Following California’s Cap-and-Tax into #1 poverty

By Taxpayer Association of Oregon

Oregon is modeling it’s carbon Cap-and-Tax plan (also called Cap-and-Invest) on California’s Cap-and-Tax scheme which has played a strong role in the state’s spike in gasoline, heating and electricity prices which has in turn helped push California into the highest poverty state in America.

Driven by Silicon Valley and Hollywood, California used to have a reputation as a rich state. But it’s not the richest, and by a new measure it might be the poorest. New data show California has the highest poverty rate in the nation. That is according Supplemental Poverty Measures recently reported by the U.S. Census Bureau.

The new data accounts for the cost of living in its measure of poverty. California’s high cost of housing, utilities, and fuel have made it residents some of the poorest in the country. The Los Angeles Times explains the impact of the state’s energy regulations which includes their Cap-and-Trade program:

Extensive environmental regulations aimed at reducing carbon dioxide emissions make energy more expensive, also hurting the poor. By some estimates, California energy costs are as much as 50% higher than the national average. Jonathan A. Lesser of Continental Economics, author of a 2015 Manhattan Institute study, “Less Carbon, Higher Prices,” found that “in 2012, nearly 1 million California households faced … energy expenditures exceeding 10% of household income. In certain California counties, the rate of energy poverty was as high as 15% of all households.”

Oregon could be next with their Cap-and-Tax proposals. The legislature is considering two “cap and tax” (cap-and-invest) bills HB 4001 and SB 1507 based on the scheme already in place in California. These Cap-and-Tax bills are designed to increase the price residents pay for the energy to heat their homes and fuel their vehicles. That will make it harder for Oregonians to make ends meet.

Statewide, Oregon’s poverty rate is in-line with the U.S. average. But many counties—including Multnomah, Marion, and Yamhill—have poverty rates nearing California levels. If cap-and-trade comes to the state, Oregon’s poor will only get poorer. Poverty could soon be California’s biggest export to Oregon thanks to HB 4001 and SB 1507.

Read also:
1. Cap-and-Tax will kill jobs just like the others

2. 7 unanswered questions on the Cap-and-Tax

3. $4 gas expected from Carbon Tax

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