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The centerpiece of Mr. Clinton's first budget was a tax on energy use, as measured in British thermal units, or BTUs. At that time, McGraw-Hill 's MHP -0.87%  Data Resources Incorporated estimated that the so-called BTU tax would raise more than $30 billion in federal revenue annually ($50 billion in today's dollars). That translated into $500 in additional taxes per family, or $800 today. No segment of the economy would have been exempt from the tax, which the Competitive Enterprise Institute estimated would cost 700,000 American jobs over three years.