This week, the Wonk Room and ThinkProgress have noted that many congressional Republicans (at least 19) have been repeating a false claim that a cap-and-trade proposal currently before Congress is a “light switch tax” which would cost American families over $3,000 extra per year. They base their claim on a 2007 MIT study that actually says any tax burden would be about one-fortieth of what the Republicans claim. Yesterday, Republicans for Environmental Protection disparaged their colleagues, saying that “conservatives, of all people, should not ignore basic principles of economics”:
Such tactics, which are designed to score political points and gain headlines, are a disservice to American citizens, who urgently need Congress to debate the climate issue constructively. Voters are counting on their elected representatives to work together across party lines to develop balanced legislation to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, lower Americas dangerous dependence on oil, and help us move more quickly to a more diversified, robust energy economy. [...]
Few except special interests and politicians who do their bidding would argue that limiting emissions that put human health and the environment at risk puts a burdensome “tax” on American families and businesses.
Yet congressional Republicans don’t seem to care. Today, House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-OH) issued a “Leader Alert” saying they won’t be backing down from their false claim.