Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Libertarians: “Cap and tax” destroys jobs, punishes working families

America’s third largest party warned the House Energy and Commerce Committee Tuesday to not approve H.R. 2454, a “cap and tax” bill levying billions of dollars in new job-killing taxes on American businesses.

“Cap and tax legislation is the offspring of bad science and bad economics,” said William Redpath, Libertarian National Committee Chairman. “Imposing massive new taxes on carbon production destroys jobs and drastically increases consumer prices with no proven effect on global temperatures.”

“Cap and tax compounds the suffering of so many in this economy, with no scientific evidence whatsoever it helps the environment.”

The legislation, sponsored by Committee Chairman Henry Waxman (D-CA) and Energy and the Environment Subcommittee Chairman Edward Markey (D-MA), taxes carbon dioxide by imposing a cap on greenhouse gas emissions and creates a complex system for employers to buy and sell credits allowing them to create carbon under the cap. As the cap lowers each year, employer can exchange allowances in a complicated auction market. Speculators, such as hedge funds, can purchase credits to sell.

“The research is in and the economic toll of cap and tax is inescapable. With cap and tax, job losses will rise by an additional 1,105,000 Americans each year. In the worst years, 2,479,000 will lose their jobs annually under cap and tax,” said Redpath, citing research from the Heritage Foundation.

“Electric bills could rise by an inflation-adjusted 90 percent. The price of gasoline could rise by an inflation-adjusted 74 percent. It adds $1,500 to the average family’s annual energy bill, which hits the poor and the elderly the hardest. The increased costs of energy also force any business using energy to raise their prices, making food, medicine and other essentials more unaffordable,” said Redpath.

“There is never a good time to impose billions of dollars in new taxes on job creators that send consumer prices skyrocketing and job prospects plummeting,” said Redpath. “But in this economy, voting for cap and tax is an easy way to send a member of Congress to an early retirement.”

“Even worse, it has virtually no effect on the environment. Climatologists calculate the full bill reduces temperatures only five one-hundredths of a degree in 2050 and no more than two-tenths of a degree at the end of this century – and even that’s based on the assumption man-made carbon dioxide can change the climate of an entire planet,” said Redpath.

“Members of Congress should be on notice. Anyone who supports this bill will face angry voters in 2010, because we’re going to let them know you’re working to eliminate their jobs, make their groceries more expensive and raise their energy bills,” said Redpath.

“The Libertarian Party is a fearless defender of small businessmen, workers and families. That is why we not only oppose this disastrous cap and tax legislation, but we will work to defeat anyone who supports it,” said Redpath.

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