Question: How to pay for health reform?

Pale Green by Jim Boughton

Question: How to pay for health reform?
Answer: Cap and Trade

Healthcare reform is on everyone’s mind these days and has distracted our attention from other equally important issues being considered by our federal government. Already approved by the House of Representatives as H.R. 2454, Cap and Trade will become law, if passed by the Senate in coming months.

According to the Congressional Budget Office (CBO), the American Clean Energy and Security Act of 2009 will cap CO2 production in 2012 to previously produced levels in 2005, with a further reduction of 17 % by 2030 and 83 % by 2050. Although a vast array of companies will be regulated by this legislation, the bill’s real focus is on large industrial energy users and electrical power generators.

Beginning in 2012, all electricity generators will be federally regulated. Any facility that produces or uses imported petroleum, coal-based liquid petroleum coke or natural gas will be required to report their consumption of greenhouse gas (CO2) emissions and pay for any use beyond their federally dictated allotment. The CBO estimates that the Cap and Trade tax on the citizens of the United States through higher energy cost will increase federal revenue by $846 billion by 2019; not enough to pay for healthcare reform but a good portion. In addition, direct federal spending will increase by $821 billion over the same time period. The net result of all this political maneuvering is another huge portion of our economy will be under the thumb of bureaucrats in D.C.

One of the more distressing results of Cap and Trade legislation is that the federal government will take all the credit for the great strides in energy conservation research and development that has been developed by private initiative of the past twenty years.
One such initiative is the United States Green Building Council. Organized in the early 1990s, USGBC has developed important criterion for reducing energy use through thoughtful building design and operations which has become the standard for the construction industry. It is estimated that residential and commercial buildings consume about 40% of our total electricity consumed in this country.

And what will our planet gain from this federal power grab? Very little. We all know by now that the major industrial countries of the future such as China, India and the Asian basin have no intention to participate in any environmental program that negatively affects their financial or social livelihood. The result of the legislation here at home will be the continued loss of our nation’s industrial base as higher fuel costs push even more jobs to foreign countries. Any environmental damage produced by the industries that provide these jobs is simply shifted to the foreign markets along with the jobs we so desperately need.

So what is Cap and Trade really about? Stealing your personal rights that the constitution was created to protect. Sounds like health reform, doesn’t it.

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