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The Economic Argument for a Carbon Tax Is a Work of Fiction | Mises Wire

Posted by M. C. on February 3, 2019

If these regulations are so inefficient, then why do they exist in the first place? The answer, of course, is that they are there for political reasons, not because they passed a legitimate cost-benefit test.

https://mises.org/wire/economic-argument-carbon-tax-work-fiction

We live in strange times indeed when an environmental reporter for The New York Times writes that we should stop pushing for a carbon tax, just a few weeks before dozens of distinguished economists sign a letter to the Wall Street Journal calling for a carbon tax. Yet despite the prestige behind the impressive list of signers, the economists mislead the American public on several key points.

Specifically, there is quite open hostility on the progressive Left to merely a carbon tax—for example as is spelled out in the “Green New Deal” that has attracted so much attention. It is thus very dangerous for these economists to tell the public that a carbon tax would promote economic growth by eliminating unnecessary regulation. Furthermore, there is no discussion of just how severely economic growth would be limited, even if the carbon tax receipts were refunded dollar-for-dollar (which of course they won’t be). The talk about average families receiving more back in dividends than they pay out in higher energy prices is extremely misleading, and could only be true if the scheme fails in its ostensible goal of drastically cutting emissions. Finally, the attempt to maintain American competitiveness with a “border adjustment” would simply ensure that the program was symbolic and did little to slow global carbon dioxide emissions.

No, a Revenue-Neutral Carbon Tax Deal to Replace Regulations Is Not Going to Happen

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