Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Regional Roundup: President Obama's "Cap-and-Trade" Energy Tax Hits Families, Small Businesses

For weeks, Republicans have been highlighting the fact that the President’s budget taxes too much. Among the tax hikes that has been getting the most attention is the Administration’s “cap-and-trade” energy tax scheme. Under this plan, every American will be hit by the tax hike: middle-class families, small businesses, seniors, charities, schools … basically, anyone who has the audacity to flip on a light switch will be forced to pay higher energy bills thanks to this new $646 billion tax increase. And some of the states suffering the most during the economic downturn – such as Michigan, West Virginia, and Ohio – will be hit hardest by the Administration’s energy tax. The result? Higher energy bills for families and small businesses and more American jobs shipped to Mexico, India, China, and other countries not forced to pay a “cap-and-trade” energy tax.

Don’t hard hit states – and families and small businesses struggling through this recession – deserve better solutions than a massive tax increase that will only drive their energy costs up even further? Editorials and news reports around the country certainly believe so, and that’s why they’ve been taking aim at the Administration’s “cap-and-trade” energy tax ever since the President released his budget. Here’s just a sampling of what newspapers across America are saying about this ill-advised tax hike:

“Midwestern energy providers such as Dayton Power & Light and Duke Energy say the proposal could punish coal-dependent states like Ohio. Duke estimated it could force electric rates 40 percent higher.” – Dayton Daily News, 3/16/09

“[Washington State] House Speaker Frank Chopp, D-Seattle, said many fellow Democrats voiced concern about the economic toll new regulations could take on businesses already shaken by the recession.” – Seattle Times, 3/16/09

“The realization is slowly but surely growing that duplicating Europe’s failed cap-and-trade scheme would be a knockout blow to the U.S. economy that would dramatically increase energy costs and cripple the nation’s dwindling manufacturing base. The Detroit News aptly called cap-and-trade a giant economic dagger aimed at the nation’s heartland.” – San Francisco Examiner editorial, 3/15/09

“Where is this $650 billion or more [energy tax] going to come from? The answer, Louisiana and other industry heavy states: Louisiana ranks sixth in per capita CO2 emissions, California 47th. We have 19 refineries and dozens of chemical plants throughout Louisiana; they will be hit the hardest. It appears that the spread-the-wealth program not only applies to income levels of families, but also where you live.” – Lafayette (LA) Daily Advertiser op-ed, 3/15/09

“Since utilities pass through costs to customers, that’s tantamount to $180 billion in new taxes just on [Appalachian Power Companies] customers between the time cap-and-trade goes into effect and 2030.” – Charleston (WV) Daily Mail column, 3/13/09

“Not only does cap and trade tax at the point of production (even if some of those costs are ultimately borne by consumers elsewhere), but it also shifts economic activity away from those industries. The states that produce the most emissions are going to see the strongest ancillary declines in income and increases in unemployment. The top carbon states – in absolute, not per capita, emissions – include Ohio (No. 3), Pennsylvania (No. 4), Indiana (No. 7) and Michigan (No. 9).” – Wall Street Journal editorial, 3/13/09

House Republicans have a better solution for creating jobs and getting our nation back on a track to prosperity. It involves letting families and small businesses keep more of what they earn to encourage savings and investment – both of which will lead to more job creation now and in the future. In fact, the House GOP economic recovery alternative will create twice as many jobs – 6.2 million total – as the Democrats’ trillion-dollar “stimulus” spending plan at half the cost. As communities across the nation are beginning to realize just how much the Administration’s budget will burden them with more taxes and higher energy costs, isn’t it time for Washington Democrats to abandon its tax, borrow, and spend budget and work on bipartisan solutions to get our economy moving again?

Fayette Front Page
Georgia Front Page

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