So. It seems that our semi-illustrious president has once again succumbed to the temptation to appear before America’s voters in order to spread his own unmistakeable concoction of snake oil liberally sprinkled (as always) with half-truths, ignorance and outright lies. In yet another attempt to hornswoggle the nation’s voters into buying into one more of his half-baked, ill thought out “plans” to deal with a crisis too good to waste, but which is not considered as such by either Congress or the populace, the president appeared yet again on TV last Tuesday night.
This time, he informed us, he is turning his attention to the problem (in his view) of the environment; a consideration that, given the sorry state of our economy in particular the massive unemployment problem, gets little attention from an individual in danger of losing his or her home, or who has already lost a job, and now must worry about providing for themselves and their families. In fact, the environment “problem,” even among the pampered princes inside the Beltway, seems to be receiving very little of their attention either, as they scurry through their rabbit warrens in the Capitol, the Russell Senate Office Building or any of the other DC dens of iniquity inhabited by the Ruling Class.
But this lack of attention no longer worries our president; he has learned from experience that he can rule by fiat; he can, and has, simply ordered new regulations and forced change on the people. With no longer any need to win over or convince the Republican swine, he can do it all by himself!
And that, of course, is exactly what he proceeded to lay out for us on Tuesday: his plan for (singlehandedly) solving the problem of global warming; why, he won’t even need the help of the King of the Carbon Consumers, Al Gore! No siree, ol’ Al can just continue to trot around the globe in his private jet and leave the lights burning in his Nashville castle 24/7/365 for the rest of his life; the president can take care of the whole thing hisself, eyup.
So what did the president tell us he’ll do? Well, truth to tell, not much, specifically.
Sure, he talked alarmingly about that Ol’ Debbil carbon and how it must be eliminated, but we didn’t get a lot of detail about how this will be done; he spoke in generalities, without much in the way of facts:
So the question is not whether we need to act, but whether we will have the courage to act before it’s too late. And how we answer will have a profound impact on the world we leave to our children, and to future generations.
[Whoa, waitaminnit! Isn't all life on Earth carbon based? Well, how did it get to be such a bad guy?]
This plan will cut the dangerous carbon pollution that contributes to climate change. For years, groups like the American Lung Association have warned us that carbon pollution threatens our health and the air our children breathe. We limit the mercury, sulfur, and arsenic in our air and water, but today there are no federal limits on the amount of carbon pollution that power plants can pump into the air. That’s not safe. So we’ll work with states and businesses to set new standards that put an end to this limitless dumping of carbon.
Gee, thanks, Mr. president, but how we gonna do all that? And if we start to “protect” the environment to the extent you advocate, won’t that raise the price of energy considerably? And when you raise the price of energy, don’t you also raise the price of practically everything all of us, including the poor, consume? Won’t higher energy costs raise food costs? Shelter costs? Don’t the poor already spend a much greater proportion of their income on food and shelter than you or I? It seems to me, Barack, that your new, higher energy costs will prove to be highly regressive; I don’t think you’ve thought that one through very well.
Not only have you not thought this through, it appears your pet economist, the Nobel Prize-winning Paul Krugman, hasn’t either. In an article by a professor of economics at the University of Georgia, Professor Jeffrey Dorfman quotes Krugman as saying, “Suppose that electric utilities, in order to meet the new rules, decide to close some existing power plants and invest in new, lower-emission capacity. Well, that’s an increase in spending, and more spending is exactly what our economy needs.” To which Professor Dorfman replies, far more intelligently than Krugman, in my opinion,
Now if we build a brand new power plant while continuing to operate all the ones we have, that can lead to economic growth because we are increasing the productive capacity of the economy. But shutting down a plant that is fine in every way except for producing emissions that worry some people is the same as when a natural disaster destroys property. Something that had value no longer exists. The idea that replacing the previous item leads to economic growth is one of the most basic fallacies in all of economics, known as the broken window fallacy…The obvious problem with this fallacy is that the money spent on repairing a window, or to build a new power plant, would have done something else productive in the alternative.
Imagine that! an economic concept as basic as the Broken Window Fallacy, and Professor Krugman misses it??
Well, hell, no wonder Obama’s been unable to fix the economy thus far!
Yawn. If you watched TV last Tuesday evening, I hope you watched something more enlightening; something like Here Comes Honey Boo Boo.