"He will put the sheep on his right and the goats on his left."
Matthew 25:33

Monday, June 22, 2009

On Deck: June 22, 2009

As House Democratic Leaders push their “cap-and-trade national energy tax plan” this week, the RNC has released a new web video this morning on this plan called “Lights Out.” House and Senate offices will receive a candle this morning from the RNC with a note reading, “If Democrats pass ‘Cap and Tax,’ this is all the energy American families and businesses will be able to afford. Don’t tax our lights out!” See report from The Hill’s Michael O’Brien here. Also, Senate Republicans will hold a hearing today on the cap-and-trade national energy tax plan today at 2pm. See full details in today’s On Deck.

Please Reads:

In The House, It’s Peterson Vs. Climate Bill (The Wall Street Journal) Note: The fate of the leading proposal to curb U.S. greenhouse-gas emissions is in the hands of Rep. Collin Peterson, a Marlboro-smoking free spirit who scoffs at warnings about climate change and says the Environmental Protection Agency is “in bed with” corporations opposed to the ethanol industry…. The resistance to the climate bill from Mr. Peterson and other farm-state Democrats has exposed divisions within the majority party over whether Congress should attempt such far-reaching and potentially costly environmental legislation at the same time it is trying to overhaul the U.S. health-care system.

Mayors complain about stimulus spending (LA Times) Note: Vice President Joe Biden has been holding private conference calls on the stimulus with elected officials from around the country, some of whom have been telling him that metropolitan regions are losing out to rural areas in the competition for stimulus money… That argument tracks a report released by the U.S. Conference of Mayors that concluded that cities have gotten a disproportionately small share of stimulus money set aside for road and other transportation improvements. Seattle Mayor Greg Nickels, newly installed president of the U.S. Conference of Mayors, gave a speech to the association on June 15 saying he would ask his fellow mayors to “critically review every aspect” of the $787-billion stimulus package.

White House Changes The Terms Of A Campaign Pledge About Posting Bills Online (The New York Times) Note: Various watchdog groups have slapped Mr. Obama’s wrist for repeatedly failing to live up to the pledge. Politifact.com, the fact-checking arm of The St. Petersburg Times, has branded it a “promise broken.”At the same time, many have questioned the value of the promise, saying it was too late in the process for anything to change in a bill.

Here is what’s On Deck for Republicans:

• The Republican National Committee released a new web video today on the Democrats’ cap-and-trade national energy tax plan. The web video, entitled “Lights Out,” can be viewed here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rnvPt0E2Ed0.

“The so-called ‘cap and trade’ plan proposed by President Obama and Congressional Democrats is nothing but a multi-billion dollar national energy tax on every American family, small business and family farm. Those hardest hit by this massive tax will be the poor and middle-class who are already struggling to make ends meet in today’s recession. Americans want an energy plan that will lead to lower energy costs, more jobs, a cleaner environment and greater energy independence without a national energy tax that will tax our lights out,” Chairman Steele said.

• From the SRC: The Senate Republican Conference will hold a hearing today, June 22 at 2pm, to investigate the effect the Democrats’ proposed cap-and-trade national energy tax will have on job growth and the ways in which building 100 new nuclear plants over the next 20 years could help our economy, keep America competitive, and protect our environment. Senator Bob Bennett, R-Utah, will chair the hearing in Dirksen 562.

• From Bob McDonnell’s campaign: Bob McDonnell, Republican gubernatorial nominee and former Attorney General of Virginia, will be joined by Mississippi Governor, and Republican Governors Association Vice-Chairman, Haley Barbour will hold two joint press availabilities today, June 22nd. The events will take place at 9:00 a.m. in Virginia Beach and 11:30 a.m. in Richmond.

On The Democrat Side – What To Watch For:

• See RNC research brief below on the Democrats’ cap-and-trade national energy tax plan… Note: “Nobody in this country realizes that cap and trade is a tax. And it’s a great big one.”


Democrats’ So-Called “Cap-And-Trade” Plan = National Tax That Makes Energy Less Affordable


Congressman John Dingell (D-MI): “Cap-And-Trade Is A Tax.” “Nobody in this country realizes that cap and trade is a tax. And it’s a great big one.” (Rep. John Dingell, House Energy and Commerce Committee and House Science Committee, Joint Hearing, 4/24/09)

New York Times’ Thomas Friedman: “Advocates of cap-and-trade argue that it is preferable to a simple carbon tax because it fixes a national cap on carbon emissions and it ‘hides the ball’—it doesn’t use the word ‘tax’—even though it amounts to one.” (Thomas L. Friedman, Op Ed, “Show Us the Ball,” The New York Times, 4/8/09)


$1200+: Annual Tax Increase For Average American Household From Cap-And-Trade. “The study shows that a cap-and-trade system designed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 15 percent would place an annual burden of $144.8 billion on American households. The average annual household burden would be $1,218, which would be approximately 2% of the average household income.” (Andrew Chamberlain, “Who Pays for Climate Policy? New Estimates of the Household Burden and Economic Impact Of A U.S. Cap-And-Trade System,” Tax Foundation Working Paper #6, 3/16/09)

$2 Trillion: Total Tax Burden Under Obama Cap-And-Trade Proposal Over Next Eight Years. “It now looks like the White House low-balled revenue estimates (actually costs to business and consumers) from his cap-and-trade carbon plan. Instead of $646 billion over eight years, it may cost $2 trillion.” (James Pethokoukis, “Will Cap-and-Trade Cost You $2 Trillion?” US News And World Report’s “Capital Commerce” Blog, www.usnews.com, 3/18/09)


LOW-INCOME HOUSEHOLDS: “Price increases would be essential to the success of a cap-and-trade program because they would be the most important mechanism through which businesses and households would be encouraged to make investments and behavioral changes that reduced CO2 emissions. Those increases, however, would impose a larger burden, relative to their income, on low-income households than on high-income households.” (Terry Dinan, CBO Senior Advisor, “The Distributional Consequences of a Cap-and-Trade Program for CO2 Emissions,” Testimony before the Subcommittee on Income Security and Family Support House Committee on Ways and Means, 3/12/09)

SENIORS AND YOUNG ADULTS: “In total, households would face an annual burden of roughly $144.8 billion per year with costs disproportionately borne by ... those under age 25 and over 75 years ...” (Andrew Chamberlain, “Who Pays For Climate Policy? New Estimates of the Household Burden and Economic Impact of a U.S. Cap-and-Trade System,” Tax Foundation Working Paper #6, 3/16/09)

AMERICAN FARMERS: “Worst of all is what happens to farmers’ net income. Farmers live off their gross income; what they earn in addition to that is their net income or marginal income. Waxman-Markey significantly shrinks farmers’ net income pie. Farm income is expected to drop $8 billion in 2012, $25 billion in 2024, and over $50 billion in 2035. These are decreases of 28%, 60% and 94% from the baseline, respectively.” (Nick Loris, “For Farmers, Cap and Trade is a Permanent Drought Season,” The Heritage Foundation’s “The Foundry,” 6/9/09)


CBO Says National Energy Tax Will Hit Consumers, Not Corporate Profits. “Under a cap-and-trade program, firms would not ultimately bear most of the costs of the allowances but instead would pass them along to their customers in the form of higher prices. Such price increases would stem from the restriction on emissions and would occur regardless of whether the government sold emission allowances or gave them away.” (Terry Dinan, CBO Senior Advisor, “The Distributional Consequences of a Cap-and-Trade Program for CO2 Emissions,” Testimony before the Subcommittee on Income Security and Family Support House Committee on Ways and Means, 3/12/09)

Democrats Admit National Energy Tax Will Raise Electricity Bills. “[S]everal Democratic aides noted that with the economy in a deep recession, many vulnerable Democrats might be loath to vote for anything that could be blamed for higher utility bills. ‘With the economy the way that it is, I don’t know that there’s going to be the stomach to pass a bill that might raise people’s utility and gas rates,’ one Senate Democratic staffer said.” (Emily Pierce & Steven T. Dennis, “House Climate Bill Facing Senate Headwinds,” Roll Call, 5/18//09)

Energy Costs Would Skyrocket In Rural Areas. “Rural electric cooperatives, vestiges of a New Deal-era campaign to provide power to rural America, have started to lobby against the House climate change bill by stressing that it would raise electricity costs in certain states more than in others.” (Jim Snyder, “Rural Co-Ops Target Climate Bill,” The Hill, 6/10/09)

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