Good thing that the Democrats are the party of the working man!

You sure wouldn’t know that from all of the extra money the Democrats want to take out of the pockets of hard-working people!


Cleaner, costlier climate bill slips past House


Obama, Democrats face difficult test in upcoming Senate vote

msnbc.com staff and news service reports
updated 41 minutes ago

WASHINGTON – In a triumph for President Barack Obama, the Democratic-controlled House of Representatives narrowly passed sweeping legislation Friday that establishes the United States’ first limits on pollution linked to global warming and aims to usher in a new era of cleaner, yet more costly energy.

The vote was 219-212, capping months of negotiations and days of intense bargaining among Democrats. Republicans were overwhelmingly against the measure, arguing it would destroy jobs in the midst of a recession while burdening consumers with a new tax in the form of higher energy costs.

At the White House, Obama praised the bill.

You have to get down into the article before you come to the important part: the costs:

Supporters and opponents agreed the result would be higher energy costs but disagreed vigorously on the impact on consumers. Democrats pointed to two reports, one from the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office and the other from the Environmental Protection Agency, that suggested average increases would be limited after tax credits and rebates were taken into account. The CBO estimated the bill would cost an average household $175 a year, the EPA $80 to $110 a year.

Republicans questioned the validity of the CBO study and noted that even that analysis showed actual energy production costs increasing $770 per household. Industry groups have cited other studies that predicted much higher costs to the economy and to individuals.

Emphasis mine. Note what was said here. The CBO analysis showed actual energy production costs increasing $770 per household. The CBO then said that it would cost the average household $600 less than that after tax credits and rebates were taken into account. That means that yes, the average household would have to come up with the roughly $770 a year for increased energy costs, but they’d get tax credits and rebates to offset much of that.

Thing is, my electric bill comes once a month; tax credits and rebates will come when, once a year? The average household will have to come up with roughly $64 every month to pay their electricity and other energy bills, but, you’re not to worry, you’ll get about $600 back!

So, what does $64 a month mean? Well, if we assume that people work four weeks a month, that’s $16 a week. For someone working 40 hours a week, a 40¢ per hour net pay increase would be needed to cover the added costs. Of course, to get 40¢ per hour net, you need a bigger increase in your gross. Social Security and Medicare taxes of 7.65% mean that you’d need a 43¢ per hour raise. If you live in Pennsylvania, with a 3.07% state income tax — which our esteemed governor wants to raise to 3.57% — your raise would need to be 44.3¢ per hour. But wait, that’s not all! In most Pennsylvania localities, there is a 1% local wage tax. Better make that 44.7¢ an hour. And we haven’t said the first word about federal income taxes!

So, in these rough economic times, how many people are getting 45¢ an hour raises? And if you do get that 45¢ per hour raise, how do you feel knowing that you’re going to be giving it all back into increased energy costs?

That, of course, isn’t the end of it. As the government needlessly and mindlessly increases energy costs, the cost of everything you buy increases: producers of goods have to make up that increased energy cost, the companies which transport the goods from the producer to the retailer have increased energy costs to recoup, and the retailers have to recoup their increased energy costs.

What is $16 a week? Well, for some people, it might be dinner for the family one night. Perhaps the Democrats think that American families ought to miss supper one night a week. For others, it might be lunches at work for three days; isn’t it great that President Obama is so concerned about your weight that he wants you to miss lunch thrice a week?

A very simple, very basic economic lesson: nothing is free. You have to pay for everything. The Democrats think that this bill is a good one, that these things need to be done, but the fact is that to do what the Democrats want will cost the American people money, cost them a lot of money. For President Obama, a millionaire, $64 a month really isn’t much. For congressmen earning $174,000 a year — and the congressional leadership is paid more — perhaps coming up with $64 a month isn’t an unbearable expense. Of course, having gotten raises iof $4,700 for 2009 — something rather more than 45¢ an hour¹ — perhaps the honorable gentlemen never considered that some people don’t get quite as large a raises.

For the better part of a century, the Democrats have painted themselves as the party of the working man, and they’ve been pretty successful in selling that idea. But I’d think that a party which looks out for the working man would think twice about increasing the burdens on working people, on working-class families, I’d think that a party which looks out for the working man would understand a little bit more about how the people they supposedly protect actually live their lives and manage their finances.

Apparently if I did think that, I’d be wrong.
____________________________
¹ – For a full time employee, without overtime, 45¢ an hour translates to $936 a year.

30 Comments

  1. Remember BO PROMISED, yes PROMISED anyone making under $250K that their taxes would not go up 1 penny. I guess the lib translation is we raised your taxes a lot, but it was not just 1 penny. As the saying goes, how can you tell when a politician is lying, their lips are moving.

    And just wait for increased taxes when your health benefits are taxed. Not just a liar, but a damn liar. Promise was broken right off with the cigarette tax hike.

  2. Thanks for doing the math on this, Dana Pico. Very informative, worse than I thought, utterly depressed, but hey thanks for spelling it out for us!

  3. Here is the problem, Dana. We are guilty of avoiding the inevitable, for decades.

    The gasoline shortage of the ’70′s gave us a stark warning, which we ignored.

    It was projected some years back that we would reach a tipping point on the crude oil supply/demand curve, which we ignored.

    For at least a decade, scientific studies have revealed that the globe is warming due to carbon dioxide increasing in the atmosphere, which we ignored.

    We have been vastly outspending our revenue for decades causing a huge debt, which we ignored.

    And as individuals, we have lived ‘high on the hog’, on credit cards and uber-mortgages, which we ignored.

    This has come home to roost, requiring us to tighten our belts like never before.

    If we don’t face up to these problems, we will just perpetuate our decline.

    It seems to me that you objectors here are in the business of perpetuating our decline.

    We have no choice but to invest now in clean energy, both for the sake of increased energy independence, for the sake of our globe, and for the sake of our grandchildren. Cap and trade is just one of many fairly drastic steps that we are going to have to take.

  4. If we don’t face up to these problems, we will just perpetuate our decline.

    That’s par for the course for Republicans. Cf deregulating the financial industry, spending down the surplus (without the need to stimulate the economy), and invading the wrong country just to be seen be be doing something “manly”.

    Part of me wants the Republicans firmly back in power over your country from 2012-2020. That’ll fuck you up for good.

  5. “Part of me wants the Republicans firmly back in power over your country from 2012-2020. That’ll fuck you up for good.”

    Part of you wants the people of America fucked up for good? What a lovely sentiment for your fellow man.

  6. The Pho seems to be an angry person and may have some reason for an inner rage.

    His (or is it hers) lapse into a gratuitous bit of vulgarity may reflect a deep sense of frustration as well as envy. An enthusiasm for parasitical socialism is an aspect of the politics of envy so that may be the root cause.

  7. Perry:
    Here is the problem, Dana. We are guilty of avoiding the inevitable, for decades.

    The gasoline shortage of the ’70’s gave us a stark warning, which we ignored.

    We didn’t explore for more energy because of the watermelons. And the standard tune for 40 years is it will take ten years to develop. Thanks!

  8. Even the GlowBall Warming conspiracy theorists don’t seem to really believe their own baloney. This Crap & Trade stuff will do about as much for the “Earth” as tossing virgins down a volcano. It’s an appeal to magic. If the GW enthusiasts were really serious about capping CO2 emissions, the FIRST thing they’d be doing is lobbying to replace all oil, gas, and coal power plants with nuclear. The technology is already here, and it would cut greenhouse gas emissions by maybe a third right there. But no, they won’t do that. The environmental Luddites loathe nuclear energy. They really do seem to think we can solve our problems with windmills (never mind they chop up the birdies and the Massachusetts’ Learjet Liberals won’t allow them off the coast because they’ll interfere with their yacht races) and solar and forcing us to drive clown cars made of tinfoil. In short, it’s got nothing to do with saving the planet and everything to do with increasing liberals’ political power and implementing their social engineering schemes.

  9. We didn’t explore for more energy because of the watermelons.

    The operant term is “More energy”. That’s really what this is about. The watermelons don’t want us to have more energy, but rather less. They loathe prosperity and want us all to have a lower standard of living. Well, us proles, in any event. The Gores and Soroses of the world can still keep their mansions and Gulfstreams because, hey, when you’re a left wing prophet/mastermind, it’s the *message* that matters, not whether you actually live by the rules you want to impose on others.

  10. OK, Perry, I actually read that. And the comments, one of which said this:

    skeptical2 I’m a Fan of skeptical2 permalink
    I don’t particularly disagree with this analysis, but I sure am suspicious about the writer’s motives. After all, he is (was) a banker for 20 years for “New York firms.” I have a feeling that the investment banks that brought down this economy will make huge profits from global warming fixes.

    I mean, the author was a banker, not a scientist. It says so right at the top of the article. It would help if they posted something written by an actual scientists.

  11. Also, none of this addresses my point about nuclear power. This guy seems to be heavy into promoting switching from coal to gas, which might help a bit, but gas, like all other fossil fuels, still produces CO2 (not to mention, it too will run out, and probably a lot sooner than coal).

    Anyway, sorry if I sound skeptical, but methinks this guy is either heavily invested in the natural gas industry, or else is selling coal stocks short.

  12. Yorkshire, no use living in the past when confronted now as we are with a crude oil shortage, a dependence on foreign crude sources that threatens our national security, and a global warming phenomenon which threatens the everyone of us on this planet.

    But don’t worry, Yorkshire, you and I will be long gone when it really hits, our grandchildren! What kind of a legacy do you wish you and me to leave for them?

  13. Eric, nuclear would serve as an interim energy source that could begin to replace coal for generation of electricity. However, the supply of nuclear fuel is limited, and we still have to solve the nuclear waste disposal problem. With nuclear, I also worry about the large cooling requirement of a nuclear plant, what damage could be done to river ecology.

    Natural gas is also a better interim choice than coal, because it produces less CO2 than coal and is much cleaner (oxides of nitrogen and sulfur). Natural gas is preferable to fuel oil and as well, as less CO2 per BTU is emitted. Thus, natural gas can, along with nuclear, serve as an interim fix while wind, solar and tidal sources are expanded.

    The ultimate choices remain wind, solar, and tidal, in the longer run. And let us not forget population growth, an issue regarding energy and food supplies that you don’t hear being addressed very often. Here, well worth the read:
    http://www.salon.com/env/feature/2008/09/17/population_control/

  14. Perry:
    Yorkshire, no use living in the past when confronted now as we are with a crude oil shortage, a dependence on foreign crude sources that threatens our national security, and a global warming phenomenon which threatens the everyone of us on this planet.

    But don’t worry, Yorkshire, you and I will be long gone when it really hits, our grandchildren! What kind of a legacy do you wish you and me to leave for them?

    Global Warming – doom and gloom – predictions haven’t happened. Perry, all I have heard from the Left for the last 40 years is Chicken Little, the sky is falling. The Left accuses the Republicans as the party of No, just look at the last 40 years of the Left – No drilling, no nukes, no for anything that causes the hoax of global warming. And the biggest NO, is progress which can overcome anything. So when you look at the legacy of what the Left has done, and is still doing, it’s NO WE CAN’T. There’s the legacy being taught to the kids in school.

  15. Yes, PIATOR, the US automobile caused Kilimanjaro and the US coal industry caused Gulkana. But what we really need to do is prevent all sheep flatulence. I was in school in the 70s when we were all being taught about the imminent danger of the coming ice age and how our parents were causing it. And the global warming scare this time around (as opposed to the one of the 50s) has changed to “climate change” specifically due to the evidence running contrary to the “hot earth” scare.

    And, by the way, I can make a $40 Kroger gift card last 2 or 3 weeks. (again not back, just popping in)

  16. Kilimanjaro.

    Funny, but you don’t hear climbers on Everest claiming how much easier it is now that all the glaciers have melted.

  17. Phooey is spewing the same nonsense on our site. He still believes that weather is a constant over time and that temperatures over decades and centuries don’t ebb and flow.

  18. Funny, but you don’t hear climbers on Everest claiming how much easier it is now that all the glaciers have melted.

    Uh-huh:

    Everest climbers call for urgent action on global warming

    The youngest and fastest men to climb Everest have called on UNESCO to place Sagarmatha National Park on the World Heritage Danger List because of the rapid impacts of climate change on the region.

    Temba Tsheri Sherpa and Pemba Dorjee Sherpa warn that unless urgent action is taken, many Himalayan lakes could burst, threatening the lives of thousands and destroying an irreplaceable environment.

    And here:

    Peter Hillary said that base camp at Everest has slid from an elevation of 5,320 meters, when his father climbed Everest, to 5,280 meters and continues to sink each year. The younger Hillary, who has scaled Everest twice, also warned of the effects of glacial lakes bursting. Glacial lakes that fill up with too much water can breach their natural barriers — which themselves are frequently made of ice — unleashing a massive flood. (We recently wrote about a lake in Chile that disappeared because of the same effect.)

    In the case of Mount Everest and the surrounding area, tens of thousands of people may be at risk. Forty thousand Sherpas live at the base of the mountain. Already there are 9,000 glacial lakes in the Himalayas, 200 of which face possible glacial outburst floods. A similar flood in 1985 created a torrent of 10 million cubic meters of water. Most of a village, including a local power station, was swept away, with some people and debris ending up 55 miles away. Some lakes now exist that are 20 times the size of the one that burst in 1985. When talking to The Independent, Peter Hillary compared the effects of a glacial outburst flood to an atomic bomb.

    If current patterns keep up, most of the glaciers covering the Himalayas could melt within the next 50 years; 80 percent will be gone within 30 years. Some of these glaciers are three miles long. Mount Everest would then appear as an enormous peak of mostly exposed rock with limited areas of ice. The glacier used as Hillary and Norgay’s original base camp has moved three miles in 20 years while others have disappeared entirely. Overall, glaciers in the area receded 74 meters in 2006, up from 42 meters a year between 1961 and 2001. The effects are already pronounced: climbers are warned to be on the lookout for rockslides and avalanches caused by increased snowmelt.

    So, Eric, how’s the Dunning-Kruger effect working out for you?

  19. Peter Hillary said that base camp at Everest has slid from an elevation of 5,320 meters, when his father climbed Everest, to 5,280 meters and continues to sink each year.

    Uh, if the glaciers were melting, wouldn’t they move the base camp higher, not lower?

  20. E the Wise: “Phooey is spewing the same nonsense on our site. He still believes that weather is a constant over time and that temperatures over decades and centuries don’t ebb and flow.”

    That’s an interesting statement. Phoenician backs up most assertions with links, while you and yours on your site spout ideology. Who is more credible or “wise”, I ask you?

  21. Re: Comment # 15 by Perry;

    Well, you bring up a number of points, but one that immediate stuck out was this:

    However, the supply of nuclear fuel is limited, and we still have to solve the nuclear waste disposal problem. With nuclear, I also worry about the large cooling requirement of a nuclear plant, what damage could be done to river ecology.

    Well, that’s the rub, isn’t it? As the saying goes – There’s no free lunch. Not to mention, the environmentalists are cannibalizing their own movement. Recently, someone proposed to put up a large solar power array out in the Mojave desert. Now, I’ve been to the Mojave, and it’s both some of the most worthless land in the country AND blessed with abundant sunshine. In short, just about the perfect place to get solar energy from. But no, now people are claiming it will affect some endangered turtle or something, so the whole thing will be scrapped.

  22. Long term, the answer will probably be nuclear fusion in some form, which promises essentially unlimited power (It’s what’s kept the Sun going the past 5 billion years).

    Point is, even if Global Warming were real, there’s very little we can do about it. Even if the Earth’s population weren’t growing at all, the two largest countries in terms of population (India & China) are rapidly growing middle class economies. And people in the middle class expect middle class comforts, like cars, central heat, and air conditioning, which are the really big energy consumers in any industrial economy. In short, the use of energy is going to explode in this current century, and no amount of cap & trade schemes or preaching from Al Gore is going to change that in the least.

  23. Point is, even if Global Warming were real, there’s very little we can do about it.

    Everybody dies. That’s not a very good reason for playing Russian Roulette.

  24. According to your link, Dana, there is only one breeder reactor in operation, in Russia, due to be shut down next year. There have been a few other attempts, all failures.

    Moreover, the breeder reactor remains experimental and has a lot of problems:
    “However, there are some major problems with the breeder reactor. To begin with, plutonium-239 is extremely toxic. If an individual inhales a small amount, he or she will contract lung cancer. Also, the half-life of the material is extremely long, about 24,000 years. This could create an almost impossible disposal problem if large amounts of this material are generated.

    Also, because of the nature of the reactor core, water can’t be used as a coolant. Instead, liquid sodium must be used. In the event of an accident a catastrophe could develop because sodium reacts violently with water and air.

    Although the breeder reactor could solve the uranium fuel problem, there are still a number of other problems that will have to be worked out.”
    http://www.3rd1000.com/nuclear/nuke101g.htm

    The waste disposal problem is worse due to highly toxic and long lived plutonium-239, which would be made in excess by a breeder reactor.

    The breeder nuclear reactor is not a viable alternative, and probably will not be for many, many years.

  25. Everybody dies. That’s not a very good reason for playing Russian Roulette.

    So, you’re gonna tell the 1.3 billion people in China and 1 billion in India to do without cars and air conditioning?? Good luck with that!

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