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Crippling tax

Maybe President Obama has completely forgotten about his campaign promise not to raise taxes on households that make less than $250,000 per year.

Whatever the reason for his energy policy wishes, Mr. Obama’s stated desire for a federal carbon tax is hands down the worst of his many economically destructive ideas, and minority Republicans must do everything in their power to prevent it from becoming law.

The president made his demand during a Tuesday meeting at the White House with senators. John Kerry, D-Mass., and Joe Lieberman, I-Conn., are prepared to scale back their energy bill to get a handful of Republican votes. They know that if Democrats go it alone, as they did with their health care takeover, November’s elections might go even worse than they expect.

But Mr. Obama, who doesn’t have to face voters for more than two years, wasn’t shy Tuesday about asking his former colleagues to commit political suicide. He said a tax on carbon emissions must be part of any bill that subsidizes the development of renewable energy infrastructure to address “climate change.”

This is not a targeted tax hike on the rich or a demonized industry. This is a tax on the engine of what’s left of our economy: fossil fuels. It will make power bills rise across all classes, and it will make gasoline more expensive. It is a tax that will be passed on to consumers at home and at every business they visit, from restaurants to retailers to grocery stores.

This is social engineering on steroids. It’s bad enough when lawmakers use the tax code to manipulate behavior. But in this case the president wants to slap a straitjacket on the American economy in the name of implementing an expensive green agenda that is almost certain to have no effect whatsoever on the Earth’s climate but is virtually guaranteed to make the United States poorer and less prosperous.

Americans need jobs, not crippling new taxes.

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