Saturday, May 17, 2008

Coyne sounding reasonable on the carbon tax effort

The Dion carbon tax policy effort gets a cautious thumbs up from Andrew Coyne. Here's his piece from the other day which you might not have noticed given that it was published at roughly the same time that Kinsella was attracting a lot of attention, dumping all over Dion: "Why the public might buy into a carbon tax."
Leave aside evidence that the policy in fact enjoys considerable popular support — 61 per cent in a recent poll — or the apparent political success the British Columbia government has enjoyed with a similar plan. You'd never know it from the above commentary, but the Liberal proposal involves, not just a broadening of the current 10 cents a litre fuel tax to embrace other sources of carbon emissions, but offsetting — and potentially spectacular — cuts in income taxes. Either would be good policy on its own, but together they make not only good policy, but, I venture to say, good politics. The same cynics would have said free trade was political suicide — many did. But it just may be that the public are not such dolts as made out, and that treated like adults, they may respond in kind.
A notable counterweight to the Kinsella conventional wisdom...