Let’s face it; we exist in a society and in a culture which uses taxes to provide for many a public good.
A lot of things that the government provides that many of us take for granted are provided by the revenue created by taxes. In some cases, taxes are the price many of us pay for a civilized society. In some other cases, taxes are a direct version of theft, where an individual or group who believes they know what is best for another individual or group seizes money and gives nothing in return. Along with the vast majority of income taxes, meat and carbon taxes belong in the “theft” category.
Most taxes go into benefits that help those who cannot do certain things, like pay for disability benefits, unemployment benefits, most forms of welfare, and a percentage of retirement benefits. But what do meat and carbon taxes pay for? They do not go into benefits that most Americans do not know that they are getting. They do not pay the salaries of public servants nor do they fund organizations and individuals who ensure that the meat and carbon supplied to us is safe to consume. Meat and carbon taxes do nothing but provide money for speculative research on emissions performed by certain Universities, as the Wikipedia page for meat tax points out. This would make sense if the research was decisive, if the money from taxing meat and carbon truly did fund organizations and individuals who have the task of making sure that the meat we consume is safe. But it is not. Like most taxes, meat tax hurt the consumer more than anybody and is just another attempt of theft from government and corporations.
The reason why this is unrealistic and bordering on unethical, is that food items that are not heavily processed, are generally not taxed. For example, let us swap out the meat tax with a water tax. If there was a water tax, the public outcry would be overwhelming, as many would agree that water should be completely unregulated.
What if there was a produce tax? How appealing would a clothes tax be? Or a bread tax? Or any other tax compounded on top of sales tax, for that matter? With meat and carbon taxes, this is essentially what is happening. According to this article, the average American consumed over 200 lbs of meat in 2017. Expecting so many people to pay yet another tax on something they consume almost daily, again, is unrealistic and bordering on unethical. This would be different if the tax was on something that Americans hardly ever bought or only buy very seldom, like garden tools. But meat is a food that Americans purchase every day, and it is very unfair for people who think they know what is best for the common American to take more money from them for purchasing one more thing that they need and enjoy.