Jason, It's Not a Tax | Letters | Salt Lake City | Salt Lake City Weekly

Jason, It's Not a Tax 

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Rep. Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah, sent out a letter recently warning us of an impending “cap-and-trade tax” to be implemented by the Obama administration.

He repeated the word “tax” 12 times in this letter referring to “cap and trade” policies, an “energy-consumption tax,” “new taxes” and a “massive new tax increase.”

This all sounds scary, especially in our conservative district. However, I’d like to point out that there is no such thing as a “cap-and-trade tax” or “energy consumption tax.” In fact, the word tax is nowhere to be found in any of the president’s statements or proposals regarding his energy policies.

What Chaffetz is referring to—and deceptively calling a “tax”—is a theoretical increase in energy costs if the president’s proposal for cap and trade (aka emissions trading) is implemented in an effort to curb carbon emissions believed to contribute to climate change. Chaffetz cites a number of statistics and cost projections (prepared by staffers of Republicans on the House Ways & Means Committee—go figure) as evidence that “taxes” (energy costs) would skyrocket under cap and trade.

Now, I’m not defending cap and trade, but the Republicans in the House have already been called to task for exaggerating these numbers. And, as if that weren’t bad enough.

For Chaffetz to blatantly lie to his own constituents by calling a theoretical rise in energy costs a “tax” is just plain insulting.

Joseph L. Puente

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