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Old December 30th, 2014, 06:34 AM   #1
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regressive taxes from liberals

carbon use.

for the working poor, taxes on gasoline and heating will always be a larger percentage of their income than for the wealthy. they gotta get to work, the gotta keep the house warm.

and of course the depressing effect of these taxes on the economy in general hits poor people harder.
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Old December 30th, 2014, 10:48 AM   #2
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Well, you need to distinguish between a gas tax and other kinds of carbon taxes. A gas tax definitely is regressive. Taxes on industrial carbon emissions are typically progressive because most industries aren't sufficiently competitive for prices to be driven by costs that directly.

But, yes, for a gas tax, that is the tradeoff. They are very controversial for that reason. On the one hand, they discourage a destructive behavior. On the other hand, they are regressive. If people think the environment is the bigger problem, they are more likely to support gas taxes and if they think income inequality is the bigger problem, they are more likely to oppose gas taxes.

Unfortunately, carbon emissions and poverty are fairly closely linked. The poorer a state is, the more likely it is to have high carbon emissions per person- Carbon Emissions and Median Income

So, we'll need to be weighing this trade off in a lot of contexts.

Personally, I am kind of split on it. I generally see income inequality as the most serious problem facing the US at present, so I'm inclined to oppose any consumption taxes. That said, we really do need to apply serious pressure to get people to start adopting more fuel efficient ways and to prioritize fuel efficiency more highly when selecting cars. And, somebody who is burning a lot of gas really is freeloading on everybody else. They are not paying the full cost of their actions, and any time you have that kind of situation, it causes economic inefficiency.
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Old December 30th, 2014, 10:54 AM   #3
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carbon use.

for the working poor, taxes on gasoline and heating will always be a larger percentage of their income than for the wealthy. they gotta get to work, the gotta keep the house warm.

and of course the depressing effect of these taxes on the economy in general hits poor people harder.
Labor Party brought in a carbon tax here...and...for exactly what you outlined...got thrown out at the next election by the Liberal/National Coalition......
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Old December 30th, 2014, 11:03 AM   #4
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Well, you need to distinguish between a gas tax and other kinds of carbon taxes. A gas tax definitely is regressive. Taxes on industrial carbon emissions are typically progressive because most industries aren't sufficiently competitive for prices to be driven by costs that directly.

But, yes, for a gas tax, that is the tradeoff. They are very controversial for that reason. On the one hand, they discourage a destructive behavior. On the other hand, they are regressive. If people think the environment is the bigger problem, they are more likely to support gas taxes and if they think income inequality is the bigger problem, they are more likely to oppose gas taxes.

Unfortunately, carbon emissions and poverty are fairly closely linked. The poorer a state is, the more likely it is to have high carbon emissions per person- Carbon Emissions and Median Income

So, we'll need to be weighing this trade off in a lot of contexts.

Personally, I am kind of split on it. I generally see income inequality as the most serious problem facing the US at present, so I'm inclined to oppose any consumption taxes. That said, we really do need to apply serious pressure to get people to start adopting more fuel efficient ways and to prioritize fuel efficiency more highly when selecting cars. And, somebody who is burning a lot of gas really is freeloading on everybody else. They are not paying the full cost of their actions, and any time you have that kind of situation, it causes economic inefficiency.
Here in Oz...maybe three years ago...there were "public speakers" making the rounds of Lions, Rotary, HS, universities (etc) pushing Al Gore's slant on "everything carbon". Their slide show presentation showed our Rotary Club "how dirty Australians are" considering the carbon emissions per capita........

I took the first response. I pointed out that he had shown our neighbour...The Solomon Islands...as about the Cleanest & Greenest...while we are the dirtiest. He nodded...and even tossed in the word "shameful".

My point was that some guy in The Solomon's that needed reinforcing mesh and rod for his new house...got it from Australia. The carbon footprint for that remained in Oz...while The Sol's got to gloat about how Clean & Green they are........

He had no answer...just a shrug and "Any questions?" Plenty of questions followed...like "Can you reply to what Tony just pointed out???"
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Old December 30th, 2014, 03:15 PM   #5
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My point was that some guy in The Solomon's that needed reinforcing mesh and rod for his new house...got it from Australia. The carbon footprint for that remained in Oz...
Sure, and the costs created by those carbon emissions should indeed fall on the people involved rather than on people who neither benefit from the mesh and rod nor profit from selling it. So, that would seem to make sense to impose those costs on the producer and they either pass it on by raising prices or it comes out of their profit margin, whichever the market determines.
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Old December 30th, 2014, 03:17 PM   #6
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Sure, and the costs created by those carbon emissions should indeed fall on the people involved rather than on people who neither benefit from the mesh and rod nor profit from selling it. So, that would seem to make sense to impose those costs on the producer and they either pass it on by raising prices or it comes out of their profit margin, whichever the market determines.
The voter determined the market...and kicked Labor out of office.
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Old December 30th, 2014, 04:31 PM   #7
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i've been round them liberals, blue haired retired school teachers usually who think everyone in the US should pay $8.00 a gallon for gasoline. with no thought given to how that effects the working poor.
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