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Baron Hill and cap-and-trade

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By Jim Adkins

District Democrat Rep. Brad Ellsworth stated recently that a proposed cap-and-trade bill would be especially tough on Indiana. "The bill would place undue burdens on Indiana families and businesses, and particularly in these tough economic times, I could not support it," Ellsworth said.

President Obama, himself, said that the bill would bankrupt the coal industry.

Right here in the middle of coal country you have the president of the United States and Eighth District Democrat Congressman Brad Ellsworth both agreeing that the cap-and-trade bill would be ruinous for the coal industry and especially for Indiana.

So how did Indiana Ninth District Rep. Baron Hill vote? He voted for cap-and-trade. He's really looking out for us just like he promised, isn't he? The truth is Baron Hill couldn't care less about Perry County because he knows that no matter what he does, this county will vote Democrat.

It's time to wake up, Ninth District and especially Perry County. Baron Hill is a disaster and is not looking out for your best interests. There is no way Mike Sodrel would have voted for cap-and-trade, but you sent him home last November. That's what you get for not paying attention.

This old excuse of, "My daddy voted Democrat and my granddaddy voted Democrat," is going to cost you in more ways than one. If cap-and-trade passes the Senate, not only is Indiana going to lose coal jobs and markets but your utility bills will skyrocket.

For those of you who don't know, here's the scoop on cap-and-trade. It refers to a system with emission limits that allows industries to barter with each other about who emits how much. It would be a government-mandated, bureaucratic monstrosity. Politicians love it because they can claim to be taxing "polluters," not workers.

Not true. Once the government creates a scarce new commodity - in this case the right to emit carbon - and then force businesses to buy it, the costs would inevitably be passed on to all consumers in the form of higher prices. Stating the obvious, Peter Orszag - Mr. Obama's budget director - told Congress last year that "Those price increases are essential to the success of a cap-and-trade program." Hit hardest would be the 95 percent of working families. That's you and me, folks.

Mr. Obama omits that his no-new-taxes pledge comes with the warning "unless you use energy." Putting a price on carbon is regressive by definition because poor and middle-income households spend more of their paychecks on things like gas to drive to work, groceries or home heating.

But the greatest inequities are geographic and would be imposed on the parts of the U.S. that rely most on manufacturing or fossil fuels - particularly coal, which generates most power in the Midwest, Southern and Plains states. It's no coincidence that the liberals who are most in favor of cap and trade - Barbara Boxer, Henry Waxman, Ed Markey - come from California or the Northeast. Why Baron Hill teamed up with that crowd is anybody's guess.

Perry County, if you voted straight-ticket Democrat, which 1,980 of you did in '08, then you voted for Baron Hill, who just voted for cap and trade. If passed, it will raise your cost of living substantially.

Try this: next election season, try to get to know what the issues are and where the candidates stand on them.

Baron Hill and his crew relied on the old-boy network of "my daddy was a Democrat" while they voted to steal your money behind your back. There will be a congressional election next year. Don't let them fool you again.

Adkins lives in Tell City.