Wes Vernon
May 12, 2008
The plot to throw you out of work and stick you with higher taxes
By Wes Vernon

Hey! You don't mind paying another 53 cents a gallon to fill up your car's tank, do you? Obviously you're feeling a little guilt-ridden at getting away with paying a measly three-to-four bucks (and climbing) for each gallon as it is. So what's another 53 cents? Especially if you're out of a job. No big deal, right?

The threat is real

Some of your brilliant lawmakers here in Washington believe that neither letting you have your cake nor letting you eat it too is a great way to get your vote. Don't laugh. They mean it.

The trial lawyers who fill the liberal campaign coffers, as well as Ivory Tower elites (who devise the intellectual pretzel-shaped rationalizations) and the mainstream media (who provide the 24/7 brainwashing), will seek to instill within you all the guilt necessary lest you entertain the quaint notion that you are best positioned to decide how to spend your hard-earned money.


There is pending in the United States Senate a monstrosity that gives some serious meaning to the facetious wisecrack that Americans are safer when Congress is out of session. As usual, Senator James Inhofe (R-Okla.), Ranking Member and former Chairman of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee (EPW), is doing much of the heavy lifting in the name of down-to-earth sanity in citing the monstrosity's many flaws.

S-2191, the Lieberman-Warner "cap and trade" bill (scheduled for Senate debate shortly after Memorial Day) would require companies to cut greenhouse gas emissions to 2005 levels by the year 2012. By 2020, those emissions are mandated to return to 1990 levels. And industrial America is expected to reduce emissions to 65% below 1990 levels by the year 2050. This is all in the name of the hoax known as "man-made global warming." That's the "cap."

Gore's mansion sets the example

The theory behind "cap and trade" is that companies cutting their emissions below their legal limit can sell their excess emissions rights to other parties. That's the "trade." Every time Al Gore's environmental hypocrisy is nailed, he replies he purchases emissions "credits" from other parties in order to operate his huge energy-hog mansion in Nashville. That's the model for this bill

The small print: the cap and trade "problem"

For starters, just by its very nature, Warner-Lieberman supplies more weight to the already horrific pressures to make your personal wallet or purse considerably lighter. The congressional Budget Office (CBO) says the bill would create $1.2 trillion in government spending over the next 10 years alone.

But while government spending goes up, household income will go down, possibly by nearly $3,000 in 2020 and more than double that amount by 2030. Senator Inhofe figures families in his state of Oklahoma will be stuck with paying $3,298 for the increased cost of gasoline and energy.

Poor families would get the worst of it. Liberal politicians who claim their hearts bleed for the poor apparently figure they, themselves, won't be adversely affected by the higher energy bills that will hit low income families, who already pay 5 times as much of their monthly budgets on energy (19%) as do wealthier families (4%).

And don't forget the pain at the pump. A study by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) projects that gasoline prices will soar by 53 cents a gallon by the time the full effects of Lieberman-Warner kick in.

Jobs? Forget it. You will be lucky just to keep the one you have because if you lose it, you'll have a harder time getting another one. Senator Inhofe cites an Independent Energy Information Administration (IEIA) study as forecasting a 9.5% drop in manufacturing and higher energy costs under L/W, and that it will be worse unless we build 350 nuclear plants by 2030. (Note: This column has advocated building nuclear plants as a substitute for begging on our hind legs from the oil-rich countries that hate us.)

Under Lieberman/Warner, America stands to lose jobs in the millions.

The politics of it all

Here is another instance where Senator John McCain needs to be brought up to speed if he is effectively to distinguish himself from his hard-charging opponents. The presumptive Republican presidential nominee sees cap and trade as a more politically acceptable alternative to the carbon tax which the senator (correctly) believes would raise the gas tax, which McCain opposes. Someone should break it gently to the senator that cap and trade would also raise the gas tax.

Mr. McCain told Ramesh Ponnuru of National Review that cap and trade appeals to him because it does not involve channeling tax dollars to the federal government. Wrong again. The feds would still auction off the permits. Also, states could auction off credits. They would be mandated to spend the proceeds on "environmental" purposes blessed by Washington. This is just another carbon tax made to look like what it is not.

Capitol Hill games

Senator Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.), current Chairman of the Senate EPW concedes that she may have to yank the Lieberman-Warner bill off the Senate floor if any "weakening amendments" are piled onto it during the June debate.

A "win-win," the chairman believes

In truth, though Senator Boxer is sure to put on a great show of fighting mightily for the measure in Senate debate, she is really not interested in passing Lieberman-Warner (S-2191) in 2008. She has been quoted as saying the media and UN climate alarmists are doing such a great job of burying the public with the myth of man-made "global warming" that she would actually rather let the issue simmer out there for a couple of election cycles hopefully to knock off members of Congress who are willing to break up the charade by pointing out that the Goebbels-like "climate change" propagandists are the proverbial emperors with no clothes. Recall that Joseph Goebbels was the Nazi propagandist whose motto was that a lie repeated often enough becomes "truth." Such is the methodology of the "global warming" potentates.

Politics over policy

"We will hold those who weakened it accountable in November," intoned Boxer. Of course! This debate (like so much of what passes for discourse in the Washington world of fakery) is aimed at emitting hot (political) air to make electoral points at the ballot-box, while building support for a con game of picking the pockets of unsuspecting Americans.

The unserious California lightweight is no stranger to this tactic. A couple of years ago, as our brave men and women were dodging bullets and fighting the war on Islamofascism, Boxer trashed Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, then used war and peace as her political playpen by sending out partisan fundraising letters referencing her sense of victimization because Rice dared to contradict her.


Some analysts believe this sneaky Kyoto Redux (as it should be called) spells t-a-x h-i-k-e to the tune of $438 billion. The Kyoto Treaty is discredited? No problem. Just call it something else.

Forget about "change," dear reader. These Mickey Mouse games will go on and on regardless of what happens in November.

© Wes Vernon

Comments feature added August 14, 2011

The views expressed by RenewAmerica columnists are their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of RenewAmerica or its affiliates.
(See RenewAmerica's publishing standards.)


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