You’ve already voted for Congresspersons and the pig is over the pit now. The issues are numerous, related, unrelated and bewildering fraught with unknown costs and changes. It’s called ‘Cap-and-Trade,’ the Congress’s idea of solving global warming hysteria with an energy revolution. I can’t remember a bigger more diffused economic disaster show in memory. This in the midst of a recession? Mob rule is every bit as insane and stupid and we’ve been warned

Al Gore, busily goring the whole of the planet’s economy for his personal wealth building along with his associates said, “I believe this legislation has the moral significance equivalent to that of the civil rights legislation of the 1960’s and the Marshall Plan of the late 1940’s. I am here today to lend my support to one of the most important pieces of legislation ever introduced in the Congress.” To that he added his standard scare ‘em about the future factoids or false-oids on weather. The problem with Goring the planet is not everyone is on board, some of us are alarmed not so much by the weather but by the music man’s snake oil pitch to emotions, fears and hopes.

Countering is former House speaker Newt Gingrich who not so kindly brutally pointed out the draft Waxman-Markey energy and climate bill is a “huge mistake” and a big “energy tax” that will “increase the cost of living and maybe kill jobs. “We didn’t build the trans-continental railroad by punishing stage coaches,” said Gingrich. Just so.

Gingrich entered into the Congressional record a Weekly Standard article arguing that the MIT study shows the plan will cost families almost $4,000 a year. The Democrats say the Republicans misrepresent the study preferring to say the results are only 18¢ a day for $65.70 a year.

Meanwhile MIT professor John Reilly told Politifact the report included an “estimate of the net cost to individuals” that “would be $215.05 per household.” Challenged over that by the careful readers at the Reilly admitted that his original estimate of cap and trade’s cost was inaccurate. The annual cost would be “$800 per household”, he wrote. “I made a boneheaded mistake in an excel spread sheet.”

Now that’s serious money for way more than half of the families out there. And it will come out of spending for everything else. Reilly explained the $800 paid annually per household is merely the “cost to the economy [that] involves all those actions people have to take to reduce their use of fossil fuels or find ways to use them without releasing [Green House Gases]. So that might involve spending money on insulating your home, or buying a more expensive hybrid vehicle to drive, or electric utilities substituting gas (or wind, nuclear, or solar) instead of coal in power generation, or industry investing in more efficient motors or production processes, etc. with all of these things ending up reflected in the costs of good and services in the economy.” Those are the hard budget costs Reilly can anticipate. A tip of an iceberg cost if experience is any guide.

Squaring the quote up means as Reilly says, “the amount of tax collected,” through companies would equal $3,128 per household—and those costs do get passed to consumers and income earners in one way or another”–but those costs have “nothing to do with the real cost” to the economy. Whoa, just how is that the increased costs paid out for the energy portion of a budget isn’t going to effect families? This is price inflation.

Bold and audacious without reasoning from real world experience Reilly assumes that the $3,128 will be “returned” to each household. Without that assumption, Reilly wrote, “The cost would then be the Republican estimate of $3,128 plus the cost I estimate $800.” Reilly’s view is the money is somehow “returned to each family” whether or not the government cuts everyone a $3,128 rebate check.

In an email to John McCormack at the Weekly Standard Reilly wrote, “It is not really a matter of returning it or not, no matter what happens this revenue gets recycled into the economy some way.” Only an academic could believe a price increase will make its way back to each family in compensatory income. It might for some and much more, most will catch up in years or decades and many will never close the gap. It’s a gross unfairness not to reveal the facts or explain things truthfully.

I suppose I don’t know anyone rich. Asking a few people if the Cap and Trade bill’s cost of $3,928 each year was an issue or a trade they’re willing to pay for reducing global warming, I have a resounding and unanimous “No.” After a few queries it seemed embarrassingly stupid to ask.

But the Gingrich brutal truth has been buried by the press, while the Goring pitch gets lots of pages, views and acclaim. What is overlooked is the number of households paying increased costs that are taxes forwarded on to the government to be spent in ways not yet revealed. I can’t bring myself to have $4 grand taken from my annual budget without a fight or even a hint of what will happen to the money.

But most alarming is the hard reality that the Democrats have already set up the creation of trillions of dollars in cash for the bailouts that will bring on inflation. Add that to pain from inflation of price increases faster than pay increases will make the great oil price run up of 2008 seem like a small blip.

Misdirection, misleading, lies plus emotion, fears and hopes do not suggest legislation that will be beneficial. The press and media have been competing to not kick out the props from under the cheering section for Obama and the Democrats. That leaves only those who grasp the depth of the possible damage to investigate what afoot.

Professor Reilly did a fairly good study that is like all such work subject to the assumptions going in. Stripped clear, as Mr. McCormack managed to get to the study facts, its every bit as a concern as Gingrich has said. Actually any legislation to regulate something locally even when the “local” is the size of the U.S., in a planetary system is an incredibly foolish and wasteful effort.

History has shown pretty clearly, OK certainly, that this kind of economic command is a seed of disaster and despair. It’s enough money per family, even at this early date to put the fear of government squarely on top of many concerns. The problem though is timing; these things get going with much acclaim and over months and especially years, the horrors such seeds become gets obvious, eventually after great damage and suffering to economy and people’s lives.

Yet a select few, Gore and his ilk will make a killing, so some investor grade families will figure out the angles and profit. That leaves the great bulk of families coping with inflation from created money working its way through the economy with rising prices and the mandated new expenses from the Cap and Trade pushing it even harder in energy and fuels. Carbon, the primary element of life will be dear, and likely desperately short in affordability – in the U.S. at least.

It does open the door to opportunities everywhere that sense overcomes hysteria. One can be certain that nations good and evil and multinational businesses with resources across the planet are plotting how they can benefit from the American Carbon Suicide.

That’s what carbon Cap and Trade is – an economic suicide attempt. If you don’t speak up, it’ll get you and those you love. The hard truth about suicide attempts is that there is always grave damage even if death is missed. It’s a damn dumb way to learn a lesson and may well waste a generation of American economic vitality.


1 Comment so far

  1. Matt on April 27, 2009 5:53 AM

    Global Climate Change is a reality. But, it’s been going on long before people arrived here. To say we are responsible for it is the height of arrogance.

    Reality stat – if we adopt draconian CO2 measures – it will lead to more offshoring of manufacturing to ‘dirty countries’ like China and India. So, the net effect will be to raise CO2 levels.

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