There is no shortage of threats to our economy. America’s unemployment rate recently hit its highest mark in more than 25 years and is expected to continue climbing. Worries are widespread that even when the economy finally rebounds, the recovery won’t bring jobs. Our nation’s debt is unsustainable, and the federal government’s reach into the private sector is unprecedented.
Unfortunately, many in the national media would rather focus on the personality-driven political gossip of the day than on the gravity of these challenges. So, at risk of disappointing the chattering class, let me make clear what is foremost on my mind and where my focus will be:
I am deeply concerned about President Obama’s cap-and-trade energy plan, and I believe it is an enormous threat to our economy. It would undermine our recovery over the short term and would inflict permanent damage.
American prosperity has always been driven by the steady supply of abundant, affordable energy. Particularly in Alaska, we understand the inherent link between energy and prosperity, energy and opportunity, and energy and security. Consequently, many of us in this huge, energy-rich state recognize that the president’s cap-and-trade energy tax would adversely affect every aspect of the U.S. economy.
There is no denying that as the world becomes more industrialized, we need to reform our energy policy and become less dependent on foreign energy sources. But the answer doesn’t lie in making energy scarcer and more expensive! Those who understand the issue know we can meet our energy needs and environmental challenges without destroying America’s economy.
Job losses are so certain under this new cap-and-tax plan that it includes a provision accommodating newly unemployed workers from the resulting dried-up energy sector, to the tune of $4.2 billion over eight years. So much for creating jobs.
In addition to immediately increasing unemployment in the energy sector, even more American jobs will be threatened by the rising cost of doing business under the cap-and-tax plan. For example, the cost of farming will certainly increase, driving down farm incomes while driving up grocery prices. The costs of manufacturing, warehousing and transportation will also increase.
The ironic beauty in this plan? Soon, even the most ardent liberal will understand supply-side economics.
The Americans hit hardest will be those already struggling to make ends meet. As the president eloquently puts it, their electricity bills will “necessarily skyrocket.” So much for not raising taxes on anyone making less than $250,000 a year.
Make sure to read the whole thing.
Via Ed, who adds:
We need to make all of this clear. Cap-and-trade rations energy production, which means there will be less of it for a long time. Alternatives are not ready for the kind of mass production that would allow a complete replacement of energy, and probably won’t be for decades, if ever in some cases (notably wind power, as GreenChoice showed and as T. Boone Pickens finally realized). That means a lower standard of living that will impact America regressively, with the lowest income earners getting hit the hardest. The drain on the economy from high energy prices means less jobs and higher retail prices for goods and services, again a regressive consequence of energy rationing.
Obama and his Utopian allies promise that government will help close the gap by offering more services to the unemployed and the poor at the expense of the “rich”. What will that do? It will further handicap the economy by keeping capital out of the markets. Even worse, it will vastly expand the dependent class in America who have to go on the dole to survive. And many of those ardent liberals will be pretty happy with that outcome, too.
You betcha they will be.