Readers may have caught wind of the push — led by Democrat Lieutenant Governor Dan McKee — to pressure or force National Grid to lower its requested energy rates in response to presumably significant savings due to the tax reform passed by the Republican Congress and President Trump. On WPRI, Ted Nesi reports that at least one Massachusetts energy provider is lowering rates “to pass along some of its millions of dollars in tax savings to customers”:
“Our neighbors in Massachusetts will be getting a break on their monthly electricity bills,” McKee said in a statement. “It’s time for Rhode Island to ask National Grid to use its corporate savings to lower rates in our state and provide much needed relief for local families and small businesses.”
Wherever one may fall on the spectrum of possibilities for pressuring or forcing companies to use their resources in certain ways, whether utilities or otherwise, doesn’t this episode pretty much reinforce the premise of corporate tax cuts? When government imposes costs on businesses, they are ultimately passed along to consumers and the economy overall.
And by the way, when we periodically hear politicians attacking companies — as McKee has attacked National Grid in the past — shouldn’t they simultaneously seek to mitigate the various ways in which they, the politicians, push the companies to higher prices? That would include not only taxes, but also regulations and other government programs, such as those proliferating in the name of environmentalism. Or is government the only area in which there are no trade-offs?