IMF

International Monetary Fund Proposes Carbon Taxes to Avert Climate Change

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Carbon Tax
FreedomPhoenix

The head of the International Monetary Fund, Christine Lagarde, outlined her agency's proposal for imposing taxes on various fossil fuels as a way to avert future man-made global warming. Such taxes would encourage people to burn less coal, oil, and natural gas and to switch to no-carbon energy sources. In her presentation, Lagarde declared:

On this point, let me be crystal clear: we are generally talking about smarter taxes rather than higher taxes. This means re-calibrating tax systems to achieve fiscal objectives more efficiently, most obviously by using the proceeds to lower other burdensome taxes. The revenue from energy taxes could of course also be used to pay down public debt.

We would expect these sorts of tax shifts to have limited adverse economic effects—the whole point is to raise revenue in ways that make the economy work better by fixing market failures….

Using a single fiscal instrument targeted at a particular source of environmental harm is both effective and administratively simple. It is better than relying on a patchwork of uncoordinated policies—such as telling some manufacturers to install certain control technologies, requiring others to use certain fuels, or rewarding households for buying certain vehicles.

The bottom line is that we can spur the same kinds of virtuous behavior by using a much simpler tool—a single fiscal instrument. And once we price bad things right, we will not need to worry so much about subsidizing good things—like renewable energy.

The IMF report sets fossil fuel tax rates at different levels for each of 156 countries, taking into account not only the future damages of climate change, but also benefits like the number of lives that would be saved by reducing current levels of air pollution. So how high would a tax on coal and natural gas be for the United States? The National Journal reports that the tax rate would be $8 per gigajoule of coal and a bit over $3 per gigajoule of natural gas.

Roughly speaking a ton of coal contains somewhere around 25 gigajoules of energy, which implies a tax rate of $200 per ton. Burning a ton coal produces about 2,000 kilowatt hours of electricity. The average American household uses about 11,000 kilowatt hours annually, implying a hike in electric rates of about $1,100 per year due to the new carbon tax. Since the average monthly electric bill is about $107, the IMF's proposed tax hike on coal would approximately double how much Americans pay for coal-fired electricity.

A thousand cubic feet (mcf) of natural gas contains about 1 gigajoule of energy. The average American household burns about 75 mcf of natural gas annually so that implies a total tax burden of $225 per residential customer.

Lagarde also calls for ending the massive fossil fuel consumption subsidies that amount globally to $544 billion annually. On that point, she is certainly right.

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  1. If even 75% of the current funding were going elsewhere than the bank accounts of the IMF administrators, I might be willing to have a reasoned debate about the topic, but really the premise of the argument is, “Give the mafia protecttion value.”

  2. International Monetary Fund Proposes Carbon Taxes to Avert Climate Change Line The Pockets and Increase the Power of Preferred Pols and Cronies

    Come on, Ronald! You know better…sure, those taxes will be “smarter”, not “higher”.

    Sure they will.

    1. Yep, that was my thought aas well.

      She wants us to stop using cheap and plentiful energy that provides enormous economic benefit and start using expensive and unreliable energy that, so far, is a drain on the economy.

      Ostensibly, all because of a theory that is more religion than science. But in reality, to enrich her cronies.

      We need a new good/evil alignment type for people like her: Evil fucking evil.

    2. Given our debt, I think taxes will be higher no matter what. I don’t think our incompetent congress critters are going to find any way out of that.

  3. since when is it the IMF’s job to worry about fighting the weather?

    1. Ever since “smart” people decided in was their religious duty to care about the Climate Changeningz. The IMF, it goes with out saying, only hires “smart” people.

  4. Give me the money. I guarantee an epic expenditure of the hundreds of billions.

  5. Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to increase energy costs to the point that massive subsidies to the poor are needed to keep them from revolting against your rule.

  6. If the IMF has time to comment on this issue, it’s time to start cutting jobs as they’re clearly overstaffed and underworked.

    1. IMF? Incorrigible Mother Fuckers?

    2. I tend to agree.

      OTOH, I am impressed that an AGW alarmist specifies how much pain they hope to inflict in a futile attempt to address global warming.

      The IMF’s first installment is a $2/gallon gasoline tax and a doubling of electricity rates. And, if you’re in the middle class, you’re crazy if you think the income tax offset will apply to you.

  7. The bottom line is that we can spur the same kinds of virtuous behavior

    Fuck off, slaver.

    1. And once we price bad things right, we will not need to worry so much about subsidizing good things?like renewable energy.

      Fuck off, moralizing slaver

      1. that quote seems a good spot for replying with one from Friedman’s list that was posted this morning, the one about something belonging to no one when it theoretically belongs to everyone.

  8. Unless the first line of the bill is the repeal of the Internal Revenue Code in its entirety, including the IRS and all its regulations, I am adamantly opposed. Period.

    And you should be too, Ron. Because if we leave any molecule of the income tax in place, this “carbon tax” will be purely additive when all is said and done.

    1. They already spend far more money than they take in, so why give them more when they act like a teenager who stole Mom’s credit card?

    2. I agree. I suspect if you took the Al Gore approach and really did implement a carbon tax that was revenue neutral because it was offset by reductions in the payroll or income tax, it wouldn’t stay that way. In a few years, you’d have calls to increase those payroll or income taxes back to their old levels because Social Security is in trouble (gasp!), lesbian Phillipinos need college loans, or some other Very Pressing Need arises.

  9. I could see a carbon tax if its:

    a) A lot smaller than what she is proposing, maybe of what she wants
    b) It replaces an existing tax and therefore is revenue neutral.

    Personally, i think we could get rid of income tax and social security for the poor and have both a more fair system and one that encourages more people to work (because they get to take home all of what they earn and because it decreases the cost to hire low wage workers)

    1. One of the implications of a tax like this is that we should pay for the effects we have on the environment. But those effects go well beyond increasing CO2 levels. So why stop with a carbon tax?

      Nah, this is a bad idea. Liberalize our government, free our markets and our people, and let our success inspire other countries to follow suit. Affluence and technological advance will solve whatever problems we have far, far, far, far more effectively than anything government or groups of governments will ever do. Without the suffering, poverty, and body counts, too.

      1. The term carbon tax pretty much says it all.

        You consume, produce, emit, are made of, or are in the vicinity of carbon therefore tax.

        1. What about a tax on thingy.

        2. Carbon tax in this context means a tax on carbon emissions from major point sources. “Carbon tax” is just a shorthand way of saying that.

          1. Today, maybe. Tomorrow, it won’t be just emissions from major point sources.

      2. “Nah, this is a bad idea. Liberalize our government, free our markets and our people, and let our success inspire other countries to follow suit”

        Of course, but you still need some way to pay for government. Which means either a tax of some sort, or skimming of the top of extractive industries like oil, which is really just a tax on oil. Or you could have a government which operates purely by printing money, which is really just a tax on everyone who holds your currency.

        Im not saying a carbon tax is good per se, im saying its better than a lot of the alternatives that are out there.

    2. I could see a carbon tax if its:

      No. Never fucking ever.

      If they get this, there will be no end to the meddling. Seriously, this is far worse than any other tax in use, to the point of insidiousness from it’s moralizing fanbase.

      Like gas taxes and SS taxes, drained off into the treasury for things having nothing to do with either, it will never be a tax used to promote anything other than draining the public of their wealth and transferring it to political cronies.

      1. How about a heat tax? Taxed on any heat energy you produce or that is produced on your behalf.

        1. Sit still! I can see the tax meter speeding up!

          1. “Honey, since I didn’t get a raise this year and our power bill has gone up, I need you and the kids to sit in this room full of ice and not move during the day.”

            1. You can afford electricity and ice? Lucky bastard.

              1. You forget the operations Auric and I have in the outer solar system to delivery ice kinetically to precision targets locations on Earth. And, of course, solar power microwave-beamed from satellites is a given.

        2. Whats the point of a heat tax?

          Seriously, even if you dont believe that AGW is a threat, its still a less onerous tax than income tax. Perfect? No, but clearly better than the alternative.

          1. I saw make it a flat tax, period, which isn’t tied to anything except your existence and having an income.

            1. I think flat taxes are a lot fairer than what we have now, although they have their own problems. The point i was making isnt that a ‘carbon tax’ is the ideal tax, rather its better than what we have now, or, at least, not so bad that it couldnt replace another, worse tax like income tax.

              1. The current income tax is a horrific mess. Unfair, unclear, and ridiculously high. Almost anything would be better.

          2. even if you dont believe that AGW is a threat, its still a less onerous tax than income tax.

            Less onerous in the sense of, doesn’t extract as much money? Well, if its supposed to be a revenue-neutral substitute for the income tax, that can’t be true.

            Less onerous in the sense of, simpler? Initially, maybe. But it will be a festival of cronyism, which means complication and unfairness. There is infinite scope for complication in defining who pays, what they pay on, etc.

            Fundamentally, though, the argument for the carbon tax starts with the assumption that it will replace the income tax in whole or in part. I just flat do not believe that, and cannot be convinced. Sorry, but that’s the way it is.

      2. All tax money is fungible, gas tax, SS, property tax, whatever, it all goes to government.

        And there already is endless meddling, income tax has no shortage of ways in which our ‘enlightened’ rulers can manipulate us, so a carbon tax is no worse in that respect.

        Here is the thing, if you are going to have some government, which is a position most libertarians take, you need some way of paying for it. This means that you have to find the least bad tax to impose because there is no way a government can spend money without taking it from someone else.

  10. “would approximately double how much Americans pay for coal-fired electricity.”

    Under my plan, ….

  11. like the number of lives that would be saved

    “Saved” as in prevented, “saved” as in rescued, or “saved” as in ‘Praise Jesus!’?

  12. Does the IMF have a seat in the House?
    If not, well…

  13. I have a plan.

    MEIN FUHRER! I CAN WALK!

    The largest users of energy are government and quangos like IMF. Let’s tax the shit out of them. Naturally, these cocksuckers will be exempted.

    1. +1 internetz

  14. What the fuck is with the statist/leftist (but I repeat myself) obsession with dubbing their policies “smart”? Smart growth, smart power, smart diplomacy, smart taxes, etc etc…..seems awfully insecure, don’t you think?

    1. Because opposing their policies would be dumb. Duh!

    2. Similar to judges and other holders of political office being referred to as “Your Honor” or ‘The Honorable…” Nobody would associate the term “honor” with them so it must be forced, and nobody would associate the term “smart” with those policies without the insertion of the term.

  15. Let me see here. The outfit that couldn’t get a knockoff of esurance.com working after spending few hundred million dollars and 3 years now wants to extort more of money TO CONTROL THE FORNICATING WEATHER?

    Go away, just go away.

  16. There’s no sugarcoating it – people commenting here seem hesitant to fully embrace this proposal.

    1. Then again Tony may have been out late last night.

  17. “On this point, let me be crystal clear: we are generally talking about smarter taxes rather than higher taxes”

    Yeah because there’s nothing smarter than enacting a massively disruptive tax scheme to alleviate a problem that has yet to be proven to exist.

    And if she thinks that the power grabbing politicians will settle for a revenue neutral tax scheme she is flat out crazy.

  18. Lagarde declared:

    On this point, let me be crystal clear: we are generally talking about smarter taxes rather than higher taxes.

    Well, then. For a moment, I thought this was just a smokescreen for some sort of economic policy handoff to the Top Men Brigade.

    Lay on, MacDolt.

  19. it’s TopMen Gone Wild. They really do believe that people are too stupid to read what folks like LaGarde say and derive the actual intent of the IMF’s ideas rather than the stated goal.

    1. it’s TopMen Gone Wild

      Eww, thanks for that image.

  20. We would expect these sorts of tax shifts to have limited adverse economic effects

    HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAA!!!

    1. the IMF’s proposed tax hike on coal would approximately double how much Americans pay for coal-fired electricity.

      limited adverse economic effects

      BAHAHAHA– Oh, wait, they really think doubling people’s utility bills will have limited adverse economic effects on people.

      1. Yes, because people will spend all of their money on energy, housing, and food. In their world, spending is all that matters.

  21. When these fees achieve their stated goal of reducing carbon use, how will they make up for the lost revenue?

    Don’t tell me, I think I can guess.

  22. First problem: Where the standard Ron Bailey “trigger warning”? (I’m an atheist, I don’t have kids, I burn X amount of coal/oil/natural gas annually, etc.) These trigger-warnings are necessary in case some delicate flower accidentally reads one of his articles.

    Second problem: This….

    The average American household burns about 75 mcf of natural gas annually so that implies a total tax burden of $225 per residential customer.

    Is a feature of any carbon tax, not a bug. The new aristocracy knows better than to let the peasants amass any wealth, travel where they want, or save any money. They start getting ideas about how they are free or some such nonsense.

    1. Serf City, here we come.

  23. That fossil fuel subsidiy claim seems pretty iffy. The report you cite finds subsidies only in countries where the government owns the industry. The report shows no subsidies in OECD countries, the ones most likely to give a crap about Lagarde’s proposal. So, this whole push fails the basic test of politics: it’s impractical to the point of stupid.

  24. If these people really want to prevent climate change, they need to figure out how to stop continents from moving and keep the Sun burning at the same temperature.

    1. Hmmmm….sounds like we need some more taxes!

    2. Big mirror!

      Of course, the idea of “preventing global warming” is fucking stupid on its face. There’s a season when the food grows. It’s not the cold one. Warmer earth == more food.

  25. IMF’s carbon tax plan probably sounds good to a lot of people. The plan is rooted in the idea that, in free markets, demand falls when prices rise.

    Essentially it imposes an additional $2.00/gallon gasoline tax and doubles the price of electricity in the US. In a free market, consumers will consume less gasoline and electricity, and the attendant CO2 emissions will fall. The problem is that the US is not a free-market economy. (A targeted consumption tax is the opposite of free market in the first place.) When this gets debated in Congress, the first thing that will get larded on the legislation will be subsidies for poor and elderly energy consumers. This will offset the tax’s effect for the bottom 40%. So no reduction in consumption by 40% of the population, and no reduction in emissions. The top 20% will get the lion’s share of the income tax offsets since they already pay the lion’s share of income taxes. No reduction in consumption by this quintile either.

    As for the 40% in middle income brackets, well, somebody’s got to bear the burden. They’ll just have to turn off their air conditioners, quit driving, and cancel their vacation plans.

    Oh … and by the way, this is just the IMF’s initial tax schedule. Never forget the the first IRS schedule capped off at 6%.

    1. And wasn’t due until the end of the year rather than extorted weekly from paychecks.

  26. The IMF does not represent me. Therefore, it cannot tax me.

  27. The reason why Ron doesn’t offer an ounce of incredulity over the scheme is because it’s his preferred solution to runaway global warming destroying life on Earth as we know it. Pretty sad, really.

  28. Oh, wait, they really think doubling people’s utility bills will have limited adverse economic effects on people.

    No shit. These geniuses have apparently never ridden with somebody willing to drive all the way across town to save 1 cent per gallon on gasoline.

  29. On this point, let me be crystal clear: we are generally talking about smarter taxes rather than higher taxes. This means re-calibrating tax systems to achieve fiscal objectives more efficiently, most obviously by using the proceeds to lower other burdensome taxes. The revenue from energy taxes could of course also be used to pay down public debt.

    This cunt got her speaking style from Obama. Cliche, obfuscate, lie, lie, lie.

  30. Lagarde also calls for ending the massive fossil fuel consumption subsidies that amount globally to $544 billion annually. On that point, she is certainly right.

    Yeah, but that doesn’t offset the fallacious absurdity of everything else she said.

  31. This means re-calibrating tax systems to achieve fiscal objectives more efficiently,

    HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!! Oh Christine, you fucking slay me!

    Wait, you’re serious?

  32. International Monetary Fund Proposes Carbon Taxes to Avert Climate Change

    But of course they would!

    On this point, let me be crystal clear: we are generally talking about smarter taxes rather than higher taxes.

    But they’re still going to be higher for everybody. That is what makes them so smart for the IMF.

    This means re-calibrating tax systems to achieve fiscal objectives more efficiently, [See? What did I tell you?] most obviously by using the proceeds to lower other burdensome taxes.

    The “more burdensome” taxes being those that are attached to capital gains, for instance (this is what I think they’re thinking.) It’s not like we want to ruffle too many feathers here.

  33. Such taxes would encourage people to burn less coal, oil, and natural gas and to switch to no-carbon energy sources.

    What happens when that initial revenue stream diminishes because you’ve forced people to be able to afford less energy? More taxes I presume.

    The revenue from energy taxes could of course also be used to pay down public debt.

    This is, quite possibly, the greatest joke ever written.

    the whole point is to raise revenue in ways that make the economy work better by fixing market failures….

    “You have to destroy the market to save fix it.”

    And once we price bad things right, we will not need to worry so much about subsidizing good things?like renewable energy.

    It’s a mercantilist racket all the way down (with a dash of soft fascism). I’m usually very respectful towards women, but this one is an evil cunt. Of course, if you artificially increase the cost of something it’s less efficient competition will then be actual competition, ya mendacious bitch.

  34. COASE COASE COASE COASE COASE COASE COASE COASE COASE
    COASE COASE COASE COASE COASE COASE COASE COASE COASE
    COASE COASE COASE COASE COASE COASE COASE COASE COASE
    COASE COASE COASE COASE COASE COASE COASE COASE COASE
    COASE COASE COASE COASE COASE COASE COASE COASE COASE
    COASE COASE COASE COASE COASE COASE COASE COASE COASE
    COASE COASE COASE COASE COASE COASE COASE COASE COASE
    COASE COASE COASE COASE COASE COASE COASE COASE COASE
    COASE COASE COASE COASE COASE COASE COASE COASE COASE
    COASE COASE COASE COASE COASE COASE COASE COASE COASE

  35. Alt-text: HAHA, CHARADE YOU ARE!

  36. I suppose that when the economy implodes due to the over-regulation and over-taxation that comes with carbon-restrictions, there will be a marked decrease of carbon-spewing as industries shut down, people stop doing anything more that basic survival, and we revert to a subsistence economy.
    Yes, Good Times…aka Bad Luck!

  37. Giving my money to the government is going to stop the world from turning?
    The climate has “changed” for the entire 4.6 billion years of it’s existence.
    The very notion anyone can stop that process is either insane, or thinks we are.
    Name one time in our know history where the climate didn’t “change”.
    History is replete will tales of hot/cold, wet/dry, stormy/calm…
    Somehow giving our hard-earned pay to idiot bureaucrats is going to change… what?

  38. Science, and a little engineering, demonstrates that CO2 change never has, and never will have a significant effect on climate. Search AGW unveiled.

  39. Humanity has wasted more than a trillion dollars in failed attempts using super computers to demonstrate that added atmospheric CO2 is a primary cause of global warming and in misguided activities to try to do something about it. An unfunded engineer, using only a desk top computer, applying a little science and some engineering, discovered a simple equation that unveils the mystery of climate change and describes what actually drives average global temperature. Search AGW unveiled

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