President Obama would like you to believe he is a crusader for the middle class. He wants you to look at his proposed tax increases on big banks, investment houses and Wall Street and see a president trying to take down Goliath in the name of the little guy. Don’t be fooled. Obama’s get-tough-on-big-business act is little more than a magician’s diversion for his real sleight of hand: showering Wall Street with trillions.
The Obama administration is gunning to pass the Waxman-Markey bill – otherwise known as “cap-and-trade” – more accurately known as “cap-and-tax.” The bill would set artificial limits on how much carbon dioxide businesses are allowed to emit – supposedly all in the quest to fight global warming. But that’s not the half of it.
Waxman-Markey would give birth to an enormous, Wall Street insider carbon-trading market, where CO2 (yes, the same CO2 we exhale when we breathe) would be traded like any other stock or commodity on Wall Street. This is because companies that reach their limit for CO2 emissions under Waxman-Markey would be permitted to purchase carbon credits on a market exchange, which would then allow them to emit more CO2. If you think this sounds like the biggest scam since selling tap water in a bottle, you’re right.
In fact, there is already a $100 billion carbon market today. The market is largely the handiwork of green congressmen, who have convinced some companies to begin voluntarily capping their emissions and buying and selling carbon credits so that they’ll be ahead of the game when something like Waxman-Markey becomes law.
But many financial experts agree that should cap-and-trade become reality, this $100 billion market could grow to $3 trillion over the next 10 years. And who do you think would cash in on this boom? That’s right. Wall Street and big banks, which gave Obama $18 million over the course of his 2008 presidential campaign.
Behemoths like the New York Stock Exchange, Goldman Sachs (which gave Obama nearly $1 million), and J.P. Morgan Chase (which gave Obama nearly $700,000) have long been in the process of developing the infrastructure necessary for trading CO2 on a massive scale. They just need their green friends in Congress to pass legislation that turns the stuff that makes our soda fizzy into solid gold. And they need help from the Obama administration to get it passed, which shouldn’t be too hard to come by considering Obama has stocked his Cabinet full of Wall Street insiders and big-bank lobbyists – many of whom made millions of dollars just prior to joining team Obama.
While Obama’s advisers help their Wall Street buddies strike it richer, lower- and middle-class Americans will get hit hard. Waxman-Markey’s mandated carbon caps and energy restrictions mean nearly 1 million additional job losses per year. In addition, we’ll all have to pay roughly 90 percent more for our electricity, nearly 75 percent more for our gasoline and 55 percent more for our natural gas. In all, the average family’s energy bill would sky-rocket by $1,500.
So don’t be fooled by all of the president’s tough talk on Wall Street and big banks. The tax increases Obama is floating are drops in the bucket compared to the windfall that Waxman-Markey would dump on them.
Brad O’Leary is publisher of The O’Leary Report, a best-selling author and a former NBC Westwood One talk-radio host. To see more, go to www.OLearyReport.com.