...usually with an attempt at historical and economic context
Monday, September 21, 2009
Good News? Could Be ...
1. John Boehner Says Obamacare Is Dead
This would be great if correct. America needs for Obamacare to go the way of Hillarycare. Obamacare proponents discuss the need for a “public option,” but the whole thing is a big “public option,” whether or not it has a feature that is called by that name. In any event, if Obamacare is passed, within a few years, say a decade or less, we’ll have the government option as the only option. We’ll lose important rights if this proposal passes, and it will be very difficult if not impossible to recover them.
“‘There’s been no bipartisan conversation on Capitol Hill about health care,’ [House Republican Leader John] Boehner said in an interview with ‘Meet the Press’ host David Gregory. ‘At some point when these big government plans fail—and they will, the Congress will not pass this—it’s really time for the president to hit the reset button, just stop all of this and let’s sit down and start over in a bipartisan way to build a plan that Americans will support.’
“‘So you think the plan is dead?’ asked Gregory.
“‘I think it is,’ said Boehner.” 
2. Cap and Trade Legislation is in Trouble
Politico reports that the cap and trade bill is in trouble for this year because Democrats from coal-, oil- and manufacturing states believe the bill would be unfair to their states by causing disproportionate increases in energy costs. Also, with focus now on health care, and an attempt to pass new regulation of the financial sector, there possibly won’t be time or political capital available for action this year. 
As I and others have pointed out before, this is one of the worst pieces of legislation ever proposed. It has already passed the House, but faces an uphill fight in the Senate. This bill is supposed to be the answer to climate change and a big revenue raiser for the government, but in fact it would do nothing to help climate change or government revenues. Even if man-made climate change were an actual problem (which it isn’t) and even if this bill would do something toward controlling it (which it wouldn’t), remember that India and China will never be on board with it, because they are trying to grow their economy rather than destroy it as Obama is trying to do with ours.
And as far as revenues are concerned, enactment of this monstrosity would make the recession seem permanent, and combined with Obamacare would lead to a depression. If cap and trade is passed, many manufacturers and energy producers would shut down business or curtail production, and if possible, seek opportunities overseas. Almost all prices would increase as a result of increased energy costs. Revenues to the government would decrease because there would be fewer taxpayers, and those remaining would be earning less and paying less in taxes.
Also, cap and trade would do nothing to encourage things that would actually help our energy situation, such as domestic oil production, offshore and ANWR drilling, and nuclear power.
“‘I’d like to see climate change done before December so we can go to Copenhagen with something in our hands,’ said Iowa Sen. Tom Harkin. ‘We might be able to get to it in November.’” 
This reflects the kind of misguided thinking that exacerbates the economic problems we have – trying to impress some international representatives whose countries are, truth be told, less interested in “climate change,” and more interested in putting the U.S. at an economic disadvantage. I have to hope that some day soon, good sense will prevail and this whole climate change and global warming “issue” will go the way of Prohibition. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid got some opposition from citizens on cap and trade in Nevada in August:
To be rid of both these bills would be wonderful, but, of course, there’s always the chance they’ll be back.
I have sworn upon the altar of God eternal hostility against every form of tyranny over the mind of man.