Conservative Cynthia Meyer hits cap and trade, and discusses the economic impact of environmentalism.

Cynthia Meyer, Staff Writer
Ideology: Conservative | Writing from: Austin, Texas

When Democrats pretend something they are doing is in the interest of national security, you know they are trying to put something past you. Tim Ryan, Democratic Representative from Ohio, explains that America needs to pass the Waxman-Marley cap-and-trade bill because without it we will remain energy-dependent on those who want to “fly planes into our buildings.”

If we want to prevent another attack, or make our citizens feel safe from terrorism, implementing a bill that will result in a massive government takeover of American businesses is not the answer.

It is disgusting that the Democrats are using 9/11 to make their environmental alarmist legislation seem legitimate. The truth is that the motive behind this bill has nothing to do with national security. It has to do with liberals in Congress shoving their radical global warming agendas down our throats.  They are attempting to force us to comply and accept their ideology as flawless, unchallenged fact, using it as an unchecked excuse to control our lives, our businesses, and our paychecks. No questions asked.

Democrats are rushing this legislation through Congress, providing no time to read what is actually in the bill. And this is in addition to slipping in a three-hundred-page last-minute amendment at 3:09AM before the bill’s passage in the House. This type of behavior from Congress seems all too familiar and is getting far too common. They campaigned on bipartisanship and transparency, but once they grasped power, all promises were thrown out the window. They must act quick because they know that once America feels the effects of their control and see what is actually being done to our country, they will lose their popularity.

This bill is will be the biggest tax hike in American history, but that is only the beginning.

We are being lied to. We are being told that, according to their CBO report, this will cost each household only $175 per year. Not so—read the fine print. Footnoted in the report is the following:

“The resource cost does not indicate the potential decrease in gross domestic product (GDP) that could result from the cap. The reduction in GDP would also include indirect general equilibrium effects, such as changes in the labor supply resulting from reductions in real wages and potential reductions in the productivity of capital and labor.”

This is where they try to fool us. According to the Heritage Foundation, the loss in GDP would amount to $161 billion in the year 2020, amounting to an additional $1,870 “tax” for a household of four. In 2035, this would increase to $6,790 per household. This is in addition to “carbon credits” that businesses will be required to purchase, or use more expensive forms of energy.  These costs will, of course, be passed down to the consumer.

It is clear that even Democrats know that this is going to be the most costly piece of legislation in American history. If they truly believed it would only cost families $175 per year, why wouldn’t they have passed the amendments that House Republicans proposed—ones that assured increased prices would not destroy our economy? These amendments would suspend cap-and-trade if gasoline hit $5 per gallon, if unemployment increased to over 15 percent, or if electricity prices doubled. It seems, however, that these safeguards are not suitable.  It doesn’t matter how much it costs the average citizen, as long as the government has a firm hold on our businesses and our pockets.

After the Waxman-Marley energy bill passed in the House, Nancy Pelosi said that there are “four words for what this legislation means. Jobs, jobs, jobs, jobs!”  She must not have read the footnote in the CBO report. Recall: “The reduction in GDP would also include…reductions in real wages and potential reductions in the productivity of capital and labor.”

I think what Pelosi meant to say was, “jobs, jobs, jobs, jobs—overseas.“ To avoid the burdensome costs and regulations in the United States, businesses will take their jobs to countries that do not punish for being productive and using energy. The competitive advantage we have over foreign countries will cease to exist. Right now we have an edge over China, but if this bill passes, China, an unchecked top emitter of carbon, will laugh at us.

And like most of the spending bills Democrats have been proposing, the biggest hit will be to the college-aged generation, and those below (who don’t even have a choice since they cannot vote). We are the ones who will pay the price of millions of lost jobs, income, soaring unemployment, skyrocketing energy prices (Obama says so himself), and massive national debt. We don’t need this, we don’t want this, but this will be our burden.

The Republicans’ “all-of-the-above” approach would actually give the American people the results that the Democrats are promising. If we take advantage of the alternative energy sources we have available (clean coal, wind power, nuclear energy), we will reach energy independence—which will effectively create jobs at home. This is what will actually leave us less dependent on foreign oil and better off in the long run.

Barack Obama says that the cap-and-trade bill provides “incentives” to emit less carbon. Since when were mandates and regulations incentives? The free market provides incentives. Tax breaks provide incentives. Allowing businesses to utilize alternative energy is an incentive. Democrats don’t believe in incentives, they believe in beaurocratic control.

*Click here for a list of the 8 House Republicans who voted “yes”.