Woa. The New York Times has published my letter about supply side tax cuts for green energy in Saturday's paper, print and online. What a pleasant surprise!
Editor Sue Mermelstein did a great job slimming down my original letter (similar to my last post) yet making it somehow better. Boy, I wish I had an editor.
The letter responds to last Friday's article, "A Gold Rush of Subsidies in Clean Energy Search." The letter can be read in The Times online, or, well, here:
To the Editor:Your article does a great service in detailing the oversubsidization of alternative energy, but doesn’t mention the biggest problem with these kinds of direct subsidies: They are addictive and create long-term corporate dependency. What happens when budgets get cut and the subsidies run out, as happened in Spain? Complete collapse.
There is only one sustainable way to support alternative energy; only one way to reward success, not failure; only one incentive whose disappearance does not spell disaster: supply-side tax cuts for green energy. That means elimination of corporate taxes, capital gains taxes, sales taxes and estate taxes for clean, renewable energy investments.
Such tax cuts promote success, not failure, because they benefit only companies with sustainable revenues and profits. Investors would be encouraged to invest in such businesses because their profits will be tax-free, a huge advantage over other investments.
We have directly subsidized enough alternative energy start-ups in the United States. We have already rewarded failures like Solyndra. Now we need to separate the wheat from the chaff.
With supply-side tax cuts for green energy, the most competitive, profitable alternative energy models will survive, thrive and attract more capital, and unsustainable models will disappear.
R. RANDOLPH RICHARDSONI'm very glad The New York Times, my home town paper of record, thinks green energy tax cuts are an idea worthy of further public airing. Since I call my self a centrist (indeed the 21stCentrist) it is nice that I actually do get support from all sides for these ideas.
New York, Nov. 13, 2011