Arthur Laffer: Reagan’s Economist Proposes a Carbon Tax
May 31, 2012
Arthur Laffer, architect of Ronald Reagan’s economic plan, spells out his case for a tax on carbon to replace taxes on income.
He finds it apparently expedient to throw out some perennial climate canards, apologizes for quoting Al Gore, and then calls a carbon tax a “no brainer.”
As a longtime champion of conservative causes, renowned economist Arthur B. Laffer says he’s officially neutral in the debate over climate change. But he sees a fundamentally backward system in the United States that imposes taxes on things people want more of: income and jobs. At the same time, the U.S. allows something we want less of — carbon dioxide pollution — to be emitted without penalty.
Laffer says that situation should be reversed. Instead of tax increases that are “veiled as ‘cap and trade’ schemes,” Congress should offset a simple carbon tax with a reduction in income or payroll taxes.
Below, former Republican Congressman Bob Inglis further explained the conservative case for carbon action in an interview from a few months ago.