American Enterprise Institute’s (and McCain economic advisor) Kevin Hassett likes polar bears. He likes them so much that he brought them up yesterday at a tax conference, during his panel on advising the presidential candidates. (This morning we’ll hear from an entire panel discussing “can tax policy save the penguins.” I think they should have said “polar bears,” which are cuter…. ) You see, Kevin, a low-tax kind of guy, favors the idea of a carbon tax.
And by the way, so does Greg Mankiw, a former Chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers under this Bush Administration. And so does Glenn Hubbard, another former CEA Chairman under this Bush Administration, known as the “architect” of the Bush tax cuts.
And I have proposed this idea as well, but that’s not a shocker–I’m a tax-loving Democrat, after all.
The point is, like the fact that economists univerally (across the political and ideological spectra) seem to hate the idea of a gas tax holiday, we universally seem to love the idea of environmentally-motivated taxes. Yes, a tax increase that even tax-cutting economists support.
Why? Sustainability. Some economists support the carbon tax purely on the grounds that it would help combat global warming and promote environmental sustainability. As a mom and an economist, I love the carbon tax idea because it promotes fiscal as well as environmental sustainability. It’s a revenue increase–yes, a tax increase!–but an efficient one, with the potential for at least some of that revenue to go toward deficit reduction.
I’d like to think we parents can do better in terms of leaving behind a sound economy and a decent environment for our kids.