December 11, 2008
-- by Dave Johnson
Suppose we place a tax on the use of fossil fuels. Anyone burning coal, oil, gas, etc. has to pay a really big tax for doing so.
Then suppose the government give every penny back to the public by giving the exact same amount to every person over 18*.
This means that MOST of us will get a check each year for much, much more than we paid to the carbon tax. AND it means that everyone will have an incentive to use alternative energy sources.
This is called a "revenue-neutral" tax because the tax money all goes back to the public. Since every dollar is returned this is not a tax increase.
*(Over 18 because we really, really don't want to encourage people to have more babies -- overpopulation is part of the problem.)
Posted by Dave Johnson at December 11, 2008 4:25 PM
I have thought that a carbon tax is the only way to go, especially with gasoline. Keep price at around $5 a gallon like they do in Europe to limit the amount needed to be imported. But how you return the revenue to the "people" can also implement important policies especially in the area of carbon usage. Demand in the energy area is often called inelastic, people need to get to work, etc. It is important that people be given an alternative that uses less energy. Examples: subsidize mass transit fares, build more mass transit routes, subsidize solar systems, and write down other conservation programs. This puts more in the pockets of responsible actors and reduces use over time.
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