Pants on Fire — NRCC Gets it All Wrong

Claim

"MIT researchers released an 'Assessment of U.S. Cap-and-Trade Proposals,' which shows that the increase would be an increase of more than $3,000 a year for each household.

– From press release issued by the National Republican Congressional Committee targeting new and politically vulnerable House Democrats, March 31, 2009.

Truth

PolitiFact, a nonpartisan watchdog group whose full response is available here, calls this a "Pants on Fire" lie.

According to PolitiFact, the NRCC used an MIT report analyzing a similar cap-and-trade bill last year. The MIT report said the bill, under certain assumptions, could raise $366 billion per year. The NRCC divided this by 117 million households in the U.S. to get to $3,128.

But, according to John Reilly, an MIT economist and one of the authors of the report, the interpretation that what is raised under a cap policy can be equated to cost per household is "just wrong. It's wrong in so many ways it's hard to begin…"

And, courtesy of Think Progress, here is a letter [pdf] Reilly just sent to House Republican Minority Leader John Boehner urging the NRCC to stop misrepresenting the MIT report.

Read the full PolitiFact post for more on how NRCC got this all wrong.

Pants on fire indeed!

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