Saturday, February 11, 2006

Bush Budget is backdoor tax increase for Oregonians

The Bush Administration has decided to put a backdoor tax increase on utility ratepayers in the Northwest.

South Coast World Link:

A Bush administration budget proposal to divert surplus electricity sales from the Bonneville Power Administration could force a 7 percent rate increase by 2008, a new study says.

Utility customers would see a rate increase about half that amount, reducing personal income by $109 million and cutting 1,120 jobs in the Pacific Northwest, according to an analysis released Thursday by the Northwest Power and Conservation Council.

Our little corner of Blue America is a pain in the ass for the Bushies. We're rabble rousers. So they want to punish the petulant children of the Northwest by shoving a backdoor tax increase just for our geography.

As with every other Bush Administration hair brained scheme, its good for us because they say so:

We believe it will be a nominal increase and we think it's prudent,” said Craig Stevens, a spokesman for the Energy Department in Washington, D.C.

The president's 2006 budget, released this week, would require Bonneville to give the U.S. Treasury all revenue in excess of $500 million annually from the sale of surplus electricity.

The Treasury would use the cash to reduce Bonneville's federal debt, increasing the amount the power marketing agency could borrow in the future for construction projects such as transmission system improvements.

β€œIn spite of the short-term increase in power rates, we believe Bonneville customers will benefit in the longer term through lower rates and better access to capital to improve and upgrade critical infrastructure and facilities,” Stevens said.

Up is down. Black is white. Iraq has WMD. The middle class is getting rich off Bushonomics. New Orleans will be cleaned up and back to its old self very soon. We know where Osama is and we're catching him because of illegal warrantless wiretaps. We have some awesome beachfront property in Nebraska to sell ya.

If sending energy money to the US Treasury to offset the deficit is such a grand idea, why isn't Bush proposing to keep those fat oil revenue dividend checks that Alaskans get each year?

The BPA proposal would bring in $500 million annually to the US Treasury.

In 2005, an eligible 600,000 Alaskans received checks for $845.76. By my calculations, that's $507,456,000.

But Alaska is a red state. And an oil state. We can't expect Republicans to bite the hand that feeds them.