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There is no distinctly American criminal class, except Congress. - Mark Twain
As I was watching our distinguished Senators debate the Lieberman-Warner Climate Bill, which has been amended into the Boxer-Lieberman-Warner Climate Bill, I was wondering why it is that such a group of educated ladies and gentlemen can disagree so profoundly about such an issue. Even more curious is how the disagreement seems to follow so closely along party lines. The disagreement I'm speaking of is not about whether man-made global warming is real or not. Most of the Senators from both sides of the aisle speaking yesterday seemed to agree it is real, with the exception of a couple prehistoric bone-waving Republican heretics who dared question the SCIENCE OF THE CARBON GODS (amen). No, the disagreement I'm speaking of is the disagreement over the remedies for global warming (pardon me, the CARBON GODS inform me I am to use the term "Climate Change" from now on, not "Global Warming". The operative words are "Climate Change". That way, ANY inclement weather AT ALL can be attributed to global warming, er, climate change. My bad). Not only do our educated Senators disagree over the cap-and-trade program, they also disagree over whether the Climate Change bill is the biggest new government bureaucracy since the New Deal, which will raise everyone's energy prices drastically, destroy our economy, and accomplish very little in the way of curbing CO2 emissions (the Republican position) - or whether the Climate Bill will save us from extinction, cost nothing, and create jobs (the Democratic position). Talk about polar opposites (hey, is that a pun ?).
So, who is right ? The title of this post might provide a hint. You'll have to read the link to get all of the info, because there is too much for me to write out here.
Nobody quite knows how much the current Climate Change bill will cost (which is a reason to vote against it right there), but here are some estimates:
A study by Charles River Associates puts the cost (in terms of reduced household spending per year) of S. 2191 at $800 to $1,300 per household by 2015, rising to $1,500 to $2,500 by 2050. Electricity prices could jump by 36 to 65 percent by 2015 and 80 to 125 percent by 2050. No analysis has been done on the impact of S. 2191 on gasoline prices, but an Environmental Protection Agency study of a less stringent cap and trade bill estimates impacts of 26 cents per gallon by 2030 and 68 cents by 2050.
Most independent studies have calculated the costs to be even higher than those estimates.
The Democrats solution to everything is to create a huge new government bureaucracy, impose onerous regulations and restrictions on business and/or society, increase taxes, and increase government spending. I have come to believe it is the liberal Democratic modus operandi to interfere with capitalism and free markets as much as possible in order to later complain that capitalism and free markets don't work (all evidence to the contrary). It's their self-fulfilling prophecy, and it is intentional. They've done it with health care. They've done it with business, jobs, poverty, education, retirement. They've used it to destroy the middle class. They use their philosophy to get as many Americans as possible dependent on the government, which in turn forces those Americans to vote for Democrats to maintain the free flow from the government teat. It's a clever and insidious strategy, and the bigger our government grows, the more irresistible that strategy becomes. You aren't supposed to notice that such a strategy ends with the death of liberty. I actually heard Barbara Boxer (D-CA) say on the Senate floor yesterday that if the Climate Change Bill she's co-sponsoring drives up the cost of energy, that's okay, because then we can just increase the HEAP entitlement program to help people pay their higher energy bills. That is dastardly, folks.
Nevertheless, the cause of diminishing CO2 emissions (if you believe they must be diminished) may be one case where some measure of government interference is unavoidable, but we must exercise extreme vigilance with the system we impose. The considerations of energy, environment, and economy must all be carefully balanced. The current Congressional majority wants to do SOMETHING about climate change just so they can say they did something, but what they are proposing IS a boondoggle. It's a huge tax and regulatory bureaucratic nightmare that will send the prices of gasoline and electricity soaring at a time we can least afford it. The current bill will probably be voted down, but the issue isn't going away. Regardless of which Democrat wins the presidency in november, Obama or McCain, expect the Climate Change bill to return with a vengeance next year, because both Obama and McCain favor cap-and-trade (Bob Dole, will you please send McCain a nasty e-mail ?). We the people had better keep a close eye on Congress and get involved, or we'll soon be looking back on today as the good old days of low energy prices. I don't think anyone wants that.
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