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Carbon tax?

According to Jason Kottke, San Francisco mayor Gavin Newsom has proposed a "carbon tax" to replace the income tax. Instead of being taxed for working and making money, you'd be taxed for generating carbon, thus encouraging you to live a more environmentally-friendly lifestyle.

This sounds pretty cool at first blush, at least to me. But a minute of thought made me realize: the people most able to "green up" quickly are the ones with the most money. They can get rid of their SUV and buy a Prius, and replace all their incandescent bulbs with compact fluorescents, etc. Pretty soon they'll have minimized their carbon emissions and be paying very little tax. Meanwhile, Joe Average doesn't have the extra cash on hand to get rid of his 1992 Honda and buy a hybrid, etc., because he doesn't make that much money. Hence he'll be paying more taxes due to his higher carbon emissions.

So it sounds like in the end, the tax burden will be shifted largely onto the lower-income brackets. Great idea!

Comments

rockstarbob
May. 8th, 2008 06:18 pm (UTC)
I agree with the points raised by maga_dogg. In the end, this seems pretty assy.

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