Source: Comedy, economics, and carbon taxes: Yoram Bauman at TEDxTheEvergreenStateCollege YouTube Video.
Extended Quote: "I actually think that in order to make progress on climate change, we're going to have to do it in a bipartisan way. The way to get bipartisan action on climate change is through a revenue neutral carbon tax, like the one they have in British Columbia."
Notes: Before his above final statement in this TED lecture, economist Yoman Bauman, states in this abridged quote:
'If you believe humans are not partially responsible for climate change, that's ok. I will find common ground with you anyway: the way that economists think about pollution problems.
The way to get less pollution is to make polluting expensive. When you do this, you market forces working to promote innovation, conservation, and the development of new technologies.
How? A carbon tax will drive up the price of fossil fuels.
At this point in my talk people stop laughing because it is a hard sell to convince people to drive up the price of fossil fuels. However, there is a side benefit, other than saving the planet. If you do these policies right, you generate a whole pile of government revenue. We could then use most or all that revenue to reduce or eliminate existing taxes.
It is called environmental tax reform or tax shifting. This is the idea: we should tax things we want less of, like carbon emissions, instead of taxing things we want more. So right now, we have taxes on income, savings, and investment, and payroll and things we want more.
Canadian province of British Columbia currently has a revenue neutral carbon tax. I consider it to be the best climate policy in the world right now.
In a couple of years, they will bring in about 3.5 billion dollars in revenue. All that money is being used to reduce personal and corporate income taxes in British Columbia. There is an offset for low income households.
George Will, Washington Post columnist, does not think humans are responsible for climate change. I personally asked him if he would support replacing the payroll tax with a carbon tax. He said he was all for it because he hates the payroll tax.
You know what: I hate the payroll tax. Al Gore hates the payroll tax. Al Gore says we should tax what we burn, not what we earn.
I asked George Will what he thought that he and Al Gore were agreed on this. George Will response, 'An idea should not be held responsible by people who believe in it.'
My point: prominent economists across the political spectrum, from liberal Paul Krugman to conservatives Art Laffer and Greg Mankiw, think a revenue neutral carbon tax is a fine idea.'
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