The Blaze posted an article today that shows what happens when the federal government passes unfunded mandates that the states have to pay for–the states then pass unfunded mandates that the taxpayers have to pay for.
On April 5, the Gazette (Maryland Community News Online) reported:
In 2010 the Obama administration’s Environmental Protection Agency ordered Maryland to reduce stormwater runoff into the Chesapeake Bay so that nitrogen levels fall 22 percent and phosphorus falls 15 percent from current amounts. The price tag: $14.8 billion.
And where do we get the $14.8 billion? By taxing so-called “impervious surfaces,” anything that prevents rain water from seeping into the earth (roofs, driveways, patios, sidewalks, etc.) thereby causing stormwater run off. In other words, a rain tax.
And who levies this new rain tax? Witness how taxation, like rain, trickles down through the various pervious levels of government until it reaches the impervious level — me and you.
The EPA ordered Maryland to raise the money (an unfunded mandate), Maryland ordered its 10 largest counties to raise the money (another unfunded mandate) and, now, each of those counties is putting a local rain tax in place by July 1.
There is nothing in the law that says the tax is less if the rainfall is less, but that would be an interesting wrinkle in the whole thing. The tax is slated to be in place by July 1.
It is interesting to note that although government-owned buildings are exempt from the rain tax, religious organizations and non-profit organizations are not exempt. I suspect there will a lawsuit about that somewhere along the line.
Investors.com reported yesterday that the Congress has let the ethanol subsidies expire, but has not repealed the mandates requiring the use of ethanol. The money saved will go into the treasury–not to the taxpayers.
The article reminds us that ethanol is NOT good for the environment:
Farmers will do fine, but most taxpayers and consumers will not. The price of corn will remain high, continuing to be pushed higher by the forced use of ethanol in gasoline that has not expired. Food prices driven higher by this mandate will continue to rise, as will gas prices as the added cost to ethanol producers is passed down the line, paid ultimately by the consumer at the gas pump.
Ethanol was supposed to save the earth and pave the way to energy independence. It has done neither. We are more dependent more than ever on foreign sources of petroleum, used in a wide variety of products and processes as well as our cars, and increased biofuel cultivation has hurt the environment through increased use of pesticides, farmland expansion and agricultural runoff polluting our rivers and coastal waters.
It takes 1,700 gallons of water to produce one gallon of ethanol.
Each acre of corn requires 130 pounds of nitrogen and 55 pounds of phosphorous.
Increased acreage means increased agricultural runoff that is creating aquatic dead zones in our rivers, bays and coastal areas.
The article also points out that adding ethanol to gasoline results in poorer gas mileage than gasoline without ethanol. Ethanol is not good for the environment or the economy. We need to end the ethanol mandate as well as the subsidy.