Outrage of the Day: The Costly Waxman-Markey Global Warming Tax

Last Tuesday, Representatives Henry Waxman (D-CA) and Ed Markey (D-MA) unveiled proposed legislation that, if adopted, would kill (at best) hundreds of thousands, more likely, millions of jobs and put a substantial and highly-regressive global warming tax on every American even as Congressional leaders wring their hands and bemoan the state of our economy.

Adding insult to injury, Waxman made the outlandish claim the monstrosity “will create millions of clean energy jobs,” though, admittedly, there are few liberal politicians who have not made the moronic claim that raising the cost of energy will be a net job-creator.

If there is any educated person left who doubts that environmentalists care little about the welfare of ordinary people, even a brief review of this bill should permanently prevent a reoccurrence of that particular hallucination.

Lest I be thought the only one who thinks it would be idiotic for the Congressional majority to nearly bankrupt the nation via a trillion-dollar “stimulus” bill only to immediately intentionally shoot the economy in the proverbial head with a cap-and-trade-plus global warming tax, here are a few other opinions expressed following the release of the Waxman-Markey draft:

“Since 85 percent of U.S. energy demand is met by fossil fuels, taxing the lifeblood of the American economy would have disastrous consequences. The Heritage Foundation’s Center for Data Analysis’ study of the Lieberman-Warner cap and trade bill found aggregate real GDP losses (adjusted for inflation) of nearly $5 trillion — for comparison, this is equivalent to the economic damage done by over 600 hurricanes. The bill would’ve also destroyed between 400,000 and 800,000 jobs each year. It should be noted that the targets and timetables in the discussion draft are considerably more stringent than those in Lieberman-Warner and thus would be costlier.”
Nick Loris, The Heritage Foundation’s The Foundry Blog, March 31, 2009

Add together NASA since its inception, the cost of Hurricane Katrina and spending on the New Deal. Adjust for inflation. What do you get? Not quite the amount of money a cap and trade program would generate in energy taxes on consumers. The $1.9 trillion generated over eight years from a cap-and-trade bill would still be larger than the $1.5 trillion from NASA, the New Deal, and Hurricane Katrina.
Nick Loris, The Heritage Foundation’s The Foundry Blog, April 2, 2009

“Many U.S. lawmakers view cap and trade as a politically superior non-tax approach to climate policy. However, cap and trade imposes identical economic burdens on households to a similarly designed carbon tax. …we present new estimates of the distributional impact of a typical cap and-trade system by income, age, U.S. region and family type. In total, households would face an annual burden of roughly $144.8 billion per year with costs disproportionately borne by low-income households, those under age 25 and over 75 years, those in Southern states, and single parents with dependent children.”
-Andrew Chamberlain, “Who Pays for Climate Policy? New Estimates of the Household Burden and Economic Impact of a U.S. Cap-and-Trade System,” (pdf) Tax Foundation Working Paper No. 6, March 2009

“The bill as drafted clears the way for carbon protectionism. It envisages “rebates” to companies that have to pay higher costs than their international competitors, which amounts to illegal state aid under WTO rules. Further, it directs the President to institute what is laughably called a ‘border adjustment’ program requiring foreign companies to pay for the cost of carbon. This is nothing more than a tariff aimed at eliminating the competitive advantage of other nations. Taken together, these provisions represent the first shot in what is likely to prove a disastrous carbon trade war.”
Iain Murray, Competitive Enterprise Institute, March 31, 2009

“Rep. John Shimkus (R-Ill.) said cap and trade systems would be devastating to coal manufacturing states like Illinois and West Virginia and proposed cap and trade legislation could kill the entire coal mining industry.

‘This cap-and-trade scheme may not just reduce Illinois coal jobs further — it is my worry that this legislation aims to kill the entire coal industry,’ Shimkus told CNSNews.com.

Shimkus and Rep. Shelly Moore Capito (R-W.Va.) held a press conference Wednesday to rally support opposing the cap and trade proposals, which they said would lead to both higher energy costs and severe job loss in the coal mining industry…”
-Ryan Byrnes, “Cap and Trade Legislation Would Kill Coal Industry, Congressman Says,” CNSNews.com, April 2, 2009

“Until recently, much of the debate on climate change focused on the extent of the threat. But now that House Democratic leaders are planning to take up legislation to set up a mandatory cap-and-trade system for greenhouse emissions sometime this summer, opponents are focusing on the cost.

‘They seem to give people the impression that it’s going to be a huge environmentally friendly free lunch,’ said Rep. James Sensenbrenner, R-Wis. ‘This lunch is not free.'”
-Jim Angle/AP, “Republicans Criticize Cost of Cap-and-Trade Emissions Plan,” FoxNews.com, April 2, 2009

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