Tuesday, September 19, 2006

That Gore fellow is thinking big

After listening to Democratic "leaders" talking to us about how we should be talking about doing things it's nice to see a Democrat dropping the self-defeating meta-debate and actually, you know, talking about doing something big...

Real big:
Today, Former Vice President Al Gore gave a major speech on global warming at NYU law. Notably, he called for an immediate freeze on CO2 emissions:

Well, first of all, we should start by immediately freezing CO2 emissions and then beginning sharp reductions. ...

Gore also called for the complete elimination of the payroll tax. It would be replaced by a tax on CO2:

For the last fourteen years, I have advocated the elimination of all payroll taxes — including those for social security and unemployment compensation — and the replacement of that revenue in the form of pollution taxes — principally on CO2. The overall level of taxation would remain exactly the same. It would be, in other words, a revenue neutral tax swap. But, instead of discouraging businesses from hiring more employees, it would discourage business from producing more pollution.

This is the right idea. America needs enviromental leadership and ideas like this one are going to be neccessary before we can break through the special-interest stalemate that is preventing us from taking action.


Bret said...

I think that is a nifty take on the VAT, and yes, it is great to see a Democrat doing something proactive, but will it play in Peoria?

Yes it may possibly be revenue-neutral, but it isn't neutral in terms of who pays. The world's largest economy would be thrown into turmoil as tax liabilities shifted unpredictably, with years of suit and countersuit to follow.

Still, I do think it is good to begin a negotiation with an absurdly low offer, so to speak.

Tommaso Sciortino said...

Well yeah, I assume he's not suggesting stoping the taxes all at once (though it really isn't clear with the whole "immediately freezing CO2 thing"). I assume they would be phased in over four or five years.