Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Democratic Money Burn: Hamilton County Cap & Tax

The two Democrats who run the County Commission are at it again. They are wasting your money.

In a move firmly opposed by Greg Hartmann, these two Commissioners have decided to grow the county bureaucracy and proactively support “Cap and Trade” with federal stimulus dollars locally. Hamilton County received $4.7 million in "energy efficiency" stimulus dollars.

The two Democrats voted to spend this money to create more bureaucracy and to grow the size of government by creating a new countywide position in the form of an “Energy Czar.” This newly created position is expected to make around $100,000.00 per year. At a time where county government is being slashed and countless county employees have been laid off, the Democrats have found it within their means to make this new hire into county government. It is irresponsible. But not surprising. 

It seems the Commissioners both got a little riled up at Commissioner Hartmann for calling it a “mini-Cap and Trade” proposal. Why are these two politicians so afraid of the assertion that these funds are associated with Cap and Trade? Because Cap and Trade could not be more unpopular in Ohio and across the nation and they both know it. These two Democrats are avoiding the truth.

The money the two Democrats authorized to be spent creates a vehicle for Hamilton County government to legitimize, participate in and allow profit to be realized from federal Cap and Trade policies. Commissioners Pepper and Portune are utilizing public funds to tell Hamilton County businesses to both manage emissions AND agree to participate in carbon trading. Sounds like a "mini" version of Cap and Trade to me!

Carbon credit trading is the foundation that Cap and Trade is built upon and the carbon credit trading that Commissioner Pepper and Commissioner Portune supported on Monday would be utilized by businesses being burdened by Cap and Trade. These carbon credit dollars would become part of a proliferating regulatory burden on business in America. Commissioner Hartmann rejected that. Democrat Commissioners Pepper and Portune supported it. 

In the context of the debate on Cap and Trade, it is important to note that economists don’t believe that carbon trading helps to reduce pollution in the long run, since businesses that don't pollute simply sell their energy conservation to the HIGHEST BIDDER. Cap and Trade, or what Republican leaders in Congress call “Cap & Tax”:

1. is expansive government regulation
2. doesn’t effectively reduce carbon emissions
3. costs businesses more money to comply with more regulation
4. kills jobs.

It's as simple as that.

We should be pleased that Commissioner Hartmann stood up against expanded government and bureaucratic regulation that will hurt businesses in Hamilton County. The two Democrats are playing political games by denying the fact that these funds legitimize the federal Cap and Trade proposal. They know how politically charged (and unpopular) that program is. Of course, its no surprise that Mr. Pepper was particularly sensitive about Greg Hartmann’s assertion on Cap and Trade. He’s running for statewide office and is scared of being painted as a big government liberal. It is tough to hide from the truth.