If It Walks Like a Carbon Tax and Talks Like a Carbon Tax, (Then the GOP Hates It.)

Yesterday, the White House released a fact sheet describing its efforts to create a “21st Century Clean Transportation System”.  There’s a lot of interesting material in the plan, but all the headlines have been on the President’s inclusion of a $10/barrel tax on oil in his FY2017 budget as a means of paying for the various improvements contained in the plan.

The fact sheet doesn’t use the words “carbon tax” carbon taxand it emphasizes the purposes for which the tax revenue will be used, rather than the idea of internalizing the externalities associated with consumption of oil.  Moreover, it’s obviously not economy-wide; it’s not a tax on all sources of carbon utilized in the economy.

Nonetheless, it’s a tax.  On carbon.  Sounds like a carbon tax to me.  Which of course is why the GOP legislative leadership announced that the tax would be DOA on Capitol Hill.  Plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose.

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