Today, the U.S. House of Representatives will look to give President Obama’s Administration control of yet another sector of the U.S. economy by passing the Waxman-Markey global warming bill. In case you’ve forgotten, the Obama Administration is already running the banking industry, the home mortgage industry, and the auto industry. Now, the Obama Administration wants to control the one industry that touches all facets of our economy—energy.
Let’s be very clear, the Waxman-Markey bill is a national energy tax that will affect you every time you flip on a light switch, drive a car, buy food at the grocery store, charge your cell phone or use a computer. There is not an industry or person in this country whose pocketbook will not be negatively affected by this bill through a sneaky and disingenuous hidden tax scheme called cap and trade. If that’s not top down, government control over the private sector, I don’t know what is.
I don’t have to look further than my own state to see environmental socialism at its worst. California has adopted its own renewable energy standard and carbon cap and trade scheme that is killing businesses and driving people out of the state in record numbers.
Columnist George Will recently noted that “for four consecutive years, more Americans have moved out of California than have moved in” and that “California’s business costs are more than 20 percent higher than the average state’s.” By no coincidence, California has the country’s highest energy rates—sometimes three or four times that of other states. After watching California’s embarrassing self-destruction thanks to overspending, over-taxing, and over regulating, ultimately culminating in a $42 billion budget deficit, it is incomprehensible that this Congress would want to follow any type of an example set by California’s failed experiment of energy and fiscal policies.
Rural and agriculture communities will be most disproportionately affected by this convoluted catastrophe of environmental regulations. As President Obama said, Energy prices will “necessarily skyrocket”, up to 125 percent—forcing local agriculture producers to pay more for seed, equipment, machinery, steel, and other supplies. Recently, 99 Agriculture Groups came out in opposition to this bill—including the American Farm Bureau Federation, the National Chicken Council, the United Egg Producers, the Frozen Food Council and the Society of American Florists. Believe me, they have good reason—farm income is expected to drop $8 billion in 2012, and over $50 billion in 2035, while farm construction costs increase 10 percent and gas prices skyrocket 58 percent higher than today’s national average. If you like getting your oil from Hugo Chavez, you’re going to love getting breakfast, lunch and dinner from him as well.
Farmers aren’t the only people who oppose a new national energy tax; business mogul Warren Buffet, a Barack Obama supporter, recently denounced the cap and tax scheme as a “regressive tax” that will harm “an awful lot of people.” The fact is that there is not one section, provision, line or word in this entire bill that would be beneficial for a healthy economy, let alone our current, struggling economy.
In fact, we should be taking a lesson from Spain, the country who has spent the most amount of money on creating a so-called green economy. A recent study by Spanish economics professor Gabriel Calzada found that in Spain, for every “green” job created through environmental subsidies, 2.2 other jobs were lost. The failure of Spain’s efforts to manipulate their economy through the creation of green jobs was even recognized by former President Bill Clinton when he said during a conference in Madrid, Spain that Spain’s, “commitment to clean energy has cost many jobs.”
The bottom line is that the extent to which the American consumer is going to pay for a national energy tax cannot be overstated—it will cost hundreds of thousands of jobs and billions of dollars. The weight of the new taxes associated with this bill will break the backs of some families, forcing them out of their homes and into the street. America will lose its competitive edge in our global economy as we regulate ourselves into economic obscurity, allowing countries like China and India to outpace our productivity because this legislation will make it far too expensive to conduct business in America.
Congress should do the economy and the environment a favor, and put this bill where it belongs—in the recycle bin.