Environmental Wackos, Idiotarianism, Politics

Capping Prosperity, Trading It For Poverty

As the media fixates on the death of Michael Jackson, Congress stands ready to enact the largest and most regressive tax hike in history in the guise of “cap-and-trade.” Jim Lindgren explains why this bill is so dangerous:

The cap-and-trade bill, if passed by the Senate and actually implemented over the next few decades, would do more damage to the country than any economic legislation passed in at least 100 years. It would eventually send most American manufacturing jobs overseas, reduce American competitiveness, and make Americans much poorer than they would have been without it.

The cap-and-trade bill will have little, if any, positive effect on the environment — in part because the countries that would take jobs from US industries tend to be bigger polluters. By making the US — and the world — poorer, it would probably reduce the world’s ability to develop technologies that might solve its environmental problems in the future.

Cap-and-trade is a joke—it is a policy that has already failed in Europe and in virtually guaranteed to fail here in the United States. By giving in to the demands of radical environmentalists, Congress is preparing to take our current recession and plunge it into depression.

As the media focuses once again on celebrity, the advent of the next Great Depression comes closer. Cap-and-trade is terrible policy enacted for foolish reasons, and we will all pay the price for it if we allow it to pass.

Campaign 2008, Environmental Wackos, Politics

McCain’s Climate Change Plan: Great Politics, Terrible Policy

Scott Johnson has a deeply skeptical look at Sen. McCain’s new “climate change” policy

. From a standpoint of policy, that skepticism is well warranted. The political story, however, is entirely different.

The political reality is this: global warming concerns are part of the political landscape now. Too many voters have bought into the hype to stake a position on the theory that climate change doesn’t matter in this election. While that is bad science, that is also the political reality the GOP faces. For that matter, even if there is no man-made global warming, there’s no reason why America shouldn’t be looking ahead to an age of increasing scarcity of oil. The more power America gets domestically from renewable resources, the fewer petrodollars flow into the hands of two-bit tyrants like Hugo Chavez. Some “green” policies make sense for other reasons than environmental hysteria.

The problem with the McCain approach is that it gets the politics right, but makes for atrocious public policy. For example, a “cap and trade” system would necessitate a massive new government bureaucracy and raise America’s energy prices. The Congressional Budget Office has found that the current Lieberman-Warner bill amounts to a trillion dollar tax increase in a time when Americans are already finding it hard to pay for energy. Even more troubling, this tax would be incredibly regressive, its impacts adding more stress to families barely able to pay for heat and fuel.

Republicans should have a plan that reduces our dependence on sources of energy that produce pollution. However, that should not mean abandoning political principles or the rules of basic economics. The GOP should push for more clean nuclear power, tax credits for research and development of clean fuel sources, and should embrace something like Bob Zubrin’s flex-fuel plan (using cellulosic ethanol rather than burning what we eat). There are plenty of economically viable ways for the U.S. to “go green,” but we need policymakers willing to support those sound policies.

The GOP has good reason to grumble at McCain’s energy policy, but the fact that it talks about climate change is not it. It would be nice for more politicians to stand against the bad science behind the global warming movement, but in an election year you have to pick and choose your battles, and this year the GOP needs to have an energy policy on the table to compete on this issue.