Thursday, November 22, 2012

Warmist Tim Worstall still has trouble understanding why sane Americans aren't very keen about paying a brand-new $1600 annual bad-weather-prevention tax

In Which Brad Plumer Asks The Wrong Question About A Carbon Tax - Forbes
It’s also worth pointing something else out. $80 a tonne CO2 is something like 40 cents a gallon on gas. And that’s it, we’re done, problem solved, human utility maximised over time. OK, we’ve now got to add the tax to coal and natural gas and so on but the real point about the carbon tax is how trivially small the solution to climate change is. I myself just don’t understand why everyone makes such a fuss about it. get on with it and we’re done, sorted. In fact, in my native UK, the numbers are such that the correct carbon tax would lower the price of gas.
Australia Overtakes U.S. in Per Capita CO2 Emissions (Correct) - Bloomberg
The U.S. fell to second at 19.78 tons per inhabitant a year


Tim Worstall said...

Tom, you rather miss the point.

A carbon tax would not be a new and higher tax. It would just be a different tax. There's nothing in climate change that leads to the conclusion that government should be larger.

So, the point is yes, raise taxes on carbon and lower taxes on other things by the same amount. James Hanson has the right idea here, even if his ideas about what the amount should be are crazy.

For example, raise the carbon tax and then lower FICA by the same amount. The total amount of tax remains the same. The total amount paid by everyone remains the same. But we also deal with climate change at the same time.

My point is, as it has been for a long time, that this is a pretty trivial change in the tax system. But it does deal with the entire climate change problem. This is all we need to do.

We don't need to have cap and trade, billion dollar subsidies to solar cell plants, vast troughs of money for "green energy".

Just change, not increase but just change, the tax system and we're done.

Tucano said...

Tim, it is you who rather miss the point. A carbon tax is an unnecessary burden on American business and it will fall particularly hard on the poor since the poor spend a larger fraction of their income on food, transportation and energy (heating and electricity) than the better off in our society. There is no empirical evidence that the little bit of warming caused by CO2 and other "greenhouse gases" (except for water vapor) has any grat impact on climate and that it will have harmful consequences. In fact the contrary is much more likely: warm increases the growing season and the extra CO2 in the atmosphere fertilizes the biosphere. Cutting FICA taxes is a very bad idea as FICA taxes sustain Social Security which is vital for the survival with dignity of a majority of the elderly Americans, much more important than Medicare in fact. There is no need to reduce CO2 emissions.

Anonymous said...

Tim's proposal is predicated on a number of magic presumptions, one of which is that warming is bad. Another is that we can control it with a tax. People like Al Gore who can afford to maintain numerous extravagant residences can easily afford to pay higher energy prices, so their lifestyles will remain unchanged, while the lower incomes will, as Tucano suggested, be forced to pay greater and greater percentages of their incomes for subsistence energy. Many are already having to decide between eating or heating this winter.
But Tim, I have to ask: if your new carbon tax isn't an inconvenience, then what's the point?