Last night, MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow and Eugene Robinson discussed the “really crazy” lie that GOP leaders like Rep. John Boehner (R-OH) and Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY) have been spreading that an MIT study says cap-and-trade legislation is a $3100 tax. “‘It’s just wrong. It’s wrong in so many ways, it’s hard to begin,'” Maddow quoted MIT economist John Reilly. “That is MIT-economist-speak for, ‘Liar, liar, pants on fire.'” After she noted that Rep. Michelle Bachmann (R-MN) repeated the lie in a Minnesota Star Tribune editorial, the Washington Post’s Eugene Robinson weighed in:
That’s just making stuff up. That $3,128 figure does not appear in the report. It’s not there. It is arrived at by taking an irrelevant number and dividing it by another irrelevant number and coming up with a number that means nothing. The actual calculation would be more like $340, although that wouldn’t show up on your electric bill, it would include all sorts of other costs that you wouldn’t necessarily see as energy costs, but they would be in there. But that’s a factor almost of ten. They just made it up. It’s really crazy.
In reality, the MIT report actually finds that clean energy policy that includes a fair cap-and-trade system would save us from our pollution-fueled path of job destruction, plummeting wages, skyrocketing energy prices, and catastrophic climate disasters.
One might surmise that’s why Republicans have to lie about the numbers.