Tax cuts yield services decline
A carbon fee represents the true cost of making products that involve burning carbon fuel, making plastic and making synthetic fertilizers.
The costs of pollution of our environment are now passed on to citizens in taxes to clean up pollution and in paying health care for diseases caused by carbon pollution. A carbon fee would require the sources of this pollution to add its costs as part of their cost of production. The higher prices they might charge for their products would be offset to consumers by government returning the carbon fees to citizens.
Arguing that this is a tax on citizens overlooks the fact that we are already paying for the chief polluters, instead of making them pay, and arguing that taxes become permanent is belied by the dedication of the Republican Party to cutting taxes for those who can most afford to pay more. They have succeeded in reducing the top individual income tax rate from 90 percent during the 1940s and 50s by almost two-thirds. These cuts are paid for by cutting services that benefit the common good and by increasing deficits.
Meanwhile, with cheap gasoline, car dealerships’ lots are full of gas-guzzling big pickups and SUVs, instead of small, fuel-efficient cars. Coal remains the leading source of electricity in Wisconsin.