Thursday, June 25, 2009

Cap 'n Tax and Mary Katherine Ham

The much debated Cap 'n Trade (aka Cap and Tax) legislation is up for vote tomorrow. The tension is palpable and the vote is critical. Do the Dems have the votes, or not?

It's been said that this vote will have serious ramifications in 2010. All participants are nervous and there are numerous polls and opinions out there. One such survey was conducted by The National Center for Public Policy Research of African Americans. They found the following:

* 76% of African-Americans want Congress to make economic recovery its top priority, even if it delays action on climate change;

* 38% believe job losses resulting from climate change legislation would fall heaviest on the African-American community. Only 7% believe job losses would fall heaviest on Hispanics and only 2% believe they would fall heaviest on whites;

* 56% believe Washington policymakers have failed to adequately take into account the economic and quality of life concerns of the African-American community when formulating climate change policy;

* 52% of respondents aren't willing pay anything more for either gasoline or electricity to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. 73% are unwilling to pay more than 50 cents more for a gallon of gas and 76% are unwilling to pay more than $50 more per year for electricity to reduce U.S. greenhouse gas emissions;

There's more at the link.

The Heritage Foundation has also done a study and comes to the conclusion that the legislation will do little for "global warming" but will absolutely increase taxes: "Though the proposed legislation will have little impact on world temperatures, it is a massive energy tax in disguise that promises job losses, income cuts, and a sharp left-turn towards big government."

With regard to the job loss issue, just refer back to Lion Oil who promised to shutter their refinery in El Dorado should this thing pass. They wouldn't be able to survive. They would lay off 1,200 employees. There are others. Obama touts this bill as one that would GROW jobs. Not so.

The Heritage study also points out that energy costs will skyrocket: "President Barack Obama described the plan best when he said “[u]nder my plan of a cap and trade system, electricity rates would necessarily skyrocket.” And skyrocket they will. In total, a typical family of four will see its energy costs rise by over $22,800 from 2012-2035." I don't know about you, but my energy costs are already incredible. And we all know what happens when energy costs rise. Everything else does, too.

Last summer when gas prices were $5.00, the cost of everything else in the grocery store went up. Not just a few cents, either. Milk jumped from $2 to $4 a gallon, a pound of cheese jumped from $1.50 to $4.50...

The Wall Street Journal exposes a counter argument that Dems are using when they say that the CBO says this bill will only cost families $175 per year. This is deceptive. According to the WSJ, the CBO report only looks at the first year. "To get support for his bill, Mr. Waxman was forced to water down the cap in early years to please rural Democrats, and then severely ratchet it up in later years to please liberal Democrats. The CBO's analysis looks solely at the year 2020, before most of the tough restrictions kick in. As the cap is tightened and companies are stripped of initial opportunities to "offset" their emissions, the price of permits will skyrocket beyond the CBO estimate of $28 per ton of carbon. The corporate costs of buying these expensive permits will be passed to consumers."

In addition, the CBO report ignores the potential decrease in the GDP because of the cap.

The CBO report also ignores the fact that some regions will be hit harder than others: "Note also that the CBO analysis is an average for the country as a whole. It doesn't take into account the fact that certain regions and populations will be more severely hit than others -- manufacturing states more than service states; coal producing states more than states that rely on hydro or natural gas. Low-income Americans, who devote more of their disposable income to energy, have more to lose than high-income families."

Some in the Midwest are especially anxious about the bill; from the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: Midwestern Republicans are calling the measure "an economic declaration of war on the Midwest by liberals in Washington, D.C. 'This is a job killer, particularly for the upper Midwest,' said Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner, a Menomonee Falls Republican who is one of the leading voices against a climate change bill."

This is another case of Congress pushing through legislation so fast that nobody has read the bill. Mary Katherine Ham has made it her quest to read the whole thing - you can follow her findings here and here. She'll definitely be ahead of Congress. Here is her quest:

Ugh! Contact your legislators, people!

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