BTW for newcomers: The reason I attack Scott so much is that he writes on issues I care about. E.g. I don’t think Bryan Caplan is winning in his debate with Michael Huemer on why we can kill bugs (if we can), but I have little to say on such matters.
On a carbon tax, on the other hand… here’s my summary:
I don’t think Sumner (let alone the average EconLog reader) realized just how tenuous his case was. Most people assume that if you are already vaguely worried about climate change, then a revenue-neutral carbon tax tied to, say, a combination of payroll and corporate income tax cuts, plus rebates for poor households to help them deal with higher energy prices, would be a no brainer. And yet the standard models in this literature show just the opposite. Writers urging libertarians and conservatives to consider a carbon tax should review the literature before picking up their keyboards.
P.S. I was not being sarcastic when I thanked Scott in the comments for his blogging on “monetary offset.” Once he pointed it out, a lot of commentary on Congress vs. the Fed seemed silly, but I probably wouldn’t have realized it had Scott not pointed it out.