Chris Horner devotes over 1,000 words below to respoond to claims I never made. So as not to belabor the issue, my claim was simply that the revenue estimates from the Treasury memo were not an administration estimate of the costs of the Waxman-Markey bill. Despite his lengthy response, Chris never denies this point — and this is a good thing. As he wrote elsewhere about the memos: “Treasury is indeed addressing the administration’s position, not the House bill.” That was my point. There are quite a few differences between the administration’s desired policy and the House bill, and they affect both the cost and revenue effects of the bill ( a point Peter Orzsag also makes in the testimony Chris likes to cite). I never denied that the Obama administration’s desired approach was costly, and certainly never bought the silly argument that taxes aren’t taxes if we “recycle” the revenue. My claim was more modest, a point Chris somehow missed.
Meanwhile, the Treasury Department’s unredacted memo, finally released last week, confirms that meaningful limits on carbon emissions will be very costly. It also shows that some folks in this administration are deathly afraid of candor, as some of what had been redacted is quite unremarkable. Further evidence that this administration has a long way to go if it wants to be the most transparent in history.