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Jewish World Review
March 19, 2009
/ 23 Adar 5769
The Bleak Winter's Behind Us, but What's Ahead?
Thank Heaven winter is almost over. It has been another cold
one. I hope Al Gore wore his hat and brought along his galoshes whenever
he made an appearance against global warming. Better yet, I hope he
scheduled his jeremiads in warmer climes, say, Miami Beach or Antigua.
As I reported a while back, scientists have not been able to measure any
increase in global warming since the end of 1998. That, despite their
lunkheaded computers forecasting the opposite. During the past two
years, temperatures have actually dropped by more than 0.5 degrees
Celsius. Button up!
I mention all this because 1) it is always amusing to kid Mr. Gore and
2) the price tag for Prophet Obama's climate plan has just jumped to $2
trillion. That is three times the White House's initial estimate for its
cap and trade monstrosity. It is also a huge tax on corporations and
consumers at a time when both are in recession. Only government thrives.
Given the fact that it is increasingly unclear that there is such a
thing as global warming and the fact that cap and trade is an expensive
and dubious remedy for it, might not the Prophet Obama hold back? He has
plenty else to do.
Cap and trade has been tried in Europe by the signers of the Kyoto
Protocol, and, according to The Heritage Foundation's Ben Lieberman,
"Nearly every European country participating has higher emissions today
than when the treaty was first signed in 1997. . Emissions in many of
these nations are actually rising faster than in the United States." Yet
perhaps the Obama administration has its eye on something other than
limiting emissions. Possibly it sees cap and trade as a great way to
gain control of still more of the private sector.
As mentioned above, the huge amount of money mulcted from the private
sector and handed over to the public sector has got to please every
collectivist in the White House. Moreover, there is the huge bureaucracy
that will have to be set up to oversee cap and trade. Those of us who
have followed the economic crisis and the Ponzi scheme of Bernard Madoff
are familiar with the Securities and Exchange Commission. If the
administration's climate legislation is passed, we shall have the Cap
and Trade Commission, or CAP. It will be vast.
To begin with, CAP's agents will have to go to every factory and office
building, presumably even public buildings, and decide their allowable
levels of emissions that is to say, their caps. Next, the agency will
auction off and oversee the sales of the documents that certify
emissions allowances. Call them coupons. Then the agency will have to
monitor the exchanges of these allowances and who owns them. Finally,
the agency will have to monitor compliance and presumably punish those
who fail to comply.
In this setup, there will be countless opportunities for corruption, as
polluters try to bribe CAP's agents or the agents try to elicit bribes.
As with the SEC, there will be incompetence and lax enforcement.
Finally, there will be members of Congress making special pleadings for
corporations in their regions, labor unions special pleaders of all
Finally, there is the economics of the legislation. It will take $2
trillion from the private sector and dump it into the public sector.
That is to say, a large tax on the private sector will transfer money to
the public sector. So how is the private sector to grow itself out of
this recession? The administration's answer is that the government will
return the money to worthy endeavors, e.g., health care and green
technology again, still more opportunities for corruption and for
special favors to pleading solons and Numas on Capitol Hill.
The Prophet Obama was very disturbed recently when asked whether he is a
socialist. Socialism is government control of the means of producing and
distributing goods and services. What I have just described is a
powerful instrumentality toward socialism. Along with cap and trade, the
Obama administration is calling for a sufficient number of these
instrumentalities to socialism; by the next election, the United States
will be very close to being a socialist state. There is no point in
Obama arguing against that observation. He ought simply to come out and
say it. He is for socialism. What could possibly be wrong with that?
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JWR contributor Bob Tyrrell is editor in chief of The American Spectator. Comment by clicking here.
© 2008, Creators Syndicate