To the People

The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or TO THE PEOPLE.

Sunday, July 08, 2007

Dingell's First Good Proposal: A Carbon Tax. Too Bad He Wants It to Fail

On Friday Rep. John Dingell of Michigan announced that he plans to introduce carbon tax legislation in the House. Dingell is reliably anti-market, so why is he proposing a market solution to environmental issues?

The answer is that he is trying to protect the moribund Detroit auto industry that he represents and is thus opposed to the pending House energy bill that proposes raising CAFE standards dramatically. So his strategy was to introduce legislation that would "shock" the American public and galvanize them to oppose raising the CAFE standards. The NYT headline reads: "Counting on Failure, Energy Chairman Floats Carbon Tax"

Despite his bad and cynical reasons, for once Dingell is right. As I have posted earlier, the best, least coercive (I am channelling Hayek now) means of government achieving a goal is the best. Ergo incandescent bulbs should not be banned and sports cars should not be banned in favor of Priuses that drive 200 miles a day to a from work and fluorescent lights that could be kept on when no one is home.

Dingell might not agree with me, but I think that a tax on actual usage of energy is a far superior solution than outlawing sports cars, SUV's and incandescent bulbs. Reason's Ron Bailey endorsed a carbon tax here.

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