EDITORIAL: The microwave tax

The Obama administration sends up a trial balloon

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The Energy Department is once more deciding what kind of appliances are good for you. Like the “standards” the federal government imposed on light bulbs, toilets, washing machines and other essentials, the rules are all about taking choices from consumers and requiring them to buy machines that don’t work or don’t work as well as they once did. On Monday, the Obama administration published new rules that will make microwave ovens less efficient and more expensive. It’s in the service of the global-warming scam.

This is one of the first uses of the White House’s newly expanded calculations of the “social cost” of carbon dioxide. The theory goes that carbon dioxide, which is what enables plants to thrive and create oxygen, is actually a “pollutant” that will destroy the planet through a series of global-warming catastrophes unless the government intervenes to make the universe behave. It’s actually a convenient excuse to justify the added costs imposed on manufacturers and their customers, such as the 22.7 percent hit that microwave manufacturers must absorb to get their products into compliance.

The latest microwave regulations are a test case for an agenda that includes a broader tax on carbon dioxide, which the president said he would be willing — read, eager — to impose through “executive action.” “If Congress won’t act soon to protect future generations, I will,” he said in his State of the Union address. So far, Congress has refused.

Earlier this year, Sen. Roy Blunt, Missouri Republican, offered a budget amendment to make it more difficult to enact a carbon-dioxide tax increase. The amendment received a majority of 53 votes but fell short of the 60 needed for passage. Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse, Rhode Island Democrat, went the other way and offered an amendment that would have created a carbon-dioxide tax.

His measure failed, too.

In the state of Washington, a Republican state representative, Ed Orcutt, tried to “help” the global-warming extremists. He endorsed a Democratic proposal to impose a tax on bicycles. “A cyclist has an increased heart rate and respiration,” Mr. Orcutt said. “That means that the act of riding a bike results in greater emissions of carbon dioxide from the rider. Since CO2 is deemed to be a greenhouse gas and a pollutant, bicyclists are actually polluting when they ride.” Bicyclists went ballistic. Mr. Orcutt, his point made, withdrew his remarks, satisfied that he had exposed the absurdity of the administration’s war on carbon dioxide.

The president and his friends are racing against calendar and clock. The lack of any actual warming over the past two decades and the dearth of planetary disasters have made it increasingly difficult to raise the hysteria needed to advance a carbon dioxide tax. A report last month by the Congressional Budget Office calculated that a full tax would cost $1.2 trillion, increasing the costs for everything and everyone — and especially hit the poor. “The additional costs from higher prices would consume a greater share of income for low-income households than for higher-income households, because low-income households generally spend a larger percentage of their income on emission-intensive goods,” the CBO explained.

Whether it’s the full carbon-dioxide tax or the imposition on microwave ovens, bicycles or anything else, it’s an attack on our way of life. We must reject it.

The Washington Times

© Copyright 2014 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.

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