The current recession is causing Americans to take a second look at their household budget. Well, if Congress enacts cap and trade legislation, recently proposed by Chairman Henry Waxman (D-CA) of the Energy and Commerce Committee and Chairman Edward Markey (D-MA) of the Energy and Environment Subcommittee, families will have to take an even harder look at their budget and be forced to make additional cuts.

As recently acknowledged by a top White House official, a global warming tax could generate as much as $1.9 trillion in tax revenue over eight years, which amounts to a nearly $2,000 tax every year for every American household.* For comparison, the chart below indicates how much typical household expenditures cost families.


Even if you’re fortunate enough to handle an additional $2,000 per year tax, think of all the low income families that must seriously consider eliminating one of these payments from their budgets. Sure, there’s discussion of rebate checks from “climate revenue” generation, but will they offset the costs of higher energy prices? Unlikely.

* The Heritage Foundation’s Center for Data Analysis (CDA) calculations confirmed this. CDA took the CO2 allowance limits from the Lieberman-Warner cap and trade bill, which was more lax than the Waxman-Markey bill. CDA then multiplied the CO2 allowance for each year times our estimates for the allowance price for each year. The summation of these products for 8 years (2012-2019), divided by eight to get the average per year and divided that by the number of households (about 110-120 million households) gave us an average per household tax per year of nearly $2,000.