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.

20 Responses to “Arthur Laffer: Reagan’s Economist Proposes a Carbon Tax”

  1. Martin Lack Says:

    Fascinating stuff. How long will we have to wait for such messengers to be denounced by deniers as having been duped by the warmist conspiracy?

  2. I can listen to Bob Inglis on this.

    But I really struggled with listening to Arthur Laffer, his attitude towards climate science was shockingly awful.

    What’s more he sereiously needs to watch Peter’s video about the global cooling crock:

  3. I may be wrong, but we did have some cooling caused by “shading” aka solar dimming because of the particle pollution from burning coal and oil. Ironically, now that we have the Clean Air Act, and we have reduced the particulate pollution (here in the USA anyway), we have largely removed the dimming problem.

    So, now we are getting warming because of higher carbon dioxide, and with sunspot activity increasing again, we will be getting into some really deep yogurt.

    Mr. Laffer needs to brush up on the current science, for sure.


    • greenman3610 Says:

      obviously Laffer speaks to a lot of conservative audiences, and probably feels he’ll be dodging shoes if he doesn’t throw a sop to the ignorati.

  4. Nick Carter Says:

    I agree with Peter on this. I had the same experience with a guy I did a story on who really embraced solar and had bought a really new and nifty LED lighting suite for his general store. He had to get in the dig that he didn’t “believe in global warming”…but the economics of going solar with these new LED’s was just the greatest. We see the same with Representative Roscoe Bartlett. He’s an new energy uberhawk, but just can’t discuss climate issues. Personally, I ask…does it matter when everyone is on board with the right energy solutions? We all have a mythology that we cling to. The trick is to fit the issue to the mythology so that the majority share the vision of change.

  5. Peter Mizla Says:

    Laffer is very misinformed- or shall I say uninformed on AGW- He still seems fixated in the 1980s.

  6. Laffer lost a bet to Peter Schiff. That tells alot about how goofy this economist is. He’s should just enjoy his retirement and keep his mouth shut.

  7. anonymous Says:

    Admitting ignorance (instead of making cock-sure statements in spite of it) is actually refreshing. But, if Laffer wants to make the next step, of suggesting the proper level for the carbon tax, he’ll have to start studying…

  8. […] Arthur Laffer: Reagan’s Economist Proposes a Carbon Tax […]

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  10. […] percent of registered RepublicansArt Laffer, economic advisor to Ronald ReaganGreg Mankiw, economic advisor to George W. Bush and Mitt […]

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