August 5, 2009
- Stop the stimulus by putting a freeze on spending towards any projects that have not yet begun
- Halt the Cash-for-Clunkers program
- Cancel the vote on the Health Care bill (probably going to happen)
- Cancel the vote on Cap-and-Trade (hopefully going to happen)
- Loosen manufacturing, energy, and environmental regulations (even just a little bit)
- Lower the corporate tax rate (even just a little bit)
- Introduce tort reform (loser pays+damages cap) as a first step in health care reform
- All this to Freeze the Deficit, Save the Country, and watch an Explosion of Growth
Yes, it’s a dream. But the opposite would be/is a recipe for disaster. Priority One is getting out of debt. We thought dependence on foreign oil was bad, but dependence on foreign funding is much more sinister in a drug-addicted junkie sort of way–sheepishly asking our friends around the world for just a little more money, if only to make it through the next couple of months. How many times can we keep going to that well? China has won the first battle between the 21st century superpowers without firing a weapon, but by merely lending us money. Is it merely chance that our post-WWII economic growth coincided with our rise to superpower status? Or, is it merely chance that the USSR’s fall coincided with their economic downfall? No, economic prowess and world standing go hand-in-hand.
Are we so blind as to not see the economic wasteland that is much of Europe? Can we not trace the roots to their socialist and quasi-socialist government programs that have disincentivized whole working populations and spurned inventive business practice? How can anyone can believe that a government program can “pay for itself,” as Obama has said about gov’t-controlled health care? You are adding new spending–the money has to come from somewhere. There is only one solution: Tax Everyone. Yes, even the poor and destitute are taxed now and will have their taxes increased even more through a VAT (currently being surreptitiously floated by the administration) or hidden consumption taxes (many already in place on things like alcohol, cigs, gasoline, etc.)
My solution–and I would like to hear it echoed all over the blogosphere, talk shows, town halls, and Congress’s voicemail–calls for a simple first step:
STOP THE STIMULUS!
STOP THE STIMULUS!
STOP THE STIMULUS!
It’s an excellent place to start. Let’s make the US look attractive to investors once more.
Of course, I may just have absolutely no idea of what I’m talking about.
update: When I wrote this last night, I was a little worked up over the inanity and waste of the Cash-for-Clunkers program which is being viewed as this great success. In my rush, I definitely left out a few things that also need to be changed in order to halt the deficit for years to come. Number one on the list is Social Security. If anything would affect our yearly deficits and overall national debt more than SS, I don’t know what it is. It is the proverbial frog being boiled to death in a pot of water that slowly heats up from a refreshingly cool temperature, much as SS was a relief to those in and coming out of the great depression. Thankfully, Americans seem to be a little better informed about health care and other recent proposals (with hindsight as a weapon), and the immediacy of the programs calls for immediate action and opposition. The water in the pot is already uncomfortably warm.
Other things obviously include our current gov’t run health programs in Medicaid/Medicare. And the tax code could use a massive overhaul. The list could go on and on, but sometimes you have to stop the car (in this case by stopping some of the current proposals in spending) before you can turn it around. Actually, unless my logic fails me, you always have to stop the car before you can turn it around!
I wrote to my US Congressman George Miller (D-CA) before the recent vote in the House on the Cap-and Trade bill, officialy called the American Clean Energy and Security (ACES) Act of 2009. In my opinion, it will accomplish none of those things–clean energy, security, or aces. I indicated as much when I wrote to him. Alas, it my efforts were (of course) in vain. Here is the reply I received today (bolds are mine except for the act title):
Thank you for contacting me about climate change and energy policy.
This is a critical moment, and one that we must seize if we are ever to shift our national energy policy away from an over-reliance on fossil fuels: global warming is one of the most serious challenges that we have ever faced, and under President Obama, we are taking bold strides towards a clean energy future.In June, I voted for the American Clean Energy and Security (ACES) Act of 2009, a landmark bill that represents the single greatest effort in our country ever to address climate change and create a sustainable American energy policy.
The ACES Act sets a science-based limit [???] on carbon pollution, requires electric utilities to bring new clean energy sources online, and invests billions of dollars in green jobs, renewable energy production, and energy efficiency measures. The bill will also work to protect wildlife and natural resources imperiled by warming seas and a changing climate
It is also clear that this legislation has the potential to create millions of new American jobs while making America the global innovation and clean technology leader. One recent study [where?], for example, concluded that the American Clean Energy and Security Act and the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act would create 1.7 million new clean energy jobs, while the energy efficiency provisions alone are estimated to generate 770,000 jobs by 2030 [how can they know this?]. As Speaker Pelosi said during debate on the House floor, we should “remember these four words for what this legislation means: jobs, jobs, jobs, and jobs.” [Oh, I see, she said it so it must be true! /s] As chairman of the Education and Labor Committee, I also worked to ensure that the legislation provides health care coverage and training for any workers affected by the transition to a clean energy economy.
The bill uses a cap-and-trade framework to reduce greenhouse gasses, similar to the one instituted by the Clean Air Act amendments in 1990 to reduce the pollution that causes acid rain. Under that cap-and-trade system, sulfur dioxide emissions have been cut faster than expected, at an enormous cost savings.
I am very pleased that the legislation approved by the House now also includes the WATER Act, a bill I introduced earlier this year to help consumers make smarter decisions [you know, because we’re so stupid. “Help” here really means “compel.”] about their water and energy use. The WATER Act will provide incentives for water-saving consumer products so that we can we reduce the amount of energy we use to heat, transport, and clean the water we use every day.
The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency have each found that the ACES Act will shield consumers and homeowners from any potential energy price increases. According to their analyses, the legislation will cost each household less than 50 cents per day in 2020 [aren’t the previous two bolded phrases at direct odds with each other? And also at odds with what Obama said: “Under my plan of a cap and trade system, electricity rates would necessarily skyrocket.“, a figure which does not even take into account the significant savings that we could realize by energy-saving efficiency investments. This is an extraordinarily small price to pay for such a monumental step towards a clean energy economy and a significant reduction in greenhouse gases.
The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, signed into law by President Obama on February 17, is already making historic investments in energy efficiency, renewable energy, and clean next-generation technologies including a smart grid and advanced batteries. The economic recovery plan included tax credits and significant funding for these programs so that our efforts to transition to a clean energy economy remain on track during the economic crisis [usually in an economic crisis you try to reduce spending; just sayin’…]. The bill also provides nearly $4 billion to prepare adult, youth and dislocated workers for green jobs, and other emerging industries, including training for retrofitting buildings, green construction and production of renewable energy. It has been estimated that the energy provisions of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act will create more than 500,000 jobs.
The President’s recovery plan, which I was proud to support, has already delivered over $400 million to California alone for investments in reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Our state’s landmark climate change law (AB 32) and energy efficiency programs are a model for the nation, and are proof that we can combat greenhouse gas emissions while investing in an economy based on clean technology – the investments from the recovery plan will quickly create jobs in California while expanding renewable energy production and reducing energy demand.
These steps give us the opportunity to create millions of clean energy jobs that cannot be shipped overseas while ending our long dependence on foreign oil and other polluting fossil fuels [IMO, it just means we will need to import more fossil fuel].
I appreciate your comments and concerns regarding this legislation which I believe will provide green jobs, renewable energy production, and energy efficiency, and will ensure that workers and families are not harmed by the transition to an economy based on clean energy.
Member Of Congress, 7th District
Judge for yourself if this has strayed at all from the normal Democrat talking points that we have heard over and over as to why we need to pass this bill now. In my letter, I relayed my concern about how the ACES Act was not even read before the vote by anyone who voted for it. This major point is not addressed at all in the letter above.
For some background on the farce that is Cap-and-Trade, here are some good links:
The Krugman-hated Heritage Foundation–Ben Lieberman little reported testimony before the Senate Republican Conference
WSJ Kimberley Strassel–concerning growing worldwide questioning of man-made global warming
CBS News asking about whether any members of the House actually read the bill, or even could have read the bill
Much more out there, but that’s a start.