Could tough budget choices nudge our wise political leaders to seek efficient public policies such as a revenue generating carbon tax? The NY Times scores some debate points today making the case in this article. My old friend Gib Metcalf now plays a key role in the U.S Treasury Department and his past research at Tufts is discussed. I highly recommend his Brooking’s Hamilton Project piece on carbon taxes. Gib convincingly argues that it would be efficient to bundle a labor tax cut with a carbon tax increase. If you like to boil life down to a bumper sticker; reject “Got Garlic?” and embrace “tax waste, not work”. For those who are interested in the political economy of how the U.S Congress votes on carbon legislation, I suggest reading my empirical paper that will soon be published in Economic Inquiry. For any proposal you can think of, will Representatives and Senators from poor, high carbon, conservative areas vote for it?