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  • Earth Day Update: Cap and Trade's $3,900 per Family per Year Price Tag

    The Weekly Standard has done yeoman’s work exposing the insane logic of an MIT professor, the St. Petersburg Times, and the Center for American Progress.

    The controversy centers around a study by MIT professor John Reilly that shows a carbon cap and trade would cost the average American household $3,9000 a year. $800 of that figure comes from, according to Reilly, “the cost to the economy [that] involves all those actions people have to take to reduce their use of fossil fuels or find ways to use them without releasing [Green House Gases].” No one disputes that $800 a year cost. It’s the other $3,100 that Reilly, the St.Pete Times, and CAP want to disappear.

    Reilly admits that cap and trade policies would cause energy prices for the average American family to rise by $3,128 a year. Reilly also admits that “Those costs do get passed to consumers and income earners in one way or another.”

    But here is where Reilly gets creative. Reilly believes that since those extra energy taxes will be collected and then spent by the government in some way, they should not count as costs to the American family. He told the Weekly Standard:

    It is not really a matter of returning it or not, no matter what happens this revenue gets recycled into the economy some way. In that regard, whether the money is specifically returned to households with a check that says “your share of GHG auction revenue”, used to cut someone’s taxes, used to pay for some government services that provide benefit to the public, or simply used to offset the deficit (therefore meaning lower Government debt and lower taxes sometime in the future when that debt comes due) is largely irrelevant in the calculation of the “average” household.

    Got that? Anytime the government takes your money, whether it be in the form of an income tax, or payroll tax, or capital gains tax, according to Reilly and CAP, this actually does not cost American taxpayers anything because eventually the government will spend your money on something anyway.

    Without this assumption, Reilly admitted to the Standard, “the cost would then be the Republican estimate [$3,128] plus the cost I estimate [$800].

    Posted in Energy [slideshow_deploy]

    29 Responses to Earth Day Update: Cap and Trade's $3,900 per Family per Year Price Tag

    1. Spiritof76, New Hamp says:

      This guy Reilly is from MIT with a screwed up logic like that?

      So, why don't we tax 100% since they really get recycled into the economy anyways? Soviet Union did that. No personal property, no market, no incentive but 100% dependence on the government. People stood in line for toilet paper all day in that worker's paradise.

      Carbon cap and trade is scam. Man-made global warming is a scam. The US is not a government totalitarian country for a good reason- for the betterment of people's lives.

      I say we prosecute all the leaders of the man-made global warming and cap and trade for causing national harm and insecurity.

    2. Barb -mn says:

      We'd like the president to specify the responsibilities of American citizens?

      We'd like the president to specify what accountabilities mean. And if and how the meaning pertains to us.

      We'd like the president to specify how ALL children are being provided for if that is government responsibility or ours? We'd like the president to specify if as parents we are suppose to invest in our own children or should we just ship them into the arms of government?

      We'd like the president to specify how the housing market is working today? How his bail-outs are working. Or if anything he has put his hands on is working? Why he overstaffs government.

      We would also like him to specify our role as free people in a free nation (using the word FREE). And we'd like him to specify the percentage of immigrants that are living in America, free from government>…we'd like the president to step down!

    3. David Venner, Soquel, Kalifornia says:





      David Venner, a worried Soquel California resident

    4. Betsy, Pittsburgh, P says:

      Nobody is addressing the millions of jobs that will be lost with this plan. Clean coal is the answer.

    5. Sandy, Indiana says:

      While I do believe that Cap & Trade will cost the "average" American family nearly $4000 in additional energy costs, I feel most confident that the actual costs to the taxpaying American will be much higher. Those members of the Obama constituency will not see an increased cost for their energy consumption, nor will they spend an additional cent of their own money. They will, predictably, lobby the liberal administration to create new agencies to dispense more aid to those individuals who have and will continue to burden the American taxpayer.

      Those who depend upon food stamps will receive additional funding to meet the increased cost of food. Those who receive benefits from utilities will receive additional benefits. I suppose that next they will receive American-made cars in order to provide that the circle of reliance upon big government finally closes around the next of the American taxpayer.

    6. Lynn B. DeSpain says:

      Check the "Web" under, "Not a Fossil Fuel". It is going to be very intersting when all of this hits the Courts! How can we be taxed on something that does not exist?

      How can we be taxed on a 'Condition' that does not exist?When one of the Presidents in Mexico decided to 'Tax' windows, the people just bricked up their windows!

      Next will be the "Sugar Tax", because the kids are fat and diabetes is running high!


    7. Richard, Spring, TX says:

      I thought MIT had higher standards. I guess not, politics out weights integrity.

    8. Jean, Ohio says:

      You can count on the higher costs being the norm even though some people say it will ONLY cost the average family $800 per year. Monies 'returned' to the public? Only in government services as someone already stated. The government does not know how to handle money – they only know how to spend it.

      Oops, they did just cut $100 million didn't they? They decided there were other areas they could use that 'savings' – they cut nothing!

    9. Wit, Newport News VA says:

      The "Sugar Tax" is about to become reality in VA. To save us from obesity caused by drinking too many calorie-rich soft drinks (according to the government), VA lawmakers are considering legislation that would tax all drinks containing sugar. New York has already passed such a tax, and I'm guessing other states have as well. I am sick to death of government legislating choices for us. Now the federal government is trying to legislate all of us toward "green" by imposing cap and trade. Enough! Let's vote EVERY member of Congress who votes for this fiasco of a bill out. As a new bumper sticker proclaims, "Raise My Taxes, Lose My Vote" and cap and trade is nothing but a huge tax, a huge mistake based on faulty science.

    10. Lynn Carroll North C says:

      I remember from my freshman college days when I took Econ 101…the government does not create wealth, it can only spend. When it spends, it's merely taking money from one pocket and putting it into another pocket. However, when the government meddles in the free market with things like "cap and trade", they are creating nothing but chaos based on assumptions that are not even close to proven technology. It is government at its worse because government is affecting our lives in a hugely negative way. Creating new bureacracies in DC always creates a hideous "blob" that grows and grows and never goes away.

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    12. Jason Gault, Ortonvi says:

      Impeach the Government…hey, what's that sound at my door..whoops, I gotta go, the Department Homeland Insecurity is here…that was quick.

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    14. Barb -mn says:

      The "sugar tax" would be discrimination against hypoglycemics.

    15. Pingback: Wonk Room » Weekly Standard Compounds $3100 GOP Lie With A $3900 Lie

    16. Marshall Hill MI. says:

      THe best Minds of MIT!

    17. Dallas says:

      I am single, male and sole money maker. Hit me for 4,000 dollars a year and I will not be able to make it. I have no fancy cars and all the bills of a family of four. I am afraid for everyone of modest means unless something is done very quickly. Why should I live in a dark house, I can't afford lights for. What the hell happened to my country? My grandfathers fought and bled for this country and the world while my fathers generation stole it from us or allowed to be taken away from them and thier children. America is awake now, the American dream has been stolen and all that is left is a nightmare for us honest people. Maybe swine flu is not a bad alternative to being a slave/sharecropper. Often sharecroppers did not have enough to make it. Thier share, a small share, for all the work they did as slaves. I refuse to work and keep losing ground like this. Now that my property is worth nothing. I am going to be bankrupted by my own government. No body cares anymore about the little guy.

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    22. Roger, Dallas says:

      Where does the MIT report quote $3900?

      Is that number merely inferred by the Weekly Standard?

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    29. Ken Wisham says:

      This type of lying by omission is why there is so much resentment and distrust of government. The government surrogates cannot find it in their heart to tell the truth. They lie to keep their cheating, lying and crooked boss' in control. Need I say more.

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