Carbon Tax Debate Today at 6:30 PM - Moderated by Ronald Bailey

I will be moderating a debate organized by the free-market R Street Institute on the topic: "Should Conservatives Accept a Carbon Tax?," later this week TODAY in Washington, DC. Registration is required. Here are the details:

The R Street Institute and the Heartland Institute cordially invite you to a debate among friends on the question: Are there any circumstances under which conservatives should support a tax on carbon emissions?

Though the participants all share a broad vision of smaller and less expansive government, they have widely divergent views on the advisability of a carbon tax. Arguing against adopting a carbon tax will be James Taylor, senior fellow at the Heartland Institute, and David Kreutzer, research fellow at the Heritage Foundation. Opposite them will be Andrew Moylan, senior fellow at the R Street Institute, and Bob Inglis, executive director at the Energy and Enterprise Initiative. Moderating will be Ronald Bailey, science correspondent for Reason magazine, who has written extensively about these complicated issues.

This is not a debate about climate science or man’s role in changing weather patterns. It is a debate about the structure of tax policy and whether a carbon tax lies inside or outside the bounds of the debaters’ shared conservative principles.

Date: Thursday, June 13, 2013
Time: 6:30 p.m.
Location: FHI 360 Conference Center
1825 Connecticut Ave. NW, 8th Floor
Washington, D.C. 20009-5721

Reception to follow.

So come on out to see a thorough and spirited debate on this topic. I am told that the venue is filling up fast, so go here now to the R Street Institute's website to register. See you all there.

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  • robc||

    COASE COASE COASE COASE COASE COASE COASE COASE
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  • MJGreen||

    But that guy was born, like, a hundred years ago.

  • Mike M.||

    Should Conservatives Accept a Carbon Tax?

    No. Liberals should accept that it's all over for the big manmade global hoax.

  • John Galt||

    Not much chance they'll abandon their religion to accept scientific method. For the true believers, the Cult of the AGW is all they have.

  • ||

  • ||

    Money quote:

    Originally, the drought was blamed on overgrazing and poor land management, but a forthcoming study in Geophysical Research Letters shows that the environmental catastrophe was partly the result of factory emissions in the Western world.
  • ||

    Ron...care to foreshadow which side of the debate you're on? IIRC, you're guilty of some flip-floppery on this one.

    Of course, as a moderator, you're supposed to be asking unbiased questions...so you're stance isn't really going to be on the podium on Thursday.

  • Dweebston||

    He'll be a Crowley, but will he be our Crowley?

  • Rasilio||

    I know, maybe we can get some liberals on board with the Fair Tax, which would be an indirect tax on carbon because all forms of energy would be taxed directly and only new goods/services would be taxed.

    Hell one of the primary features of the fair tax's structure would be to strongly encourage people to recycle as much as possible because trash disposal would be a taxable service but recycled materials would be untaxed and therefor receive a 23% subsidy wrt newly produced materials

  • Virginian||

    They'd totally be ok with adding the FairTax to the existing tax system.

  • Rasilio||

    Lol then it wouldn't be the Fair Tax, a proposal which is inseperable from the elimination of all other federal taxes

  • Gilbert Martin||

    "This is not a debate about climate science or man’s role in changing weather patterns. It is a debate about the structure of tax policy and whether a carbon tax lies inside or outside the bounds of the debaters’ shared conservative principles"

    And exactly how can the debate NOT be about climate science?

    If one doesn't believe that man made global warming exists, then how can it be a "conservative principle" to accept a "tax" on something for which there is no underlying reason to have a tax in the first place?

  • Dweebston||

    "Assuming for the sake of debate that climate change is evident and manifestly anthropogenic..."

  • Tony||

    That's not done in these parts. Avoiding the implications is the whole point of being a science denier.

  • ||

    What the fuck is that smell?

  • sarcasmic||

    I farted.

  • Tony||

    Your sister.

  • mad libertarian guy||

    That's not done in these parts.

    Bullshit, and you know exactly the libertarian solution (isofar as there is just one) as I and many others have explained it to you dozens of times. So shut the fuck up.

  • Tony||

    The overwhelming consensus seems to be to stick your head in the sands of antiintellectualism and do nothing.

  • sarcasmic||

    Because not wanting the government to do something means not wanting anything to be done at all.

    I'm so glad that the government grows our food, because otherwise there would be no food at all. No one would grow it and we'd all starve.

  • Tony||

    If the free market could solve global warming it would have started working on it by now. This is the quintessential negative externality that free markets are incapable of dealing with.

  • sarcasmic||

    How do you know it hasn't? Just because something isn't happening by government edict doesn't mean it isn't happening at all.

  • Floridian||

    I can save you the trouble of debate. No new taxes, regulations, laws, or bureaucracy are required. Hth.

  • PapayaSF||

    The only way I would even consider supporting this is if another tax were entirely eliminated. Not reduced, eliminated.

  • Rights-Minimalist Autocrat||

    Yeah. I'd rather have carbon tax than an income tax, AGW be damned (or not). But only as a total replacement, not as an added feature.

    With a carbon tax, I can say "Screw you, government," by getting ceiling fans or driving slower. With an income tax, my only choice is to make less money.

    The income tax is nefarious.

  • cliff 3.14159||

    This is interesting. I have been thinking for a long time if the effects of the fair tax vs. a carbon tax (both as replacements for the income tax) would not be similar.
    If you look at the fair tax web site most of the benefits of the fair tax would also true of a carbon tax.
    Perhaps this is a way to get progressives on board with turning the income tax off. A 50-50 fair-carbon tax hybrid. A 12% sales tax , $7 gas, and the pre-bate. Keep your whole paycheck and no IRS. I would consider it.

  • tarran||

    The notion that the IRS is going be done away with by the FAIR Tax or a Carbon tax is so risible I don't understand why proponents keep arguing it.

    Someone has to do the audits to ensure that the taxable transactions are being taxed and not being mischategorized as tax free.

  • ||

    The IRS is a necessary organ of govt, so it will never go away. The victory would be ending the personal income tax which would greatly curtail the IRS's power over individuals and it's ability as a weapon to be used against us.

  • tarran||

    IRS's power over individuals and it's ability as a weapon to be used against us.

    ROFL!!!!

    "Comrade banker, we have heard reports that your customer Suthenboy, acct # 69873333 is running a business that sells to consumers, and we have a warrant for his banking records."

  • np||

    While I don't believe in taxation, if we were to assume its existence, then the only way to have a tax that is absolutely not invasive is to eliminate taxation based on a the person or his activities and charge fees specifically for services provided instead. Road maintenance fee, etc.

    To make it fair, the government would just be another market participant and you could choose not to pay. Fixing potholes? Yeah I'll choose to pay this road fee to another company who's cheaper because they don't use unioned, pensioned labor instead.

    Deciding who to use on a per job or short term basis by the citizens primarily affected is probably the only time where voting could be used non-oppressively too.

  • ||

    the only way to have a tax that is absolutely not invasive is to eliminate taxation based on a the person or his activities and charge fees specifically for services provided instead.

    While I agree to a point, np, how would one pay for the service of the military?

  • np||

    The same way we do with security guards. But assuming this is not an anarchist system.. let's say something like an invasion happened. If it affects your area then you'd be sent a bill. I can see an insurance-like program developing where if you pay a small amount regularly you don't pay a large bill. (the flaw is that with a monopoly on defense.. there is a perverse incentive for something to happen to justify military spending)

  • ||

    Not my point.

    A military requires equipment and training, costing significant sums, well in advance of any conflict. How do you pay for it?

  • ||

    And...

    How would the military know who to defend (i.e. who is paid up and who isn't) and who to let die? (In your insurance type system.)

  • robc||

    The number of taxpayers under a fair tax is much smaller, so much easier to audit.

    The IRS wouldnt go away, but wouldnt have to do as much.

    That said, SLT bitches.

  • tarran||

    They'll go after non-taxpayers as well; your kid mows lawns? He'd better be collecting sales taxes! Your kid doesn't mow lawns? Prove it!

    You say you don't have a side business? Prove it!

    It's risible.

  • ||

    I could be onboard with that, but 7$ is too high. Also, more thought required. Letting the camel's nose in the tent is usually a bad idea.

    I am also categorically opposed to using taxes to encourage/discourage consumption or sin.

    However, getting rid of the income tax would be a huge victory for liberty.

  • Rights-Minimalist Autocrat||

    I am also categorically opposed to using taxes to encourage/discourage consumption or sin.

    Pretty much every tax discourages consumption of something. Do you mean discourages consumption of a specific item?

  • robc||

    SLT, no deadweight loss.

  • Rrabbit||

    7$ is too high

    I do not consider this a valid argument. If the external costs of emitting CO_2 are that high, then these external costs should be incorporated into the price. The market forces will then take care of it.

    The problem lies, of course, in estimating those external costs.

  • sarcasmic||

    How long before the Fair Tax becomes a tool of social engineering? I mean, it's not fair to tax food. People need food. So it should be exempt. But what about candy? We should tax candy, right? But how do you distinguish between candy and food? I know! Flour! If it's got flour then it's food, right? So Twix is not taxed, while Snickers is!

    [here in Maine they don't apply sales tax to food, but we have a "snack tax" which applies to Snickers but not to Twix]

  • Rights-Minimalist Autocrat||

    How long before the Fair Tax becomes a tool of social engineering?

    Answer: before it was even implemented.

  • Rasilio||

    "How long before the Fair Tax becomes a tool of social engineering?"

    Never

    " I mean, it's not fair to tax food. People need food. So it should be exempt."

    And it isn't, at least up to poverty level food intake, your prebate reimburses you in advance for the taxes paid on all food up to the poverty line, if you wish more food than that or fancier food then it is no longer a requirement but a luxury so you pay taxes on that portion.

    Solves the whole problem if deciding which items are food

  • tarran||

    How long before the Fair Tax becomes a tool of social engineering?

    Judging the arc of other government programs about 2 seconds after the ink dries on the President's signature.

  • ||

    I have been thinking for a long time if the effects of the fair tax vs. a carbon tax (both as replacements for the income tax) would not be similar.

    Carbon tax would hurt the producers more, which is exactly the opposite of what you want to create wealth.

    Bad idea.

  • The Late P Brooks||

    First, assure me the proceeds from this tax will not be used in idiotic and counterproductive ways.

  • ||

    I laughed.

  • Citizen Nothing||

    Swap a revenue-neutral straight-up carbon tax for the income tax (personal and corporate)? Yeah. I'd consider it.

  • Citizen Nothing||

    So, progressives. You really think global warming is such a big deal? Then you ought to be willing to repeal the 16th Amendment in favor of a carbon tax, right?

  • Tony||

    Is whoring for wealthy interests really that rewarding? Do you even know why you're against the income tax among all taxes? What tax is not, in the end, a tax on income? Why do you only care about the one form of taxation that keeps our system from being blatantly regressive?

  • sarcasmic||

    Money is not wealth, and wealth is not income.

    Not that I would expect your broken brain to understand simple distinctions.

  • Tony||

    You constantly repeat these semantic platitudes. Would you care to explain why I should give a shit?

    Any tax, a sales tax, a payroll tax, a tax on poodles, is a reduction in the amount of money in the pocket of the taxed party. The so-called income tax exists specifically because, without it, our overall tax system would be regressive, meaning the poor would be subsidizing the rich.

  • WTF||

    Fuck off sockpuppet.

  • sarcasmic||

    Not taking is giving!

  • WTF||

    Not taking is giving!

    It knows that is a ridiculous position, it's just being a dishonest troll.

  • Tony||

    That particular brainfart of yours is actually not relevant to what we're talking about.

  • sarcasmic||

    You're the one who brings it up when you say the poor will be subsidizing the rich. By that I assume you meant that not taking from the rich and giving to the poor is the same as taking from the poor and giving to the rich. I mean, it's totally the same thing. If I don't steal twenty buck from some rich guy and give it to a bum, I just stole twenty buck from the bum and gave it to the rich dude! It's the exact same thing!

  • Tony||

    Here, let me not blow your mind as the relevant point once again goes completely over your head: taxes pay for things people use. If the rich pay less, they are getting civilization for cheaper than they were before, therefore the ones picking up the slack (the nonrich) are effectively subsidizing them.

  • sarcasmic||

    People who get rich in the marketplace (as opposed to political means) do so by providing goods and services to consumers at a price. Taxes are merely an expense that is incorporated into that price. So when you tax "the rich" you are merely raising the price of the goods and services purchased by consumers.
    All taxes are borne by consumers.

    I suppose you could raise taxes so high that it's no longer profitable to provide goods and services, but now you've just made everyone poorer because society no longer has those goods and services anymore.

  • Rasilio||

    "Any tax, a sales tax, a payroll tax, a tax on poodles, is a reduction in the amount of money in the pocket of the taxed party."

    So? Not all reductions in available cash are reductions in income as income is to the same thing as money (rather it is a source of money). This matters because it is a well proven axiom that taxes serve as a disincentive to the thing being taxed. If you tax income you will get less income, if you tax energy use (aka carbon) you will get less energy use, if you tax savings you will get less savings, if you tax poodles you will get less poodles so what you tax matters.

    Taxing income is counterproductive because income is generated by productive work and therefore you disincentivizing work reducing the overall wealth of society.

    If on the other hand you taxed consumption (aka a sales tax) you would get relatively speaking more work, and more savings but less spending, at least initially, because with more productive work and more savings (investment) spending would quickly outpace spending in an income tax environment as society was spending a lower percentage of a MUCH larger pie.

  • Rrabbit||

    A sales tax is as bad as an income tax.

    With a sales tax, consumption will go down, which by itself will make many investments less profitable. The tax man will then essentially get a percentage of the gross revenue, rather than a percentage of the profit.

    Savings will increase, but that money will then be invested where it is expected to generate profit, which might easily be a foreign country with a lower sales tax.

  • Rasilio||

    No you misunderstand, consumption as a percentage of total income would go down, consumption in absolute dollars might shrink a little only briefly but would very quickly eclipse where it was under the income tax

    assume you earn a salary of $1000 per week and the Federal government takes $250 of that under current law. That leaves you $750 a week of take home income and assume you spend 95% of that with 5% left over in savings. This leaves you "consuming" $675 a week and saving $75 a week.

    Now we switch the the Fair Tax, your take home pay goes up to $1075 plus you will recieve ~ $75 a week prebate giving you $1150 in income, your $675 in consumption would now cost you $875 leaving you $275 for savings or additional consumption, assume you saved half that and upped your consumption to $1000.

    So under the current income tax system you spend 90% of your take home pay and 67.5% of your gross. Under the Fair Tax system your spending as a percentage of your take home pay, which is the same as your gross pay drops to only 78% after taxes are removed.

    Now of course with no tax at all you would probably continue to spend 90% of your income on consumption but a consumption tax is far more economically efficient than an income tax.

  • Tony||

    We aren't anywhere near Laffer effects and most likely never will be, so making a Laffer argument against income taxes is inadequate since the alternatives you favor result in less progressivity. Progressivity is the point of the income tax, and happily Laffer effects, if they happen at all, are beyond any politically feasible level of taxation.

    But I'm glad you agree that all taxation is social engineering. So unless you're an anarchist and want no taxation, then you can plausibly get on board with taxing excess wealth and income to disincentivize hoarding, which does society no good.

  • sarcasmic||

    Who is hoarding and why?

  • Rasilio||

    That's nice and all but I was not in any way shape or form implying or even hinting at the laffer curve.

    I was pointing out the simple inescapable logic that without an income tax more people would seek out productive employment, not making any argument as to whether higher or lower taxes would result in more or less tax revenue.

    Simple example, my family.

    My wife has been a sahm for the last 10 years because it would have cost us more for her to get a job than stay home after daycare, commute, and taxes were figured in. Thanks to my job if she went to work she would have been taxed at a combined rate (Fed, State, Local, Payroll) of more than 40%, throw in another 10% of her pay to cover commuting and other costs of having a job and the remaining 50% of her pay would not even have covered daycare for our children.

    Eliminate those income taxes however and we would have seen a very definite boost in income from her getting a job ergo the income tax has prevented income from being earned and more importantly caused her job skills to atrophy to the point where she essentially now has to go back and apply for entry level positions meaning this decrease in income was a long term pervasive one

  • Rasilio||

    Oh and as far as hoarding OMFG no, a wealth tax would be a FAR bigger disaster than even an income tax and the concept of "hoarding" as you put it is stupid because unless the rich bastards you hate are taking their wealth and burying it in the back yard it is not being hoarded in any meaningful sense of the world, it is being loaned out to ivenstments as a source of capital

  • Rasilio||

    "The so-called income tax exists specifically because, without it, our overall tax system would be regressive, meaning the poor would be subsidizing the rich."

    ok, first off a regressive tax system does not have the poor subsidizing the rich, it merely means that the taxes have a disparate impact on the poor even though the rich would still pay far higher taxes.

    More importantly however it is quite easily possible to have a consumption based tax which is not regressive by simply borrowing the prebate idea from The Fair Tax, simply pick a baseline wealth level and calculate how much an average person at that level of wealth would pay in taxes, then rebate some percentage (and that percentage could be 100% as in tThe Fair Tax) of that to everyone, now the poor pay no taxes, the middle class only pay taxes on the portion they spend above the poverty line, and the rich still pay the overwhelming majority of the taxes.

  • Tony||

    I'm not opposed to rejiggering the tax system as long as progressivity is maintained (I'd prefer increased), but libertarian tax schemes are always more regressive. That's the entire reason libertarianism exists.

  • sarcasmic||

    All taxes are regressive in that the rich pass their tax bill along as an expense incorporated into the price of whatever it is they are selling that results in their becoming rich.

    Basic economics.

  • Citizen Nothing||

    Why do you only care about the one form of taxation that keeps our system from being blatantly regressive?


    It's has something to do with how much I hate children and minorities, right? What do I win?

  • Tony||

    No I'm sure you don't know why you want to make the tax system more regressive, you just do because the bullshit political philosophy you believe in was invented specifically for the purpose of defending every dime (and then some) in the hands of wealthy interests, and you bought into it like a sucker.

  • WTF||

    Fuck off sockpuppet.

  • sarcasmic||

    Not taking is giving!

  • Citizen Nothing||

    And Tony, why do you hate Gaia so fucking much?

  • Homple||

    Oh goody. Give government even more of our money to pretend that we can control the weather.

  • Tony||

    The point is to reflect the actual cost of carbon in lieu of giving polluters (including producers and consumers of carbon-based energy) free license to impose costs on others. Why are you for massive government handouts?

  • sarcasmic||

    Not taking is giving!

  • Virginian||

    The actual cost according to cultists and charlatans.

    Got it.

  • Tony||

    Making yourself look like an idiot by peddling ridiculous conspiracy theories only suggests that you don't have a real policy approach. You are not doing yourself any favors here. In the end the socialists will win and you will be discarded as the antiintellectual trash you are, when you could have contributed meaningfully to this debate. Sorry.

  • Virginian||

    In the end the socialists will win and you will be discarded as the antiintellectual trash you are

    _______________

    Oh will I be helpless before the march of history? Will the glorious people's revolution sweep me aside and reeducate me?

    Will there be camps?

  • Tony||

    I haven't decided what sort of punishment is fitting for people who are actively ignorant in the face of a global calamity and whose ignorance actively aids and abets the forces wishing to maintain the status quo. Morally I see little distinction from refusing to educate yourself about a relatively easy-to-understand phenomenon while advocating doing nothing about it, and actively wishing for the death and misery of millions of people. Your designs for the world put the old death camp to shame.

  • Rhywun||

    Wow, you're on a roll today. Most entertaining.

  • Citizen Nothing||

    And full of doubleplusgoodness!

  • WTF||

    Now there's some quality dishonest sockpuppet trolling.

  • Homple||

    Global calamity! Status quo! Death and misery of millions of people! Put the old death camp to shame!

    Man's off his anti-hysteria meds again.

  • ||

    I haven't decided what sort of punishment is fitting for people who are actively ignorant

    So, we've established that we will be punishing innocent people in your utopia.

    What a complete surprise.

  • Tony||

    You're not innocent. You're guilty of sitting idly by--no, actively working against changes to the status quo--while potentially the biggest injury to humanity in history is occurring. Are you just following orders, perhaps?

  • ||

    And there you have it ladies and gentlemen. The immorality of collectivism in all its glory. The inevitable end-state of a socialist society.

    We will punish you for taking no action, for the good of the whole. How many times does this need to repeat itself throughout the world before the evil is recognized by all?

    Tony, you are an evil, disgusting, immoral, pig.

  • Sevo||

    Tony| 6.13.13 @ 11:05AM |#
    "I haven't decided what sort of punishment is fitting for people who are actively ignorant in the face of a global calamity and whose ignorance actively aids and abets the forces wishing to maintain the status quo"

    Tell us, please, shithead, when is the RAPTURE?

  • tarran||

    And these 'costs' are going to be returned to the injured parties how?

  • Tony||

    They won't, but they could be mitigated as much as possible.

    Or we could do nothing...?

  • Citizen Nothing||

    Which government revenue stream are you willing to give up, again?
    Still waiting...

  • Tony||

    Told you below. Reduce the payroll tax and make SS more progressive.

    This is assuming a balanced budget, of course, and since we don't have that, I don't know why it's necessary to balance out a new tax with reductions.

  • Gilbert Martin||

    "Actual cost of carbon", eh?

    Get back to me when you can quantify the "actual cost of carbon" - or even that there is ANY cost at all - with uneqivocal and absolute definitiveness.

    You are making an affirmative condition claim about something and ALL affirmative conditon claims about anything have to be proven with literally and exactly the same level of definitiveness that I can prove that my car has 4 wheels attached to it or they aren't proven at all.

    I'm waiting.

  • Tony||

    with uneqivocal and absolute definitiveness

    Surely you're not imposing an impossible standard of precision as a means to avoid having to think about the issue.

    Costs that are not precisely quantifiable are not equal to zero. At least in this universe.

    Your claims are just as positive as mine, the only difference being you have absolutely no evidence while I have an abundance. You make positive claims such as "increasing the concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere beyond 400 ppm will have negligible effects." Not only is that a positive claim, it's nonsense according to everything we know. Requiring me to have perfect knowledge before you reject your completely unjustified beliefs is rather silly, don't you think?

  • ||

    Your claims are just as positive as mine, the only difference being you have absolutely no evidence while I have an abundance.

    There has been no increase in average global temperature in 15 years, in DIRECT contradiction to every theory and every model you cite.

    Theories and models are great, right up to the point that they do not reflect reality.

    Forgive me if I'm not in favor of killing children to save the world from a potentially nonexistent problem.

    You are, quite simply, BATSHIT CRAZY!

  • Tony||

    There has been no increase in average global temperature in 15 years, in DIRECT contradiction to every theory and every model you cite.

    Aaaand you respond with the easily refuted bullshit talking point du jour. Just look it up. You're embarrassing yourself.

  • ||

  • Gilbert Martin||

    "Costs that are not precisely quantifiable are not equal to zero. At least in this universe"

    Not unless you can prove that they are not with unequivocal and absolute definitiveness.

    "Your claims are just as positive as mine"

    Wrong again - or rather still.

    I didn't make any affirmative condition claim at all.

    I don't have to.

    I'm not the one on the wrong side of the rules of evidence and burden of proof - you are.

    No one is required to prove a negative. The burden of proof is on those making the affirmative condition claim.

    And if they cannot do so with unequivocal and absolute definiiveness, the negative prevails by default.

    To put it another way, if you cannot prove that something does exist with unequivocal and absolute definitivenss, that automatically means it doesn't exist at all. The burden is all on you and I don't have to do a thing except sit back and watch you fail.

    I'm still waiting for your unequivocal and absolutely definitive proof.

  • Tony||

    My God are you a walking example of how a little knowledge can be worse than none.

    We know there are significant costs. If they can't be calculated to the penny does not mean they are equal to zero. To say that that must be the assumption until the pennies are counted is just flat stupid and wrong.

    You are making affirmative, positive assertions. At one point in time the burden of proof may have been on scientists to show that burning fossil fuels heats the planet. But it's been proven, you just refuse to acknowledge that. So now you're making the positive claim that the science is wrong and that somehow magically putting greenhouse gases into the atmosphere has no greenhouse effect, or whatever the fuck.

    I don't think even most of the science denying idiot libertarians here would get on board with your bizarre claim that absolute definitive proof is required before anything can be known at all.

  • Gilbert Martin||

    "My God are you a walking example of how a little knowledge can be worse than none."

    Wrong again - you have no knowledge at all and you're a complete idiot regardling every conceivable aspect of existence.

    "You are making affirmative, positive assertions"

    Nope - you're still wrong.

    "At one point in time the burden of proof may have been on scientists to show that burning fossil fuels heats the planet. But it's been proven,"

    No, it hasn't and the burden of proof is still on them- and you. You and they are one's making affirmative condtion claims.

    Get back to me when you can prove it with exactly the same level of definitiveness that I can prove my car has 4 wheels attached to it or you've proven absolutely nothing at all.

    I'm still waiting.

  • Homple||

    Actual cost of carbon, determined by who, and how?

  • sarcasmic||

    Scientists! Consensus!

  • MJGreen||

    Men whose expertise is at the top.

  • Tony||

    IMO the calculation is less important than the goal: eliminating fossil fuel energy. It should be taxed out of existence and clean energy subsidized until it takes over.

    Or we could do it the libertarian way and set up the universe's most convoluted civil court system and watch as each Bangladeshi tries to figure out exactly which individuals and companies fucked up their part of their environment they use. Small government!

  • Citizen Nothing||

    So I'm gonna make the mistake of asking "Tony" a serious question.
    Just what government revenue stream are you willing to trade for a carbon tax?

  • Tony||

    A $25 per CO2 ton tax would raise roughly the same amount as eliminating the payroll tax reduction has. I say we keep the deduction. Happy?

  • Citizen Nothing||

    No. Unless you're saying we're allowed to correspondingly reduce the payout of Social Security. Then I'd have to think about it. (And then I'd reject it because your side has proven to be completely untrustworthy time and time and time and time and time again.)

  • Tony||

    Why reduce the payout? Just to be a dick?

  • Citizen Nothing||

    Yes, Tony. Just to be a dick.

  • Tony||

    Old poor people really do have it too easy in this country.

  • Citizen Nothing||

    Yes. We should render them down for glue ASAP.

  • Citizen Nothing||

    In fact, the duplicitousness of Tony and his ilk is why repealing the 16th would be the only acceptable trade off. Of course they'd try to reinstate it, sooner or later, but at least it would hinder them a bit.

  • Citizen Nothing||

    I am willing to admit that carbon emission might result in negative externalities. So, ok. If I give you a carbon tax, what other tax gets axed?
    But I don't expect a serious response, because political "compromise" with these people always only goes one way.

  • Jordan||

    Also, if you're going to charge people for negative externalities, how are you going to reimburse them for positive ones?

  • ||

    "Carbon Tax Debate Today at 6:30 PM - Moderated by Ronald Bailey"

    "Is Religion Good? Debate Today at 6:30 PM - Moderated by The Pope"

  • The Late P Brooks||

    And these 'costs' are going to be returned to the injured parties how?

    The check is in the mail.

  • Sevo||

    "The check is in the mail."

    Not until you fill out this simple 35-page form!

  • The Late P Brooks||

    Just what government revenue stream are you willing to trade for a carbon tax?

    Haven't you heard? Austerity has hamstrung the government. We are unable to provide even the most basic humanitarian support to the neediest members of society.

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