Steve Everley

“You never want a serious crisis to go to waste.”

So said Rahm Emanuel, President Obama’s Chief of Staff, shortly after the election in November 2008. Four months later, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton echoed Emanuel when she said in Brussels that we should “never waste a good crisis”.

Translation: a crisis is the perfect time to raise taxes.

True to form, the White House and their liberal allies in Congress are now attempting to explain why the Deepwater Horizon oil gusher in the Gulf of Mexico is the perfect time to impose new energy taxes as part of the global warming bill authored by Senators John Kerry (D-MA) and Joe Lieberman (I-CT).

By their economic logic, an accident that is already costing jobs and millions of dollars of economic losses in the Gulf requires imposing more taxes that will cost even more jobs and billions of more dollars in economic losses in both the Gulf and across the country.

Glenn Beck

This is tantamount to arresting the victim after he was mugged.

Of the human and economic tragedy in the Gulf a member of the Sierra Club’s legislative office recently said, “You don’t want to let a good crisis get away.

For the Sierra Club, it’s always a good time to raise taxes, crisis or not. But today the Sierra Club must be thinking that if the average American sees a duck covered in oil, they must want to pay $4 per gallon for gas. Or, the duck covered in oil makes them think our country would be better off if my job were sent to China and India and I went on welfare instead.

This is what passes for the logic of the tax raisers in Washington.

Many of our elected leaders share the Sierra Club’s sentiment. Senators Kerry and Lieberman issued a joint statement saying the “tragic events in the Gulf underscore the need to move without haste” toward passing their global warming tax bill. Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) the oil spill is a crisis justifying a transformation of our economy with new energy taxes.

Even President Obama, at a fundraiser for Senator Barbara Boxer (D-CA) last month in San Francisco, virtually begged lawmakers to pass the Kerry-Lieberman energy tax “in the midst of this crisis” in the Gulf.

Of course, Americans oppose new energy taxes, including the new gasoline tax in the Kerry-Lieberman bill. And even amidst the oil spill in the Gulf, which is now the largest in U.S. history, Americans continue to support offshore drilling.

Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal, whose state is the most impacted from the Gulf oil spill, rejects the “exploit a crisis” push for higher costs and less energy, both cornerstones of the Kerry-Lieberman energy tax. Jindal recently pointed out that the knee-jerk decision to restrict deepwater oil and gas drilling could destroy as many as 20,000 jobs in Louisiana alone.

“The last thing we need,” Jindal said, “is to enact public policies that will certainly destroy thousands of existing jobs while preventing the creation of thousands more.”

While the Left thinks this is a good idea, taxpayers aren’t buying it. So, forced to get creative, energy tax supporters are trying to use a legitimate crisis to impose their illegitimate solution.

Beware every time you hear those on the Left say “crisis.” What they’re really saying is “taxes” – as in “let me raise your taxes; it will be good for you.”


Steve Everley

Steve Everley is Manager of Policy Research at American Solutions.