Debate Club

A Carbon Tax Makes the Democrats' Overspending Problem Worse

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After Democrats spent the past four years creating trillion dollar deficits, they are now asking the American people to foot the bill. Even with Obamacare's trillion dollar tax hikes set to kick in on January 1, Democrats are still telling the American people that they are undertaxed.

Creating an entirely new revenue stream, a carbon tax would be a boon for Democrats looking to sustain inordinately high levels of federal spending. While many carbon tax proponents argue for a "revenue-neutral" carbon tax—where the federal income tax or payroll tax is reduced by an identical amount—such a bill is unlikely to ever emerge from the halls of Congress. Even if an ostensibly "revenue-neutral" carbon tax were to become law, it would only be a matter of time before tax and spend politicians ratcheted up the carbon tax, payroll tax, and income tax. Opening up another front in the battle to restrain growth of government would be disastrous.

[See a collection of political cartoons on energy policy.]

With the economy crawling along at 2 or 3 percent growth and the unemployment rate stuck around 8 percent, a carbon tax would only exacerbate our economic hardship.

Knowing this, Republican Sen. David Vitter of Louisiana and Republican Rep. Mike Pompeo of Kansas just introduced a resolution opposing a carbon tax. Highlighting the undeniable damage a carbon tax would have on the American economy, Vitter and Pompeo write: 

Energy costs affect the price of every product. Because a carbon tax would jeopardize the affordability of the most widely used and available energy sources, the result would be a ripple effect across the economy that would increase the cost of consumer goods for all Americans while simultaneously decreasing the competitiveness of America's global exports.

[See a collection of political cartoons on the economy.]

Luckily for the American people, congressional Republicans have rejected a carbon tax. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky sponsored the Vitter resolution and House Energy and Commerce Chairman Fred Upton of Michigan is introducing his own resolution opposing a carbon tax.

Enabling Democrats' penchant to overspend through a carbon tax revenue does nothing to address the problem at hand—America has an overspending problem.

Christopher Prandoni

About Christopher Prandoni Federal Affairs Manager of Americans for Tax Reform

Tags
energy
global warming
renewable energy
energy policy and climate change

Other Arguments

#1
283 Pts
Weather Disasters Prove the Need for a Carbon Tax

Yes – Weather Disasters Prove the Need for a Carbon Tax

Richard Caperton Director of Clean Energy Investment at the Center for American Progress.

#2
218 Pts
Carbon Tax Revenue Could Fund Clean Energy Innovation

Yes – Carbon Tax Revenue Could Fund Clean Energy Innovation

Mark Muro Director of Policy for the Metropolitan Policy Program at Brookings

#3
197 Pts
A Carbon Tax Should Be Included in a Deficit Reduction Deal

Yes – A Carbon Tax Should Be Included in a Deficit Reduction Deal

Chad Stone Chief Economist at the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities

#4
135 Pts
The Time Has Never Been More Right for a Carbon Tax

Yes – The Time Has Never Been More Right for a Carbon Tax

Charles Komanoff Director of the Carbon Tax Center

#5
-170 Pts
A U.S. Carbon Tax Wouldn't Slow Down Global Climate Change

No – A U.S. Carbon Tax Wouldn't Slow Down Global Climate Change

Paul C. Knappenberger Assistant Director of the Center for the Study of Science at the Cato Institute.

#6
-171 Pts
Carbon Tax's Impact on Global Warming Would Be Negligible

No – Carbon Tax's Impact on Global Warming Would Be Negligible

Thomas Pyle President of the Institute for Energy Research

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