U.S. Reps. Mike Michaud and Chellie Pingree voted for the 1,390-page cap-and-trade bill. They could not possibly have read it all. People will be hearing from them about the benefits, but don’t expect much information about the cost.
Let me help.
President Obama’s budget office expects $650 billion in revenues from selling carbon permits, of which $150 billion goes to create alternative energy sources. The rest is slated for tax cuts to people who don’t pay taxes. In short, it is primarily a taxation program designed to redistribute income.
The game is to raise taxes on energy producers, who will have to pass the $500 billion cost along to customers, including those same people who will receive government checks. Result: A tax increase that will not be seen as a tax increase.
Customers will blame the greedy corporations that raise prices. Recipients of the government checks will praise the generosity of the administration that hands them money, while damning the businesses that are compelled to raise prices to pay for the check.
Jason Levesque, who is running against Michaud next year, condemns that vote as “a slap in the face to Mainers,” since the bill will raise taxpayers’ already excessive energy costs.
Levesque is being a little unkind. I don’t believe Michaud had any idea what he voted for.
Doubt me? He’ll be coming around next year with a winsome smile and warm handshake. Try asking him a few questions.
John Frary, Farmington

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