Raise the Gas Tax! The Best, Least Popular Idea in Politics

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Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images

Sometimes, a politician makes waves by proposing a sound, reasonable policy initiative based on relevant research and informed by historical fact. And quite often that idea has a snowball’s chance in hell of going anyway because it is politically toxic. Raising the gas tax is one of those ideas.

Via Matthew Yglesias at Slate:

Back in 1994, the cheapest Mac laptop on the market cost more than $1,600. On the other hand, a dozen eggs were less than $1, a gallon of milk was $2.88, and a gallon of gas could be yours for just $1.11. Of that, 18.4 cents were the federal tax on gasoline. Today, of course, everything’s different. You can get a Mac laptop for under a grand, but that milk will cost you about $3.40, and gasoline has almost tripled in price to $3.28 a gallon. But one thing hasn’t changed. The federal gas tax is still right where she was at 18.4 cents per gallon. Legislators haven’t raised it since 1993, and because they neglected to index it to inflation, the tax has lost more than a third of its real value in the ensuing two decades.

Matthew Yglesias is Slate‘s business and economics correspondent. He is the author of The Rent Is Too Damn High Rep. Earl Blumenauer, Democrat of Oregon—who represents the Portland area and is best known as Capitol Hill’s leading bicycling advocate—wants to change that. Last week, he introduced a bill to phase-in a 15-cent hike in the gas tax, followed by an indexing of the tax to inflation.

The idea is a total nonstarter in Congress and politically toxic to boot. Even bothering to discuss it is somewhere between pointless and insane. It’s manna from heaven for Republicans who’ve been on the defensive over taxing the rich and would love to shift the conversation to Blumenauer’s plot to make the middle class pay more at the pump.

It also happens to be a great idea.

Gasoline, you see, is very useful as a fuel for automobiles, but it also causes quite a bit of pollution when you burn it. Some of this, of course, is the carbon dioxide pollution that contributes to the greenhouse effect and the global threat of climate change. But a lot of it relates to other kinds of dirty particulate matter, nitrogen dioxide, and ozone that lead to drastically higher rates of asthma for kids who grow up near highways, for example. Burning gasoline by driving your car also imposes nonecological external costs. Bored kids cruising around in circles just to get out of the house and people taking extra trips to the grocery store rather than planning in advance take up space on the road, thus slowing everyone else down. And every additional vehicle-mile driven increases the chances that you’ll collide with somebody else, killing or injuring him. In a useful 2007 paper, Ian Parry, Margaret Walls, and Winston Harrington concluded that the full social cost of burning a gallon of gasoline is a staggering $2.10—far, far higher than what even Blumenauer would charge.

Most strikingly, they calculated that the local pollution cost alone—that is, the cost if you completely ignore climate change, traffic congestion, and road deaths—is 42 cents. 

Those costs are one of the reasons conservative economist Gregory Mankiw has proposed a gas tax hike of up to a dollar. But Mankiw also offers another important reason, relating to what’s called “tax incidence.” Formally speaking, the gas tax is paid for by gasoline buyers. But any time you tax anything, some of the real cost is borne by producers, who sell less stuff now that the price is higher. Except nobody really produces oil—it’s just sitting around in the ground. So slowing the pace of oil extraction doesn’t reduce long-term national wealth in the way that inhibiting other economic activities do—the oil is still around for later use.

But what makes Blumenauer’s legislation even better than your typical wonk policy dream is that it’s pretty clear we have to do something about the gas tax situation. Gas tax revenue, you see, has been falling pretty sharply in recent years. Americans are driving less than they used to, and the miles we do drive are increasingly likely to be in a fuel-efficient hybrid or diesel vehicle. Electric vehicles’ market share is tiny but seems overwhelmingly likely to increase in years to come. And even conventional vehicles are getting more efficient as the fine points of engine design and sturdy lightweight materials steadily improve. Increased fuel efficiency is mostly good news. The problem is that the government funds transportation infrastructure largely out of fuel taxes, so falling gasoline consumption creates a problem for the budget. That’s led various politicians to propose such things as a tax on hybrid and electric cars or a brand-new tax on vehicle miles traveled.

These aren’t absolutely horrible ideas judged in isolation. But if you’re going to raise a driving-related tax, why not raise the one kind of tax that also reduces pollution and makes lucky oil barons share in the burden? Gasoline taxes’ unpopularity with the voters is one reason, of course, but there’s no reason to think people would like a vehicle miles traveled tax or hybrid car tax any better. Given a necessarily thorny political situation, sometimes the best option is just to do the right thing.

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Five myths about the Affordable Care Act

Karen Bleier/AFP/Getty Images
Karen Bleier/AFP/Getty Images

 

The rollout of the Affordable Care Act has been a “debacle” even according to the administration, but there is more to the confusion than just poorly written code. Take a deeper dive with this quick list from the Washington Post:

“Frustrating.” A “debacle.” That is how President Obama’s own secretary of health and human services, Kathleen Sebelius, has described the rocky launch ofHealthCare.gov. Americans were supposed to begin shopping for insurance coverage on Oct. 1, but millions have been unable to log into the federal online exchange . Congress, meanwhile, shut down the government for 16 days in a dispute over whether to fund the health-care law. As the debate continues, let’s look at some of the most persistent myths about the law — and some new ones that have cropped up.

1. Americans will be forced to buy health insurance.

The health-care law’s individual mandate, despite its name, isn’t meant to force Americans into health plans. Instead, it is supposed to encourage people to purchase coverage by giving them two options: Buy insurance or pay a fine. In 2014, that fine is $95 or 1 percent of an individual’s income, whichever is higher.

The Internal Revenue Service is responsible for collecting this penalty from individuals who indicate on their annual tax filings that they have not purchased coverage. The agency can take the penalty out of a filer’s refund, but beyond that, its ability to recoup those dollars is extremely limited. The IRS cannot, for example, send agents to people’s homes or put liens on their houses. In the health-care law, Congress specifically curtailed the ability to enforce this penalty, giving the IRS fewer ways to collect it than there are for other tax fines.

2. If you like your health plan, you can keep it.

Obama has repeatedly made this key promise about his signature legislation. “If you’re one of the more than 250 million Americans who already have health insurance, you will keep your health insurance,” he said in June 2012, shortly after the Supreme Court upheld the law.

In truth, the health-care law makes a number of changes to the insurance industry that will affect the nearly 165 million Americans covered by private plans. For one, it requires all health plans to include a wider set of benefits, among them maternity care and mental health services. Employers have responded by increasing premiums by less than 3 percent, on average, to make up for the cost of these new benefits.

The individual market, where 15 million Americans buy their own coverage, will see even bigger changes. Experts estimate that insurers will discontinue at least half of these plans in 2014 because they do not cover the benefits that the Affordable Care Act requires. Some say the number could be even higher, around 75 to 80 percent.

CBS News has reported that more than 2 million people have already received word from their insurers that the health plans they have now won’t be available next year. Customers who receive a cancellation notice will need to shop for new coverage. Those plans could have a higher price tag because they offer more benefits, although many people will receive financial help from the government to buy a new policy.

3. The exchange’s big problem is that it ’s overwhelmed by traffic.

The federal exchange did get a lot of web traffic at first; the White House estimates that 8 million people visited the site in its first four days. To put that in perspective, as one Web developer recently did, that’s more users in HealthCare.gov’s first 24 hours than Twitter had in its first 24 months.

Traffic has decreased since then, and some people have successfully purchased insurance through the online marketplace. That’s led insurance companies to discover an even more serious problem with the exchange: It’s sending inaccurate enrollment data to insurers. Companies are supposed to get a file from the exchange each time someone enrolls in one of their plans. These files include important information such as where the new subscriber lives and how many people are in her family. But insurers say these files are sometimes wrong, listing children as spouses, for instance, or including an address that doesn’t exist.

Some companies have assigned employees to hand-check each file for errors. This works now because few people are enrolling through the exchange. But at some point, insurers expect that they’ll receive thousands of files each week and won’t have the manpower to check each one. If lots of people start signing up before the problem is fixed, insurers worry that they won’t know who actually bought their plans. And without knowing who has subscribed, insurance companies won’t be able to send out membership cards, for example, or begin paying claims for trips to the doctor.

4. The exchanges will transform the insurance industry.

While the federal exchange has gotten much attention in recent weeks, only a small fraction of Americans are expected to use the new marketplace to buy health insurance. The Congressional Budget Office estimates that, by 2023, 24 million people will buy insurance through the state and federal exchanges; that’s about 7 percent of the population. It’s telling that many of the large insurance companies, such as Cigna and UnitedHealthcare, have decided to participate in only a handful of the states’ marketplaces. So far, they don’t see this segment of the market as key to their growth.

The vast majority of Americans will still get their health insurance the way they did before the Affordable Care Act: through their employers or through a public program, mainly Medicare and Medicaid.

5. The health-care law will increase the deficit.

The Congressional Budget Office estimates that, over the next decade, the health-care law will reduce the deficit by $109 billion. That’s because the Affordable Care Act includes new spending cuts and tax increases, which more than offset the cost of expanding health insurance to millions of Americans.

The law’s new revenue sources fall into three main categories. First are cuts to Medicare providers, such as hospitals and doctors. Under the Affordable Care Act, the federal government will pay slightly lower rates.

Second are cuts to private health insurance plans, known as Medicare Advantage plans, that cover Medicare patients. The federal government has, in recent years, paid these private plans more to cover Medicare beneficiaries than it has spent on seniors who sign up for the traditional public program. The health law aims to reduce those differences by cutting Medicare Advantage payments.

Lastly, the law includes new taxes on a number of health-care industries, including hospitals, medical-device makers, insurers and pharmaceutical companies.

Employment gap between rich, poor widest on record

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As the meager economic recovery continues, more analysis shows another layer of how unequal both the crash and the slow recovery have been. There is no doubt those already less well off are having a harder time retuning to pre-recession levels of prosperity, but miserable employment conditions mean that they may not regain the wealth lost for years, if at all. The “crowding out” effect is an especially frightening structural problem, one my generation is truly threatened by.

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WASHINGTON (AP) – The gap in employment rates between America’s highest- and lowest-income families has stretched to its widest levels since officials began tracking the data a decade ago, according to an analysis of government data conducted for The Associated Press.

Rates of unemployment for the lowest-income families – those earning less than $20,000 – have topped 21 percent, nearly matching the rate for all workers during the 1930s Great Depression.

U.S. households with income of more than $150,000 a year have an unemployment rate of 3.2 percent, a level traditionally defined as full employment. At the same time, middle-income workers are increasingly pushed into lower-wage jobs. Many of them in turn are displacing lower-skilled, low-income workers, who become unemployed or are forced to work fewer hours, the analysis shows.

“This was no ‘equal opportunity’ recession or an ‘equal opportunity’ recovery,” said Andrew Sum, director of the Center for Labor Market Studies at Northeastern University. “One part of America is in depression, while another part is in full employment.”

The findings follow the government’s tepid jobs report this month that showed a steep decline in the share of Americans working or looking for work. On Monday, President Barack Obama stressed the need to address widening inequality after decades of a “winner-take-all economy, where a few do better and better and better, while everybody else just treads water or loses ground.”

“We have to make the investments necessary to attract good jobs that pay good wages and offer high standards of living,” he said.

While the link between income and joblessness may seem apparent, the data are the first to establish how this factor has contributed to the erosion of the middle class, a traditional strength of the U.S. economy.

Based on employment-to-population ratios, which are seen as a reliable gauge of the labor market, the employment disparity between rich and poor households remains at the highest levels in more than a decade, the period for which comparable data are available.

“It’s pretty frustrating,” says Annette Guerra, 33, of San Antonio, who has been looking for a full-time job since she finished nursing school more than a year ago. During her search, she found that employers had become increasingly picky about an applicant’s qualifications in the tight job market, often turning her away because she lacked previous nursing experience or because she wasn’t certified in more areas.

Guerra says she now gets by doing “odds and ends” jobs such as a pastry chef, bringing in $500 to $1,000 a month, but she says daily living can be challenging as she cares for her mother, who has end-stage kidney disease.

“For those trying to get ahead, there should be some help from government or companies to boost the economy and provide people with the necessary job training,” says Guerra, who hasn’t ruled out returning to college to get a business degree once her financial situation is more stable. “I’m optimistic that things will start to look up, but it’s hard.”

Last year the average length of unemployment for U.S. workers reached 39.5 weeks, the highest level since World War II. The duration of unemployment has since edged lower to 36.5 weeks based on data from January to July, still relatively high historically.

Economists call this a “bumping down” or “crowding out” in the labor market, a domino effect that pushes out lower-income workers, pushes median income downward and contributes to income inequality. Because many mid-skill jobs are being lost to globalization and automation, recent U.S. growth in low-wage jobs has not come fast enough to absorb displaced workers at the bottom.

Low-wage workers are now older and better educated than ever, with especially large jumps in those with at least some college-level training.

“The people at the bottom are going to be continually squeezed, and I don’t see this ending anytime soon,” said Harvard economist Richard Freeman. “If the economy were growing enough or unions were stronger, it would be possible for the less educated to do better and for the lower income to improve. But in our current world, where we are still adjusting to globalization, that is not very likely to happen.”

The figures are based on an analysis of the Census Bureau’s Current Population Survey by Sum and Northeastern University economist Ishwar Khatiwada. They are supplemented with material from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s David Autor, an economics professor known for his research on the disappearance of mid-skill positions, as well as John Schmitt, a senior economist at the Center for Economic and Policy Research, a Washington think tank. Mark Rank, a professor at Washington University in St. Louis, analyzed data on poverty.

The overall rise in both the unemployment rate and low-wage jobs due to the recent recession accounts for the record number of people who were stuck in poverty in 2011: 46.2 million, or 15 percent of the population. When the Census Bureau releases new 2012 poverty figures on Tuesday, most experts believe the numbers will show only slight improvement, if any, due to the slow pace of the recovery.

Overall, more than 16 percent of adults ages 16 and older are now “underutilized” in the labor market – that is, they are unemployed, “underemployed” in part-time jobs when full-time work is desired or among the “hidden unemployed” who are not actively job hunting but express a desire for immediate work.

Among households making less than $20,000 a year, the share of underutilized workers jumps to about 40 percent. For those in the $20,000-to-$39,999 category, it’s just over 21 percent and about 15 percent for those earning $40,000 to $59,999. At the top of the scale, underutilization affects just 7.2 percent of those in households earning more than $150,000.

By race and ethnicity, black workers in households earning less than $20,000 were the most likely to be underutilized, at 48.4 percent. Low-income Hispanics and whites were almost equally as likely to be underutilized, at 38 percent and 36.8 percent, respectively, compared to 31.8 percent for low-income Asian-Americans.

Loss of jobs in the recent recession has hit younger, less-educated workers especially hard. Fewer teenagers are taking on low-wage jobs as older adults pushed out of disappearing mid-skill jobs, such as bank teller or administrative assistant, move down the ladder.

Recent analysis by the Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research shows that whites and older workers are more pessimistic about their opportunities to advance compared to other groups in the lower-wage workforce.

Eric Reichert, 45, of West Milford, N.J. Reichert, who holds a master’s degree in library science, is among the longer-term job seekers. He had hoped to find work as a legal librarian or in a similar research position after he was laid off from a title insurance company in 2008. Reichert now works in a lower-wage administrative records position, also helping to care for his 8-year-old son while his wife works full-time at a pharmaceutical company.

“I’m still looking, and I wish I could say that I will find a better job, but I can no longer say that with confidence,” he said. “At this point, I’m reconsidering what I’m going do, but it’s not like I’m 24 years old anymore.”

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Author: Hope Yen

Associated Press writer Tom Raum, Director of Polling Jennifer Agiesta and News Survey Specialist Dennis Junius contributed to this report.

It’s Time to End Ethanol Subsides

ethanol-is-one-of-the-countrys-least-efficient-energy-sources

 

 

Via John Aziz at The Week:

Earth only has a finite amount of fossil fuels. This simple fact alone makes renewable energy worthy of investigation and research, and in the long run, it makes a move toward renewable energy a necessity for human civilization.

Of course, there are many types of renewable energy, all with very different characteristics — photovoltaic solar, hydroelectric, wind, geothermal, artificial fossil fuels, nuclear, biofuels like ethanol, etc. Beside financial cost, two main factors determine whether an energy source is viable in the long run. First is the total amount of energy available:

(cnse.albany.edu)

Second is the energy required to use the source. This is known as energy returned on energy invested (EROI). A viable fuel source like oil or coal takes relatively little energy to extract — typically, you dig a hole, pump oil out of the ground, refine it, and transport it to users. With wind, you need energy to build a wind turbine and hook it into the grid. With solar, you need energy to build a collection system like a photovoltaic panel. With ethanol, you grow corn or other organic matter, which is then fermented and distilled to produce pure grain alcohol.

At 2010 levels, the EROI of various energy sources is estimated as follows:

(https://cours.etsmtl.ca)

As you can see, ethanol and biodiesel are some of the least efficient energy sources. It takes a lot of energy to grow corn. And unlike photovoltaic panels, which are improving technologically to capture larger quantities of light to turn into electricity, the amount of energy required to grow corn stays steady. What’s more, the substances used in the production of ethanol already have an important use — as part of the food supply. People eat corn. Corn converted into fuel for cars is corn that isn’t converted into fuel for humans. And since the U.S. government has been subsidizing ethanol, the price of corn for food has been skyrocketing:

(http://seekingalpha.com)

One of the key reasons for the growth in ethanol production has been government subsidies for ethanol — $45 billion in tax credits giving 45 cents to ethanol producers for every gallon they produced between 1980 and 2011. This was a strange subsidy considering ethanol’s inefficiency as a fuel, and given the fact that unlike other renewables, burning ethanol continues to pump carbon dioxide into the atmosphere.

It’s not like the farmers growing subsidized corn for ethanol production didn’t already have a market for their produce. Kevin Drum of Mother Jones calls it “shoveling… ag welfare to a group of people who were already pretty rich.”

In January 2012, the legislation that authorized the ethanol tax credits expired. But this didn’t end the subsidies for ethanol. Why did the powerful corn ethanol lobby let the tax credits expire? According to Aaron Smith of the American Enterprise Institute:

The answer lies in legislation known as the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS), which creates government-guaranteed demand that keeps corn prices high and generates massive farm profits. Removing the tax credit but keeping the RFS is like scraping a little frosting from the ethanol-boondoggle cake.

The RFS mandates that at least 37 percent of the 2011-12 corn crop be converted to ethanol and blended with the gasoline that powers our cars. The ethanol mandate is causing corn demand to outstrip supply by more and more each year, creating a vulnerable market in which even the slightest production disturbance will have devastating consequences for the world’s poor.[AEI]

So the ethanol subsidies are still alive through government-guaranteed demand from theRenewable Fuel Standard mandate.

And there still exists a separate tax credit for ethanol made from non-foodstuffs such as grass, wood chips, and even the leaves and stalks of corn. The production tax credit is up to $1.01 per gallon. That may not directly affect food costs, but it doesn’t make ethanol more efficient or abundant, either.

If we’re going to have subsidies for renewable energy development, shouldn’t they be focused on the most abundant forms (solar), the forms with the highest energy return (hydroelectric, wind), and the most reliable forms (nuclear)?

The evidence shows that corn ethanol is not competitive, and is not becoming competitive — and it’s impacting food costs. It’s time to consign ethanol subsidies — both direct and indirect — to the ash heap of history.

Want a Pro-Growth Pro-Environment Plan? Economists Agree: Tax Carbon.

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On most issues surrounding climate change, there is vast consensus.  No really.  It’s not that controversial anymore. Moving on.

An area where there is less agreement is the policy response.  Addressing such a massive, complex, fast-moving problem is supremely difficult for policy makers in any one government or field to handle.  But one field that has come up with a policy proscription to satisfy most of the horde is, surprisingly, economics.  So often bitterly divided, with evidence to support various major philosophical strains, we can see in this new article via the Brookings Institute that the economic logic behind a carbon tax is sound.  Essentially, this internalizes the most destructive externalized cost of doing business (or pretty much anything).  Monetizing and accounting for carbon changes the whole structure of the economy by forcing most economic interactions to measure and pay for their impact on society, at least in one facet.  Perhaps most importantly, the measure could work just fine in an American capitalist system of mostly-free market economics.  There is potential here to satisfy both sides of the aisle, if only we could get them to listen.

Check out more from Adele Morris at the Brookings Institute:

In his recent inaugural address, President Obama promised that:

“we will respond to the threat of climate change, knowing that the failure to do so would betray our children and future generations. Some may still deny the overwhelming judgment of science, but none can avoid the devastating impact of raging fires, and crippling drought, and more powerful storms. The path towards sustainable energy sources will be long and sometimes difficult. But America cannot resist this transition; we must lead it. We cannot cede to other nations the technology that will power new jobs and new industries – we must claim its promise. That is how we will maintain our economic vitality and our national treasure – our forests and waterways; our croplands and snowcapped peaks. That is how we will preserve our planet…”

When pressed on the specifics of what the president means to do on climate, his spokesperson replied: “We have not proposed and have no intention of proposing a carbon tax.”

The president has a problem, and he’s not alone. Many policymakers who are compelled by the consensus of scientists on the risk of global climate disruption seem willfully oblivious to the peer-reviewed economic research on what to do about it. Indeed, they completely ignore the remarkable consensus of economists – a group that often isn’t unanimous on important policy options, as memorialized by President Harry Truman’s famous request for a “one-armed economist.” In this case, though, economists nearly universally agree that, while basic energy research and development remain an important role of government, a price on carbon would minimize the cost of steering economic activity away from the greenhouse gas emissions that threaten the climate. Disagreements can and do arise around the details, such the appropriate level of the carbon price signal and the relative merits of various flavors of the carbon taxes and cap-and-trade programs that could impose it. Nonetheless, there’s as close to a universal consensus among economists as there is on any topic that pricing carbon should be a central feature of climate policy worldwide.

In fact, in a survey of about 40 prominent economists from across the profession, 90% agreed with this statement: “A tax on the carbon content of fuels would be a less expensive way to reduce carbon-dioxide emissions than would a collection of policies such as ‘corporate average fuel economy’ requirements for automobiles.”[1] When weighted by the level confidence the respondents had in their answers, the agreement rose to 95%.

Another survey of the same prominent economists referred to a Brookings Institution description of a U.S. carbon tax of $20 per ton, increasing at 4% per year, which would raise an estimated $150 billion per year in federal revenues over the next decade.[2] A remarkable 98% of the surveyed economists, again weighted by confidence, agreed with this statement: “Given the negative externalities created by carbon dioxide emissions, a federal carbon tax at this rate would involve fewer harmful net distortions to the U.S. economy than a tax increase that generated the same revenue by raising marginal tax rates on labor income across the board.”[3] In other words, using a carbon tax to reduce the budget deficit or reduce other, more burdensome, taxes makes all the economic sense in the world.

For example, consider an excise tax on the carbon content of fossil fuels, imposed where they enter the economy. If it starts next year at just $16 per ton of CO2 (the equivalent of about $0.16 per gallon of gasoline) and rises at 4% per year over inflation, it would bring in enough revenue over the next ten years to reduce the marginal U.S. corporate income tax rate from a near-global high of 35% to 28%, preserve $115 billion in safety net spending for the poorest households, and still reduce the federal budget deficit by $200 billion over the decade. Such a tax would also reduce emissions by over a third by mid-century.[4] This pro-growth, pro-environment strategy would also obviate more costly regulations, subsidies, and mandates to reduce emissions and give the United States standing to call for equivalent measures abroad.

Notwithstanding the president’s speech, economists are highly skeptical that clean energy subsidies and mandates will create jobs on net over the long run. New technology that involves more jobs than the technology it replaces is likely to be more expensive. So in the absence of a tax on carbon emissions, cleaner alternatives to fossil fuels will require persistent federal subsidies, money that has to come from somewhere. And even if energy technologies become export strengths of the United States, international trade tends to reallocate rather than add or subtract overall jobs in the economy. The real reason to care about clean energy is that it’s clean. A carbon tax naturally promotes the cleanest and cheapest technologies so they don’t need a subsidy to compete.

In his State of the Union speech, the president will likely confirm his intention to issue Clean Air Act regulations to control greenhouse gas emissions from existing power plants, and he’ll probably promote the latest tax credits for clean energy manufacturers. I hope the president uses these inefficient approaches to prompt new authority from Congress to tax carbon and to use the proceeds to reform our creaky corporate tax system, protect the poor, and reduce the deficit that also risks betraying our children.

The president and others should recognize the strong consensus of experts whose life’s work is to understand markets: the best way to reduce greenhouse gas emissions is through a permanent and predictable price on carbon and responsible management of the revenue. Policymakers globally should not deny the overwhelming judgment of economists, even as they respect the overwhelming judgment of climate scientists. On this issue, we’re nearly all one-handed.

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[1] http://www.igmchicago.org/igm-economic-experts-panel/poll-results?SurveyID=SV_9Rezb430SESUA4Y

[2] The Brookings paper is here (http://www.brookings.edu/research/papers/2012/11/13-carbon-tax), and its numbers derive from the MIT study here (http://globalchange.mit.edu/research/publications/2328).

[3] http://www.igmchicago.org/igm-economic-experts-panel/poll-results?SurveyID=SV_8oABK2TolkGluV7

[4] My colleagues Warwick McKibbin and Pete Wilcoxen and I analyze a similar policy here:http://www.brookings.edu/research/papers/2012/07/carbon-tax-mckibbin-morris-wilcoxen.