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Elon Musk: George Schultz, Jim Baker @WSJ article regarding a carbon tax

Discussion in 'Energy, Environment, and Policy' started by Ulmo, Feb 8, 2017.

  1. Ulmo

    Ulmo Active Member

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    #1 Ulmo, Feb 8, 2017
    Last edited: Feb 9, 2017
    Finally, a sensible regulatory regime for environmental correction proposed that I can trust, support, and believe in. It proposes a legal structure for improving the environment that I find acceptable and good for us and our country. Please promote and let's do it!

    Elon Musk is promoting this idea, so you know it is worth considering.

    A Conservative Answer to Climate Change

    Key points:
    • "Revenue Neutral": What this means is that it is taxed based on carbon (something to measure harmful emissions, which probably isn't perfect but seems like a simple metric), but the money goes back to the citizens, not to the government. This is vital and necessary to not fund further government bloat! No other plan I saw widely considered is compliant with this.
    • Accounts for and corrects any inequities at the border for any goods or services crossing the border, for other countries that have not enacted similar measures, keeping both competition and environmental incentives fair and in force. No other plan I saw does this. This is vital and necessary.
    • Repeals older regulation, freeing us from those shackles. This is vital and necessary.
    Let's all promote this plan and get it enacted!


    Here's the tweet from Elon:

    Elon Musk on Twitter

    [​IMG]
    Elon Musk ‏@elonmusk
    13h13 hours ago
    George Schultz and Jim Baker article in @WSJ regarding a carbon tax

    A Conservative Answer to Climate Change

    276 replies 1,132 retweets 2,766 likes
     
    • Like x 1
  2. Ulmo

    Ulmo Active Member

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    #2 Ulmo, Feb 9, 2017
    Last edited: Feb 9, 2017
    Since I'm not familiar with the chemistry of a carbon tax, I looked it up a bit, and it says a carbon tax is a tax based on the "carbon content in fuels".

    Also, I've always hated the term "revenue neutral": Revenue of persons? Revenue of businesses? No! Revenue of the stupid damn government! Who cares for giving government more revenue, as compared to the revenue of persons and businesses! So, it should be "government revenue neutral". This whole government-centric way of discussing things is really bad for us.

    I still am concerned that as the cookies pass through the conveyor belt of Government, that the government will grab and eat up the cookies, and get addicted to them. But, if the law is specifically written to avoid that and to punish that, and to remove regulation going forward instead of adding to it, then that can be avoided. We have a narrow window of opportunity (less than 2 years) to put forth sensible non-emotional law with our current federal government political landscape. Let's take full advantage of that and get this done.
     
  3. Jack007

    Jack007 Member

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    They started a carbon tax where I live, and they plan to use some of the money to subsidize solar. Which would reduce my carbon tax on electricity. The model S reduces it, (well eliminates it for my driving). Hopefully the model 3 will eliminate it for my wife
     
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  4. nwdiver

    nwdiver Active Member

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    Social Security has been going for ~80 years and the government only keeps 0.7% for administrative costs. A carbon tax might be a bit higher since it's more complicated but these types of programs can obviously work.
     
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  5. Ulmo

    Ulmo Active Member

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    #5 Ulmo, Feb 13, 2017
    Last edited: Feb 13, 2017
    I've long warned a tax on bad things is dangerous. In my old age and impatience, I somehow de-emphasized my concerns just because "my guy" is temporarily in power. That's no excuse. Thanks to @Julian-cox https://teslamotorsclub.com/tmc/members/julian-cox.15107/ (a banned user because he's often so correct and offends many people who are trying to force corruption and lies, or one of their victims who are easily offended or are trying to be corrupt, and because he's somewhat willing to take on the task of the argument and/or conversation), he called me on this mistake:

    Julian Cox on Twitter "I think the deal-breaker is immovable: Funding a government with societal harm is a black market."

    I'm now backing off my support of a tax of bad things, again. For decades I've been wary of taxes on bad things. Many more decades ago I was thinking of creating a money type that considered elements within the items you buy as various costs, but I never did finish coming up with a sensible way to do that that would work.

    Thanks to Julian Cox for once again having the fortitude and prescience to keep me on track. Read what he posted on Twitter starting at Julian Cox on Twitter and this echos many of my concerns.

    Instead, as far as I can ascertain, Julian offers this idea of how to succeed:

    Julian Cox on Twitter "Just Get Out Of The Way of Divestment [in Fossil Fuel industries]. Period."

    Here's how he explains it:

    "Remove Government friction (capital gains tax) from INVESTORS divesting from legacy industry. There is no point in trying to save entities like Exxon or GM which are machine shops full of useless stuff. The objective is to release the market cap back to the economy BEFORE they go bust to disruptive competition. In my view until corroborated or corrected, much of the XOM (Exxon stock) market cap is stagnant money trapped by Capital Gains Tax.""
     
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  6. ohmman

    ohmman Maximum Plaid Member

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    Tax on "bad things" can often be seen as internalizing externalities, if the tax is applied properly. Revenue-neutral carbon taxes (sorry) are one way to do that for carbon. Taxes on cigarettes or booze would be the same, if the revenues from those taxes were funneled into healthcare expenses that society pays for people's "freedom" to choose those habits.

    It isn't terribly often that an individual's choice is free from an external consequence to society. Even just eating poorly will statistically cost society money, due to healthcare expenses. Healthier individuals subsidize that care with higher insurance premiums, Medicare taxes, or Medicaid (in the US). If a tax on junk food would be directly funneled into healthcare, then it at least somewhat covers that externality.

    Without these taxes, we cannot capture the true costs of "freedom." As the saying goes, your freedom ends where mine begins. As it turns out, my freedom begins a lot sooner than most think.
     
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  7. jsmay311

    jsmay311 Member

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    This plan could very likely get majority support in Congress if Baker, Shultz, & Co. could convince even as few as 15% of their fellow Republicans in the House and Senate to support it.

    Problem is, I doubt they'd be able to get the support of even 5% of Congressional Republicans.

    And even then, it wouldn't matter if there was majority support in Congress because neither Republican leader in the House or Senate would bring it up for a vote in the first place anyway.

    And even if Democrats had majorities in both houses and decided to put forward this decidedly-conservative plan specifically in an attempt to attract Republican votes, Republicans would still filibuster it in the Senate.
     
  8. cpa

    cpa Active Member

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    I did not read the article, so if this was mentioned, apologies in advance.

    I think that it is a great idea. However, how will this carbon tax be collected, administered, audited and adjusted? Will the overworked and understaffed Internal Revenue Service be charged with yet another responsibility--a responsibility that they are not set up to do? (See the collection of the "shared responsibility payment" on form 1040 for those who do not carry health insurance.) Or will the government contract with a private company to collect and administer the program?

    After Medicare was enacted in the mid-60s, there was a lot of honest confusion and uncertainty. Some providers were paid too much, and others not enough. Many providers found loopholes in the original law and lawfully gouged Medicare for reimbursement. It took decades for new legislation to fix these errors and loopholes. And we still are fighting fraud and abuse by the black hats out there.

    With all the fraudsters out there today--and there are more than you think--a program like this is ripe for defalcation.
     
  9. RichardC

    RichardC Cdn Sig & Solar Supporter

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    The mechanics can actually be quite simple. British Columbia has had a carbon tax in place for a decade now without any serious problems such as those mentioned above arising.

    The far greater harm is that which is now resulting from the negative carbon taxes (in the form of industry subsidies), and the unbearable taxes we are imposing on our children and the inhabitants of developing countries who are bearing the brunt of the climatic changes caused by our consumption of fossil fuels..
     
  10. brucet999

    brucet999 Active Member

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    Social Security is a bad example. Administrative cost may be only 0.7% but the whole thing is a Ponzi scheme requiring ever more money to be taken from today's workers to pay benefits of yesterday's now-retired workers. Add to that the fact that the Government "borrows" SSI funds to mitigate its growing deficits and you have a very good reason to fear that carbon tax funds would be diverted to pay for other government schemes.
     
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  11. brucet999

    brucet999 Active Member

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    I wish I could read the linked article, but it is hidden behind a pay wall.
     
  12. brucet999

    brucet999 Active Member

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