The Obama-backed, House-passed bill is economically suicidal and scientifically grossly irresponsible. Its only justification is as a Democrat, left-liberal power grab.
Barack Obama called for House passage of the cap and trade tax bill last Friday by calling it a jobs bill. The bill is designed to raise the price of energy in the U.S. so much that it will reduce the use of fossil fuels by 17% by 2020 and by 83% by 2050. Sentencing the U.S. economy to high cost energy is not a particularly good strategy for creating jobs. The Charles River Associates, a Harvard based economics consulting firm, estimates a net loss of jobs from the bill of about 2.5 million each year.
This is surely a gross underestimate of the net job losses from a bill designed to reduce the use of fossil fuels to the level in 1907. All those soccer moms better get used to riding their horses to the grocery store and back. And their husbands better get used to working the farms again, by hand, as high cost energy will chase remaining American manufacturing out of the country to India and China, which do not suffer from Al Gore’s delusions about supposed global warming.
Yet Barack Obama calls it a jobs bill. This reflects a by now well-established pattern of deceptive, misdirection rhetoric, raising broadly appealing ideals in promotion of policies that would do just the opposite. For example, Obama is also trying to sell us a new health care entitlement, larger than any of our already grossly overgrown entitlements we can’t finance, with the argument that it will actually reduce costs, even while CBO estimates that it will increase Federal spending by $1.6 trillion (woefully underestimated).
Earlier this year, Obama released his budget with great fanfare about how it would supposedly reduce the federal deficit in half in five years. Hidden in the fine print was the awful truth that his budget, now passed by the overwhelmingly Democrat Congress, explodes this year’s deficit to a record busting $1.8 trillion, four times bigger than Bush’s largest deficit, and seven times bigger than Reagan’s largest, which caused so much caterwauling among liberals. The deficit in the last budget passed by a Republican controlled Congress was $162 billion, less than 10% as much.
Last year, Obama campaigned on proposals to raise the top two income tax rates by over 10%, the capital gains tax rate by 33%, and the tax rate on dividends by 33%, while restoring a permanent death tax rate of 45%, and raising taxes on corporations that already pay virtually the highest tax rates in the industrialized world, all the while focusing on his promise to cut taxes for 95% of Americans. That tax cut turned out to be a puny $400 per worker tax credit that is phased out after next year, when his tax increases will become effective to sink the still sputtering economy.
During the campaign, Obama also pledged that he would never raise taxes in any form on Americans making less than $250,000 per year. But his cap and trade tax is estimated to cost American families almost $2,000 a year when it becomes effective, growing to almost $7,000 a year for a family of four by 2035. That will be paid through higher prices for electricity, oil, gasoline, natural gas, home heating oil, coal, food, and every product that is produced or transported using energy. Remember: when the first President Bush violated his oft-repeated campaign pledge not to raise taxes, voters booted him out in the next election.
Democrats have suggested that the legislation would cost American families only $175 a year, or as little as $80. But fossil fuel use is not going to be reduced by 17%, growing to 83%, through added costs of $80 to $175 per year.
The rationale for this bill is to counter global warming by sharply reducing greenhouse gases, primarily carbon dioxide. But even if the bill works exactly as envisioned, the most radical environmentalists admit that it will only slow temperature increases by 2050 by a ridiculous 9/100th of one degree Fahrenheit! Even after all the costs of reducing the use of fossil fuels by 83%, that is all that would result.
That is because all humans across the planet produce less than 5% of all carbon dioxide emissions. So slashing U.S. emissions won’t have much effect in any event. Moreover, don’t expect other nations to follow us in this foolhardy policy. Even the Europeans never really enforced their own cap and trade regulations, so their carbon dioxide emissions have actually increased more than ours over the last 10 years. Now nations from France to Poland, Japan, the Czech Republic, Australia, New Zealand and others are turning away from cap and trade policies, and souring on the whole notion of global warming. China, now the world’s number one carbon dioxide producer, India, Russia, Africa, and South America have shown no interest in the suicidal economics of global warming fantasy. But the left-wing extremists now running America are too close-minded and religiously dogmatic to even consider an alternative course.
As the Science and Environmental Policy Project (SEPP) recently asked:
Does it really make sense to eliminate between 2.3 million and 2.7 million jobs each year, and force families, farmers, and drivers to pay higher power bills, higher heating and cooling bills, higher food and goods prices, and higher gasoline and diesel prices, all for the promise of slowing temperature increases by merely hundredths of a single degree Fahrenheit by 2050?
The Global Warming Hoax
Worst of all, the science behind global warming is now collapsing. The most reliable satellite weather data shows that global atmospheric temperatures have declined over the last 11 years, with the trend downward accelerating. Even global warming advocates are now conceding that this trend may continue for decades.
Moreover, the latest and best science shows that the temperature patterns of the 20th century correlate with natural causes, not global warming theory. Temperatures did not increase steadily throughout the last century, even though carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases did. Temperatures in the U.S., which has the most thorough and consistent temperature record and historically the most CO2 emissions, were stable until 1920, increased some in the 1920s, and then soared to produce the hottest decade of the century during the 1930s (before the later, more rapid increases in greenhouse gas emissions). The climate then cooled during most of the period from 1940 until about 1977. Temperatures climbed upward from 1977 until 1998, except for a sharp downturn from about 1988 until about 1995. Temperatures are down again over the past decade.
This record is more consistent with the Pacific Decadal Oscillation, a long-term pattern of ocean currents that turns from cold to warm back to cold every 20 to 30 years, and with variations in solar activity, particularly sunspots. Indeed, our current accelerating temperature decline correlates with an extended trend of slowing sunspot activity, which may portend another Little Ice Age, as happened from the early 1400s to the late 1800s. Indeed, a full-blown ice age is now overdue based on historical patterns.
A man of faith in a godless age is hitting Americans where it hurts.
Mr. and Mrs. American Spectator Reader, let P.J. O’Rourke talk sense to your kids.
In Britain, defending your property can get you life.
The debacle of this president’s administration is both a cause and a symptom of the decline of American values. Unless Congress impeaches him, that decline will go on unchecked. An eminent jurist surveys the damage and assesses the chances for the recovery of our culture.
It won’t take long for conservatives to scratch this presidential wannabe off their 2008 scorecard.
The American Christmas, like the songs that celebrate it, makes room for everybody under the rainbow. Is that why so many people seem to be hostile to it?
Was the President done in by the economy, or by the politics of the economy?