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  • Capping, Trading, and Stealing from our Children

    Intergenerational theft. A complicated phrase that can simply be described as borrow money now, force our children and grandchildren to pay later. We’ve heard it with Social Security, Medicare and, most recently, with the massive stimulus spending bill.

    We can now add cap and trade to the list. The Heritage Foundation’s Center for Data Analysis found that the Waxman-Markey bill would increase inflation-adjusted federal debt by 26 percent.

    Over the 2012-2035 timeline, the negative economic impacts accumulate, and the national debt is no exception. This is 26 percent increase is above what it would be without the legislation and represents an additional $28,800 per person, or more than $114,915 for a family of four. To reiterate, these burdens come after adjusting for inflation and are in addition to the $450,000 per family of federal debt that will accrue over this period even without cap and trade.

    Reducing the debt burden our children will incur is a concern for many policymakers but the same policymakers are largely the problem.  Economist Michael Munger says,

    Keynes said that Y=C+I+G. Borrowing money to raise “G” (government spending) will work, I suppose. But the cost to future generations is enormous. I am amazed by the hypocrisy of both sides. John McCain calls the stimulus “intergenerational theft.” Well, he’s right, but he came late to this wisdom. The Republicans have been just pouring out new deficit spending since 2002.

    And then Obama says he doesn’t want to do tired old ideas, and failed economics. But he is doing exactly what the Republicans did: huge deficit-financed spending on largely useless or irrelevant programs designed to reward political friends. The only thing that’s different is the identity of the “friends.”

    So, some of the spending may increase measured GDP slightly for 2009. But the price is increased inflationary pressures in 2010, and the squandering of the birthright of our children for decades.”

    President Obama recently admitted our country’s debt load is unsustainable, saying, “We can’t keep on just borrowing from China. We have to pay interest on that debt, and that means we are mortgaging our children’s future with more and more debt.”

    Proponents of cap and trade and any other global warming legislation are quick to argue that Americans’ short-sightedness is superseding the preservation of the planet for future generations. (It’s the same short-sightedness that causes Americans not to worry about intergenerational theft.)

    We’re doing it for our children. In fact, the ostensible idealism behind curbing global warming is causing policymakers to ignore the exorbitantly high costs. But if we’re saving the planet for future generations, the benefits must clearly outweigh those costs, right?

    Not right. Cap and trade would reduce global temperatures by a fraction of a degree.

    Cap and trade does more than mortgaging our children’s future. It’s condemning our children to a life less prosperous than ours. This debt reduces the rate of growth in potential economic output, thus putting future generations on a lower plane of economic well being than ours. (Interestingly, it’s the oil industry that can cure our high energy price and budget deficit worries through expanded production.)

    Cap and trade will regress the United States to a lower standard of living so we can (maybe) reduce atmospheric carbon content by an almost immeasurably small amount.

    The reality is a slower pace of economic growth is the desired outcome. Capping carbon artificially pushes up the price of fossil fuels – our cheapest and most reliable source of energy. But just about everything we produce and do uses energy – some things much more than others. When faced with higher energy costs, businesses must make difficult decisions: leave the lights on or cut jobs. Typically to stay in business, they’ll choose the latter. Smaller businesses won’t be so lucky and will have to shut down.

    If we want a preview of what will happen under Waxman-Markey, take a look at today’s economy. Production and consumption are down, unemployment is up and, as a result, we’re using less energy and emitting less carbon. Waxman-Markey will only be worse, with an estimated 1.1 million jobs lost on average and $9.4 trillion in lost gross domestic product over 2012-2035.

    A cap and trade plan is doing nothing but increasing that monthly payment for our children. By a lot. In an attempt to protect our children’s future, we’re doing just the opposite – all for a temperature change they’ll never notice in the first place. And in addition to more debt, we’re leaving them with a world with lower income, higher unemployment and higher energy costs.

    In truth, the only thing we’re protecting our children from is a better life.

    Posted in Energy [slideshow_deploy]

    11 Responses to Capping, Trading, and Stealing from our Children

    1. MAS1916 - Denver, CO says:

      Cap and Trade is just another tax – and a big one. After escalating the cost of fuel by restricting development of energy supplies, the Obama administration has added more fuel to this fire… Restricting energy consumption via taxation will only drive costs higher still.

      This is one of a number of new and ridiculous tax strategies being proposed. ( for a top ten list of the more 'interesting' of these new taxes, you can visit: http://firstconservative.com/blog/political-humor… )

      The Value Added Tax or VAT is simply a tax on all commercial activity. As currently proposed, it will not replace the existing personal income tax, but will be added onto every bit of economic activity. Adding the VAT to energy matters risks collapse of the American economy.

    2. Ken from Halifax, NS says:

      Yes Cap&Trade is another tax. It’s a hidden tax. A tax on energy producers who will pay it and then have to increase energy rates to recoup it. The energy producers will be the ones who collect the tax and will receive the blame.

      What I find is the public has lost trust. They do not trust the UN IPCC regarding climate science because they say that the money will be used to help poor countries (the Dictators of which will take the money gladly). Sounds like an ulterior motive other than saving the planet. The public doesn't trust Gore anymore because, as the primary salesman, he stands to make way too much money from Cap&Trade. Sounds again like an ulterior motive. They don't trust the politicians especially because there is something fishy about the present rush to get this new tax scheme passed through Congress. If it is such a good idea why is the Climate Bill now almost 1000 pages? Why is it that no one, including the people who wrote the bill, can say accurately what it will cost? All this sneaking around trying to get a bad bill through Congress that people don’t understand makes one extremely suspicious. It feels like the wool is being pulled over our eyes again.

    3. Pingback: PA Pundits - International

    4. Jim@Redding,CA says:

      How many times do I have to say this before anyone begins to "get it"? Simply:

      carbon is the FOUNDATION OF ALL LIFE ON

      PLANET EARTH. Since when could it EVER BE

      POSSIBLE that ANYTHING THAT EMITS CARBON

      could be in ANY WAY harmful to the envir-

      onment which actually THRIVES ON CARBON

      EMISSIONS???

      Or is it just that the citizens of this country are dumber than a sack of

      rocks?

    5. Ben Franklin, Kendal says:

      Many of our citizens are dumber than a sack of rocks.

    6. Al, The Villages, Fl says:

      This administration and the dems in congress have a grand new plan that will bankrupt this nation and place everything under government control. To pay for it they need increased taxes, preferably hidden taxes. To sell that idea they use the financial meltdown crisis, Global Warming, "independence from Foreign Oil" etc. to cover for what is really tax increases. In the process, they have had to make exceptions to certain entities, to sell their program – result many pages in the bill. Solid corrupt Chicago politics with a Marxist flavor.

    7. william from sulphur says:

      lm not happy that the government is going into the car business and im sure not happy that the president chose to hold a press conferance during the "young and the restless".

    8. DANNY, MISSOURI says:

      Al, sounds like you have the inside track on information and I couldn't agree with you more. When are all the dumb boxes of rock out there going to wake up to the fact that we are being fleeced before our very eyes. And they are bold enought to not even blink while doing it. We all need to stop talking and start acting to stop this "change" that is being forced upon us.

    9. Lynn B. DeSpain says:

      One reason that Obama wants so badly to remove the Second Ammendment from our Constitution, is that he knows that our "Right to Bear Arms" is not to protect ourselves from forign invaders, but to defend ourselves from our own Federal Government. He too knows that the Constitution, its ammedments and the Bill of Rights were written and designed as Laws to control, not the People, but rather the Government from controlling the People! All he has been doing with inventing "Magic Money" and "Magic Jobs" for "Non Existent Threats to our Enviroment" is just slight of hand so that America will be no more. Just another powerless part of some World group organization, with everything going out, and nothing coming in.

      Hozro

    10. Marshall Hill MI. says:

      Time to make the LIST of all Politicians that have

      set Our Country back by their inability to create

      sound Legislation!These people will have a Legacy to answer for in 2010!

    11. Vincent Elam Middlet says:

      Its fine time to look for the replacement of the majority of our elected officals. Those who do not listen we are coming for you in 2010. Apparently they think we are stupid. They think they are Kings elected to control our daily lives. Well guess what? There will be a job for you flipping hamburgers very soon.

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