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View Diary: Tax the Carbon Perps:  Go Green on Their Dimes (68 comments)

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  •  There's another approach that won't (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jamess, RMForbes

    be so harsh on lower income families.

    Incentives to reduce the carbon tax footprint.

    Off the top of my head, we could use the Wall Street quants, geniuses that they are, to determine a "living tax imprint" for each person, according to age.

    Methods could be used to calculate an individuals actual carbon footprint:  how much processed foods they buy, how fuel efficient their vehicles are, how much they drive, and so on.

    There has to be a national "carbon footprint" average for each person, according to age.  If not, there needs to be one in order to design and build a green energy power grid.

    If they come in under the calculation, they get a tax credit, paid for by the CCT Fund.  This puts an incentive on efficiency, not a burden for use/purchase of necessities.

    I suspect lower income families already have a lower carbon footprint than the wealthy because they don't have yachts, several SUVs, and private jets.

    I do like the idea of taxing private jet fuel very much.

    •  correction (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      PatriciaVa, jamess, RMForbes

      More incentives to reduce the individual carbon footprint.

      Paid for by the CCT Fund.

      This would create the partnership needed between the carbon extractors and the end users.

      But a baseline usage footprint must be in place in order to determine the cash back incentives to the end users.

    •  Orders of magnitude more complex (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      War on Error

      For that reason alone your idea is not feasible.

      What I propose isn't a VAT, so it's not as regressive as you think. A VAT is based on price - the more something costs, the more VAT you pay - while what I propose is a tax on the quantity of carbon-intensive materials or energy purchased by both consumers and corporations. The more material or energy is present in the thing you're buying, the more you pay.

      For example, a tax of one penny per ounce of plastic would add less than that to the price of a bottle of water, while Crystal Geyser buys literal tons of plastic to make those bottles and would therefore pay a large amount of tax directly. While they will pass that cost on to the consumer, the cost will be divided among all the bottles they sell, so you've added what? ... a penny and a half on top of the first penny? ... to the cost of a bottle of water. Add a tax of a penny per gallon of water, and you've only added half a cent to the cost of a bottle of water, while Crystal Geyser pays another big fat tax, which is again divided up among all the bottles they sell. Grand total paid by a big company: maybe a million dollars in both direct taxes and in increased production costs. Grand total paid by the consumer: let's say a nickel.

      One thing to realize about low-income people is that the biggest financial limit for them is how much they have to pay at any one time. Minimize that, and the burden becomes lighter. This is true of middle class and rich people as well, and also businesses. Spread the carbon tax around as much as possible, and its easier for everyone to bear.

      Whoever screams the loudest gets to decide what color the sky is.

      by rf80412 on Sat Aug 14, 2010 at 12:29:14 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Well, I propose taxing the profits (0+ / 0-)

        made on carbon at all junctures, including shareholders.

        I understand your proposal, though.  It's a great one.  And I probably trust your VET more than I would trust the corporations to report honestly, actually fork over the money in a timely fashion, and pass their cost on in an equitable fashion.

        If we can marry levies on corporate profits/etc and levies/incentives on the end user, we might be able to move quickly enough to


        The planet will survive without us.

        We need many good ideas.  The clock is ticking, the climate is heating up, and using dried dinosaurs and their environment to fuel ourselves thinking that it's all ok, is fooling ourselves.

        We all might end up dead wrong.

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