Ross: Carbon tax is the wrong tax at the wrong time (opinion) – Manchester Journal

The idea that Vermont must pass a significant tax on all carbon based fuels is a proposal which, so far, has been thwarted by popular opposition. However, the beat goes on. Voters must connect some dots and put real pressure on their legislators to abandon this idea.

β€œTo paraphrase the dictum from General Omar Bradley, at a time when war with Mao's China was a potential threat, "This is the wrong tax at the wrong place at the wrong time."
The tax is wrong for several reasons. There is no justification for any tax unless it is needed to pay for legitimate government expenses.
The carbon tax is not intended to finance anything. It is intended to discourage the use of fossil fuel for any purpose. Taxes intended to change people's behavior or consumption habits simply do not work.Tobacco taxes which raised the price of cigarettes from $1 a pack to $10 a pack did not eliminate or reduce tobacco use. Gasoline and diesel fuels are taxed heavily to pay for highway construction and maintenance. Even when gasoline edges towards $5 a gallon driving does not drop off by much. The taxes on alcohol, which make up as much as 80 percent of the price do not reduce consumption.

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  • Colin DuPee
    commented 2019-12-14 23:59:59 -0500
    I agree that it’s a dumb tax, but all of your supporting evidence is not helping your cause, because it’s all wrong. Pigovian taxes work just fine. People do smoke less and quit more because it’s so expensive. And while driving is more-or-less inelastic, the point is to make switching to electric cars more financially appealing; which it does.
    It’s a stupid idea because the point is to reduce “carbon emissions”, and it won’t do that AT ALL. All it will do is make gasoline cheaper elsewhere. It will still get drilled, refined, and burned, but Vermonters won’t be driving up the price.