Ross Douthat, a conservative columnist for The New York Times, andblogger for the National Review Online, and Reihan Salam, blogger, author, and columnist, are conservative libertarians of sorts, concerned with inequality, the stability and integrity of working families, and indeed for the centrality of the family unit itself. In 2012 Douthat advocated eliminating the payroll tax permanently via a carbon tax shift; “How to Replace the Payroll Tax.”
Though expensive and difficult, Douthat argues that a carbon tax would be a better way to fund our safety net than the corrupt and antiquated policies originating in New Deal Machiavellianism. Obviously some would worry that the traditional source of funding for Social Security as an entitlement would be cut off, but this is just what family-centric Douthat would want to see: a weaning of the citizen from dependency on the state, a reduction of the safety net compensated for with greater subsidies to the family breadwinner.
As a blogger for the National Review Online, Reiham Salam has been mediating conversations between for carbon taxes and his climate skeptic colleagues at the magazine. In October of 2012 he asked “Is it Surprising or Strange that Conservatives Oppose Carbon Taxes?” and himself ventures a small pollution tax” for the sake of public health. ” Since then, things have changed: Salam now explicitly embraces carbon taxation; specifically, carbon taxes accompanied by payroll tax elimination as advocated by Douthat. True to the centrality of the family as the fundamental center of order, meaning, and value in Douhat’s conservative libertarianism, as the traditional value of work should be encouraged before “social democratic approaches” such as the carbon tax and dividend payment proposed by Senators Boxer and Sanders and advocated by many. For Douhat and Salam, the State remains as an ad hoc ally, a support of last resort and a guarantor of a fair deal in the social contract, but does immediately grant citizen entitlements, such as health care, insurance, etc. Here, carbon taxes are put to work for the family unit, the entity on which everyone relies.