You may not have heard that this friday a “Carbon Cap and Trade Bill” is coming up for vote. Some analysts are saying the bill will represent the “single largest tax increase in U.S. history”. So why haven’t we heard about it?
Is it because it really is true that the mainstream media is in bed with Obama? I don’t know. Given what we’ve already seen, it’s likely we’re merely the victims of clever political gamesmanship. Obama’s administration is talking up his Healthcare plan, and quietly pushing this “Energy” bill through the back door. It’s classic bait-and-switch. It’s blatant deception, and a resort to the modus operandi, “if you can’t convince them, confuse them”. It’s the reason the Greeks came up with a word to describe those who didn’t stay informed about politics. That word was “idiot”.
As to the content of the bill…at 900+ pages, it’s about as long as the New Testament. Many “Green” advocates have been critical of cap-and-trade legislation (which seeks to tax companies for each ton of carbon emissions they produce). The European Union has had a cap-and-trade system for years, and they’ve found emissions weren’t curbed, in fact, they exceeded the levels of the Kyoto Treaty in many member nations. This year, Europe’s carbon emissions have grown by 6% with cap-and-trade, while U.S. emissions are down 1% without it.
Cap-and-trade is a form of “stealth tax” that trickles down to every consumer and citizen by greatly increasing the cost of doing business. Utah Representative Jason Chaffetz’s office has estimated the bill will cost each citizen several hundred dollars, and the average Utah school around $10,000 annually. Such costs, while nothing to state-funded schools, pose significant burdens to private schools.
Because most of the businesses in the United States are small businesses (responsible for 50-52% of total GDP, according to the Labor Department), this bill will place a pressure on the people who are least able to pay it. It will harm the economy immeasurably, and slow any recovery.
To give you a concrete example of how the government hurts us with these “stealth taxes”, I need only recount my experience working for the family business. While in grad school, I was in charge of regulatory affairs and government relations. One task included recycling 72 lbs. of paper generated by one year’s worth of state and EPA regulatory changes (yes, I weighed it), and trying to stay compliant with said changes. The job also included EPA registration of our products in each state of sale.
The year Rod Blagojevich became governor of Illinois, he arbitrarily raised the cost of registration from $100 per product to $200, and raised the company registration fee from $200 to $400. This meant that before we’d sold a single bottle of disinfectant or germicide in Illinois, we had to pay $1600 in fees. Some states were more reasonable in their fee (Missouri, for instance, only charged $15 per product). Combine the state fees together, and you’d probably be looking at money that could’ve created one or two new jobs.
Such “fees” and stealth taxes are barriers that prevent people from wanting to bring their business to states, or to start businesses. They limit competition, innovation, and prevent the creation of jobs. They push big companies overseas, to countries like Dubai where there is no corporate tax. They leave small guys (like my father and his 14 employees) at a disadvantage, especially against large corporations.
I urge you to contact your congressman and senator through the links provided here, and tell them to vote against this expensive and dangerous bill.