US Dept of Treasury Admits Cap and Trade is a Significant Tax

When the Heritage Foundation did its analysis of the Waxman-Markey Cap and Trade legislation, it broadly compared the economy with and without the carbon tax. Under this scenario, it found Waxman-Markey would cost the economy $161 billion in 2020, which is $1,870 for a family of four. As the bill’s restrictions kick in, that number rises to $6,800 for a family of four by 2035.

At the time proponents of Cap and Trade legislation dismissed the analysis done by Heritage pointing instead to estimates from MIT’s John Reilly, who put the cost at $800 a year per family. 

Now, a previously unreleased analysis prepared by the U.S. Department of Treasury says the total in new taxes would be between $100 billion to $200 billion a year. At the upper end of the administration’s estimate, the cost per American household would be an extra $1,761 a year. 

The documents (PDF) was obtained through the Freedom of Information Act Christopher Horner at the Competitive Enterprise Institute.    Horner says,

These are candid, internal discussions of what they are telling each other and what they won’t tell you. The words cap and trade were chosen for a reason, and that is to avoid a vote on tax. This memo tells you it’s a tax. Why else are they discussing hundreds of billions of revenue to be taken from the taxpayer?”

The energy tax amounts $1,761 a year for families – “the equivalent of hiking personal income taxes by about 15 percent
as stated by Declan McCullagh of CBSNews. Horner writes that the Treasury memo offers much more, including:

the admission that cap-and-trade would cause the loss of steel, paper, aluminum, chemical, and cement manufacturing jobs which, as happened under Europe’s scheme, tend to export themselves to saner environments. Windfall profits under the scheme of allocating the ration coupons, the Waxman-Markey approach, are also admitted to.”

These disclosures will probably not aid the political prospects of the Democrats’ cap and trade bill. The House of Representatives approved it by a remarkably narrow margin in June — the bill would have failed if only six House members had switched their votes to “no” — and it faces significant opposition in the Senate.

The admissions are akin to Heritage Foundation’s economic analysis of the Waxman-Markey cap and trade bill where they found:

As noted over at
CBSNews Blogs, the The Freedom of Information Act, of course, contains no this-might-embarrass-the-president exemption (nor, for that matter, should federal agencies be in the business of possibly suppressing dissenting climate change voices).

• Higher energy and other costs for a household of four averaging nearly $3,000 per year between 2012 and 2035.
• Cumulative gross domestic product (GDP) losses are $9.4 trillion for the same time period;
• Single-year GDP losses reach $400 billion by 2025 and will ultimately exceed $700 billion;
• Net job losses approach 1.9 million in 2012 and could approach 2.5 million by 2035. Manufacturing loses 1.4 million jobs in 2035;
• A typical family of four will pay, on average, an additional $829 each year for energy-based utility costs; and
• Gasoline prices will rise by 58 percent ($1.38 more per gallon) and average household electric rates will increase by 90 percent.


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