In his February 24 speech, President Obama asked Congress to send him “legislation that places a market-based cap on carbon pollution and drives the production of more renewable energy in America.” But by “market-based cap” he means that the government would mandate carbon dioxide emission permits - which are essentially permits to use energy - that companies would then be able to sell among themselves.
His budget assumes a staggering $650 billion in revenue from this scheme. But who picks up the tab? Who ultimately pays the cost of buying these slices of global warming baloney, and why would industry support such a scheme? The answer is that you and I do, as does everyone who buys anything requiring energy, just like we pay the cost of all the other taxes paid by manufacturers. It’s a tax, folks. Plain and simple, Obama’s “market-based cap” plan is a tax on American business.
Industry is actually behind this massive tax, having sold their support so that the tax is not merely passed through to consumers, but it allows companies to skim the scheme for a profit, again at your expense. This tax, however, is nearly twice the size of the failed BTU tax which Al Gore still attributes the Democrats’ loss of Congress the next year.
The BTU tax was offered in the name of deficit reduction. Obama’s global warming tax is expressly to pay for new middle-class welfare entitlements, even though it takes away from the beneficiaries about the same amount they will fork out in increased energy costs (if not the entire inflationary impact). The important point for his movement, however, is that more money is run through the state, creating dependency.
With BTU, the then-new “rock star” Democratic president Clinton was rebuffed by a Democratic Congress once the public fought back. This was only after the House had passed the tax by one vote - cast by Rep. Marjorie Margolies Mezvinsky (D-PA), who tearfully marched down to change her vote after being singled out for flipping by the White House. As she shuffled back up the aisle, a prescient Republican caucus loudly waived “bye, Margie!” knowing the gift she had given them. She was among many BTU-tax supporters later driven from office.
Then business successfully “Swiss-cheesed” the tax proposal by lobbying and achieving so many carve-outs that the tax simply collapsed. With an insufficient business constituency, Democratic Sens. Bennett Johnston, John Breaux and David Boren could not justify so angering the public and instructed the new president how the world would work. There are two lessons here.
First, as Al Gore confessed to the Financial Times, going through the front door of a direct energy tax is too risky. Hence the cap-and-trade rationing scheme; it’s a tax but a non-transparent one, also making it vastly less efficient (more expensive) according to economists at, for example, the Congressional Budget Office. The message to lawmakers is to worry about one job: yours. Hide the tax. The part about also doubling the tax seems to be all Obama’s idea.
Second, cap-and-trade shows that business has also learned how to sell its support in return for additional schemes to further pick your pocket, siphoning of some of the cost to themselves. Cap-and-trade provides them billions of your dollars in return for playing along. Read more of this powerful must read here.