Obama's Misguided Carbon Tax Plans; New Fees on Energy Use Would Strangle Economy
Byline: Paul Driessen, SPECIAL TO THE WASHINGTON TIMES
President Obama and many other politicians continue to insist that carbon dioxide emissions are changing Earth's climate and that we need to take immediate action to prevent catastrophes predicted by computer models, Al Gore and fellow alarmists. Above all, they want to tax carbon dioxide emissions to force people to use less hydrocarbon energy and save vital federal programs from wanton budgetary axes.
Their dreams of $100 billion windfalls from regressive taxes on job creation and economic growth are dangerous hallucinations. They would bring intense pain with no climate or economic gain.
A Heritage Foundation study has found that a carbon tax starting at $25 per ton of carbon dioxide emitted and increasing by 5 percent per year would cut an average family's income by $1,400 annually, raise its utility bills by $500 a year and increase gasoline fill-ups by up to 50 cents per gallon.
That is $2,500 a year chopped from family budgets for food, vacations, home and car payments and repairs, college and retirement savings, dental and medical care, and overall quality of life. Even millionaire families making $200,000 a year would find this painful.
The poorest families might get some offsetting tax relief, but most would get nothing - and no small businesses or energy-intensive manufacturers would see rebates for their soaring energy costs. Nor would malls, hospitals, schools, churches or charities receive any relief.
Companies would be forced to trim hours, salaries or employees. Aggregate job losses would reach at least 1 million by 2016, says Heritage. That would bring more home foreclosures, greater stress, reduced nutrition and more strokes and heart attacks.
Hydrocarbons provide more than 83 percent of the energy that powers America. A carbon tax would put a hefty surcharge on everything we make, grow, ship, eat and do. It would put the federal government in control of 100 percent of our economy and lives. It would make the United States increasingly less productive, less competitive globally and less able to provide opportunities for its citizens.
Worse, this tax is not being promoted in a vacuum. It would be imposed on top of countless other job and economy-strangling actions.
Mr. Obama's Environmental Protection Agency already has issued 2,070 rules and dispensed a regulatory burden of more than $353 billion per year - equal to all wealth generated annually by Virginia's private sector. The agency now is preparing still more rules, the most crushing of which would regulate the same carbon dioxide emissions that some in Congress want to tax, from moving and stationary sources.
Most, if not all, of the agency's punitive rules are based on exaggerated risks, junk science and illusory health, welfare, environmental justice and sustainability benefits.
Other agencies are inflicting still more rules and more crushing paperwork burdens. …