Saturday, June 27, 2009

Brace Yourselves

So it looks like the needed deals were made to drive the Waxman-Markey stake through the heart of capitalism. They just needed to buy a few votes with special deals for a few lucky states. Now, if the Senate doesn't save us, we're done.

Ah well, it's history being made. What Smoot-Hawley did for us in 1929, Waxman-Markey promises to do in 2009. In fact, an IBD article claims: Smoot-Hawley will seem like a speed bump:

Not since a misguided piece of legislation imposed tariffs that turned a recession into a depression has there been a piece of legislation as bad as Waxman-Markey.

The 1,000-plus-page American Clean Energy and Security Act (H.R. 2454) is being rushed to a vote by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi before anyone can seriously object to this economic suicide pact.

It's what Janet Napolitano, secretary of Homeland Security, might call a "man-caused disaster," a phrase she coined to replace the politically incorrect "terrorist attack." But no terrorist could ever dream of inflicting as much damage as this bill.

Its centerpiece is a "cap and trade" provision that has been rightfully derided as "cap and tax." It is in fact a tax on energy everywhere it is consumed on everything it is used to make or provide.

It is the largest tax increase in American history — a tax on all Americans — even the 95% that President Obama pledged would never see a tax increase.

BTW, that "lucky states" comment was sarcasm. A few farm state votes were bought with special considerations for farmers. So now the representatives can go back to their districts and boast. Only problem is: if the rest of the country is too poor to buy beef, your federal cow-fart exemption won't seem so fine. "Your farm still in foreclosure Bob?", "Well yeah, but on the upside, if I can find a place to keep them, those cows are still pooting federally tax-free.", "Yeah, thank goodness we still got that."
As part of the agreement reached Tuesday night and announced by Rep. Henry Waxman, D-Beverly Hills, agricultural oversight for cap-and-trade was transferred from the Environmental Protection Agency to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Farmers hope the USDA will be less intrusive. The EPA has been tasked by a Supreme Court ruling to regulate greenhouse gas emissions from your nostrils to your lawn mower. This even covers the emissions of barnyard animals, including the methane from cows.

Good luck with that.
As we've said before, capping emissions is capping economic growth. An analysis of Waxman-Markey by the Heritage Foundation projects that by 2035 it would reduce aggregate gross domestic product by $7.4 trillion. In an average year, 844,000 jobs would be destroyed, with peak years seeing unemployment rise by almost 2 million (see charts below).

Consumers would pay through the nose as electricity rates would necessarily skyrocket, as President Obama once put it, by 90% adjusted for inflation. Inflation-adjusted gasoline prices would rise 74%, residential natural gas prices by 55% and the average family's annual energy bill by $1,500.

Hit hardest by all this would be the "95% of working families" Obama keeps mentioning as being protected from increased taxation. They are protected, that is, unless they use energy. Then they'll be hit by this draconian energy tax.

And what would we get for all this pain? According to an analysis by Chip Knappenberger, administrator of the World Climate Report, the reduction of U.S. CO2 emissions to 83% below 2005 levels by 2050 — the goal of the Waxman-Markey bill — would reduce global temperature in 2050 by a mere 0.05 degree Celsius.

That is .05 by the way; 20 times that is one tenth of a degree. OK -- so we lead by example. Let the rest of the world look upon us and learn. I suspect the nut of the lesson will be: don't do that.
Hands on Stimulus News:
A government installation I do work for got one of these today:

Look at that price tag. It's a little steep for a flimsy plastic box that goes 25 mph tops. It's cute, but it shouldn't be counted as an electric vehicle. It's not a car; it's a golf cart. (made by Chrysler, btw) This option is the giveaway:

Now, don't get me wrong, golf carts are fine for some things. And this installation can use a few of these in places they already have golf carts. But that's the thing - they already have golf carts. They didn't need another one just to increment a government electric vehicle fleet number up by one.