Posts Tagged ‘bureaucracy’

What Do McChrystal And BP Have In Common – Aside From Fact That Both Were Democrat Supporters?

June 26, 2010

The following article by Mark Steyn is brilliant.  My title isn’t an accurate summary of Steyn’s point (but maybe it got you to read an article you otherwise wouldn’t have read!).

It is certainly beyond hilarious that pro-Obama Democrat Stanley McChrystal and pro-Obama BP are now on the outs in a cloud of self-destruction, while George Bush’s Secretary of Defense and George Bush’s general have been called upon to save the day.

But the real meat of the article gets to the heart of one issue: Barack Obama is an empty suit who stands for nothing beyond self-promoting Barack Obama.

Published: June 25, 2010
Updated: 10:57 a.m.
Learning the rules of an unengaged president
By MARK STEYN
Syndicated columnist

What do Gen. McChrystal and British Petroleum have in common? Aside from the fact that they’re both Democratic Party supporters.

Or they were. Stanley McChrystal is a liberal who voted for Obama and banned Fox News from his HQ TV. Which may at least partly explain how he became the first U.S. general to be lost in combat while giving an interview to Rolling Stone: They’ll be studying that one in war colleges around the world for decades. The management of BP were unable to vote for Obama, being, as we now know, the most sinister duplicitous bunch of shifty Brits to pitch up offshore since the War of 1812. But, in their “Beyond Petroleum” marketing and beyond, they signed on to every modish nostrum of the eco-Left. Their recently retired chairman, Lord Browne, was one of the most prominent promoters of cap-and-trade. BP was the Democrats’ favorite oil company. They were to Obama what Total Fina Elf was to Saddam.

But what do McChrystal’s and BP’s defenestration tell us about the president of the United States? Barack Obama is a thin-skinned man and, according to Britain’s Daily Telegraph, White House aides indicated that what angered the president most about the Rolling Stone piece was “a McChrystal aide saying that McChrystal had thought that Obama was not engaged when they first met last year.” If finding Obama “not engaged” is now a firing offense, who among us is safe?

Only the other day, Florida Sen. George Lemieux attempted to rouse the president to jump-start America’s overpaid, overmanned and oversleeping federal bureaucracy and get it to do something on the oil debacle. There are 2,000 oil skimmers in the United States: Weeks after the spill, only 20 of them are off the coast of Florida. Seventeen friendly nations with great expertise in the field have offered their own skimmers; the Dutch volunteered their “super-skimmers”: Obama turned them all down. Raising the problem, Sen. Lemieux found the president unengaged, and uninformed. “He doesn’t seem to know the situation about foreign skimmers and domestic skimmers,” reported the senator.

He doesn’t seem to know, and he doesn’t seem to care that he doesn’t know, and he doesn’t seem to care that he doesn’t care. “It can seem that at the heart of Barack Obama’s foreign policy is no heart at all,” wrote Richard Cohen in The Washington Post last week. “For instance, it’s not clear that Obama is appalled by China’s appalling human-rights record. He seems hardly stirred about continued repression in Russia.

The president seems to stand foursquare for nothing much.

“This, of course, is the Obama enigma: Who is this guy? What are his core beliefs?”

Gee, if only your newspaper had thought to ask those fascinating questions oh, say, a month before the Iowa caucuses.

And even today Cohen is still giving President Whoisthisguy a pass.

After all, whatever he feels about “China’s appalling human-rights record” or “continued repression in Russia,” Obama is not directly responsible for it. Whereas the U.S. and allied deaths in Afghanistan are happening on his watch – and the border villagers killed by unmanned drones are being killed at his behest. Cohen calls the president “above all, a pragmatist,” but with the best will in the world you can’t stretch the definition of “pragmatism” to mean “lack of interest.”

“The ugly truth,” wrote Thomas Friedman in The New York Times, “is that no one in the Obama White House wanted this Afghan surge. The only reason they proceeded was because no one knew how to get out of it.”

Well, that’s certainly ugly, but is it the truth? Afghanistan, you’ll recall, was supposed to be the Democrats’ war, the one they allegedly supported, the one the neocons’ Iraq adventure was an unnecessary distraction from. Granted the Dems’ usual shell game – to avoid looking soft on national security, it helps to be in favor of some war other than the one you’re opposing – Candidate Obama was an especially ripe promoter. In one of the livelier moments of his campaign, he chugged down half a bottle of Geopolitical Viagra and claimed he was hot for invading Pakistan.

Then he found himself in the Oval Office, and the dime-store opportunism was no longer helpful. But, as Friedman puts it, “no one knew how to get out of it.” The “pragmatist” settled for “nuance”: He announced a semisurge plus a date for withdrawal of troops to begin. It’s not “victory,” it’s not “defeat,” but rather a more sophisticated mélange of these two outmoded absolutes: If you need a word, “quagmire” would seem to cover it.

Hamid Karzai, the Taliban and the Pakistanis, on the one hand, and Britain and the other American allies heading for the check-out, on the other, all seem to have grasped the essentials of the message, even if Friedman and the other media Obammyboppers never quite did. Karzai is now talking to Islamabad about an accommodation that would see the most viscerally anti-American elements of the Taliban back in Kabul as part of a power-sharing regime. At the height of the shrillest shrieking about the Iraqi “quagmire,” was there ever any talk of hard-core Saddamite Baathists returning to government in Baghdad?

To return to Cohen’s question: “Who is this guy? What are his core beliefs?” Well, he’s a guy who was wafted ever upward – from the Harvard Law Review to state legislator to United States senator – without ever lingering long enough to accomplish anything. “Who is this guy?” Well, when a guy becomes a credible presidential candidate by his mid-40s with no accomplishments other than a couple of memoirs, he evidently has an extraordinary talent for self-promotion, if nothing else. “What are his core beliefs?” It would seem likely that his core belief is in himself. It’s the “nothing else” that the likes of Cohen are belatedly noticing.

Wasn’t he kind of unengaged by the health care debate? That’s why, for all his speeches, he could never quite articulate a rationale for it. In the end, he was happy to leave it to the Democratic Congress and, when his powers of persuasion failed, let them ram it down the throats of the American people through sheer parliamentary muscle.

Likewise, on Afghanistan, his attitude seems to be “I don’t want to hear about it.” Unmanned drones take care of a lot of that, for a while. So do his courtiers in the media: Did all those hopeychangers realize that Obama’s war would be run by Bush’s defense secretary and Bush’s general?

Hey, never mind: the Moveon.org folks have quietly removed their celebrated “General Betray-us” ad from their website. Cindy Sheehan, the supposed conscience of the nation when she was railing against Bush from the front pages, is an irrelevant kook unworthy of coverage when she protests Obama. Why, a cynic might almost think the “anti-war” movement was really an anti-Bush movement, and that they really don’t care about dead foreigners after all. Plus ça change you can believe in, plus c’est la même chose.

Except in one respect. There is a big hole where our strategy should be.

It’s hard to fight a war without war aims, and, in the end, they can only come from the top. It took the oil spill to alert Americans to the unengaged president. From Moscow to Tehran to the caves of Waziristan, our enemies got the message a lot earlier – and long ago figured out the rules of unengagement.

Too bad we elected a president who has a narcissism complex where his conscience should be and a vacuum where his soul should be.

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Obama Regime Has Done Everything Possible To Halt Gulf Oil Spill Cleanup

June 25, 2010

Stop and think about it for a second.  We could have burned the oil – as per the original contingency plan that had been on the books since 1994.  But the Obama regime wouldn’t allow it.  We could have used dispersants to break down the oil and make it easier to deal with.  But the Obama regime wouldn’t allow it.  We could have borrowed skimmers – and all kinds of other critical equipment and clean-up know-how – from all over the world to collect the oil.  But the Obama regime wouldn’t allow it.  We could have used hundreds of miles of boom that were literally sitting unused in warehouses.  But the Obama regime didn’t bother to obtain it.  We could have built sand berms that would have blocked the oil from reaching the most critical coastal areas.  But the Obama regime has done everything possible to stop it.

June 24, 2010
Feds halt work on LA sand berms
Jeannie DeAngelis

Sand berms are an insurance policy meant to protect the Louisiana coastline from oil spill damage.  The Louisiana sand berm venture involves moving “sand from a mile out in the Gulf of Mexico and pumping it closer in to shore to build manmade barrier islands.”

Nevertheless, lacking a more formidable idea and one week into the project the federal government decided to shut “down the dredging that was being done to create protective sand berms in the Gulf of Mexico.”

Louisiana’s Republican Governor Bobby Jindal staunchly supports protecting the coastline with a sandy barricade, which may explain why the “berm issue has created its own toxic friction between Louisiana and the Obama Administration.”

It seems that ever since Obama took over the reins of reason the government’s first-and-foremost effort is directed at implementing the illogical, obstructing progress and public wellbeing and placing the vulnerable at risk.

Thus, while the duffer- president concentrates on sand bunkers on the golf course, the environmentally alert, “Obama Administration has asked for a halt on dredging sand berms off the Chandeleur Islands … until the project can be relocated farther into the gulf.

Federal costs, environmental concerns and efficiency are likely at the center of the controversy.  As a result, the coast of Louisiana is officially the first victim whose future is at the mercy of an Obama-style “death panel.” Bureaucratic technicalities will determine the extent of damage that will ensue before federal approbation either, administers critical care, or just allows the patient to die, one or the other.

If Obama refuses to lift the ban on the dredging plan Plaquemines Parish President, Billy Nungesser might be the next one called in for a presidential reprimand for public insubordination.

Nungesser, “one of the most vocal advocates of the dredging plan, sent a letter to President Barack Obama, pleading for the work to continue.”  The outspoken sand-berm proponent claims, “Once again, our government resource agencies, which are intended to protect us, are now leaving us vulnerable to the destruction of our coastline and marshes by the impending oil.”

Billy Nungesser targeted Obama as the only “hope for continuing the work.” In an unforgiving dispatch Billy outlined viable options for the President to consider.  Nungesser begged, “Don’t shut us down, let us lay the pipe three miles out and then … move the dredge so we will be down less than a day and we’ll refill the hole.”

Nungesser reminded Obama of the “threat of hurricanes or tropical storms,” which would put the Gulf coast “at an increased risk for devastation … from the intrusion of oil.”

What Nungesser fails to grasp is how a hurricane or tropical storm, coupled with tornadoes of spinning oil would be tailor made for an administration that cultivates and exploits any crisis that fortuitously comes along.

You’re not supposed to notice that Obama’s death panel machine is alive and well, and just waiting to get its chance to decide who lives and who dies in your home.

This disaster of failed leadership comes right after the Obama regime stopped boats involved in vital clean-up efforts for more than a day at a time to ensure that they had fire extinguishers, life jackets, and every single other inane bureaucratic regulation they could think of.

Day 66.  And counting.  Sixty-six days of abject failure.  And even the left recognizes that Obama has been an abject failure.

Instead, we’ve had a bunch of Obama photo ops.  Instead, we’ve had Obama walking on the beach in slacks stopping and stooping to pick up a few tar balls.  Instead, we’ve had a collection of demagogic “here’s someone else you can blame instead of me” speeches.

Obama was previously calling meetings on the subject of whose ass he should kick (needing the bureaucracy of a staff meeting to figure it out).  But he never considered that his own scrawny ass needed a good hard kicking.

As we consider Obama’s failure in the Gulf, let’s not forget that:

Barack Obama took more money from BP than any politician over a twenty year period.  In spite of the fact that he had only been in national politics for less than three years.  Barack Obama’s administration approved the project and granted the permit for the doomed BP drilling site.  Barack Obama’s administration helped quash environmental problems and issued an environmental waiver to BP at said doomed site only days before the disaster.  Barack Obama failed to take the disaster seriously and delayed serious action for weeks, fiddling with fundraisers, golf outings, and vacations while the Gulf went to hell.  The Obama administration has continued to delay and waste time pursuing the dotting of the i’s and the crossing of the t’s regarding mindless bureaucratic inanities.

And what has Obama proposed as his solution?  Nothing that could cap the damn hole, but his socialist cap-and-trade which he himself said would cause energy prices to “necessarily skyrocket.”  In the spirit of never letting a good crisis go to waste, Obama has stoked the boilers for more Marxism.  And the more oil that pours across our coasts, the better.

What has Obama proposed?  He has proposed a ban, or moratorium, on offshore drilling.  Would this cost a permanent loss of tens of thousands of jobs (in fact, well over 100,000 jobs) as drilling platform operators relocate long-term to other countries?  Of course it would.  Would it in fact actually result in more danger to the environment, as it would entail capping and then eventually uncapping wells – the most dangerous part of the entire drilling procedure, as we should frankly all realize by now?  Of course it would.  Would it effectively amount to a ban on ALL American drilling, such that we were at the complete mercy of foreign oil who presumably have the basic intelligence to not undermine their own economies and their own security?  Of course it would.

Fortunately, a judge struck down Obama’s newest naked power grab as “overbearing,” “rash,” and “heavy handed.”  In other words, Obama acted in an incredibly Stalinist manner, didn’t he?

You’d almost think Obama was the Manchurian President, destroying America on purpose in his pursuit of the Cloward and Piven strategy for a Marxist America.  It has got to be either that, or he is so shockingly incompetent that it is utterly unreal.  Which scenario is more the frightening, I frankly don’t know.

Who’s The ‘Devil’ In the ObamaCare Debate, Conservatives Or Liberals?

March 19, 2010

I received the following comment that tried to frame the health care debate into good versus evil, with the liberals trying to seize the mantle of “good” while demonizing (literally) conservatives as devils:

All of you people are crazy!! you don’t give a care about the poor citzens [sic] of this country . U got the nerve to qoute [sic] something from the bible to justify your selfish motives and intrest [sic]. Do you know how many people are living without health care and dental services . Something that should be considered a human right . Of course not . U people make me sick . So selfish and full of hate . Now who’s the devil?

Here was my response:

Now who’s the devil?

It’s still you, Jenn.

Hey, since you can’t stand having the Bible quoted, let me quote another passage that sums you up:
1 Samuel 8:10-19:

10 Samuel told all the words of the LORD to the people who were asking him for a king. 11 He said, “This is what the king who will reign over you will do: He will take your sons and make them serve with his chariots and horses, and they will run in front of his chariots. 12 Some he will assign to be commanders of thousands and commanders of fifties, and others to plow his ground and reap his harvest, and still others to make weapons of war and equipment for his chariots. 13 He will take your daughters to be perfumers and cooks and bakers. 14 He will take the best of your fields and vineyards and olive groves and give them to his attendants. 15 He will take a tenth of your grain and of your vintage and give it to his officials and attendants. 16 Your menservants and maidservants and the best of your cattle [a] and donkeys he will take for his own use. 17 He will take a tenth of your flocks, and you yourselves will become his slaves. 18 When that day comes, you will cry out for relief from the king you have chosen, and the LORD will not answer you in that day.”

19 But the people refused to listen to Samuel. “No!” they said. “We want a king over us.

You demand a massive government that takes and redistributes according to political ideology and political pork partisan politics.

Interestingly, when Samuel brought the peoples’ (and your) request for big government, God told him, “They have not rejected you, but they have rejected Me from being king over them” (1 Samuel 8:7).

You want Government as God, Jenn. You want Barack Obama as Savior.

In Matthew 25:36, Jesus says “I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.'” But you perverted that, Jenn. You warped it to mean, “I needed clothes, and you gave them to the government. I was sick and you created a gigantic federal spending program. I was in prison and you looked for a giant bureaucracy to visit in my stead.”

You don’t want Christianity; you want a socialist – which is to say an atheistic – redistribution of wealth. It is interesting that your insistence that health care is a right was echoed by the Nazis and the communists. The Nazis had as part of their platform the demand for a creation of a strong central authority (#25); a national health care system (#21), and a “large scale development of old-age pension schemes” (#15).

“Nazi”, for what it is worth, stood for “National Socialist German Workers Party.”

And what of the communists of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics?

With all these guaranteed necessities, what happens to incentive? An all-powerful government would decide everything for us. By the way, if this sounds somewhat familiar, maybe you’ve read the old Soviet Constitution:

Article 40: Citizens of the USSR have the right to work (that is, to guaranteed employment and pay in accordance wit the quantity and quality of their work, and not below the state-established minimum), including the right to choose their trade or profession, type of job and work in accordance with their inclinations, abilities, training and education, with due account of the needs of society.

Article 41: Citizens of the USSR have the right to rest and leisure… the length of collective farmers’ working and leisure time is established by their collective farms.

Article 42: Citizens of the USSR have the right to health protection

Remember the Soviet Union’s decent housing, decent jobs and who could forget the easy access to quality food?

You clothe yourself in righteousness, but in a very real way it is as though you want the greatest horrors the world has ever seen all over again. You demand a giant government that will necessarily become a fascist totalitarian state once it gets off the ground.

You call me a devil, yet it is YOU who want to re-create the most devilish systems the world has ever known.

And the righteousness liberals clothe themselves in is a false righteousness. They create a system where they don’t have to give a dime, while calling upon others to be forced to pay for the massive bureaucracies they create. Meanwhile, conservatives are individually more generous than liberals (see also here), and more personally honest than liberals (see also here). And why is that? Because they are far more religious than liberals – and express their true religion in action.

You show me where the Bible – and particularly the New Testament – calls for Christians to massively increase the size of government, and to depend upon government to provide us with our sustenance and our rights.

Christians are commanded to be generous. The first hospitals were the product of their generosity. It came from the faith and love of Christians, not from government. We were never, EVER told to create a massive government bureaucracy.

You’ve been lied to, Jenn. And so has anyone who thinks the way you think.

You deceitfully demonize (literally!) conservatives as people who hate the poor.  But that isn’t even close to being true.  We want health care reform every bit as much as the left; we just don’t want “health care” to be transformed into “massive government bureaucratic entitlement.”  Rather, we want to bring down the costs of health care, and create the freedom to purchase the health care individuals and families want/need rather than have costly mandates imposed that destroy choice, and we want people to have the greatly increased choice that would come from allowing health insurance companies to compete with one another across state lines.

Conservatives want to reduce costs, increase choice, and increase access.

How does that make us “the devil”?

Harvard Medical School Dean Flunks Democrat Health Bill

November 20, 2009

Newsflash: An ‘F’ is really, really bad.

But that’s exactly the grade that the dean of one of our nation’s premier medical schools just assigned to ObamaCare.

Dr. Flier points out that the 2,074 page bill isn’t just bad; it is fundamentally dishonest.

Only a true fool and ideologue would support the takeover of our life-and-death health care system and 1/6th of our economy through a bill that literally gets a failing grade.

NOVEMBER 17, 2009, 6:59 P.M. ET

Health ‘Reform’ Gets a Failing Grade
The changes proposed by Congress will require more draconian measures down the road. Just look at Massachusetts.

By JEFFREY S. FLIER

As the dean of Harvard Medical School I am frequently asked to comment on the health-reform debate. I’d give it a failing grade.

Instead of forthrightly dealing with the fundamental problems, discussion is dominated by rival factions struggling to enact or defeat President Barack Obama’s agenda. The rhetoric on both sides is exaggerated and often deceptive. Those of us for whom the central issue is health—not politics—have been left in the lurch. And as controversy heads toward a conclusion in Washington, it appears that the people who favor the legislation are engaged in collective denial.

Our health-care system suffers from problems of cost, access and quality, and needs major reform. Tax policy drives employment-based insurance; this begets overinsurance and drives costs upward while creating inequities for the unemployed and self-employed. A regulatory morass limits innovation. And deep flaws in Medicare and Medicaid drive spending without optimizing care.

Speeches and news reports can lead you to believe that proposed congressional legislation would tackle the problems of cost, access and quality. But that’s not true. The various bills do deal with access by expanding Medicaid and mandating subsidized insurance at substantial cost—and thus addresses an important social goal. However, there are no provisions to substantively control the growth of costs or raise the quality of care. So the overall effort will fail to qualify as reform.

In discussions with dozens of health-care leaders and economists, I find near unanimity of opinion that, whatever its shape, the final legislation that will emerge from Congress will markedly accelerate national health-care spending rather than restrain it. Likewise, nearly all agree that the legislation would do little or nothing to improve quality or change health-care’s dysfunctional delivery system. The system we have now promotes fragmented care and makes it more difficult than it should be to assess outcomes and patient satisfaction. The true costs of health care are disguised, competition based on price and quality are almost impossible, and patients lose their ability to be the ultimate judges of value.

Worse, currently proposed federal legislation would undermine any potential for real innovation in insurance and the provision of care. It would do so by overregulating the health-care system in the service of special interests such as insurance companies, hospitals, professional organizations and pharmaceutical companies, rather than the patients who should be our primary concern.

In effect, while the legislation would enhance access to insurance, the trade-off would be an accelerated crisis of health-care costs and perpetuation of the current dysfunctional system—now with many more participants. This will make an eventual solution even more difficult. Ultimately, our capacity to innovate and develop new therapies would suffer most of all.

There are important lessons to be learned from recent experience with reform in Massachusetts. Here, insurance mandates similar to those proposed in the federal legislation succeeded in expanding coverage but—despite initial predictions—increased total spending.

A “Special Commission on the Health Care Payment System” recently declared that the Massachusetts health-care payment system must be changed over the next five years, most likely to one involving “capitated” payments instead of the traditional fee-for-service system. Capitation means that newly created organizations of physicians and other health-care providers will be given limited dollars per patient for all of their care, allowing for shared savings if spending is below the targets. Unfortunately, the details of this massive change—necessitated by skyrocketing costs and a desire to improve quality—are completely unspecified by the commission, although a new Massachusetts state bureaucracy clearly will be required.

Yet it’s entirely unclear how such unspecified changes would impact physician practices and compensation, hospital organizations and their capacity to invest, and the ability of patients to receive the kind and quality of care they desire. Similar challenges would eventually confront the entire country on a more explosive scale if the current legislation becomes law.

Selling an uncertain and potentially unwelcome outcome such as this to the public would be a challenging task. It is easier to assert, confidently but disingenuously, that decreased costs and enhanced quality would result from the current legislation.

So the majority of our representatives may congratulate themselves on reducing the number of uninsured, while quietly understanding this can only be the first step of a multiyear process to more drastically change the organization and funding of health care in America. I have met many people for whom this strategy is conscious and explicit.

We should not be making public policy in such a crucial area by keeping the electorate ignorant of the actual road ahead.

Dr. Flier is dean of the Harvard Medical School.

I’d like to thank Dr. Flier for his courageous stand.  You’ve GOTTA know that the man is taking a lot of heat for it by the hard-core Massachusetts and Harvard liberal ideologue establishment.  Dr. Flier clearly isn’t taking this position on the Democrats’ health agenda for his own health, as it were.

Capitation would merely be the most obvious way that the government would place doctors in a morally/ethically untenable position: they would literally be paid more to give their patients less treatment, and paid less to give their patients more treatment.

Another means of accomplishing the same result would be to have – oh, I don’t know, say 111 federal bureaucracies – which would force doctors to consider their regulations more than considering the needs of their patients.

It is evil.  And Democrats are evil for foisting this abomination upon us.

Here’s The Kind Of Sane Government Regulation We Need To Bring To Health Care

September 30, 2009

Government regulation is the answer.  For everything.  And the more government, and the bigger the government, the better.

Every fool knows that.

And only fools.

State to mom: Stop baby-sitting neighbors’ kids

By JAMES PRICHARD, Associated Press Writer James Prichard, Associated Press Writer   – Tue Sep 29, 9:41 pm ET

IRVING TOWNSHIP, Mich. – Each day before the school bus comes to pick up the neighborhood’s children, Lisa Snyder did a favor for three of her fellow moms, welcoming their children into her home for about an hour before they left for school.

Regulators who oversee child care, however, don’t see it as charity. Days after the start of the new school year, Snyder received a letter from the Michigan Department of Human Services warning her that if she continued, she’d be violating a law aimed at the operators of unlicensed day care centers.

“I was freaked out. I was blown away,” she said. “I got on the phone immediately, called my husband, then I called all the girls” — that is, the mothers whose kids she watches — “every one of them.”

Snyder’s predicament has led to a debate in Michigan about whether a law that says no one may care for unrelated children in their home for more than four weeks each calendar year unless they are licensed day-care providers needs to be changed. It also has irked parents who say they depend on such friendly offers to help them balance work and family.

Fortunately – due to an immediate avalanche of horrible press that left the bureaucrats feeling like cockroaches caught in the middle of a room when the light gets turned on  – the Department of Human Services did a quick tap dance backward.  They said they only threatened her because a neighbor had complained (I mean, the NERVE of that awful Snyder woman who takes those kids into her home to help other working parents keep their children safe!).  And the Department of Human Services is really the bastion of common sense – and not at ALL the kind of agency that would go psycho on a terrific neighborhood saint.

That’s the thing about government regulations.  Bernie Madoff gets away undetected for years while he steals $65 billion, and Lisa Snyder gets nailed for keeping kids safe in her home until school opens.

We’re the government, and we’re here to help.

Let’s have about 50,000 more regulations that make even LESS sense than that one.  Let’s put the government in charge of the health care system.

Vote for ObamaCare, and you’ll get all the bureaucracies, committees (and don’t forget all the various types of committees, such as special committees and standing committees; and whatever you do, don’t forget the myriad, subcommittees), panels, working groups, etc. etc. ad infinitum, that you could ever hope for.

I mean, if you want to make an appointment with your doctor, this is clearly the process you should want to follow, isn’t it?:

Health-Care_Democrats-plan-Charted

There’s a line from a Chuck Schwab commercial: the stock broker says to win your confidence: “Trust me.  I make money when you make money.”  And that’s true.  But of course, what he almost always fails to tell you is that he also makes money when you LOSE money, withdraw money, or when your money just sits in his portfolio not doing anything.  And that clarification changes the whole picture: he’s not on YOUR side, benefiting only when YOU benefit; he’s on HIS side, structuring the game so that he wins no matter WHAT happens to you.

And don’t think for a nanosecond that that isn’t exactly what politicians are doing with your health care.

In the same spirit, when your big government liberal tells you that the “public option” will cover you for life, just remember this one little detail:

ObamaCare_Shovel-ready

Heritage Foundation: Five Reasons EPA Should Not Deal With Global Warming

April 26, 2009

Five Reasons the EPA Should Not Attempt to Deal with Global Warming
The Heritage Foundation ^ | April 23, 2009 | Ben Lieberman and Nicolas Loris

Posted on 04/26/2009 12:42:44 PM PDT by Conservative Coulter Fan

On April 17, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued an endangerment finding, saying that global warming poses a serious threat to public health and safety. Thus, almost anything that emits carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases could be regulated under the Clean Air Act. This is the first official action taken by the federal government to regulate carbon dioxide.

The endangerment finding is the initial step in a long regulatory process that could lead to the EPA requiring regulations for almost anything that emits carbon dioxide. Automobiles would likely be the first target, but subsequent regulations could extend to a million or more buildings and small businesses, including hospitals, schools, restaurants, churches, farms, and apartments. The following five reasons explain why this would be a big, costly mistake.

1. It’s an Economy Killer

Above anything else, any attempt to reduce carbon dioxide would be poison to an already sick economy. Even when the economy does recover, the EPA’s proposed global warming policy would severely limit economic growth.

Since 85 percent of the U.S. economy runs on fossil fuels that emit carbon dioxide, imposing a cost on CO2 is equivalent to placing an economy-wide tax on energy use. The Heritage Foundation’s Center for Data Analysis study of the economic effects of carbon dioxide cuts found cumulative gross domestic product (GDP) losses of $7 trillion by 2029 (in inflation-adjusted 2008 dollars), single-year GDP losses exceeding $600 billion in some years (in inflation-adjusted 2008 dollars), energy cost increases of 30 percent or more, and annual job losses exceeding 800,000 for several years. Hit particularly hard is manufacturing, which will see job losses in some industries that exceed 50 percent.[1]

High energy costs result in production cuts, reduced consumer spending, increased unemployment, and ultimately a much slower economy. But importantly, higher energy prices fall disproportionately on the poor, since low-income households spend a larger percentage of their income on energy.

2. Negligible Environmental Benefit

The extraordinary perils of CO2 regulation for the American economy come with little, if any, environmental benefit. In fact, analysis by the architects of the endangerment finding, the EPA, strongly suggests that a 60 percent reduction in carbon-dioxide emissions by 2050 will reduce global temperature by 0.1 to 0.2 degrees Celsius by 2095.[2]

Some environmental alarmists believe saving the environment should come at any cost, but when the benefit is barely noticeable, such an extreme viewpoint still cannot be justified.

3. Lack of Scientific Consensus

The decision to regulate carbon dioxide and five other greenhouse gases was supported by supposed compelling scientific evidence. For example, EPA administrator Lisa Jackson “relied heavily upon the major findings and conclusions from recent assessments of the U.S. Climate Change Science Program and the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change [IPPC].”[3] Additionally, the EPA cited harmful impacts including increased droughts, floods, wildfires, heat waves, and sea level rises as a result of climate change. But the reality is that natural disasters are just that–they occur with or without global warming.

The scientific consensus behind global warming, especially the seriousness of the impacts, is anything but strong. Last December, the U.S. Senate Minority released a report that included 650 dissenting scientists refuting claims made in the IPCC report.[4] That number has grown to over 700, more than 13 times the number of scientists (52) who had a direct role in the IPCC report.

4. Backdoor Policy

The United States Congress has been reluctant to pass any global warming legislation or engage in international climate reduction treaties. Last year’s most noted global warming legislative proposals was S. 2191, the America’s Climate Security Act of 2007, originally sponsored by Senators Joe Lieberman (I-CT) and John Warner (R-VA).

This cap-and-trade bill would have set a limit on the emissions of greenhouse gases, especially carbon dioxide from the combustion of coal, oil, and natural gas. A number of concerns existed, chief among them the impact on already-soaring gasoline prices, and consequently the bill was withdrawn by its Senate supporters after only three days of debate.

While some Members of Congress undoubtedly support the EPA’s attempt to curb global warming, the fact that unelected and unaccountable EPA bureaucrats are trying to bypass legislative efforts makes it all the more objectionable.

Equally indefensible is any attempt to use the threat of EPA regulations to induce Congress into enacting a cap-and-trade bill it would not support otherwise. Members should not be forced to prematurely pass a bill without fully understanding its effects and consequences.

5. Expanded Bureaucracy

Having EPA bureaucrats micromanage the economy, all in the name of combating global warming, would be a chilling shift to a command-and-control system in which EPA officials regulate just about every aspect of the market.

Beyond the costs of such actions, the red tape and permitting delays are almost unfathomable. Though the Administration recently enacted a stimulus bill and touted “shovel ready” construction projects to boost the economy, EPA regulations would essentially assure that a great deal of such economic activity would be held up for months, if not years.

For instance, the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) requires federal agencies to file environmental impact statements for EPA review before moving forward with projects. According to the Government Accountability Office, normally it takes a federal construction project an average of 4.4 years to complete a NEPA review. Along with the Clean Water Act’s Section 404 requirements, before a shovel can break ground, it could take 5.6 years for a project to jump through all the normal environmental hoops.[5] Granting the authority for one of the largest and unprecedented regulatory undertakings in U.S. history would greatly expand the EPA’s power.

The kind of industrial-strength EPA red tape that routinely imposes hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of dollars in compliance costs could now be imposed for the first time on many commercial buildings, farms, and all but the smallest of businesses. Not only would these costs and delays hamper the private sector, but the paperwork could paralyze federal and state environmental regulators, drawing resources away from more useful endeavors.

A Dangerous Step

The EPA’s official announcement commences a 60-day public comment[6] period before the agency issues a final ruling. Using the Clean Air Act to regulate CO2 would likely be the most expensive and expansive environmental regulation in history and will bypass the legislative process completely. In essence, the decisions of few will drastically alter the lives of many–all for a change in the Earth’s temperature too small to ever notice.

Ben Lieberman is Senior Policy Analyst in Energy and the Environment and Nicolas D. Loris is a Research Assistant in the Thomas A. Roe Institute for Economic Policy Studies at The Heritage Foundation.


[1]David Kreutzer and Karen A. Campbell, “CO2-Emission Cuts: The Economic Costs of the EPA’s ANPR Regulations,” Heritage Foundation Center for Data Analysis Report No. 08-10, October 29, 2008, at http://www.heritage.org/Research/EnergyandEnvironment/cda08-10.cfm.

[2]David Kreutzer, “The Economics of Cap and Trade,” testimony before the Ways and Means Committee, U.S. House of Representatives, September 18, 2008 at http://www.heritage.org/cda/upload/KreutzerTestimonyTrade.pdf.

[3]Environmental Protection Agency, “Overview of EPA’s Proposed Endangerment and Cause or Contribute Findings for Greenhouse Gases under the Clean Air Act,” April 17, 2009 at http://epa.gov/climatechange
/endangerment/downloads/Determination.pdf
(April 23, 2009).

[4]Marc Morano, “UN Blowback: More Than 650 International Scientists Dissent over Man-Made Global Warming Claims,” U.S. Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works, December 10, 2008, at http://epw.senate.gov
/public/index.cfm?FuseAction=Minority.Blogs&ContentRecord_id=2158072e-802a
-23ad-45f0-274616db87e6
(April 23, 2009).

[5]U.S. Department of Transportation, Federal Highway Administration, “Evaluating the Performance of Environmental Streamlining: Development of a NEPA baseline for Measuring Continuous Performance,” at http://www.environment.fhwa.dot.gov/strmlng/baseline/section2.asp (April 23, 2009).

[6]Comments can be submitted at StopEPA.com, (http://www.stopepa.com/).