Cap-and-Trade? Pass It Quick, Before the Idiots Figure Out What It Is!

Remember Who Wants To Be A Millionaire, with the “ask the audience” lifeline? Better yet, have you read The Wisdom of Crowds?

A new Rasmussen poll will make you rethink all that wisdom-of-crowds business.

Given a choice of three options, just 24% of voters can correctly identify the cap-and-trade proposal as something that deals with environmental issues. A slightly higher number (29%) believe the proposal has something to do with regulating Wall Street while 17% think the term applies to health care reform. A plurality (30%) have no idea.

Democrats are pushing the legislation on Capitol Hill, but Democrats around the country are a bit less likely than Republicans and voters not affiliated with either party to know that the concept has something to do with the environment. This helps explain why some Democratic pollsters have advised the president to back away from the term cap-and-trade to describe what he wants to accomplish.

Fewer still must realize that cap-and-trade is an energy consumption tax.

One of the scariest things about the whole cap-and-trade carbon credits game is that it will effectively create a new currency, one that Congress can play with and manipulate at will. They are already doing it, just in trying to get the bill passed out of committee. Waxman and Markey are attempting to woo reluctant committee Dems with “bonus” carbon credits for their home states if they go along with passage.

While we’re on that subject, Martin Feldstein has a good opinion piece in The Wall Street Journal, worth a click if only for the graphic:

Tax Increases Could Kill the Recovery

The barrage of tax increases proposed in President Barack Obama’s budget could, if enacted by Congress, kill any chance of an early and sustained recovery.

Historians and economists who’ve studied the 1930s conclude that the tax increases passed during that decade derailed the recovery and slowed the decline in unemployment. That was true of the 1935 tax on corporate earnings and of the 1937 introduction of the payroll tax. Japan did the same destructive thing by raising its value-added tax rate in 1997.

Mr. Obama’s biggest proposed tax increase is the cap-and-trade system of requiring businesses to buy carbon dioxide emission permits. The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO) estimates that the proposed permit auctions would raise about $80 billion a year and that these extra taxes would be passed along in higher prices to consumers. Anyone who drives a car, uses public transportation, consumes electricity or buys any product that involves creating CO2 in its production would face higher prices.

CBO Director Douglas Elmendorf testified before the Senate Finance Committee on May 7 that the cap-and-trade price increases resulting from a 15% cut in CO2 emissions would cost the average household roughly $1,600 a year, ranging from $700 in the lowest-income quintile to $2,200 in the highest-income quintile. Since the amount of cap-and-trade tax rises with income, the cap-and-trade tax has the same kind of adverse work incentives as the income tax. And since the purpose of the cap-and-trade plan is to discourage the consumption of CO2-intensive products, energy or means of transportation by raising their cost to consumers, the consumer-price increases would be the same for a 15% reduction in C02 even if the government decides to give away some of the CO2 emissions permits.

H/T Kari at CRC Public Relations