Here’s an interview with Gilbert Metcalf, a Tufts University economics professor who’s been circulating a carbon tax proposal (PDF) that’s revenue neutral — it uses the carbon tax revenue to reduce other taxes. It’s called the "Green Tax Swap." Good stuff.
Here’s one good bit :
SM: Rep. John Dingell said he plans to propose a carbon tax, knowing Congress and voters won’t go for it. Why would your approach be different?
GM: Dingell’s raising the old canard that Americans won’t stand for a new energy tax. What the debate over the [Bill] Clinton BTU tax taught us was that Americans won’t stand for an unfocused and poorly motivated tax with lots of loopholes for special interests.
I think the lesson from the BTU tax is that first you need to motivate the tax with a clear and simple rationale. The need to do something about global warming is no longer under debate in the U.S. and provides that rationale. Second, you need to create a package that is revenue neutral. My GETS proposal is both distributionally and revenue neutral. There’s no reason Congress can’t dedicate the carbon tax revenue to a special fund that is earmarked for income or payroll tax reductions.
Read the whole thing.
Here’s Al Gore trying to sell it: