Letter: Supporting carbon tax

In a previous letter, I endorsed Carbondale’s question 2A in principle, expressed two reservations about its specifics and wrote that I would vote for it if my reservations were adequately addressed before the election.

Since then, a number of people have tried to do that, and as best I can tell their responses amount to: “Carbon taxing is an idea whose time is coming. Carbondale can help lead the way. Council members are decent people who work hard and do a decent job of governing. So please, give us this additional money and trust us to use it (relatively) well, even though we don’t have a detailed plan all laid out in advance.”

Trust government to use increased revenues well? I bet some of you are laughing out loud right now. If so, I recommend reconsideration.

Government is often (though not always) blundering and inefficient. It’s often corrupt to varying degrees, depending on available temptations and what one considers corrupt. Government is in short, an imperfect human institution run by imperfect humans achieving varying degrees of success. Some of us think we already have far too much government, and some of us think we need a good deal more.

But one thing I think we can agree on is that some degree and form of government is synonymous with civilization. It may be stupid to implicitly trust government to manage everything well, but it’s at least stupid to automatically mistrust government to manage anything well.

So I considered what everyone said about 2A and decided that carbon taxing is a promising idea and we actually have a pretty good city government. What the heck, let’s take a chance on them. Let’s see what they accomplish with our carbon tax money over the next five years and then revisit the issue. Five days ago I submitted my ballot supporting both propositions and the candidates who endorse them. I urge you to do likewise.

Ron Kokish


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