The Best Arguments For and Against A Carbon Tax

Earlier in the week I wrote about an idea where a carbon tax could replace the payroll tax. I promised a valued reader that I would further investigate the best aruments for and against this idea and explore its ramifications.

After some research, I believe I have found some very good arguments for and against a carbon tax. I have found less on the idea where we would replace the payroll tax with a carbon tax. This idea seems to only have support of highly biased activist groups, so I have decided to exclude them from this review.

Up first we have Reihan Salam at National Review. His article actually includes more for and against arguments, so read that first.

In the ‘support’ column we have articles from David Frum and the New York Times.

In the against we have Kevin Drum writing for Mother Jones. 

Ross Douthat writing for the Times has another good case for ending the payroll tax and replacing with carbon taxes.

After researching this more extensively, I must say that I now fully support a carbon tax. The arguments for it are powerful: it fixes ecological problems by discouraging certain behaviors and encouraging others. It will also fund needed government services.

I will say I’m not sold on replacing the payroll tax. Its still interesting, but more work needs to be done exploring the consequences.

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6 Responses to The Best Arguments For and Against A Carbon Tax

  1. I’ve been sold on the carbon tax for awhile. Where I’m still working things out is whether or not some variation of a VAT is what we need. Check out the “X tax” if you haven’t already. Interesting stuff.

    • Thanks for your comment! I am interesting in consumption based taxes as well. I wrote about the X tax not too long ago… David Brooks had a great column about it.

      To be honest I’m still not 100% sure on how the mechanics of the X tax works. I understand its intent, just not how it works fully.

  2. Thanks for looking these articles up. They were quite interesting. I’ve come to the same conclusion as you. Definitely more interested but I need more info to definitively sway my position.

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