Proposal: a carbon tax on voting

February 5, 2016 § 11 Comments

This is just a theoretical exercise, so the specific numbers aren’t all that important: I’m just spitballing here. Basically what I am proposing is (say) a $1000 tax per voter, paid by the voter, to cover the carbon footprint of that person voting.

Suppose 100 million voters average 2 miles to get to the polls each at 20 miles per gallon. That is 10 million gallons of gas.

Polling places consume another 5 million gallons of gas or equivalent keeping facilities open, setting up and tearing down, running computer equipment, and the like.

The politicians these voters elect consume about 1 billion gallons of gas or equivalent in the process of providing for their own facilities, transportation, perks, interns, hookers, bribes, kickbacks, drugs, and alcohol.

Elected politicians also consume the equivalent of about 1 trillion gallons of gas in the process of providing goodies back to the voters, who elected them in order to receive those goodies.

Again I am just spitballing here, but I think is it pretty easy to see how a $1000+ carbon tax on everyone who votes could be straightforwardly justified.

§ 11 Responses to Proposal: a carbon tax on voting

  • CJ says:

    But if you did that you’d have a plutarchy where only rich people would have any political influence and . . .

    I guess it wouldn’t change much after all.

  • vetdoctor says:

    No, let everyone sell their votes to the highest bidder. That way we don’t have to use tax money to buy them

  • William Luse says:

    “The politicians these voters elect consume about 1 billion gallons of gas…”

    They also emit that much.

  • Zippy says:

    It probably would be an improvement if politicians had to purchase votes using their own money, as opposed to the US treasury. But that is a separate proposal.

    A better (perhaps) proposal would be an entirely separate requirement that politicians have to pay their own personal money at some rate per vote they receive. Proceeds go to the Little Sisters of the Poor.

  • Josh says:

    That’s racist.

  • Zippy says:


    We could just get it over with and tax white people. Though I suppose that, in ‘disparate impact’ terms, we already do.

  • Dystopia Max says:

    Too clever by half. A carbon tax on the politicians who let in voters that consume more carbon than they would have in their native lands, though…

  • vishmehr24 says:

    Voting is compulsory in many countries. So, when the authority itself asks me to you, what happens to my principled objections to voting?
    By not voting, I violate the key principle of Obey authority!
    but by voting I violate another key principle of not doffing my hat to liberalism.
    What should I do?

  • Zippy says:

    I’ve answered that question many times. Finding my answer is left as an exercise.

  • GJ says:


    One Scripture does spring to mind:

    “In this matter may the Lord pardon your servant: when my master goes into the house of Rimmon to worship there, leaning on my arm, and I bow myself in the house of Rimmon, when I bow myself in the house of Rimmon, the Lord pardon your servant in this matter.”

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