Irish Embrace Carbon Tax, Dent the Deficit
December 28, 2012 Leave a Comment
You’d think our right wing deficit hawks would be all over the Irish example:
…when the Irish were faced with new environmental taxes, they quickly shifted to greener fuels and cars and began recycling with fervor. Automakers like Mercedes found ways to make powerful cars with an emissions rating as low as tinier Nissans. With less trash, landfills closed. And as fossil fuels became more costly, renewable energy sources became more competitive, allowing Ireland’s wind power industry to thrive.
Even more significantly, revenue from environmental taxes has played a crucial role in helping Ireland reduce a daunting deficit by several billion euros each year.
The three-year-old carbon tax has raised nearly one billion euros ($1.3 billion) over all, including 400 million euros in 2012. That provided the Irish government with 25 percent of the 1.6 billion euros in new tax revenue it needed to narrow its budget gap this year and avert a rise in income tax rates.
Of course in the U.S. where living off of the future is a way of life, no tax –aka payment for natural resources used– is thinkable. Like the folks downstream from a pig farm our descendants will be left to suck up what we have left.