The Great GOP $3,100 Energy Tax Lie

After attempts to label President Obama’s cap and trade proposal a sales tax on energy failed, Republican have shifted their attack to calling Obama’s plan a tax that will cost American families an additional $3,100 a year. The problem is that this is a lie.

Republicans have been claiming that, “The Administration raises revenue for increased spending through a series of new taxes, including a light switch tax that would cost every American household $3,128 a year. What effect will this have on Americans struggling to pay their mortgages?” Where did the GOP get this number from?

According to Polifact, the number came from a 2007 M.I.T. study. When the GOP uses the term light switch tax what they are really referring to is Obama’s cap and trade plan. What the GOP did to come up with their numbers was use a little warped math.

They used the cap and trade program in the M.I.T. report, not Obama’s, and divided the hypothetical revenue number from the report by the number of households in the country to come up with their $3,100 number. However, when Republicans asked John Reilly an economist and one of the authors of the report about the numbers, they were told that they were wrong, “Someone from the House Republicans had called me (March 20) and asked about this,” Reilly said. “I had explained why the estimate they had was probably incorrect and what they should do to correct it, but I think this wrong number was already floating around by that time.”

Reilly even told them why their calculations were wrong, “That’s just not how economists calculate the cost of a tax proposal. The tax might push the price of carbon-based fuels up a bit, but other results of a cap-and-trade program, such as increased conservation and more competition from other fuel sources, would put downward pressure on prices. Moreover, consumers would get some of the tax back from the government in some form.”

The motivation for the GOP is simple. They are looking for a way to oppose cap and trade without being opposed to combating global warming. Republicans consider this more government regulation on the private sector, and cap and trade would also violate the Republican ideology of never doing anything that would harm the corporate bottom line, but anti-climate change legislation has widespread support, so the GOP has to find a way to scare public support away from Obama’s proposal.

I first wrote about this on Saturday, when the GOP first starting floating the attack that Obama’s cap and trade was a sales tax on energy. The GOP is trying to pull a page out of the same playbook that they used to defeat President Clinton’s health care reform. If the GOP can’t find a good reason to oppose a bill, they try to scare people by claiming that the proposed program is too expensive, all the while hiding the real reason why they oppose the legislation. It is tactics like these, which turn people away from politics. The Republican Party is still trying to scare America, instead of lead it.

4 Replies to “The Great GOP $3,100 Energy Tax Lie”

  1. President Obama just needs to continue what he is doing: issuing regular video messages explaining the falsity of the claims of the critics. Additionally, as a man who can put a noun and a verb together and actually pronounce words correctly, President Obama can effectively use press conferences to further educate the public and press.

    The Republican Party, ably assisted by Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, and Ann Coulter, will soon drive off the cliff of political relevance.

    Finally… America is waking up from its nightmare trace of unbridled monopolistic capitalism. Capitalism must continue and can continue to thrive within a set of regulatory provisions that protect against too much power, and over accumulation of financial risk.

  2. The real problem is that cap-and-trade is dreadful idea that will do nothing to help the environment but will cost electricity users a lot of money. cap-and-trade is a non-solution to a non-problem

    “The motivation for the GOP is simple. They are looking for a way to oppose cap and trade without being opposed to combating global warming.”

    The GOP sees itself – correctly – as defending America from a regulation that will hurt our economy. But in this case, this isnt an economy vs environment tradeoff that most such debates are about – since it will do NOTHING BENEFICIAL for the environment. It wont even impact global CO2 production by that much.

    The Democrats are slowly painting themselves into corner on this, having falsely declared the science ‘settled’. (It is, but not in the way Gore and Hansen mean ).
    The Global Warming scare is collapsing under the weight of a non-warming globe. Every month, the poll numbers on global warming get worse and wrose, as more and more people get educated to the fact that … hey, the globe ISN’T warming, and it hasnt been warming since 1998. The CO2 increases are far more benign than the doomsayers (steadily being discredited by the temperature reality) have been saying. The models turned out to be wrong, overstating actual warming by a factor of 4 or 5. Take out that factor and CO2 turns from a ‘crisis’ to a long-term ‘lets get to it eventually after we deal with more immediate problems’. Gore “preyed upon our fears”.

    “America is waking up from its nightmare trace of unbridled monopolistic capitalism. ” – marxist gibberish. America hasnt had that kind of system since before 1913, when the income tax and FederalReserve were created… The nightmare of political hyperbole disconnected from reality continues.

    “a set of regulatory provisions that protect against too much power” – really. who will protect us against too much power in the Congress, in the Fed, in the Treasury, in the White House? Hmmm?????

  3. You are a F******* mind numbed ass****! BHO ia a traitor to this country and if he continues to suck you in with his BS, the USA with cease to exist.

  4. I’m glad that people are calling out these politicians and their lies about how much saving the planet really costs. People need to face up the facts and stop burying their heads in the sands.

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