Sunday, April 11, 2010

Tell the EPA to Stay the Hell Out of Our Homes

I've written about Cap and Trade on many occasions.  Today, Bob Belevedere at The Camp of the Saints, has a Cap and Tax post that hits home.  Literally.

Pull Over The Side Of The Road And Let Me See Your House License

If the Cap And Trade Bill passes, it seems that you will need an EPA-approved license before you can sell your house.

The Mind Numbed Robot is on the case, thanks to a reader who wrote this [big tip of the fedora to The Daley Gator]:

Beginning one year after enactment of the Cap and Trade Act, you won’t be able to sell your home unless you retrofit it to comply with the energy and water efficiency standards of this “Cap & Trade” bill, passed by the House of Representatives. If it is also passed by the Senate, it will be the largest tax increase any of us has ever experienced.

The Congressional Budget Office (supposedly non-partisan) estimates that in just a few years the average cost to every family of four will be $6,800 per year. No one is excluded. However, once the lower classes feel the pinch in their wallets, you can be sure that these voters will get a tax refund (even if they pay no taxes at all) to offset this new cost. Thus, you Mr. And Mrs. Middle Class have to pay even more since additional tax dollars will be needed to bail out everyone else..

But wait. This awful bill (that no one in Congress has actually read) has many more surprises in it. Probably the worst one is this: A year from now you won’t be able to sell your house without some bureaucrat’s OK. Yes, you read that right.

The caveat (there always is a caveat) is that if you have enough money to make required major upgrades to your home, then you can sell it. But, if not, then forget it. Even pre-fabricated homes (“mobile homes”) are included. In effect, this bill prevents you from selling your home without the permission of the EPA administrator.
I can't put in to words what it meant to me, as a single mother, to find a house that I could afford to buy.  A little "cracker" cottage sitting on the inlet, the house was built in 1923.  As a housewarming present my parents replaced the existing front porch with a Victorian style porch and the Saturday after the closing, Dad brought over a keg and my friends all gathered to get the house ready to move in to.  The women painted while the men went about cutting down a huge oak tree that looked like would come down on its own with one good shove.  The mighty oak proved stronger than it looked.  Good times.

As much as I love the house, it has become a burden.  I completely underestimated what it would cost to maintain a house this old.  Every day it is something else.  The porch has seen too many hurricanes and is being redone next weekend.  It is always something.  Now that the kids have grown and gone and the dogs have died, it isn't the same and I am ready to move on.

A little over a year ago, a (possible) miracle occurred.  The county rezoned my property as part of a revitalization plan.  The house may not be worth squat but the 130 feet of waterfront land is.  Of course we are smack in the middle of a housing bust and there isn't a whole lot of development going on.  Which brings me (finally) to my point.  Under the new EPA rules, I may need to bring my house into compliance, even though it will be torn down.  

The EPA has outgrown its mandate.   The department is injecting itself into every aspects of our lives.  Now they are coming in to our homes.  Private decisions made by and between private individuals are none of the government's concern.  If the government can can enter our homes, what is left?

We cede our rights without realizing it because the government moves slowly and quite frankly, we don't pay much attention.  But now the government has accelerated the pace.  We need to stand up and tell the government that it's power ends at the edge of our property not inside our front door.  It is time to start paying attention.

*Note to developers who may be reading-the time to make an offer is before the EPA puts its regulations in place and before the housing market comes back.  Just saying.


jill said...

I don't think Cap&Trade has a snowball's chance in a very hot place of passing. I can't imagine the senate passing this monster. There would be rioting in the streets.

Carol said...

I would agree except once upon a time I didn't think that ObamaCare would pass either. Beyond that, much of what the EPA does it does via regulation and the Supreme Court has given the EPA the official okey dokey to regulated at will (and whim).

Cap and Trade is being pushed by Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham. It is also favored by Republicans Snowe and Collins.

Yes, I can very easily imagine Cap and Trade passing.

Adrienne said...

The fact of the matter is, we don't "own" our homes as long as we pay property taxes.

I think Cap & tax will pass. Now here's where I'm starting to change my thinking and trying to remain positive - if it passes it can be repealed. I think ObamaCare will be tossed out on its ass, too.

I refuse anymore to live in the pits of despair. That is exactly what the lefties would like us to do.

The other thing to remember is the more laws and regulations they pass the easier it becomes to "game the system." On that subject I will not elaborate.

Carol said...

I am trying to remain positive as well, though it is quite the challenge.

I think the Cap and Trade will pass, see my previous comment re: the RINOs Graham, Snowe and Collins, and I also believe it will be repealed. The bigger fight however, will be rolling back the regulatory power of the EPA. I personally think the agency needs to be disbanded and we start over from scratch.

vsatt said...

Just imagine the landfills needed for windows, doors, fixtures and appliances people will be replacing that they otherwise would have left in place. Tell me again how this helps the environment.

Carol said...

vsatt, I hadn't even thought about that. Ah, unintended consequences. The government is full of them.