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Keeping up with the Baileys: How Does Chuck Schumer’s “Typical” Middle Class Family Fare Under the Democrats’ National Energy Tax?

June 25, 2009


“In his new book, Positively American: Winning Back the American Middle Class One Family at a Time, Senator Charles Schumer reveals the imaginary constituents that have long informed his political career: Joe and Eileen Bailey. The Baileys live in a suburb of Long Island with their three kids, they both work, and they earn about $75,000 annually….Schumer says that the Baileys are in towns across the nation, with different names and backgrounds, but common interests and the feeling that the government too often focuses on the ‘very rich or very poor’ while overlooking their needs.”
(The Nation, February 12, 2007)

How would a “typical” middle class family like the Baileys with three kids and earning $75,000 fare under Democrats’ energy tax hike plan?   Would a new national energy tax consider “their needs”?


The Democrat bill reads: “The Secretary shall…administer…the ‘Energy Refund Program’…under which eligible low-income households are provided cash payments to reimburse the households for the estimated loss in their purchasing power resulting from (this bill) ….each eligible low-income household…shall be entitled to receive monthly cash payments…if…the gross income of the household does not exceed…150 percent of the poverty line…” (H.R. 2998, p. 1010)


For a family of five like the Baileys, 150% of the poverty line means annual earnings under $38,685 – about half their current income.  That means families like the Baileys would be “losers” under the Democrat bill.  They receive no “Energy Refund” (what some might call “Energy Stamps”) but all of the Democrats’ energy tax hikes.

Even though they are solidly middle class and President Obama promised they would not pay “one dime” in higher taxes, families like the Baileys will pay hundreds – if not thousands – of dollars more per year for energy under the Democrat plan.  Yet they will get no direct assistance from the government to offset higher energy costs Democrats would impose.  The reason?  Their middle class income of $75,000 is above the level where Democrats’ new “Energy Stamps” program ends.  In short, Democrat policy deems the Baileys and, more importantly, millions of real middle class families “rich enough” to bear their massive new energy taxes. 

As CBO recently confirmed to Rep. Dave Camp (R-MI), the Democrats’ National Energy Tax would result in higher energy prices, would force up prices for every good and service in the U.S., and would constitute a drag on the economy that reduces income and payroll receipts by 25%.

And all this is before Democrats’ other new tax hikes on soda, beer and alcohol, employer payrolls, health benefits, Medicare, and literally everything else under a new national sales tax – all to pay for their health care takeover plans.