Friday, October 30, 2009

The cost of cap and trade: part one

From the 02 November Greater Niagara Newspapers

By Bob Confer

Sitting near the top of the Left’s ambitious agenda is the tempering of alleged man-made global warming. The Democrat-controlled Congress and Obama Administration hope to achieve this goal through a variety of tactics which include green energy incentives, stricter environmental regulations and the absolutely ludicrous concept of cap and trade.

Simply put, cap and trade is a means of taxation and control in which the federal government, further exceeding its intended bounds, would put limits on the amount of greenhouse gases that manufacturers, energy producers and the like could put into the atmosphere and then charge them for anything over and above their individual caps.

This user’s fee for the atmosphere would add significantly to the cost of living, which, in turn, would severely decrease the quality of the human existence (the polar opposite of what cap and trade’s proponents trumpet as their ultimate goal). The tax will show up in every single thing we buy, for it will be applied to the energy we use to heat and power our homes or take ourselves to work and it will be affixed to the activity that produces the food we eat, the clothes we wear and the products we utilize. Its impact will be staggering, without a doubt.

But, how bad will it be? No one seems to know for sure, but any way you slice it, it stinks.

On the low end of the scale, estimates were released by the Environmental Protection Agency just over a week ago that pegged the impact at no more than $100 per year in added energy costs to the typical household. That number is obviously too small and it should not be believed because of its bias. The EPA is only looking out for its own interests (its job security and power) by minimizing the estimation of the financial impact of the bill.

The Congressional Budget Office, which typically underestimates the financial burden of all things government, said back in June that cap and trade would cost the average household only $175 per year. Theirs was a flawed study, looking only at the costs to manage the program, ignoring the impact that energy restrictions would have on the greater economy and all it produces.

The Heritage Foundation, a Conservative think tank, has been saying since May that the program would cost American families some $1,500 per year in direct energy expenses alone. This large value doesn’t even include cap and trade’s costs hidden in any of the products they purchase.

The Heritage Foundation seems be quite close in its estimates for formerly-secret internal documents released by the Department of Treasury this September said it would cost American taxpayers $200 billion per year, or $1,761 per family. One must assume the Treasury would know best of its impact as it would be that agency that manages the revenues reaped by such a program.

Whether you’re talking about $100 or $1,761 (the latter being the most likely result), no family can afford cap and trade. Taxpaying Americans already pay more than their fair share for local, state, and federal government programs through income, sales, and property taxes, whether directly or indirectly in the value of the goods and services they purchase. In a recession where jobs are scarce and incomes have dropped, breadwinners will be unable to support themselves, their families and each other under this new, massive theft from our citizens.

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