Half-Truths and No-Truths

– The green legislation that won’t cost you $3,100 a year
– The automatic pay raise that Mark Warner didn’t vote for


The green legislation that won’t cost you $3,100 a year

House Republicans were advised by the MIT professor whose study they were planning to cite to claim that cap-and-trade legislation currently before Congress would cost every American family up to $3,100 a year in higher energy prices was grossly misstated and given hints as to how to correct the record.

And then House Minority Leader John Boehner and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell went ahead and used the number anyway. And now the professor, John Reilly, is fighting back.

“The press release claims our report estimates an average cost per family of a carbon cap-and-trade program that would meet targets now being discussed in Congress to be over $3,000, but that is nearly 10 times the correct estimate, which is approximately $340,” Reilly wrote in a letter to Boehner.

Reilly told the PolitiFact website that he informed a House Republican staffer of this in a conversation on March 20, 11 days before Boehner and McConnell went public with their dubious claims.

Of note to me is that there was really no need to embellish here. I mean, $340 is a decent enough number on the surface, right? But in the context of $3,100, it looks like a pittance.

Seriously, you couldn’t do a better job mitigating this as a point of criticism if you were a Democrat trying to manage this to your advantage.


The automatic pay raise that Mark Warner didn’t vote for

The conservative media had a bit of a field day a couple of weeks ago with the Senate vote supposedly in favor of keeping in place the system of automatic pay raises that give congressmen $4,700 more in annual salary every January.

A letter to the editor of The News Virginian published on the NV website on April 1 was a revival of the issue, or nonissue, this time aimed at Virginia Sen. Mark Warner.

“I consider this outrageous act to be one of only many despicable votes he has taken on the floor of the Senate since he first assumed office after serving as Virginia’s governor,” Waynesboro resident R.D. Anderson wrote. “He is presumably one of the richest senators. Is he now so destitute that he needs the $4,700 pay raise to make ends meet? How many of us would like to have that much put on our energy bills, mortgages and health care costs?”

Except that it didn’t happen as the letter writer claims. The vote cited in the T-D story on March 15 was to include the pay-raise issue in another spending bill as was pushed by a Republican senator. Democratic leaders wanted to do the pay-raise vote as a separate measure, and did so in a compromise that passed on March 17.

Which doesn’t mean I think Anderson shouldn’t be so self-righteously indignant about Warner. It’s a free country. Just aim the indignation at the right target.

(Like, I dunnon, John Boehner and Mitch McConnell.)


Story by Chris Graham


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