- The Washington Times - Thursday, August 27, 2009

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

President Obama’s fiscal 2010 budget blueprint, “A New Era of Responsibility: Renewing America’s Promise,” identifies energy as a top priority in his 10-year spending plan (“Cap and degrade,” Opinion, Friday). This new energy policy curiously includes the Making Work Pay Credit. As defined by the 1974 Congressional Budget and Impoundment Control Act, it is a tax expenditure and must be considered as a revenue loss. The budget identifies Making Work Pay as an integral part of the economic recovery package in 2009 and 2010. It is a tax credit equal to the 6.2 percent of earned income showing up in many paychecks today. Continuing the credit would reduce revenues by $537 billion over 10 years.

It also states that an extension of this credit beyond two years is contingent on the enactment of climate-change legislation. That would raise more than $646 billion by implementing a cap-and-trade system, ostensibly to pay for the reduction of the emissions blamed for global warming.

Driven by cost issues, the House of Representatives significantly altered the president’s climate-change legislation. Only then did it pass by the narrowest margin. Yet it still represents massive new revenue from new taxes and increased consumer costs. Just as troubling will be the equally massive expansion of government to spend it — all of this on an international scale, where other economies will benefit at the expense of ours.

The Senate must exercise due diligence and vote no on a tax scheme and power grab clearly more about politics than the environment.

MILAN J. MICHALEC

Boerne, Texas

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