Thursday, April 17, 2008

More from our Potential Leaders

Here's a good read about energy policy and the three musketeers.

Can you say Double-Dividend!!!!!!

25 comments:

Drew Moxon said...

I like the suggested idea of lowering the social security and medicare taxes to offset the carbon tax for a double dividend. I've always had an objection to paying for a service I'm never going to receive...

Ross Davidson said...

Just like we mentioned in class, I honestly think that one of the main things preventing a carbon tax from gaining support is that it is called a tax. I think "God-Given right to pay a tax on carbon fee" would be a good name for it.

mgraham said...

I believe you mentioned in class that we need to come up with a name for the this carbon tax to soften the psycological burden. How about the environment fund, or save the world fund...

I do not believe getting rid of social security and medicare is going to solve the problem, this would create another problem and have a much greater amount of poverty among the elderly, or more responsiblility for the younger generations to go back on being responsible for the health care of their elderly.

The problem is to have a government that spends our money in stupid things, such as wars, and an innefficient management of funds.

Adam Flora said...

I like the idea of a carbon tax off-setting the soical security and medicare taxes. Maybe one day that would actually lead to social security reform. I agree we cannot call a carbon tax a tax. I don't even think the name should mention the environment. Climate change has become to political so if we used the words tax, environment, or carbon I don't think any policy change would ever happen.

Logan Clark said...

Just like drew mentioned, its hard to want to pay for something your not going to receive benefits for... and just like Dr. Casey mentioned, it would be ideal to name the carbon tax something different without using the word tax and using "fund" instead, because everyone hates to hear that dreaded word "tax".

Drew Moxon said...

I don't think that lowering what we give out of income for medicare and social security will substantially hurt these funds because you would offset these losses with the money from the increased gas tax (because we all know that the government probably wouldn't use that money for environmental uses anyway). Truthfully, I think we should get rid of social security all together, but that's a totally different issue. As for a name for a carbon tax, how about the "Fund for National Enrichment." It has a nice PC, feel-good ring to it.

Anonymous said...

Chapman sure did nail it to the candidates- if there was only a way for them to realize the flaws with their proposals, instead of just trying to say the "right" thing that may not necessarily be best. it would be interesting to see all the pros compared with the cons to these ideas.
-rachel bisesi

Kiersten Weissinger said...

If only politicians could speak the truth rather than what they think people want to hear. Alas, people are easily swayed by uplifting speeches and promises that are unlikely to be upheld. It will be interesting to see what the next administration will do in the face of public outcry over environmental issues, particularly rising gas prices. In general, none of the candidates have strong environmental platforms, which is surprising when many of the world's conflicts boil down to environmental issues (rising food prices, displacement due to sea level rise, wars over finite natural resources, etc.).

Katie Rosengren said...

Chapman touched on an interesting point that I was thinking about regarding McCain's "tax vacation", since the current gas price is set at the correct supply/demand all that will happen is that consumption will increase and set the price back up

Adam M. Rountree said...

i dont think whatever its going to be called the fact that gas prices are going to be higher then theyre already rising will not sit well with americans. Americans beleive that cheap gas is birth right. but the idea to improve 2 situations by lowering another tax is a good idea to offset the gas tax

Drew Moxon said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Drew Moxon said...

In relation to gas prices, here are some alternatives that might interest some of you here

lauren fields said...

I wish there we could read some sort of reserach comparing what candidates have historically promised to implement in the way of energy policy while they were competing for votes in an election year and what the people were actually left with when they left office. i hope that all of these candidates are just throwing around these energy suggestions because they sound good to the mass public and once they actually get into position will fall back on the policies that they couldnt advertise so big for, like a carbon tax which of course, cant be separated from its negative connotation. of course, should this actually happen, that would mean were hoping our new president will be dishonest with his/her agenda for the nation...not sure which is worse. lauren

chris mobley said...

My problem lies with knowing that I am working and taxes are being taken out to pay for services that I will not be using or receiving any benefits from it. The hardest part about imposing a carbon tax is getting the majority of the population on board, this would be hard because probably half of the country aren't even educated/aware of the problem at hand. Social security is a good idea but there are some other services that could be tweaked in order to make room for a carbon tax.

Lynnise said...

I think a carbon tax is a great idea. As mentioned in class calling it a tax is not a good idea, too many negative connatations. Maybe we could call it the Earth Saving Fund... I am undecided about lowering the social security and medicare taxes as a way to offset the carbon tax.

Catherine said...

I find it interesting that we as a society feel it is our birthright to cheap fuel...with gas prices at around $3.55/gal, we are getting a wake-up call on this issue. Maybe this, along with a new name for a carbon tax will encourage politicians and policy makers to lean towards this idea rather than useless proposals that appease the public.

Brett Cottrell said...

Okay yes, it sucks when gas prices are higher. And yes, we all hate it, but it seems completely unnecessary to try to soften the blow of a carbon tax by lowering some other portion of taxation. It somewhat defeats the purpose... If Americans don't feel the pain from a tax, then oil consumption won't change. If you lower the tax on something else, it will raise disposable income and thus leave more money to be spent on the higher gas prices that come as a result of some energy tax. I think that in all actuality, Americans just need to buck up and take the tax and learn to adapt and live with it. Yes, it's going to hurt, but markets will adjust as they always have and I really believe that in the end it won't be so bad.

jonathan ziemba said...

I like the idea of carbon tax. The prices of gas need to be jacked up so that people will be forced to switch to alternate energy's. People complain about the prices but we made it that way. There is not nearly as much oil as there once was and i hope it runs out soon. Then the prices will go up to extreme levels, nomatter what happens economically. Any price increase in gas is just fueling the alternative energy revolution.

Drew Moxon said...

One problem you run into if you don't offset the tax, is the temporary hit to the economy. With overall less income, it would be more likely for the nation's GDP to take a hit. Even though there are theories regarding to the benefits in the long term, it would cause short term GDP shrinkage if you didn't offset the tax. And regardless of whether or not you think GDP is a good defining term for our economy, it's a defining statistic for any politician.

Brett Cottrell said...

I agree that you're right about the short term GDP implications, Drew. I also agree that politics wouldn't allow for a tax without something to soften the blow, but I still can't change my mind about what I think "should" be the case. I guess once again we see that politics ruins everything. Who's to say that a dip in GDP is a higher cost to society than just doing the tax and forcing it on people. Which cost is really higher in the long run? A GDP hit or global warming? I realize that I'm just playing devil's advocate here...but I can't help but to think that it's at least worthy of consideration.

Anonymous said...

I agree that in order to reduce oil consumption there has to be a shock. A carbon tax could do this. Consumption would decrease because people can't afford to consume as much, so they will adapt by choosing substitutes such as carpooling, public transportation, walking etc... At the same time that people are switching to existing substitutes, there will be even larger incentives for new technology and alternative energy. If substitutes are readily available to the public, the shock to the economy will not be as great as you may think- so improving and making substitutes available should be a prerequisite to a carbon tax. I disagree with the idea of offsetting a carbon tax with a decrease in Social Security and Medicare taxes, because it would just prevent a decrease in oil consumption.

Sue Reuschle

Drew Moxon said...

I'm not saying that it would not be nice to be able to implement a carbon tax with no offset (though it still raises economic questions because of the effect on the economy with the current lack of substitutes). The problem is that it won't get done that way, politically speaking. Plus, I doubt that the additional income people get from a decrease in taxes would be spent to increase the consumption of fuel entirely. This is all theoretical though, depending on how high the tax was and how much the tax break is.

Anonymous said...

I know all three of the candidates have to be smarter than this.. its just political maneuvering at its best.. and worst.

Eric Spence

Nick Lemire said...

It troubles me that so many economist can agree on a certain topic and have very little agreement with the politicians. Until politicians can learn how to use the information that is provided by economic experts, they don't need to be running for office. This article makes it even harder for me to find the proper canidate to vote for in the up coming elections.

Nick Lemire said...

It troubles me that so many economist can agree on a certain topic and have very little agreement with the politicians. Until politicians can learn how to use the information that is provided by economic experts, they don't need to be running for office. This article makes it even harder for me to find the proper canidate to vote for in the up coming elections.