The R Word

Recession. I dare to mention the word because the energy bill that the Senate has passed and that the House is now considering will push our economy into one. Our out-of-touch Congress seems hell-bent on passing this bill, irrespective of its promised effect on consumers:

  • Gasoline prices will double, according to a study by the Heritage Foundation.
  • New car prices will be $5,000 to $7,000 higher, according to GM in Forbes.
  • Food prices will rise by between 20 and 50 per cent over the next decade from average levels over the last ten years.” And Americans currently spend only ten percent of their disposable income on food. This will have to change.
  • The recession will not only affect the U.S. but the world’s poorest. Purchasing costs for the UN’s World Food Program have risen almost 50% in the last five years and “could be forced to cut its reach unless donor countries provide extra funds.”
  • If renewable portfolio standards (RPS) pass, consumers in the twenty-eight states without renewable portfolio standards will most likely see their power bills rise by 44% to match the cost of current electricity prices in states that now have an RPS.
  • If renewable portfolio standards pass, many energy-intensive industries in the industrial heartland will leave the U.S for the cheaper energy overseas, increasing unemployment and the trade deficit.

Add the cumulative effects upon an already slowing economy and you arrive at a recession. Can it be otherwise? Evidently the Tax and Spenders have to learn the hard way that a recession can be caused from increasing regulations as easily as increasing tax burdens. In Washington, though, special interests are currently promoting their interests over the consumers’ and capturing the rapt attention of the congressmen, while the poorest and those on fixed incomes—those most hurt in recessions—are not heard from.

The federal government has an office to calculate the cost of proposed legislation, the Congressional Budget Office, notifying legislators of proposed bills’ costs to the government. It also needs an office, a Consumer Budget Office if you will, to notify them of proposals’ effects upon consumers. If there were such an office, it would be evident to all that the effects of this anti-energy bill upon consumers will be dire.