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House Republican Proposing Carbon Tax This Week To Replace the Gas Tax
Hotair ^ | 07/22/2018 | Taylor Millard

Posted on 07/22/2018 7:39:21 PM PDT by SeekAndFind

Florida Congressman Carlos Curbelo is getting ready to introduce a bill repealing the gas tax in exchange for a carbon tax. It seems rather odd the Miami Republican wants to chart this path, especially after the House GOP overwhelmingly denounced the notion of a carbon tax last week, but Curbelo isn’t backing down from his proposal. He told Miami Herald his proposal is just a “first step” in the discussion.

When you ask this question in a vacuum, is any tax detrimental to economic growth? It’s usually going to be yes…But when you put it in context and you show how [a carbon tax] can be a component of a broader policy that is focused on winning the future, then it makes a whole lot more sense…

We wanted to make it as fair as possible and that’s why we repeal the gas tax. This is not about punishing consumers or punishing producers, it’s about making sure that we can hand off a clean, healthy planet to future generations while being sensitive to economic realities.

Curbelo vows he’s got GOP co-sponsors, so it will be quite interesting to see exactly who is signed onto the proposal. My guess is it probably includes five of the Republicans who voted against the no carbon tax resolution last week. He did get praise in National Review for his attempt, with Reihan Salam calling it a “quirky, innovative approach” but criticizing the size of the tax.

There are more conservative supporters of the idea of a carbon tax, including R Street Institute’s Josiah Neeley. Neeley opined in The Texas Tribune earlier this month a carbon tax can be conservative, if it falls along certain principles. The first two are the idea only companies who produce carbon emissions will actually have to pay the tax i.e. “personal responsibility” (his words, not mine), coupled with encouraging innovation.

While there are many unknowns in the climate debate, the fact that carbon emissions pose risks is hard to deny. According to a statement unanimously signed by members of the Atmospheric Sciences Department at Texas A&M, greenhouse gas emissions are very likely making the planet warmer, and “continued rising temperatures risk serious challenges for human society.” Unlike the environmental left, which seeks to end all use of fossil fuels, a carbon tax would simply keep emitters from imposing the costs of their actions on non-consenting third parties…

(P)utting a price on carbon would provide a powerful incentive for businesses and entrepreneurs to find cheap, cleaner ways to use energy. That might mean increased use of zero-carbon energy, like nuclear power or renewables. Or it might mean new emissions-control technology that would allow continued use of fossil fuels without adding greenhouse gases to the atmosphere. Give American innovators a price signal and watch them create and sell technologies that make clean energy more abundant and affordable. Then watch the ripple effects stoke decarbonization and end energy poverty. Many businesses themselves recognize this logic; ExxonMobil, BP, Shell, First Solar, Exelon, Proctor & Gamble, Johnson & Johnson, and General Motors all support an emissions fee for greenhouse gases.

Uh. Huh.

Neeley continued his defense of a carbon tax by likening to a sin tax and swearing it won’t grow government.

(W)hen you tax something, you discourage it. With the current taxes on income and capital gains, Americans get less of what they want more of — in this case, work and investment. Revenue from a carbon tax could be used to cut or repeal these taxes, thereby encouraging greater economic prosperity. Such “tax swaps” have been a key feature of major conservative tax reforms, from President Ronald Reagan’s 1986 tax overhaul to last year’s Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. Economic analysis suggests that using carbon tax revenue to offset more burdensome taxes would boost gross domestic product even before considering any environmental benefits. Arthur Laffer, President Reagan’s economics adviser, calls such a tax swap “a no brainer.”

Finally, a carbon tax is a way to address the risks of climate change without growing government. Whether the government returns revenues to Americans in the form of a tax swap or as a cash dividend, a carbon tax need not grow government. In fact, it could shrink it. Federal and state governments spend billions in subsidies and impose billions in regulatory costs through mandates designed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. With a revenue-neutral carbon tax, many of these subsidies and mandates would become redundant.

These defenses don’t make sense.

A reminder to Neeley – who is much smarter than I’ll ever be – a tax (much like a tariff) will be passed down to its consumer. Oil and gas companies would be able to avoid taking any hit in the wallet by increasing prices, as would automobile makers. The notion they wouldn’t is rather ludicrous and something David Ricardo noted in The Principles of Political Economy and Taxation when he wrote, “We have already seen, that the effect of a direct tax on corn and raw produce, is, if money be also produced in the country, to raise the price of all commodities, in proportion as raw produce enters into their composition, and thereby to destroy the natural relation which previously existed between them.” There is nothing stopping ExxonMobil or Ford from doing the same.

I can understand why the idea of a tax swap seems appealing, yet I’m reminded when Arizona temporarily raised the sales tax in 2010 to avoid budget cuts. Then Governor Jan Brewer attempted to make the tax permanent, despite swearing she opposed the notion, only to have it rejected by voters in 2013. The government wants to soak up as much money as possible. It’s safe to say Congress would probably find some reason to bring a gas tax (or any other repealed tax) back, under the idea it would pay for one program or another.

It should also be remembered there’s no impetus for the government to actually shrink in size because of elections. Politicians want to stay in power, as they are “inferior men,” to quote H.L. Mencken, and they want to stay beholden to their allies inside and outside the halls of government. Would someone like Bernie Sanders or Elizabeth Warren or Chuck Schumer actually be in favor of a tax swap? My guess is no because they want government to hold onto as much cash as possible. FreedomWorks also rhetorically asked if Americans would end up being billed by the federal government for its carbon footprint.

The key factor in all of this is the fact the government has to cut expenses. Elected politicians refuse to – which is why taxes end up being raised at some point. Curbelo’s forthcoming proposal to repeal the gas tax is laudable, but his idea to replace it with a carbon tax should be rejected.



TOPICS: Business/Economy; Culture/Society; Government; News/Current Events; US: Arizona; US: Florida; US: Massachusetts; US: New York; US: Vermont
KEYWORDS: 2018election; 2020election; arizona; arthurlaffer; berniesanders; bp; buildthefence; carbontax; carloscurbelo; chuckschumer; daca; davidricardo; dreamact; dreamers; election2018; election2020; elizabethwarren; energy; exelon; exxonmobil; fauxahontas; firstsolar; florida; ford; freedomworks; gastax; generalmotors; globalwarminghoax; hlmencken; homosexualagenda; hydrocarbons; incometaxes; janbrewer; joecrowley; johnsonandjohnson; josiahneeley; maga; massachusetts; mediawingofthednc; miami; nationalreview; newyork; ocasiocortez; opec; partisanmediashills; presstitutes; proctorandgamble; reihansalam; republicans; rstreetinstitute; shell; slingingbull; smearmachine; taxcutsandjobsact; taxreform; taxswaps; taylormillard; tcja; upchuckschumer; vermont
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1 posted on 07/22/2018 7:39:21 PM PDT by SeekAndFind
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To: SeekAndFind

Syphilis. Of the brain.


2 posted on 07/22/2018 7:42:24 PM PDT by Mr Ramsbotham (Laws against sodomy are honored in the breech.)
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To: SeekAndFind
ust because you are a republican doesn’t mean you are not a babbling idiot.
3 posted on 07/22/2018 7:43:56 PM PDT by hinckley buzzard
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To: SeekAndFind

Pigs.


4 posted on 07/22/2018 7:45:08 PM PDT by Sequoyah101 (It feels like we have exchanged our dreams for survival. We just have a few days that don't suck.)
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To: SeekAndFind

These damn fools are trying like Hell to lose the midterms.


5 posted on 07/22/2018 7:47:02 PM PDT by Arm_Bears (Hey, Rocky--Watch me pull a rabbit out of my hat!)
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To: SeekAndFind
A tax based on a phony premise? The GOP is truly the Stupid Party if they go along with this.
6 posted on 07/22/2018 7:50:16 PM PDT by Major Matt Mason (The U.S. Senate - where American freedom goes to die.)
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To: SeekAndFind

Ropes and lamp posts. I could support a tax to buy a lot more of those.


7 posted on 07/22/2018 7:50:54 PM PDT by ChildOfThe60s (If you can remember the 60's....You weren't really there)
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To: SeekAndFind

From this loser’s Wikipedia page:

In March 2016, Curbelo said he would not vote for Donald Trump in the 2016 presidential election, calling it “a moral decision” rather than a political decision.[44] He did not attend the 2016 Republican National Convention. In October 2016, speaking about the upcoming presidential election, he said: “I’m not supporting any of the two major candidates. I’m as disappointed with this election as most Americans are.”


8 posted on 07/22/2018 7:51:16 PM PDT by map
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To: SeekAndFind

Running as a “Republican”?! New type of RINO?


9 posted on 07/22/2018 7:54:50 PM PDT by Reno89519 (No Amnesty! No Catch-and-Release! Just Say No to All Illegal Aliens! Arrest & Deport!y)
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To: SeekAndFind

10 posted on 07/22/2018 7:54:59 PM PDT by Bratch ("The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing." - Edmund Burke)
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To: SeekAndFind

Hey, Curbelo—stop breathing!


11 posted on 07/22/2018 7:56:26 PM PDT by Cicero (Marcus Tullius)
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To: SeekAndFind
I propose we have a "hot air" tax.

It would apply to politicians who babble about stuff they know nothing about. The tax will be a dollar a word. When you run out of money you have to retire.

We will be able to retire the national debt in three years and have an entirely new crop of politicians.

12 posted on 07/22/2018 7:58:10 PM PDT by Harmless Teddy Bear ( Bunnies, bunnies, it must be bunnies!! Or maybe midgets....)
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To: Arm_Bears

That’s because they are really Democrats.


13 posted on 07/22/2018 7:58:54 PM PDT by Balding_Eagle ( The Great Wall of Trump ---- 100% sealing of the border. Coming soon.)
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To: SeekAndFind
Oh My...


14 posted on 07/22/2018 7:58:59 PM PDT by TADSLOS (Whose Gonna Fill Their Shoes...?)
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To: SeekAndFind
Oh boy...


15 posted on 07/22/2018 8:00:22 PM PDT by TADSLOS (Whose Gonna Fill Their Shoes...?)
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To: TADSLOS

LOL.....in what world do 90% of Americans want protection for ‘dreamers’?

Maybe just regular dreamers....like the “I like Dreamin’’ and the “Dream On!” Americans?


16 posted on 07/22/2018 8:02:26 PM PDT by Jane Long (Praise God, from whom ALL blessings flow.)
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To: SeekAndFind
you show how [a carbon tax] can be a component of a broader policy that is focused on winning the future, then it makes a whole lot more sense…

Does anyone actually speak like this?

17 posted on 07/22/2018 8:04:32 PM PDT by Jim Noble (p)
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To: Jane Long

I want a permanent solution for Dreamers too. It’s called a WALL.


18 posted on 07/22/2018 8:05:19 PM PDT by TADSLOS (Whose Gonna Fill Their Shoes...?)
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To: TADSLOS

A Wall and a catapult?

I know what would serve as an excellent catapult. Cutting off EBT benefits for those NOT born here.


19 posted on 07/22/2018 8:09:22 PM PDT by Jane Long (Praise God, from whom ALL blessings flow.)
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To: Jane Long

That and a hefty tax on wire transfer remittances leaving the country by the usual suspects.


20 posted on 07/22/2018 8:17:33 PM PDT by TADSLOS (Whose Gonna Fill Their Shoes...?)
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