Wednesday, April 01, 2009

Political Sleight of Hand on Tax Relief
for the Oppressed Middle Class

Nicolas Loris and Ben Lieberman, writing for, note that President Obama’s budget blueprint, titled "The New Era of Responsibility," outlines his spending plans for Fiscal Year 2010 and beyond, and shows the President’s energy policy to be “a costly and economically harmful one.”

The plan increases the budgets for the Department of Energy (DOE), and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), in line with the President’s “green” ideals, but most damaging is his cap-and-trade proposal to reduce carbon emissions 14 percent below 2005 levels by 2020 and approximately 83 percent below 2005 levels by 2050.

Loris and Lieberman say that this plan claim it will produce $646 billion that Mr. Obama calls “climate revenue,” but which is in fact an energy tax that will be paid by every American through higher prices for electricity and other goods that require electricity, oil, gas or coal in their production.

They report that the Heritage Foundation's Center for Data Analysis estimates that the climate revenue for 2012–2019, will be between $1.6 trillion and $1.9 trillion, which will produce even higher taxes on the consumer than the $646 billion figure.

Of that $646 billion in the Obama blueprint, $150 billion would be allocated for clean energy investments each decade. Say Loris and Lieberman, “This is old, tired thinking: The notion of government investing in clean energy technologies through tax breaks, incentives, and subsidies is tantamount to Washington picking winners and losers, which penalizes successful sources of energy that Americans use every day to subsidize unsuccessful ones.”

This plan will raise energy prices on everybody by taxing the cheaper, conventional and dependable energy sources to raise money to invest in the new, undeveloped and unproven sources preferred by the President.

Americans will soon learn, if they haven’t already, that the tax relief promised them by Mr. Obama will be given to them by his left hand and taken back from them by his right hand.

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