THE OPPOSITE OF PROGRESS
July 24, 2008
Congress is unpopular because it is often intent upon doing things that will make life in America much worse, says Pete du Pont, a former governor of Delaware and current policy chairman for the National Center for Policy Analysis.
The most important example is Congress' continued blockage of access to America's energy resources, says du Pont:
- No new nuclear power plants have been permitted in decades, and no new oil refineries.
- No additional drilling off the coast of Alaska, California, Florida or parts of the Gulf of Mexico where there are huge amounts of useable energy.
- No support for building liquefied natural gas facilities.
There are many other examples of Congress acting in ways that will only worsen American lives:
- Congress is considering another proposed "windfall profits tax" on oil companies; back in 1980, Jimmy Carter's windfall profits tax reduced domestic oil production between 3 percent and 6 percent and increased oil imports by about 10 percent.
- The Boxer-Lieberman-Warner climate bill, which fortunately failed in the Senate last month, contained a huge expansion of regulation, permitting and taxation that would have cost America 600,000 jobs a year, raised electricity prices by 44 percent and brought about economic losses that the Environmental Protection Agency estimated at $1 trillion to $2.8 trillion a year by 2050.
- Congress also has refused to seriously limit its earmarks, which allow members to add some 10,000 or more projects -- more than $20 billion -- each year to the budget to get money to their constituents.
- Finally, Congress intends to raise income taxes by allowing expiration of the Bush reductions on income, capital gains and dividend tax rates.
None of these policies will improve life in America, for the congressional priority is increasing the size, scope, reach and spending of the federal government, says du Pont.
Source: Pete Du Pont, "The Opposite of Progress," Wall Street Journal, July 23, 2008.
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