Archive for the ‘Cap and Trade’ Category

It’s about the Money, Not the Climate

by Alan Caruba on Tuesday, August 5th, 2014

This is article 327 of 330 in the topic Global Warming

By Alan Caruba

Oscar Wilde (1854-1900), the Irish poet and dramatist, wrote “Pray don’t talk to me about the weather. Whenever people talk to me about the weather, I always feel quite certain that they mean something else.”

These days, when some world leader or politician speaks of the climate—the weather is what is happening right now wherever you are—they are not talking about sunshine or rain. They are talking about a devilishly obscene way of raising money by claiming that it is humans that are threatening the climate with everything they do, from turning on the lights to driving anywhere.

That’s why “global warming” was invented in the late 1980s as an immense threat to the Earth and to mankind. Never mind that Earth has routinely passed through warmer and cooler cycles for billions of years; much of which occurred before mankind emerged. And never mind that the Earth has been a distinct cooling cycle for the past seventeen years and likely to stay in it for a while. If the history of ice ages is any guide, we could literally be on the cusp of a new one.

If, however, a government can tax the use of energy, it stands to make a lot of money. That is why carbon taxes have been introduced in some nations and why the nearly useless “clean energy” options of wind and solar have been introduced even though they both require the backup of traditional coal, natural gas and nuclear energy plants because they cannot produce electricity if the wind isn’t blowing and the sun is obscured by clouds.

Taxing energy use means taxing “greenhouse gas” emissions; primarily carbon dioxide (C02) so that every ton of it added to the atmosphere by a power plant and any other commercial activity becomes a source of income for the nation. The Australians went through this and rapidly discovered it drove up their cost of electricity and negatively affected their economy so much that they rid themselves of a prime minister and the tax within the past year.

Fortunately, every effort to introduce a carbon tax has been defeated by the U.S. Congress, but that it has shelled out billions for “climate research” over the years. That doesn’t mean, however, that 41 demented Democrats in the House of Representatives haven’t gotten together in a “Safe Climate Caucus” led by Rep. Henry A. Waxman. The Washington Post reported that when it was launched in February 2013, the members promised to talk every day on the House floor about “the urgent need to address climate change.”
 
Check out the caucus and, if your Representative is a member, vote to replace him or her with someone less idiotic.

When you hear the President or a member of Congress talk about the climate, they are really talking about the scheme to generate revenue from it through taxation or to raise money from those who will personally benefit from any scheme related to the climate such as “clean energy.”

The need of governments to frighten their citizens about the climate in order to raise money is international in scope.

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More Obama Climate Lies

by Alan Caruba on Wednesday, May 7th, 2014

This is article 309 of 330 in the topic Global Warming

The continuing drama of a President willing to lie about the climate continues with the release of a report, the National Climate Assessment. It is a repeat of all the lies that have been generated by the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.

“The climate report,” said Dan Kish, a Senior Vice President of the Institute for Energy Research, “bears a strong resemblance to the IPCC report, only with less science and more rhetoric.” It is “just another attempt to justify more government intervention in American’s lives and more attacks on affordable energy and economic growth.”

Like Obamacare, the new report is, said Kish, “intentionally confusing and misleading.”

“Throughout his entire presidency,” said Kish, “Obama has promoted policies that have discouraged the use of our vast energy resources, including blocking the Keystone XL pipeline, slowing energy development on government lands and water, and forcing new restrictions on all forms of energy that Americans have used to become the number one economy in the world. Under this administration, even cows are not spared as emission sources that must be controlled in Washington.”

Marlo Lewis, a Senior Fellow at the Competitive Enterprise Institute, writing on Fox News, identified the political agenda of the climate report “designed to scare people and build political support for unpopular policies such as carbon taxes, cap-and-trade, and EPA regulatory mandates.” Item by item, he noted the lies put forth by the report.

The American Coalition for Clean Coal Electricity responded to the latest climate report in a comparable, direct manner. Laura Sheehan, a Senior Vice President of the ACCCE, said, “Instead of flying his cabinet members around the world, President Obama and his deputies should take time to visit communities impacted by a much more dangerous threat; this administration’s costly regulatory crusade.”

“The Obama Administration,” said Sheehen, “consistently fails to acknowledge the enormous industry investments and advancements in clean coal technologies, place a wholly unmerited target on our back to achieve political gains; when in reality, America’s coal fleet is responsible for nearly 40 percent of our nation’s electricity and just a tiny fraction of the world’s carbon emissions.”

“Thanks to the industry’s investment of $188 billion, major emissions from coal-fueled power plants have been reduced by nearly 90 percent,” said Sheehan. “The industry plans to invest another $100 billion over the next decade to develop and deploy clean coal technology further reducing emissions.”

Left unsaid is that carbon emissions, as far as the climate is concerned, play a very minor role. Moreover, all those investments have been forced on the coal power industry by ever increasing levels of regulation by the Environmental Protection Agency. The cost is passed along to electricity consumers—all of us—as a necessary increase.

An outspoken critic of the Obama administration’s energy and climate policies, Sen. James Inhofe (R-OK) said, “This report is part of the game the president is playing to distract Americans from his unchecked regulatory agenda that is costing our nation middle class jobs, new economic opportunities, and our ability to be energy independent.”

The report comes at a time when numerous polls demonstrate that climate change is a very low priority for most Americans. A Wall Street Journal/NBC poll in January found that “climate change” ranked last on a list of l5 issues when people were asked which ones the administration should make its priorities.

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Should California Dictate US Energy Policies?

by Paul Driessen on Wednesday, April 30th, 2014

This is article 259 of 264 in the topic energy

California loves to be seen as the trendsetter on energy and environmental policies. But can we really afford to adopt their laws and regulations in the rest of America? Heck, can the once Golden State afford them itself? The path to hell is paved with good intentions, counter-productive policies – and hypocrisy.

The official national unemployment rate is stuck at 6.7% – but with much higher rates for blacks and Hispanics and a labor participation rate that remains the lowest in 35 years. Measured by gross national product, our economy is growing at an abysmal 1.5% or even 1.0% annual rate.

Meanwhile, California’s jobless rate is higher than in all but three other states: 8.1% – and with far worse rates as high as 15% for blacks, Hispanics and inland communities. First the good news, then the insanity.

Citigroup’s Energy 2020: North America report estimates that the United States, Canada and Mexico could make North America almost energy independent in six years, simply by tapping their vast recoverable oil and gas reserves. Doing so would help lower energy and consumer prices, insulate the three nations from volatile or blackmailing foreign suppliers, and spur job creation based on reliable, affordable energy, says the U.S. Energy Information Administration.

Driving this revolution is horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing. According to Citigroup, IHS Global Insights, the EIA and other analysts, “fracking” technology contributed 2.1 million jobs and $285 billion to the US economy in 2013, while adding $62 billion to local, state and federal treasuries! Compare that to mandates and subsidies required for expensive, unreliable, job-killing wind, solar and biofuel energy.

Fracking also slashed America’s oil imports from 60% of its total petroleum needs in 2005 to just 28% in 2013. It slashed our import bill by some $100 billion annually.

By 2020 the government share of this boom is expected to rise to $111 billion. By 2035, U.S. oil and natural gas operations could inject over $5 trillion in cumulative capital expenditures into the economy, while contributing $300 billion a year to GDP and generating over $2.5 trillion in cumulative additional government revenues.

A Yale University study calculates that the drop in natural gas prices (from $8 per thousand cubic feet or million Btu in 2008, and much more on the spot market, to $4.00 or so now) is saving businesses and families over $125 billion a year in the cost of heating, electricity and raw material feed stocks.

The only thing standing in the way of a US employment boom and economic and industrial renaissance, says Citigroup, is politics: continued or even more oppressive anti-hydrocarbon policies and regulations.

Here’s the insanity. Fully 96% of this nation’s oil and gas production increase took place on state and private lands. Production fell significantly on federal lands under President Obama’s watch, with the Interior Department leasing only 2% of federal offshore lands and 6% of its onshore domain for petroleum, then slow-walking drilling permits, according to the Institute for Energy Research.

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You Say You Want a Revolution

by Dr. Robert Owens on Saturday, April 5th, 2014

This is article 426 of 458 in the topic Government Corruption

Our revolution changed the world. Our Declaration of Independence proclaims self-evident truths. That all men are created equal, they’re endowed by their Creator with unalienable rights, among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. These words shook a world held in the vise-grip of hereditary privilege inspiring people around the globe. Our Constitution established a representative republic with a limited government of the people, by the people and for the people.

We’ve watched as our constitutionally limited government grew until today it’s a leviathan running amok like Godzilla in Tokyo smashing things and scaring boy scouts. Today the Federal government is the largest employer in America, states are the largest employers in the states and counties are among the largest employers in the counties get the picture? Government is on a rampage and unless Mothra is going to fly in to save the day we’ll have to deal with Frankenstein-on-the-Potomac ourselves.

Such brazen power-plays as the Executive branch issuing the Legislature an ultimatum, either pass Cap-N-Trade or we’ll impose it administratively through command-and-control make the dramatic changes in our political culture shockingly apparent. Has our balance of powers melted away under the glare of executive orders, signing statements and now ultimatums? Some people say this is evolution. To others it’s devolution. Our hard-won and dearly-paid-for Republic is devolving into a command-and-control all-encompassing central-state.

With political dynasties bequeathing congressional seats like hereditary fiefdoms it’s becoming hard to explain why we left the British Empire. Today we not only have taxation without representation as congressional party-line voters ignore their constituents we also have representation without taxation as the perpetually re-elected Lords and Ladies represent the illegal immigrants and the professional welfare hammock-riders.

These big government social planners may believe they’ve achieved their community organizing goals fulfilling Historian Will Durant paraphrase of Lincoln’s famous quote, “It may be true that you can’t fool all the people all the time, but you can fool enough of them to rule a large country.” They may believe their revolutionary administration will fundamentally change America however, if they’d step 20 miles outside the Beltway obviously there’s a counter-revolution brewing. The Tea Party is overtaking the Republican Party in popularity. It has already supplanted them at the grassroots of the conservative movement. By 2010 an avalanche of voters thronged the polling places demanding their country back.

Following the tactics of Saul Alinsky brought the Obama-Acorn-SEIU coalition control of the Democratic Party and the country but following the Cloward/Piven Strategy for overwhelming the system to impose an alternative system is going to lead to a complete repudiation of this radical departure from traditional American politics and economics. We aren’t Venezuela. Even after decades of legislative efforts to progressively create a permanent underclass of government dependents who’ll follow the leader to the next looting of productive members of society the majority in this country still want freedom and opportunity not cradle-to-grave mediocrity.

We can and should stage a counter-revolution against this growing tyranny. A peaceful, lawful revolution at the ballot box and if you’re talking about destruction, you can count me out. The last thing we need in this crowded theater full of combustible emotions is either a match or someone shouting fire. Any incident right now would trigger a massive response.

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When the Have Nots Become the Haves

by Dr. Robert Owens on Saturday, October 26th, 2013

This is article 68 of 82 in the topic Redistribution of wealth/socialism

Saul Alinsky the political thinker who seems to have had more impact on President Obama than any other was very clear in his most important book about what his motives were and what he was aiming at, “What follows is for those who want to change the world from what it is to what they believe it should be. ‘The Prince’ was written by Machiavelli for the Haves on how to hold power. ‘Rules for Radicals’ is written for the Have-Nots on how to take it away.” 

With the November Revolution of 2008 which gave us one party rule for two years the Progressive Democrat party saw their chance and they took it.  Within the two years it took for the people to realize they needed some balance the Progressives passed Obamacare which effectively gives government control of 1/6 of the economy.  They passed Dodd-Frank which gives them extensive control over the financial sector.  When they couldn’t push Cap-N-Trade even through a rubber-stamp Congress the President imposed it by executive order.  When they likewise failed to muster enough of their own hacks to pass the Dream Act once again it was imposed by fiat. 

The anti-capitalist programs of the Progressive Bush Administration’s final days were continued and amplified by the Obama Administration.  TARP was followed by the Stimulus.  The takeover of AIG was joined by the take-over of the auto industry and by force feeding money into the economy for years of quantitative easing as the casino we call the stock market soars. 

Unemployment reporting has become totally unhinged from reality as the real rate stays at levels which would easily shine the light of truth on the fiction of a recovery. 

According to the government’s own Bureau of Labor Statistics the real unemployment rate (U-6) has been continuously above 13 % for the last year.  This information is readily available (one click of the mouse) and yet the media (including Fox) have told us day-by-day that it is falling and is now down to 7.2.  This typifies the manufactured reality the federal government and the Corporations Once Known as the Mainstream Media shovel into the public trough.  If the plagiarized opinions I hear my fellow citizens share everyday are any indication the average person accepts the fiction as reality. 

New research from the Republicans on the Senate Budget Committee shows that over the last five years, the U.S. has spent about $3.7 trillion on welfare. 

“We have just concluded the 5th fiscal year since President Obama took office. During those five years, the federal government has spent a total $3.7 trillion on approximately 80 different means-tested poverty and welfare programs. The common feature of means-tested assistance programs is that they are graduated based on a person’s income and, in contrast to programs like Social Security or Medicare, they are a free benefit and not paid into by the recipient,” says the minority side of the Senate Budget Committee. 

The minority side also states that, “The enormous sum spent on means-tested assistance is nearly five times greater than the combined amount spent on NASA, education, and all federal transportation projects over that time.”  And the staggering sum of $3.7 trillion is not even the entire amount spent on federal poverty support, as states contribute more than $200 billion each year primarily in the form of free low-income health care. 

The goal has always been to get enough people receiving benefits to out-vote the ones paying for the benefits.  In the fourth quarter of 2011, (the last full year for which statistics are available) 49.2 percent of Americans received benefits from one or more government programs, according to data released Tuesday by the Census Bureau. 

In total, the Census Bureau estimated, 151,014,000 Americans out of a population then estimated to be 306,804,000 received benefits from one or more government programs during the last three months of 2011.

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Stop Denying Climate Science and ACT! (Before People Realize it’s a Scam)

by Paul Driessen on Saturday, August 31st, 2013

This is article 260 of 330 in the topic Global Warming

The full-court press is on. Alarmist scientists, politicians, pressure groups, newspapers, ministers, rabbis and bureaucrats want Americans to “stop stalling” on climate change. They demand that we embrace “revenue-neutral” carbon taxes and carbon dioxide regulations, before it’s “too late” to prevent “catastrophic” global warming, “monster” storms and rising seas that will “inundate our coastal cities.”

Anyone dissenting from this “call to action” is a climate change “denier” – a pejorative devised to vilify and silence anyone who rejects this agenda, by linking our views to Holocaust denial. What nonsense.

All of us “deniers” know climate change is real and has been throughout Earth’s many cycles of warming and cooling, storms and droughts, ice ages and little ice ages. Striations (scratches) on a chunk of Niagara Escarpment limestone that I dug out a mile from my boyhood home memorialize stones dragged by the last glacier that buried Wisconsin under a mile of ice. Countless climate changes have buffeted our Earth.

What we deny are assertions that human carbon dioxide emissions have replaced the myriad of complex, interrelated planetary, solar and cosmic forces that caused previous climate reverberations, and that what we are experiencing now is unprecedented and likely to be catastrophic.

Not one of the alarmist claims is supported by actual observations or scientific evidence. Even worse, the claims are getting more ridiculous with every passing day: “children aren’t going to know what snow is,” crime is rising, oceans won’t smell the same, and storms are getting worse – because of global warming.

Contrary to the hype and hysteria, our planet stopped warming 16 years ago, even as atmospheric carbon dioxide levels continued to climb. That prompted climate catastrophists to start talking about “climate change” and blame every “extreme weather” event on CO2 emissions.

As I have pointed out before, far from being a “dangerous pollutant” (as President Obama and EPA keep saying), carbon dioxide makes all life on Earth possible. It makes food crops and other plants grow faster and better, loads them with more nutrients, helps them survive droughts, and makes our planet greener.

This trace gas has almost nothing to do with planetary warming or climate change. But it’s worth noting that the United States has slashed its CO2 emissions more than almost any other country – sending them back to where they were 30 years ago, thanks to the environmentalists’ latest target: fracking! And the daily human contribution of CO2 to our atmosphere is equivalent to a penny out of $1 million!

CO2 levels have “soared” to 400 ppm (0.04% of Earth’s atmosphere) not because of the USA or other developed countries – but because China, India and dozens of other countries are working desperately to lift billions of people out of abject poverty. To do that, they need fossil fuels, which provide 80% of the energy that makes modern civilization and living standards possible – and these countries are not going to slash their hydrocarbon use. To suggest otherwise reflects callous contempt for the needs of families that want to take their rightful places among Earth’s healthy and prosperous people.

No one would suggest that the absence of extreme weather events over a particular time period is due to humans. However, recent history certainly contradicts incessant claims that our weather is getting worse.

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Pulitzer Prize-Winning Idiot

by Alan Caruba on Sunday, April 28th, 2013

This is article 150 of 196 in the topic Liberalism
What kind of idiot would write, “Until we fully understand what turned two brothers who allegedly perpetrated the Boston Marathon bombings into murderers, it is hard to make any policy recommendation other than this: We need to redouble our efforts to make America stronger and healthier so it remains a vibrant counterexample to whatever bigoted ideology may have gripped these young men.”
“Whatever bigoted ideology”? This is what Thomas L. Friedman of The New York Times wrote on April 21.
Friedman had spent years in Lebanon, first as a reporter for the United Press International from 1979 to 1981. From 1975 to 1990, Lebanon was convulsed by a civil war between its Christian population and Palestinian forces aligned with Syrian-backed Muslims. In 1981 he was hired by the New York Times and won a Pulitzer Prize for his coverage of the 1982 Israeli invasion of Lebanon after years of Katyusha rocket attacks on northern Israel. He also won the George Polk Award for Foreign Reporting.
He would serve as the Times Bureau Chief in Jerusalem from June 1984 to February 1988, receiving a second Pulitzer Prize for his coverage of the first Palestinian intifada. He witnessed Islamic terrorism first hand and learned nothing from it.
If that is not sufficiently moronic, his column, “How to Put America Back Together Again” was devoted to “healing our economy” and his answer was higher taxes in general and a carbon tax in particular. “We need to raise more revenues, in the least painful way possible.”
No, Mr. Friedman, what we need to do is stop spending more than the nation takes in by reducing spending, fixing the tax code, and reforming entitlement programs, but that is never part of the liberal agenda.
He called for a “‘radical center—one much more willing to suggest radically new ideas to raise revenues…the best place to start is with a carbon tax.”  This tax is based on the false assertion that greenhouse gas emissions, particularly carbon dioxide, are causing global warming and/or climate change. It would raise the cost of the use of energy for everyone. It would raise revenue for “investment” in more failed solar energy companies and other crony capitalism that has become the hallmark of the Obama administration.
“A phased-in carbon tax of $20 to $25 a ton could raise around $1 trillion over ten years, as we each pay a few more dimes and quarters for every gallon of gasoline or hour of electricity.” This is easy to say if you are a highly paid Times columnist, author, and public speaker. It is also a formula for inflicting pain on an economy that is dependent for its growth on the use of energy; a nation in which its total recoverable oil, along with Mexico, exceeds 1.7 trillion barrels. That’s the equivalent, based on current use, of enough oil for the next 242 years.
He covered his proposal saying “Yes, a carbon tax is not painless. We would have to, and easily can, cushion the poor from its impact.” Nonsense! Even the poor must purchase gasoline and electricity. And the poor to whom he refers includes the millions of Americans who are unemployed because of Obama administration policies that restrict economy growth.

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Facing a Triple Threat: Doha, EPA and Congress

by Paul Driessen on Saturday, December 1st, 2012

This is article 215 of 330 in the topic Global Warming

Climate alarmists are meeting in Doha, Qatar, to hammer out a new international treaty to replace the Kyoto Protocol that expires this year. The US Environmental Protection Agency is poised to unleash its first wave of carbon dioxide regulations. And Congress is teaming up with the White House to legislate taxes on hydrocarbon use and CO2 emissions, on top of pending tax hike on “the rich.”

This serious triple threat to our energy, economy, jobs, living standards, health and welfare is justified by assertions that the actions will stabilize Earth’s climate and prevent a litany of global warming horrors.

Our planet’s climate has never been stable, and never will be. There is no empirical evidence that carbon dioxide drives climate change, or that greenhouse gases have supplanted the complex and interrelated natural forces that have produced big and little ice ages, floods and droughts, stormy and quiescent periods throughout the ages.

Even as atmospheric carbon dioxide levels have risen from 280 parts per million before 1880 to 391 ppm (0.0391%) today, average global temperatures have flat-lined for 16 years;hurricane and tornado frequency and intensity have fallen to new lows; Antarctic sea ice continues to expand, while Arctic ice caps were reduced, not by warming, but by huge storms; and the rate of sea level rise remains steady.

While alarmists insist that Hurricane Sandy was “unprecedented” and proof that “climate change is real,” it is just one of many major storms that have battered New York and eastern Canada over the years.

Moreover, every ton of painful, economy-crippling US carbon dioxide reductions would be offset by 100 tons from India, China and elsewhere, and atmospheric CO2 concentrations would continue to climb.

But these inconvenient truths are irrelevant to climate campaigners, who are using “dangerous manmade climate change” as the best pretext ever devised to control energy use and economies. They simply hypothesize, model and assert that every observed weather and climate phenomenon is due to human CO2 emissions. Warmer or colder, wetter or drier, more ice or less, more storms, fewer storms, occasional big storms – if not now, someday, sooner or later. It’s exactly what climate alarmists predicted.

This is not science. It is political science, rooted in a loathing of hydrocarbons, economic growth and humanity. It’s ideological, religious – the only state-sanctioned, state-supported religion permitted today.

If Eisenhower’s military-industrial complex was bad, what are we to make of today’s political-scientific-university-bureaucratic-military-industrial-media-environmentalist complex? Funded and driven by tens of billions of dollars annually for research grants, renewable energy programs and regulatory regimes, it has far too much at stake to forsake adherence to Mann-made global warming cataclysm hypotheses.

According to Government Accountability Institute president Peter Schweizer, well-connected political cronies take hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars for “green energy” and “global warming prevention” programs, funnel it to soon-to-be-bankrupt companies, keep a few million for themselves, and launder a few hundred thousand back to the politicians who brokered the deals. Obama campaign bundlers, says Schweizer, received more than $21,000 of corporate welfare for each dollar they donated to the Obama reelection campaign. Big Green environmentalist groups also garner countless millions in taxpayer lucre.

The consequences for average workers and families are dire.

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Legislators Must Oppose a Carbon Tax

by Alan Caruba on Friday, November 30th, 2012

This is article 213 of 330 in the topic Global Warming

One of the most disturbing pieces of news has been the way some Republicans in Congress have gone wobbly on the greatest hoax of the modern era, global warming or climate change or whatever other name is being applied to it as the effort to impose an insane tax on carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions is getting a push.

Let’s briefly examine the facts:

There never was any global warming if you apply Al Gore’s definition—“The Earth has a fever.” There was no dramatic increase in the Earth’s overall temperature at the end of the mini ice age that ended in 1850 after some three hundred years of significant cooling. An increase of about one degree was sufficient to produce warming.

Carbon dioxide plays NO role whatever in the increase or decrease of the Earth’s overall temperature. The single determining factor was and is the SUN. The seasons reflect the Earth’s circumnavigation of the Sun, warming in the spring and getting colder in the winter.

Carbon dioxide represents 0.033 to 0.038 percent of the Earth’s atmosphere. By contrast, nitrogen represents 78.084 percent, oxygen is 20.94 percent, argon is 0.934 percent, and trace elements represent 0.002 percent.

Carbon dioxide is not a warming gas. It is a cooling gas.

There is no “consensus” among scientists that the Earth is warming or that CO2 plays a role in this alleged, utterly false claim.

There has been no warming for some sixteen years since the Earth entered a natural cooling cycle.

Carbon dioxide is vital to all life on Earth. It is the “food” that all vegetation requires for growth. In greenhouses, CO2 is pumped in to stimulate growth. Without vegetation in the form of crops, all other life on Earth dies. Seeking to reduce CO2 emissions is an idiotic idea.

Taxing so-called greenhouse gas emissions was originally a scheme to enrich those selling “credits” to do so in various exchanges, many of which have since ceased to operate. The carbon tax has a lot of appeal to a dead broke U.S. government. Raising tax rates and revenues allows the government to continue ignoring the larger problem of debt.

What happens when government entities, federal and states, get more income? In general they waste it. Or they allocate it to pay for the benefits, pensions, and healthcare of civil service union employees. Most such obligations are under-funded these days due to their size.

One of the most famous lobbyists against raising taxes, Grover Norquist, a man who has bound Republican lawmakers in Congress to a pledge against draining more money out of the economy, was required to deny reports in the National Journal that he advocated a “carbon tax swap.”. Meanwhile, the Competitive Enterprise Institute has sued the Treasury Department for failure to be more transparent about any deliberations it has engaged in regarding a carbon tax.

If Republicans allow the door to “climate change” to crack open, this utterly baseless tax will be on its way to being law and, like the income tax, will grow to such proportions that it will suck the life out of the nation’s economy, if there is an economy.

It has no basis in science and even a simple understanding of economics and history tells us that it is one of the worst ideas ever put forth.

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California is Destroying Itself. The U.S. is Next.

by Alan Caruba on Sunday, November 18th, 2012

This is article 308 of 391 in the topic economy

There’s a very entertaining, but terrifying book by Laer Pearce, “Crazifornia: Tales from the Tarnished State—How California is destroying itself and Why It Matters to America.” I recommend everyone read it because it lays out the template for why California will go belly up and why the nation is at the precipice of doing the same thing.

For some thirty years the author has been helping corporations and local government agencies cope with California’s regulatory jungle. As he puts it, “Crazifornia reveals a state that has become so misdirected, ungovernable and untenable that the primary driver of change has become the catastrophe.” Following the recent elections a recent Wall Street Journal editorial opined, “So now Californians will experience the joys of one-party, union-run progressive governance.”

Though it may defy belief, Californians voted to let the state tax them more to 13.3% and they gave Democrats a supermajority in both houses while killing a ballot initiative that would have barred unions from automatically withholding money from worker paychecks for political spending. The public service and other unions own California. Add that to a history of progressive politics and you have a recipe for the total disaster that confronts the state and the nation these days.

Laer calls it a laboratory for liberals. “California has become tax-crazy, imposing the nation’s highest unemployment tax and personal capital gains tax rates. And it’s near the top on income taxes, corporate tax rates, and corporate capital gains tax rates.” If this sounds like where America is heading if the Bush tax cuts are not extended and as the many hidden Obamacare taxes kick in, you’re right. And the only thing the President keeps talking about is taxing the rich who he defines as anyone earning $250,000 or more. For the record, $250,000 is only one quarter of a million, despite his blather about millionaires and billionaires.

Laer points out that California’s taxes are currently causing 150,000 residents to flee the state each year.  “In fact, Los Angeles alone has lost more households than New York, Miami, and, incredibly, the economically decimated city of Detroit…combined.”

How crazy are Californians? They have amended California’s constitution 513 times in 130 years or almost four constitutional amendments each year, year in and year out, since the state was founded. By contrast, the U.S. Constitution has been amended 28 times since it was ratified. That includes the ten Bill of Rights amendments introduced in 1789 by James Madison and included in 1791.

What do the Californians get for their taxes? Not much. It ranks 48th among the states in elementary school rankings in reading and 49th in science. Not much value for the high rate of per-pupil spending. Its teachers are the highest paid in the nation.

California’s public workers are the second highest paid in the nation. The unfunded liability of their pensions and health-care benefits is estimated by Stanford University to be $500 billion—a half trillion dollars. If you love bloated bureaucracy, you will love California.

California’s obsession with spending on every liberal program proposed is such that, by 2009, the government was so much in debt it began to issue IOUs instead of wages. Its unemployment rate had risen to more than 12%, the highest figure in 70 years.

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