Glenn and Sandra Schleede are fed up with their “irresponsible representatives” in Washington and have chosen to let them know. We thank them for allowing us to share the open letter they sent to Republican leadership.
April 10, 2013
- Chairmen, National Republican Senatorial Committee
- National Republic Congressional Committee
- Republican National Committee
SUBJECT: Irresponsible Republican Senators
During the last few weeks, we have received 17 requests for contributions from you or your organizations. We will not contribute to your organizations or to any Republican member who continues to ignore the real interests of ordinary citizens and taxpayers and loads debt on our children and grandchildren.
Recent example: On April 3, 2014, 5 Republican members of the Senate Finance Committee voted with Committee Democrats to preserve unwarranted special interest tax breaks in the latest “Extender” bill, which bill the Committee calls the “EXPIRE Act.”
As long as Congress fails to pass a balanced budget, every dollar provided to special interests in this $85 billion “Extender” bill is a direct addition to the national debt that will be dumped on our children and grandchildren. Note also that each dollar that Congress adds to the national debt will be DOUBLED in 15 years or less due to the interest that is accruing on that debt.
An egregious example of an unwarranted special interest tax break in the Committee’s bill is Senator Grassley’s wind and other renewable energy “Production Tax Credit” (PTC) and Investment Tax Credit (ITC). Grassley insisted on extending this 20-year old “temporary” tax break for another 2 years at a cost, according to the Joint Tax Committee, of more than $13 billion over the next 10 years (and more thereafter).
When Senator Toomey attempted to eliminate unwarranted energy tax breaks from the bill, Senator Grassley and at least 4 other Republicans (Cornyn, Thune, Crapo, & Portman) joined with Finance Committee Democrats to keep the tax breaks in the bill!
How can any of us take Republicans seriously when members of the Senate and House continue to vote to protect unwarranted special interest tax while they vote to dump more debt on future generations? Their votes for the wind PTC are equal to a direct transfer from future generations’ debt burden to the pockets of today’s “wind farm” owners!
Under Grassley’s measure, owners of “wind farms” would be able to continue reducing their income tax liability by $0.023 (adjusted upward for inflation) for each kilowatt-hour of electricity produced by their wind turbines during the next 10 years.
The wind PTC was initially passed in 1992 as a temporary incentive to help a then fledgling industry – with the expectation that wind energy would be environmentally benign and would become commercially viable. However, after 40 years of subsidies for wind energy R&D and 20 years of lucrative wind energy tax breaks for “wind farm” owners, together totaling over $100 billion:
- Electricity from wind remains high in true cost and low in real value – with the wind industry providing no evidence that electricity from wind will ever become commercially viable (i.e., without large tax breaks and subsidies).
- Producing electricity from wind has proven to have numerous adverse environmental, economic, electric system reliability, scenic, and property value impacts not originally foreseen and still not admitted by wind industry advocates.
The actions by Senator Grassley, the other four Republican Senators, and eight members of the House (some claiming to be “conservatives”) who are urging extension of the wind PTC help illustrate why so many ordinary Americans are so fed up with long-standing members of Congress.
Of course, we have no way of matching the campaign contributions that members get from special interests whose tax breaks they are preserving — including organizations represented by hundreds of associations, NGOs, law firms, and their lobbyists.
We also recognize that members are eager to please contributors from such Washington establishment organizations as such as the US Chamber of Commerce, National Association of Manufacturers, and Business Roundtable – organizations that once championed private enterprise but now speak for companies that:
- Have concluded that there is less risk and more profit in “mining” Washington for tax breaks and subsidies than in pursing truly innovative and productive activities in private, competitive markets.
- Have no problem in accepting special interest tax breaks that load debt on future generations.
However, we will limit the contributions we can afford to those candidates who will vote to stop special interest tax breaks such as those promoted and protected by Senator Grassley and those of like performance who are so willing to dump debt on our children and grandchildren.
Glenn R. Schleede and Sandra K. Schleede, Virginia
CC: Senate Minority Leader McConnell and Senator Cornyn
House Speaker Boehner and House Majority Leader Cantor
 Expiring Provisions Improvement Reform and Efficiency (EXPIRE) Act.
 See “Results of [Senate Finance Committee] Executive Session.040314” download 4/9/14 from: http://www.finance.senate.gov/legislation/details/?id=67094f10-5056-a032-52ff-257830e0a938
 King (IA), Lucas (OK), Runyan (NJ), Fitzpatrick (PA), Gibson (NY), Latham (IA), Noem (SD). Cole (OK).
Oh … by the way … we couldn’t agree more:
Allegheny Treasures Note: “Mr. Schleede is the author of many papers and reports on energy matters. He is now retired but continues to analyze and write about federal and state energy policies, particularly those affecting wind energy.”
“Until retiring, Schleede maintained a consulting practice, Energy Market and Policy Analysis, Inc. (EMPA) Prior to forming EMPA, Schleede was Vice President of New England Electric System (NEES), Westborough, MA, and President of its fuels subsidiary, New England Energy Incorporated. Previously, Schleede was Executive Associate Director of the U.S. Office of Management and Budget (1981), Senior VP of the National Coal Association in Washington (1977) and Associate Director (Energy and Science) of the White House Domestic Council (1973). He also held career service positions in the U.S. OMB and the U.S. Atomic Energy Commission.”
“He has a BA degree from Gustavus Adolphus College and an MA from the University of Minnesota. He is also a graduate of Harvard Business School’s Advanced Management Program.“