A few letters to the editor have extolled the solution of reducing our carbon footprint by imposing a carbon tax. Some believe that this tax should reduce our carbon emissions by incentivizing large emitters through taxation. The derived revenue from this taxation would then be redistributed and ostensibly through a cash rebate to the consumer.
As is the case with any taxation, large emitters, such as utility and oil companies will simply pass the increased tax cost onto their customers. Thus, this regressive taxation would increase our cost of living and hit the lower income segment the hardest. One can easily find many answers on the pros and cons of carbon taxation on credible websites, such as thebalancemoney.com/carbon-tax-definition-how-it-works.
The bottom line is, even if these cash rebates were to reach the consumer, which is unlikely, they would never make up for the increased cost of living. In fact, most of the revenue would be earmarked for government-sponsored projects, Solyndra comes to mind, that propose to reduce greenhouse gasses and would strive to offset the emission by the large “polluters.” In other words, emissions would still occur and the promised cash rebates will be a pipe dream. We would be fooled again if we believe that yet another tax is fair.
The dividend would be paid directly to American residents (not "consumers"). The legislation will mandate that 100% of net Carbon Fee revenue is paid out to households as Carbon Dividends. Carbon Fee revenue will change as the fee per ton of CO2-equivalent emissions increases annually.
Businesses prefer a carbon price to other climate solutions because they remain financially stable while they adjust their operations, thanks to a predictable and gradually rising price on carbon. They will not lose time or spend extra money trying to understand complicated new regulations and rules and incorporate them into their plans.
Finally, "cost of living" should be considered to include the effects of climate change such as natural disasters, increased cost of food as food production is impacted, etc. The carbon fee and dividend plan provides positive incentives for innovation to move towards a more sustainable economy.
Westy - as usual, the devil is in the details. You point out that the "net Carbon Fee" is paid out to...That is exactly the rub. How much is left over after the legislation gets done with it? Wishful thinking, Westy! The effects of climate change are not tangible and cannot be quantified in term of a monetary value. We have a hunch but still don't know what causes climate change if there is even such a thing. What is that worth to you and me? From $0 to $5,000 per year?
All of the carbon tax collected will be redistributed. Unlike the cigarette taxes, which have not been spent on anti-smoking or lung cancer treatments. Though cigarette taxes have in fact had a larger impact than anything else on reducing smoking rates. I'm not sure you and I will agree that reducing cigarette smoking benefits us all but I happen to think so. And I happen to think that the planet and the human species is worth taking action on global climate change.
Westy - cigarette taxes affected only cigarette smokers. I am just not comfortable turning yet another source of revenue to the government. It never seems to benefit those who are affected. You don't think the government needs administrative fees to skim off the proceeds? Ask for an accounting of the Cap and Trade funds just in California. You will get blank stares. Look, I am in favor of reducing our carbon footprint, I spent my professional career saving energy through multi-million dollar programs. All of the agencies that helped pay for those projects became rich, including PG&E, the California Public Utilities Commission and the California Energy Commission. Then came the boat load of consultants so by the time the funding was actually applied, more than 80% was already spent. Carbon tax in theory is a great concept but there are too many fingers in the pie. I surmise that you have never worked in or with a government organization.
Westy, thanks for giving us further evidence the carbon tax is a wealth redistribution scheme.
Yes, you are right that because poorer people use less energy yet will get the same amount of money, you could call it wealth redistribution. However, you can also look at from the perspective of less wealthy people are impacted more by the use of our atmosphere as a garbage dump so perhaps that is more than fair. Kids who live near freeways have a higher incidence of asthma. People living in Cancer Alley in Louisiana have a considerably higher chance of getting cancer. You and I can afford to move away from toxic places, they can't. So I'm okay with them getting a bit more of the carbon rebates than I do in proportion to our relative energy usages.
Westy - I think you have lost your bearing. So, under your proposal, Elon Musk would get the same sum of money as some bum on the San Francisco sidewalk? The distribution logistics would be mind boggling. Do the $43B fraudulent payments during the onset of COVD19 come to mind? You need a refresh on this topic.
Dirk, Alaska has been paying all of its residents an annual dividend from the General Fund for 40 years. Each resident gets the same amount regardless of how rich or poor they are. Obviously, it can be done.
And yes, the homeless human being who is living on the streets of San Francisco would get exactly the same amount as Elon Musk.
Westy, Alaskans are paid from a fund that was established due to oil and mineral rights found in Alaska, not from taxpayers or a corporate carbon tax, so your comparison isn’t valid. Now if California sold their “assets” and returned dividends to citizens, you”d have a case for returning an equal amount of money to legal Californians,
Well written, Dirk. Like I have said before - these people wont stop until they can tax the very air we breathe. I call this the "human tax."
I also wrote it in response to Westy's challenge that I never corroborate my reactions. She and her ilk are so dishonest and mislead the general population with their poorly thought out theories. Any like tax for that matter that cannot be associated with a common good is harmful and of marginal benefit to most. The carbon tax shouldn't be but it will be a rip off.
Thanks, Mr. van Ulden, for a summary of the costs and effects of the wealth redistribution plan known as the carbon credit scam. Seems many pushing the plan aren’t versed in economics, or they choose to willfully ignore the economics…
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