forecast: flying pigs
Here’s how a Republican Congress might talk itself into taxing carbon.
Bare with us as we lay this out, it’s a little bit of a Hail Mary-meets-Rube Goldberg bankshot.
- Republicans yearn to take advantage of the fact that they control the House, Senate, and presidency by making permanent cuts to corporate taxes.
- They go searching the Congressional couches for spare change to pay for those cuts, because Senate rules don’t allow big revenue changes that put the country deeper into the red.
- In their desperation to get something done, Republicans partner with Democrats to pass a carbon tax, which covers the corporate tax cuts they so desperately want.
Could this actually happen? The New York Times says this scenario is “widely acknowledged as a long shot.” And Jonathan Chait at New York Magazine points out that “it seems absurd to believe [Congress] might achieve it under a president who denies the very existence of anthropogenic global warming and can’t seem to pass even bills he likes.”
A more likely scenario: Republicans reluctantly abandon their chance to truly shake up the tax code, pass some temporary tax-relief measures for businesses (without the help of Democrats), and declare victory.