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Democrats will apparently move forward with their enormous tax-and-spend bill known as Waxman-Markey this week and it’s all concealed in a cloak of green political correctness. The real purpose of the plan is to dramatically enhance the power of Washington politicians by giving them control over vast swaths of the U.S. economy.

Democrats have apparently reached an agreement to move forward with a House vote on the huge cap-and-trade energy tax known as Waxman-Markey this week.

The monstrous bill has already grown from the 946-page version passed by the House Energy and Commerce Committee to an even-heftier 1201-page version released by House Democratic leadership last night.

And they aren’t done yet. Negotiations continue between Pelosi and her ally, House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Henry Waxman (both D-Calif.) on one side and House Agriculture Committee Chairman Collin Peterson (D-Minn.) on the other.

The apparent breakthrough, which paves the way for a floor vote on Friday or Saturday, is a big giveaway for rural electric co-ops — a big Peterson priority. Peterson may also extract other big-ticket concessions before a vote happens on the House floor. And why not? What’s a few billion dollars between friends when you have a multi-trillion-dollar energy tax hike to divvy up?

That’s what’s so outrageous about this whole process. Cap-and-trade imposes massive new hidden energy taxes on American consumers. The taxes are hidden in higher prices for gasoline, electricity, and every product in the economy that’s grown, shipped, or manufactured. All the revenue, the last estimate from the Congressional Budget Office has the pot at $846 billion over just the first 8 years, so it will clearly be many trillions over the 38-year duration of the program goes into a big pot that politicians can use to buy off opposition and advance other big-government objectives.

Senator Barbara Boxer, the biggest Senate proponent of cap-and-trade and the one who will dole out the billions of dollars on the Senate side if the bill makes it through the House, candidly explained how this works a couple of weeks ago:

There’s so much revenue that comes in from a cap-and-trade system that you can really go to a person in a congressional district and get enough votes there by saying, “What do you need? What do you want? You can really help them.”

This disastrous bill, which will send energy prices skyrocketing while having no discernible impact on global average temperature will only get worse as even more special interests are bought off at the expense of taxpayers. It’s a scam, an enormous tax-and-spend bill concealed in a cloak of green political correctness. The real purpose of the plan is to dramatically enhance the power of Washington politicians by giving them control over vast swaths of the U.S. economy.

Think of this as the death blow for our already teetering rule of law and free market economy. Just as we’ve seen politicians make arbitrary decisions in banking and the automobile industry, this new central planning of energy will let them exercise similar control over all aspects of the U.S. economy. This type of control, while perhaps well-intentioned, we saw in the 20th century inevitably fails and often leads to despotism.

The outcome in the House is still in doubt. House Blue Dog chairwoman Stephanie Herseth Sandlin (D-S.D.) said in an interview with Energy and Environment Daily last week that Blue Dogs will not vote for the bill if it’s brought up this week. She said:

“Many will insist that we have a number of days to review the language ourselves, to have back and forth with our constituencies and stakeholder groups, to understand how the system with a significant manager’s amendment will work. Yes, absolutely, we need to chew on this awhile.”

Obviously, Nancy Pelosi is ignoring the concerns of the Blue Dogs, and of all the Democrats from Middle America whose constituents will be slammed with vastly higher energy prices under the plan. Constituents who don’t share the smug self-satisfaction that coastal elites will enjoy, that warm, green feeling that’s supposed to make it all worthwhile.

If these so-called moderate Democrats fall in line behind the radical leadership of Nancy Pelosi and Henry Waxman, if they vote for a cap-and-trade tax that President Obama famously said will cause energy prices to necessarily skyrocket, they will expose themselves as radical leftists and out of touch with their districts.

Every American who cares about affordable energy and economic freedom needs to contact his or her member of Congress before this vote and demand a no vote on cap-and-trade. The House switchboard is 202-225-3121 or you can use this form on the AFP web site. If they vote for this, they deserve the full political consequences.

Mr. Kerpen is director of policy for Americans for Prosperity.

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