Photo credit: Señor Codo via Fotopedia/CC BY-SA 3.0
You might have already heard that after a long and arduous political battle, Australia is on track to institute a fairly potent carbon tax. After the measure passes the upper house (where the political composition is such that it is assured to do so), the nation's 500 largest polluters will begin paying $23 per ton of carbon emitted. And this is perhaps the best part: The system is designed to replace part of the income tax code -- meaning that one million Australians will no longer have to pay income taxes at all. Here's John Quiggen:
While the business compensation in the current scheme is still excessive in economic terms, it's a sensible compromise politically. More important is the use of the bulk of the proceeds to raise the income tax threshold from (around) $6000 to $20000, thereby taking a million or so people out of the income tax system. That's a measure that will be hard to reverse, given that the Opposition has pledged "in blood" to repeal the tax if it win the next electionSmart move! Include a platform that's sure to be popular: Eliminating income taxes on a million people surely counts. Conservative protesters are decrying the carbon tax, which won't directly impact Australian citizens, as a burden -- but the reduction in income tax will be much more widely felt.
Perhaps progressive policymakers in the US should start paying attention to such a notion again ...