Washington Post Has A Sad That None Of The Democrats Are Pushing A Carbon Tax

Writing in the opinion section, Catherine Rampell is rather bummed that the 2020 Democratic candidates, all 453 of them, are forgetting to put forth a carbon tax. She should be careful what she wishes for, because what do you think will happen to a company that relies on the use of lots and lots of fossil fuels to gather then news and lots and lots of trees turned into paper?

Why do none of the Democrats’ climate plans include the most important tool?

Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) has a big, bold, multitrillion-dollar plan for addressing climate change. So does her rival Joe Biden. Likewiseformer Texas congressman Beto O’Rourke. And, of course, Gov. Jay Inslee (D-Wash.), whose entire campaign is structured around the climate crisis.

These candidates, to their credit, have offered thoughtful solutions for addressing the most pressing policy challenge of our time. Their proposals are highly detailed and thorough, often running to dozens of pages in length.

And it’s precisely because they’re so detailed and thorough that it’s so bizarre none of them explicitly mentions the obvious, no-brainer tool for curbing carbon emissions: putting a price on carbon.

A carbon tax (or its cousin, a cap-and-trade system) is almost universally embraced by economists on both the left and the right. With good reason, too. Taxing carbon means pricing in, upfront, the implicit costs that come from using fossil fuels — especially, though not exclusively, the cost of warming our planet.

She is right that none of them are offering up a carbon tax, even uber-Warmist Jay Inslee. Instead, later in the piece, Rampell notes

The plans devote a lot of verbiage to talking about the magical properties of government procurement — that is, using the deep pockets of the government to purchase more energy-efficient products. Warren, for instance, analogizes her own plan, which includes a $1.5 trillion federal procurement commitment, to the industrial policy America previously undertook for the space race and our mobilization against Nazi aggression.

The plans really are all about making government massive and controlling, involving pretty much all aspects of life, much like the nutty Green New Deal. They’re basically left-wing pipe dreams wrapped under the banner of ‘climate change’.

The first is that it immediately nudges consumers and businesses away from purchasing carbon-intensive products, because (duh) those products get more expensive.

Actually, it causes just about everything to get more expensive, and causes “unanticipated consequences”, such as people using lots more wood for things like heating and cooking, just as we see in places like Germany and France, which are importing tongs of woods pellets from America.

The second is that, over the longer run, it motivates entrepreneurs and investors to develop new green technologies, because they know they can make money as customers seek out cheaper, lower-carbon-footprint alternatives. Capital organically moves to wherever scientists and investors actually believe the most promising technologies lie, which might be ones that haven’t even been invented yet.

If this is the case, why aren’t we seeing this from places that currently have carbon taxes? California mostly seems to be just exporting Crazy. European nations do not seem to be developing much in the way of “green technologies” despite long established carbon taxes.

Just because the public sector buys more energy-efficient lightbulbs, electric cars or solar panels doesn’t mean the (much larger) private sector will, absent price incentives. Especially if we add conditions to the production of those green goods that actually increase their costs to consumers, as some of these plans do.

Of course, changing our behavior by force is not what our government was established for (excepting criminal behavior, of course). It’s not there to force us to buy certain products and such. Those who want to do this are, what’s that political system again?

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13 Responses to “Washington Post Has A Sad That None Of The Democrats Are Pushing A Carbon Tax”

  1. Professor Hale says:

    Nothing says “free market solution” like a huge pointless tax on energy followed by a government imposed complex redistribution of wealth scheme.

  2. Dana says:

    The problem isn’t, as Catherine Rampell writes, that the Dumbbell Two Dozen aren’t advocating carbon emission taxes, but that they all support such and are just lying through their scummy teeth about it.

    Governor Inslee tried not once but twice to push a carbon emissions tax through the voters of Washington state, and both times the voters bitch-slapped him for it. Mr Inslee and the rest of the Double Dozen Dumbasses learned their lesson: the only way to get their programs to fight global warming climate change passed is to take it out of the hands of the voters. They’ll simply lie about things, telling people that oh, no, the people won’t have to pay for this, it’ll just be those wicked ol’ corporations, don’t you know?

    Well, here’s where we’ll see an honesty test for the credentialed media. The media have pointed out, quite truthfully, that President Trump’s proposed tariffs won’t fall on Mexico, but on the American consumer who buy their products. Taxes, you see, are all paid by the end consumers of products.

    Well, whatever costs that the Democrats, if they are successful, can impose on business and industry to fight global warming climate change will also be passed on down to the end consumers of their products; if they can’t pass them down, the producers will lose money and go out of business. Who here believes that the credentialed media will point that out?

    There’s another factor here. The Democrats, if the American people are so stupid as to elect them, could impose heavy carbon emissions taxes on American industry, taxes which the American consumer would pay in the end. But they can’t impose those costs on foreign manufacturers, which would mean that American industry would be less competitive against foreign manufacturers. It would be, in effect, a domestic tariff on American manufacturers.

  3. Elwood P. Dowd says:

    10-12 typed: “Taxes, you see, are all paid by the end consumers of products.”

    Turns out that that is not entirely true. There are any number of papers on who ends up paying corporate taxes: the shareholders, the workers, and the consumers.

    from Bruce Bartlett (old timey conservative, before the NuCons (closet fascists) arrived); “… the actual burden of the corporate tax may fall on any of the groups that receive such flows; namely, customers, workers and shareholders, the ultimate owners of the corporation.”

    And if corporations always pass along all taxes to consumers, why would corporations complain about taxes??

    https://economix.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/02/19/who-pays-the-corporate-income-tax/

    • Dana says:

      The esteemed Mr Dowd manages to get things half-right: stockholders and workers do receive less money due to corporate taxes. Trouble is, while those taxes will lower the profitability of a corporation, thus lowering both stock prices and dividends — if any — they are still all paid out of gross revenues.

      And if corporations always pass along all taxes to consumers, why would corporations complain about taxes??

      Taxes are a cost of doing business, and corporations want to lower every cost of doing business; that’s how they improve the bottom line.

      More, taxes are not always equitable, because different corporations do business differently. If the 10(-12) corporation can structure something to reduce its tax liability over its competitors, Cogswell Cogs and Spacely Sprockets, 10(-12) would have a competitive advantage that could be used to increase market share and, hopefully, profitability. More, such would normally lead rto an increase in share value, thus filling the sole real mission of a corporation, earning money for stockholders.

      • Kye says:

        Oh, and those stockholders Elwood, are people like you, me and Teach saving for our retirement or to put our kids through school or even for a house. Do you hate IRA’s, education and housing? Or just straight, white Christians?

        Trump 2020 (Got my new hat)

    • formwiz says:

      Bunny suit never met a tax he wasn’t told he should love.

      Fact is, no matter how you slice it, corporate taxes are paid by everybody.

      Just ask NYC. And Bartlett’s a Lefty shill for the WaPo (tell me when he was ever a Conservative).

      • Liljeffyatemypuppy says:

        But but the price of a Chipotle burrito might go up by as much as five cents.

        The horror! https://www.thepiratescove.us/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_cool.gif

  4. Elwood P. Dowd says:

    TEACH typed: “It’s (the gov’t) not there to force us to buy certain products and such.”

    The gov’t forces us to buy planes, tanks and aircraft carriers. It keeps us from buying heroin, prostitutes, machine guns and ground-to-air rocket launchers. It forces us to buy insurance. It forces us to buy seat belts, air bags, baby cribs with certain distance between slats. It tells us what, where and how we can build structures, where and what private companies can mine or drill… The gov’t picks winners and losers all the time – a trump air service was picked as a winner by getting gov’t contracts. A trump hotel is doing great business now that he’s prez.

    But you draw the line at taxing carbon pollution?

    • Dana says:

      Well, we do know that, without (male?) prostitutes, Mr Dowd would be an “incel,” so we can understand his concern there.

      Nevertheless, he’s right about one thing: the government does tax us too much to buy things we do not and should not want, and the government unreasonably restricts our consumer choices. His ‘complaint’ — not that I think he is complaining at all; he likes those oppressive restrictions — is pretty much standard libertarian.

    • formwiz says:

      Funny how some of us were well-educated enough to have heard of a time when we didn’t have enough planes, tanks and aircraft carriers. The Feds do not “force” us to buy t hem.

      They make their case.

      Our Congressmen and Senators can vote No.

      Then they can explain the the next 9/11 or Pearl Harbor.

      It keeps us from buying heroin, prostitutes, machine guns and ground-to-air rocket launchers

      When you figure out what this is about, let me know. I’m betting the bear suit is next.

      It forces us to buy insurance.

      I thought you were all for that socialized medicine nonsense.

      It forces us to buy seat belts, air bags, baby cribs with certain distance between slats.

      Again, the Demos and NeverTrumpers who want to do that can be voted out at the next election.

      It tells us what, where and how we can build structures

      If you mean housing codes, we don’t mind that. we don’t want our roofs crashing in on us.

      where and what private companies can mine or drill…

      You’re whining about enviro regs? God, you can take me. I’ve finally heard it all.

      But you draw the line at taxing carbon pollution?

      Since the carbon pollution thing is a lie, YES.

    • Hoss says:

      We draw the line because the tax isn’t necessary, it’s just another line of credit for the redistributionists to draw from. Period. I’m waiting for the blue states to start taxing carbon and lead the way, but like healthcare for all in-state (on the dime of a few) they just can’t seem to sack up and get done what they’re preaching is a sure-fire winner.

  5. Kye says:

    Frankly, I think a carbon tax on all the people who are for a carbon tax is apropos and they can show the rest of us what we’re missing. If you want to tax SOMETHING REAL call me, until then shove it!

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