In 2007, Sen. Judd Gregg (R-N.H.) supported the Lieberman-Warner climate bill. Widely regarded as something of a Frankenstein bill, it directed revenue at every conceivable constituency, based on sometimes tenuous connections to the climate issue. He said his “one reservation” was that more revenue wasn’t returned to taxpayers.
Well! Obama just released a budget proposal that would return vastly more of the revenue — around 82 percent — to taxpayers. Gregg, who prides himself on being Mr. Moderate Bipartisan, would surely celebrate this development, right?
“It’s a stalking horse for raising taxes and spending it on special interests.” Gregg said of the Obama plan in a telephone interview. “It’s a non-starter.”
Again, Obama’s plan spends far less on “special interests” (Republican code for public investments) than a bill Gregg already supported. The only difference is that Obama’s plan is Obama’s.
Gregg has talked his way inside the carbon policy tent and now he’s trying to burn it down. He’s got lots of company.