlike cap-and-trade, a carbon tax is simple, direct, and less subject to stealth manipulation by politicians.

Support crosses ideological lines: Many liberals support a carbon tax (example), economists like it (example), and many conservatives do as well. George Will wrote about it a while ago.

Today, the Weekly Standard website made available an article by Charles Krauthammer, discussing his support for the Net-Zero Gas Tax.

Are the political winds shifting? It is hard to see the public agreeing to a gasoline tax increase or price floor when the economy is souring, but maybe there is a chance.

1 comment:

Dan said...

We're optimistic at the Carbon Tax Center ( See the post leading our blog today.