Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Why not Wyoming ?

Jeff Sachs (who is no dodo) makes an excellent point

Sachs had another take. There's no reason, he said, that spending $400 billion now means that we should reduce our consumption by $400 billion.... "The future would rather have abatement capital than non-abatement capital," he said, adding that you can finance expenditure out of savings rather than consumption through the application of fiscal policy. "We are stewards of the future," said Sachs – future generations aren't around to speak to us, so we have to act on their behalf. "And they want less capital and a better climate."
How about combining Sachs's insight that the trade-off is CO2 control or capital formation for future generations and not the consumption of the present generation vs the well being of future generations and everyone's insight that there should be a carbon tax. It's easy really. Tax carbon and refund somewhat more than all of the revenues. Sachs says the key is deficit spending. What politician ever said no both to deficit spending and to Monica Lewinsky (sorry Monica needed to avoid an obvious counter example).

Carbon tax and compensation designed so that even most people who have a long commute to work are better off. Say make the program so that it is a push for the average resident of Wyoming (or maybe Alaska).

"We can't ask Wyoming to pay to save Delaware from the Atlantic so let's introduce a program with short run benefits for Wyoming too" is the sort of argument that every pandering pol must love.

Or to use Gorespeak, a budget surplus can be put in a lock box, but the Republicans will just break it open when they regain power. It is harder for them to steal the low CO2 atmosphere.

Finally directing the appeal to Cheney's former constituents is a way to really stick it to the basta-- Vice President.

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

Nice.

anne

Anonymous said...

Also, I am slow, but I finally understand why Paul Krugman snapped at Bruce let's be friends Bartlett. Bruce is simply playing a radical conservative game of pretending to be what you are not when knowing you are being pressured. Bartlett is the same old radical conservative Bartlett, and I pass along and sneer (I sneer well).

anne