On Friday, Jay Inslee will speak at the annual Budget Matters conference held by the Washington State Budget & Policy Center—a Left-wing think tank. Our green governor is scheduled to speak on the intersection of global warming and income inequality. In preparation for Inslee’s speech, Remy Trupin—the founder of the Budget & Policy Center—co-wrote an op-ed on the very same subject for The Stranger.
The op-ed starts off by informing readers that Inslee will, “in the near future… propose major legislation to combat global warming at the state level.” It goes on to state that the “two biggest threats” facing Washington State—identified as global warming and income inequality—are “inextricably linked.” Therefore, the two must be fought together.
The argument is based off the premise that the effects of global warming most impact low-income earners. According to the op-ed, “Higher-income Washingtonians are better able to mitigate or adapt to the impact of a changing climate than those with lower incomes” because they are “better equipped than low-income households to absorb the costs of rising food and energy prices.”
But, that’s not all. Admitting that global warming policies raise costs of living to levels simply unaffordable to low-income earners, the op-ed points out that any policies that “do not address rising income inequality are less likely to achieve sufficient reductions in carbon emissions.” The authors write,
Washingtonians with lower incomes simply cannot afford to reduce their reliance on carbon-intensive energy sources. Without help, it will be especially difficult for people with fewer social and economic resources to make the expensive investments in low-carbon technologies that are necessary to make a state-level climate program a success.
In order to help low-income earners afford to live under expensive global warming policies—the sort Inslee wants to impose—the authors propose three ways to transfer the burden to the middle class. First, the high cost of energy prices would be offset through direct cash rebates for low-income earners. Second, the high cost of travel would be met by “expanding public transit and transit-oriented development.” Third, to ensure that “all Washingtonians have a stake in the low-carbon economy and a role in building it,” tuition subsidies or credits would be offered to low-income students who choose to pursue degrees in “green technology” fields.
It’s important to note that the authors do not appear remotely concerned with how their extreme global warming policies impact Washington’s working middle class families. In fact, the authors’ “solutions” to the problems they identify as our state “biggest threats” only manage to place middle class families in a strangle hold they aren’t likely to escape from. Middle class families are expected to shoulder the burden of high energy costs as a result of global warming policies—meaning price increases for everything from heating their homes to the food they set on their tables—all while bearing the added pressure of alleviating the burden for those who would otherwise be unable to afford to live in the state… all due to the extreme agenda of politicians like Jay Inslee.