Sunday, June 28, 2009

Democrats Bust A Cap In Prosperity’s As~

Friday, Congressional Democrats, with the help of eight “Republican” stooges sold out the United States economy, middle America, and the nation’s poor in the name of not-fixing a non-problem. Here is what you need to know about the euphemistically titled American Clean Energy and Security Act (aka cap and trade).

Why did they do this?

Short answer: they don’t like you. Longer answer: Environmental theologians, like Al Gore the Prophet, believe that carbon dioxide, a heat-trapping "greenhouse" gas, is the primary cause of global warming.

They note that carbon dioxide emissions from the burning of oil, coal, and natural gas constitute about 80% of all man-made greenhouse gasses in the United States. Moreover, they note that man-made carbon emissions have increased worldwide more than 70 percent since 1970, and are now 40-45% higher than they were at the start of the Industrial Revolution. And they want this stopped. The Democrat’s cap and trade system, supposedly, will cut those emission, which will reduce the amount of greenhouse gas in the air, and will therefore prevent global warming.

So will it work?

Many people think it will. Indeed, a full 63% of Americans believe that human activity is the greatest source of carbon-dioxide emissions. But then, a 2006 survey found that 70% of Americans couldn’t find Iraq on the map, despite that whole war thing, and 33% couldn’t find Louisiana, despite that whole Katrina thing.

Perhaps we should ignore uninformed opinion and instead look at some facts? And here is one: human-caused carbon emissions come to a grand total of 3.27% of all carbon emissions. That’s right, 3.27%. The rest are caused by the decay of “biomass” (i.e. dead trees, leaves, etc.) or are released through volcanic activity. Thus, cap and trade will only affect a maximum of 3.27% of the problem.

Can reducing that 3.27% solve this problem? No. Ask yourself, if you are ten feet under water, with an additional foot of water being added every minute by a waterfall and an additional inch of water being added by your friend with a bucket, do you really think you can solve the problem by asking your friend to switch to a smaller bucket?

(For our congressional readers, we have a crayon-ready picture version of this last paragraph available upon request.)

But wait. . . there’s more!

They’re not even trying to fix the full 3.27%. No, indeed. Why? Because the Kyoto treaty, which is what Obama is trying to implement through this cap and trade scam, excluded developing countries (i.e. real polluters) from having to cut back their own emissions. Thus, China and India don’t need to make any cuts at all. Guess which country is the world’s biggest polluter? If you said China, then you’re too smart to be a Congressman. China accounts for 28% of the world’s pollution, and is growing rapidly.

So now we’re not even talking about fixing the 3.27%, we’re talking about fixing some portion of about twenty percent of that 3.27%.

Think of it this way: your neighbors’ cars belch out black smoke all day, but we’re going to “fix” the air quality problem in your neighborhood by making you drive your new Prius 10% slower.

Ok, what’s this going to cost?

The Democrats have been pimping a cost figure produced by the Congressional Budget Office that found that this legislation will cost the average household only $175 a year by 2020. Or as Ed Markey (D-Twilight Zone) claims, this will “cost less than a postage stamp a day.” Of course, that’s a lie.

The CBO study looked only at the cost of operating a trading program, it did not examine “the potential decrease in gross domestic product that could result from the cap.”

In other words, it only counted what the government will spend administering the program, it did not count how the program will affect the rest of us. This is like me claiming that I can reduce your grocery bill to $120 a year if you pay me $10 a month to buy groceries for you with your credit card. See the problem? If not, send me your credit card.

So what will it really cost? The Heritage Foundation estimates that this law would

• cost the economy $9.4 trillion in lost GDP by 2035,
• destroy an average 1.2 million jobs per year,
• increase electricity rates by 90%,
• increase gasoline prices by 58%,
• increase natural gas prices by 55%, and
• will result in an overall cost to the average family of four of $6,800 per year (more than half of what they currently spend on health care).
And if you don’t want to believe the Heritage Foundation, consider that the prior version of this bill, the Lieberman-Warner bill, died after it was determined that bill would

• cost the average family $6,752 per year,
• increase the costs of gasoline 144%,
• increase the price of electricity 129%, and
• eliminate 4 million jobs.
Moreover, the Lieberman bill had significantly lower goals than the current bill (reducing emissions by only 70% instead of 83%). Thus, the Heritage Foundation’s report likely understates the costs.

Won’t this hurt the poor the most?

Sure. These costs will have their greatest impact on food and energy. Thus, the harm from this bill will be highly regressive in nature, meaning that the poor will suffer the most. Also, the poorest parts of the country will be hit hardest by the job loses because those states rely on coal, farming and manufacturing more than the enlightened states. And here I thought the Democrats were the party of the poor?

As an aside, when your liberal friends start complaining about the cost of gas or electricity, tell them that the Republicans offered three amendments to suspend the program if gas hits $5 a gallon, if electricity rates increased by more than 10% in 2009, or if unemployment exceeds 15%. The Democrats defeated each of these, because they care about the poor. . . unlike those job-saving, gas-cheapening Republicans.

But do you know what’s even better?

This bill won’t even work to reduce green house emissions! At least, that’s what Greenpeace says.

The Waxman-Markey bill sets emission reduction targets far lower than science demands, then undermines even those targets with massive offsets.
An offset is like an indulgence. You can sin all you want, you just need to pay over a little something special to the pope and all will be forgiven. Remember your friend with the bucket? If you allowed offsets, he could keep adding water, but he would need to pay some politically connected third-party a rental fee on the bucket. That will solve the problem.

Greenpeace continues. . .

Greenpeace has expressed tremendous concern about the role of offsets in this legislation. Unless strictly controlled, the abuse of offsets could prevent real emission reductions for more than a decade. The decision to move authority over offsets from EPA to the Department of Agriculture further reduces the likelihood that such controls will be maintained and increases the likelihood they will undermine real reductions.
Department of Agriculture? Seriously? The same people who keep the nonsensical ethanol program running because it helps huge industrial farms (science be damned) and who kept the food pyramid upside down for 30 years to please lobbyists? Nice choice. Was the Bureau of Corruption unavailable? How do I get one of these jobs. . . I like suitcases full of cash.

(For our Congressional readers, that’s called sarcasm. . . sarcasm . . . oh look it up, I’m not going to explain it to you.)

So who do we thank for this?

The vote was 219-212. To get the bill through, the Democrats relied on the support of eight useful idiots, as Stalin would have called them. Not only did they not read the bill (300 of the 1200 pages were added, unread, at the last minute), but these eight idiots allowed eight Democrats in vulnerable districts to vote no, to protect their re-election chance. Here are their names:

Chris Smith -- NJ
Dave Riechert, WA
John M. McHugh - NY
Frank A. Lobiondo - NJ
Leonard Lance, NJ
Mark Steven Kirk, Il
Mike Castle, Del
Mary Bono Mack, CA
If you see these “Republicans,” spit on them. . . unless you’re really tall, then replace the p with an h.


Unknown said...

How bad does a plan to reduce bad emissions have to be for Greenpeace to oppose it? Damned bad. Greenpeace wouldn't mind if we all sank into poverty and lived in caves if it accomplished their oddball goals. But when a plan bankrupts the American public while enriching Al Gore and his gang, and then still doesn't reduce emissions significantly, even Greenpeace can see through it.

AndrewPrice said...


Make no mistake. Even IF global warming is real and IF cuting carbon emissions could help, this bill still would do nothing to help the problem.

This bill has nothing to do with environmentalism. This is nothing more than an attempt to put in place a hidden Value Added Tax that consumers will never see (but will pay), and which can be raised as needed to cover other programs.

StlDan said...

I have written, called, emailed and twitted to my Congressman (Carnahan D)before and after this vote to let him know, what kind of a price he will pay for this. I am doing the same with one of my Senators (McCaskill D)This bill has turned me into a true activist. Not only will I work for my candidate in the future I will now work against those who do not support my positions on major policy. I am going to do everything I can to Cap & Trade these Statist.

StanH said...

There is some good news to me in “cap-n-trade,” this will be a tax on everything and will hit every soul in America even the sainted poor. For a business just like with any tax it will be passed along to the customer, and will be factored by every business into their bottom line, all goods will cost more. In my mind this will expose liberal hypocrisy for what it is, “tax and spend.” The traitorous eight need to be hammered along with the so called Blue Dog Democrats in 2010, I believe it will be a good year to be conservative.

BevfromNYC said...

So does this mean I will be getting my new paycheck from the Gub'mint? I swear I heard Our Dear Leader swear during his campaign that no one making under $200K would be effected by cap and trade legistation, only those evil, rich people. I for one am thrilled that I will be getting a raise.

Oh, wait, when you said "hidden value added tax", you meant we won't actually see it, but we will all have to pay it. I guess this will be one of those times where he didn't lie, he just didn't tell the truth. Darn, and I could have used that extra paycheck to pay for my vast right wing conspiracy products like energy, food, transportation, housing, and clothing.

MegaTroll said...

AP what a great article! No body has explained this cap and trade thing to me like you just did. Thanks! Everybody should read this.

BevfromNYC, I just read your article from yesterday too. Amazing. I haven't heard that anywhere else and you guys are right, it's super important. (Hawk even made the Micheal Jackson stuff interesting - and he's got a totally useful take on it, it's like more newsy than the news.).

You guys are all doing a GREAT job!! Thanks you so much.

CSheehan said...

I second MegaTroll's opinion that your article makes it super easy to understand. I've already copied, pasted and emailed it to several people (hope that's ok?)

I have to (sort of) take issue with one thing you said however.

I agree that they hate us, but I wonder if the short answer should be that they're just dumb?

AndrewPrice said...

CSheehan, feel free to pass this on to anyone. I'm glad you enjoyed it.

You might be right that they may just be dumb! LOL! How can they vote for a bill they haven't read?

Mega, thanks for the kind words. I'm glad to hear that you liked it. One of the things we try to do here is to explain things in ways that make sense, which isn't always what you find on the news.

AndrewPrice said...

StlDan, I'm with you. This bill is stunning. It is quite simply an attack on the heart of our economy, with massive collateral damage to the poor/middle class and to mid-America, for no real purpose that I can see.

Europe's experience with cap and trade has been a fraud as well -- it turned into a tax plan that did nothing to decrease carbon emissions. That's our future.

StanH, From a political perspective, you make a good point. . . however, the Democrats are going to blame the oil company or the grocery store for price fixing. That's the problem with this sort of hidden tax -- people don't see how it affects the price they pay, they just see the price.

What they need to do now is to list at the point of sale, "here is the additional cost you are paying because of the carbon offsets."

AndrewPrice said...

Bev, Obama wasn't truthful, but that's ok because no one believed him. Right?

Mike Kriskey said...

"Obama wasn't truthful, but that's ok because no one believed him."

That's kind of the converse to (Seinfeld's) George Costanza on passing a lie detector test: "It's not a lie if you believe it."

Writer X said...

Harry Mitchell (D-AZ) was our only Democratic representative who didn't vote for this stupid bill. Yes, he is vulnerable. But I think most of AZ melted his phone lines/email lines this last week. At least he listened to his constituents.

Question: When a more sane, Republican president wins the next election, can this bill (even parts of it) be undone?

AndrewPrice said...

Writer X,

It is very possible that the bill will never become law because the Senate may stand in the way. Unfortunately, they will probably find some "watered-down" compromise. Look for your Senator to lead the charge of the RINOs on that one.

In terms of undoing the program, yes, any piece of legislation can be undone. All you have to do is repeal it and it's gone. (It will take the Congress to do that though, not the President.)

However, I think this is primarily a revenue grab -- and a big one at that. Thus, it will so quickly become a vital source of income that neither party will be willing to give it up.

Moreover, because the offsets are political in nature, politicians will start handing them out to favored lobbyists. Thus, they again won't want to get rid of them.

Tennessee Jed said...

Andrew - a terrific article, many thanks! I can only hope the Senate stands taller. I sure hope some real Republicans work on their primary campaigns against these guys. Jersey politics is such a cesspool, though.

Unknown said...

Just a little more background here. You probably all saw the big Democrat get-together that was going on in the few minutes and hours before the vote. That was not what you might think. They knew they had the votes to pass by a fairly comfortable, if small, vote. That was Democrat strategizing for the next election. They weren't trying to get votes. They were deciding who would be "allowed" to vote against it. Those "allowed" to vote against it on the Democrat side are from swing districts with a strong moderate/conservative constituency, so they could later campaign on "I voted against it."

It's simple, folks. Obama promised "no new taxes" on people earning under $150,000 per year (never mind the lie inherent in that for people who are running their own businesses). So let's tax everyone to the hilt by calling it something else. Cap and Trade along with universal medical coverage amount to the biggest tax hike in American history. It's just hidden as "good things we all need." Yeah, right.

Writer X said...

Thanks, Andrew.

In the Senate, AZ has Kyle and McCain, who's leadership currently consists of running around the country telling anyone who'll listen that "elections have consequences." To which I'd like to tell him, "so do running lackluster campaigns and lame bipartisanship."

AndrewPrice said...

Jed, I agree, these 8 need to go. I think the party should stop supporting them entirely. McHugh, by the way, has been appointed by Obama to be the next Secretary of the Army.

Writer X, I saw the other day that McCain offered the lightest criticism of Obama you could ever imagine, and Obama responded angrily and with personal attacks. McCain never stood up for himself. Apparently, the only time he can find a backbone is when he's fighting his own party.

Lawhawk, you're right about the politics -- that absolutely happened. Which is why I didn't bother mentioning the Democrats who voted against this bill because their "no" votes would have been "yes" votes if they were needed.

CrisD said...

Thank you, Andrew.

I called my rep. for People's Republic of Chapel Hill but am not giving up calling the senators regarding this outrage.

I also got two of my friends in other states to use Eric Erickson's "call tree" complete w/ links to the correct phone number.

Love the blog here. Keep up good work.

AndrewPrice said...

CrisD, thanks! I'm always happy to hear that people are enjoying our work. :-)

And, YES, everyone PLEASE CALL YOUR SENATORS!! This legislation is really bad.

alvaro said...

Andrew, I too will copy, paste and spread this great article/post around plus I'm printing it for myself...awesome! Very informative, easy to read and funny on top of being well written. I may not be a writer but I know one when I read one!

Thank you, Alvaro

AndrewPrice said...

Alvaro, thank you so much! :-)

And thanks for dropping by!

CrispyRice said...

Re this bill hitting the poor -- I heard (and no, I'm not sure where, so really I'm just rumor-mongering here until I can confirm this) that the bill also has a provision to send gov't checks to the "poor" every month to cover any anticipated increase in utilities.

I personally am sending letters to those 8 "Republicans" and letting them know that I'll be sending $$ to any conservative who opposes them in a primary, even though I don't live in their district. (More hearsay coming in --->) I heard on Quinn & Rose this morning that in exchange for their votes, Pelosi promised them that the Dems wouldn't put up any serious opposition for their reelections.

AndrewPrice said...

CrispyRice, I heard talk about money to the poor (or tax breaks), but I haven't seen that implemented anywhere.

As for the wheeling and dealing, I hadn't heard that either, but (1) it would not surprise me and (2) they would be fools to trust Pelosi.

That said, there was a ton of deal making to get the votes they got. The most famous involved Rep. Alan Grayson (D-Fl) getting a $50 million hurricane research center put into his district.

Individualist said...

It's funny I was at Epcot on the Spaceship Earth ride with my Mom who chose "Conservation" for the future as opposed to Technological acheivements. After filling in the either/or questions the future was riding a bike to work, living in a hose of natural eathern materials (resebles a cave), using natural nearby spring water (the river) and growing our own food (medieval peasant). For a minute I thought I was on the back to the days of the Dark Ages ride.
Liberals are luddites. Good Post!

Pittsburgh Enigma said...

This is an excellent article Andrew. I contacted my congressman (Mike Doyle-Democrat) prior to the vote to protest the bill based on many of the points you made. After the vote, he posted a propaganda piece on his website claiming that "the bad things [critics] are saying about this bill are false." This is so outrageous since Obama himself is on record saying that under his vision of cap and trade "electricity rates would necessarily skyrocket" and "if someone wants to build a coal-powered plant, they can, it would just bankrupt them." Obama in his own words. Of course, supporters of cap and trade will claim that his words were taken out of context or that what he said isn't really what he meant to say.

AndrewPrice said...

Pittsburgh Enigma, welcome!

I am glad that you contacted your representative. More people need to do that on these issues, because it can make a difference.

Unfortunately, as you have discovered, they are also more than willing to lie to cover their rear ends. If this bill is really as good as they like to claim, then step up, tell the truth, and take the credit/blame, don't hide behind a veil of lies.

Thanks for the links.

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