John Feehery: Speaking Engagements


Obama to Middle Class: Pay More for Energy

Posted on March 4, 2009

Pay More for Energy


            Peter Orszag, the geeky (I mean that in a good way) and straightforward Director of the Office of Management and Budget, laid it on the line for the American people at a Ways and Means Committee hearing last year.


He said, “Decreasing emissions would … impose costs on the economy – much of those costs will be passed along to consumers in the form of higher prices for energy and energy intensive goods.”


            He said that a 15% percent cut in carbon emissions would cost the average household about $1300 a year through higher taxes aimed at the energy utilities.  He also admitted that while those tax increases are aimed at the big nasty utilities, it will hit little, innocent working families the hardest. 


            Orszag said this when he was the Director of the Congressional Budget Office.  Now, he is director of OMB, and the new budget put out by the new Administration has bigger plans in mind.


            They want to cut carbon emissions by 83%.  It stands to reason that if you cut emissions by three times the amount, that costs will increase by three time the amount. 


            So, the average family will not pay $1300 a year.  They will pay close to $4000 a year, or $333 a month. 


            The White House understands that these costs will be passed on to consumers, so they have designed a subsidy to low-income Americans to help them pay for these increased costs.  But their subsidy will be only $500 dollars a year, leaving these families to deal with an extra $2500 a year by themselves.


            Now if you can afford to pay your utility bills and you can afford to pay an extra $333 a month, you won’t get a subsidy.  Nope, you just get screwed.    


            On issue after issue, the Obama Administration is sticking it to the people who play by the rules, pay their utility bills, pay their mortgages, pay their taxes, and try to take care of their families.  This is not the kind of change that they believe in.