Stop the biggest moneymaker since the income tax!


Our current focus is on President Obama’s push for health care reform and the tax increases small business owners and others will likely be paying for it. Unfortunately, our attention is also conveniently being drawn away from another tax increase that could be the largest since the income tax. It’s the “American Clean Energy and Security Act of 2009” (H.R. 2454), also known as the Waxman-Markey climate change bill or the ominous “cap and trade” bill.

Simply, this “cap and trade” bill is supposed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and global warming by forcing energy companies to buy pollution permits before releasing carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. The President and the Congressional Democrats love “cap and trade” because they can claim to be taxing "polluters," not American families. But who do they think they’re kidding? Once a mandate comes down forcing businesses to buy credits to release carbon dioxide, the costs will inevitably be passed on to all consumers in the form of higher prices.

“Under my plan of a cap and trade system, electricity rates would necessarily skyrocket,” Obama admitted during his presidential campaign. He knows it will produce vast new revenues while ignoring the fact that it will hit most of the nation’s working families . . . you know, the ones on which he pledged not to raise taxes. Oh, you didn’t read the fine print? -- no-new-taxes "unless you use energy!"

Not only is “cap and trade” an economy-wide tax under the cover of saving the environment, it’s incredibly inequitable geographically, negatively impacting the parts of the U.S. that rely most on fossil fuels -- particularly coal, which generates most power in the Midwest, Southern and Plains states. Actually, coal provides more than half of the electricity in this country. Some 25 states get more than 50 percent of their electricity from conventional coal-fired generation.

According to the Energy Information Administration, West Virginia gets 98 percent, Wyoming 95 percent, Indiana 94 percent, Ohio 86 percent, Missouri 85 percent, New Mexico, 80 percent and Pennsylvania, 56 percent. Talk about soaking some ratepayers!

It’s ironic that just yesterday, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton told India to get on board by reducing their carbon emissions. And, the foreign minister of India promptly responded with a “forget it!” I think that’s equally good advice for Congress these days, too. Even with a healthy Democratic majority in the U.S. House, this bad bill barely passed recently by a narrow 219 to 212. Yes, many Democrats split with Obama, seeing this bill for the economic disaster it is.

So, the "cap and trade" battle is now in the Senate where seeing it die should be our goal. Why? It’s not directly related to boating. But, as businessmen, we need to move to “enough is enough!” If we hope to see an economic recovery begin in the near term and be sustained in the long term, it’s become imperative that we start making our voices heard as never before by contacting senators and telling them that increasing taxes, coupled with enormously increased debt, will be tantamount to tying an anchor around this nation’s neck and throwing economic recovery into the sea. It must stop now and dumping “cap and trade” would be a good start!

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