Former Oklahoma Congressman Ernest Istook, now at Heritage Foundation, identifies the key problem with America’s economy.
We canâ€™t afford Congress. Itâ€™s driving Americaâ€™s cost-of-living through the roof.
Any tax cut or â€œeconomic stimulusâ€ we might get this spring is peanuts compared to how Washington keeps jacking up the price of everything thatâ€™s important.
By itself, last monthâ€™s energy bill will make food, cars, gasoline and even light bulbs more expensive. Washington is also the culprit behind high medical bills and health insurance, washing machines that have doubled in price, and our wonderful, more-expensive â€œlo-floâ€ toilets that donâ€™t flush right.
All this is on top of what red tape already costs us. A 2004 government report admitted that federal regulations cost our economy at least $1.1 trillion each year. Thatâ€™s $3,666 per person, so multiply that by the number of people in your household. And remember thatâ€™s before the 2007 energy bill. And in addition to taxes.
The new energy laws are a leftistâ€™s dream and a supply-siderâ€™s nightmare. As 2008 starts, weâ€™re paying $3 (often more) for a gallon of gasoline. Thatâ€™s up about a fourth (64 cents) from a year ago. The Heritage Foundation calculates the new energy bill will boost gas prices over $5 a gallon by 2016. Yet rather than let us produce more oil domestically, Congress keeps areas off-limits from drilling that could raise supply and lower prices. Nor will Congress let us expand nuclear energy, which likewise would help energy prices.
Read the whole thing.