Bill Chameides, all around smart guy and dean of Duke’s Nicholas School, takes a look at the rash of conservatives supporting carbon taxes (which I addressed the other day in more, um, colorful terms):
Some of my colleagues believe it’s the poisoned pawn ploy — since taxes are not viable politically, kill climate legislation by favoring a carbon tax.
I have a different hunch.
His hunch is that conservatives want to raise a carbon tax (which is regressive) in order to lower income taxes (which are progressive) — in other words, they want a regressive tax shift. These newly minted carbon tax fans are longtime champions of that agenda:
Coincidentally, Inglis and Laffer just happen to favor replacing our progressive tax system with a more regressive one (see here and here). Inglis has earned the Citizens for Tax Justice’s highest rating for his opposition "to progressive taxes," and Laffer is a highly vocal proponent of the flat tax that would replace our progressive tax system with a single tax rate for all Americans.
Many things about the tax vs. C&T debate are uncertain, but one thing I have no doubt about is that James Inhofe and Rex Tillerson are not participating in good faith. If those two guys told me the earth was round I’d be rechecking satellite photos.