Posts Tagged ‘energy costs’

Obama Job Summit Deliberately Snubs Primary Job Creators

December 4, 2009

Do you remember Obama publicly attacking the U.S. Chamber of Commerce over it’s opposition to ObamaCare? Obama sure does.

Barack Obama is a petty, vindictive man.  And petty men do petty, vindictive things.  He is the kind of man who deceitfully and cynically claimed that he would uniquely transcend the political divide – only to be the most politically divisive figure we have ever seen in the White House.  And he is the kind of man who would cut off his nose to spite America’s face.

Case in point: the Obama job summit.

Obama gathered liberal economists (no conservatives allowed), pro-Democrat corporate CEOs, and union chiefs to tell him only what he wanted to hear.

But one business group was entirely shut out by Barack Obama, namely, the U.S. Chamber of commerce, which represents businesses that employ 115 million Americas (well more than half of the total U.S. work force).  And, according to USCoC executive vice president of government affairs Bruce Josten, “Not only were we not invited, but not a single business organization HQd in Washington DC was invited.”

Small businesses create three out of every four jobs in America.  Not that Obama gives a damn.

The National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) – which also crossed Obama on ObamaCare – was also deliberately excluded.

Just in case anybody actually believed the White House or lamestream media propaganda that Obama’s “job summit” had anything to do with actually creating jobs.

An incredibly petty and vindictive president decided to punish the Chamber of Commerce and the National Federation of Independent Business for refusing to help him small business destroy jobs.   And in doing so, he is punishing millions of American workers.

Just imagine a job summit which is openly hostile to the actual creators of jobs.  Just imagine that job summit being depicted as being for the purpose of informing the president of all of the job-creating possibilities, when no one who disagreed with the president’s leftist views was even allowed to attend.

After agreeing with Judge Andrew Napolitano’s point that America is not going to have any meaningful job creation as long as the Obama administration continues recklessly printing, borrowing and spending trillions of dollars even as it utterly abandoning free market principles, Josten went on to say:

We need to get some certainty back in the American economy.  And right now you have a business community that doesn’t know what their tax liabilities are going to be a year from now; have no idea what their health care costs are going to be next year; have no idea what their energy costs are going to be next year; and have no idea what kind of credit is going to be available next year.  So this ‘big bang theory’ of using the crisis if you will – as the administration said some time ago – to move and overhaul entire swaths of the American economy, at this point is fueling uncertainty in the business community – and I would suggest to your listeners – in the American public.  And that’s a prescription to defer making any decisions.

And let’s not forget other abominations to business such as the union-agenda-imposing “card check” that would massively add to businesses’ costs if passed.

In other words, YOU ARE THE PROBLEM, OBAMA.

For all of Obama’s demagoguing and demonizing the Bush administration, this is Barack Obama’s economy (and any real leader would have long-since quit trying to blame his predecessor and started taking responsibility for what is happening in the country during his watch anyway).  It is HIS policies that have prevented the economy from recovering.  It is HIS policies that are killing jobs by creating paralyzing fear and uncertainty.

According to Jesus (see Luke 14:28), any wise man sits down and counts his costs before beginning a project.  But how can a business man do so in the climate of fear that Obama has created?

Statistically, this recession should have ended a while back, as the economy attained equilibrium and recovered on its own.  The average length of a recession is 11 monthsIt’s only when elitist statist bureaucrats start screwing around with all the economic levers because they think they know better than the free market system that we get long-term economic recessions and depressions.

Obama “turned fearmongering into an art form” while he force-fed his massive pork-laden stimulus onto the nation:

As he tells it, today’s economy is the worst since the Great Depression. Without his Recovery and Reinvestment Act, he says, the economy will fall back into that abyss and may never recover.

He promised us that if his stimulus passed, he would be able to keep unemployment under 8%.  Now it’s in double digits.  The rate dropped 2/10ths of a percent this month from last, primarily due to the fact that more people are simply giving up even bothering to look for jobs:

The unemployment rate also dropped because fewer people are looking for work. The size of the labor force, which includes the employed and those actively searching for jobs, fell by nearly 100,000, the third straight decline. That indicates more of the unemployed are giving up on looking for work.

The participation rate, or the percentage of the population employed or looking for work, fell to 65 percent, the lowest since the recession began.  Once laid-off people stop hunting for jobs, they are no longer counted in the unemployment rate.

The bait-and-switch and shell games being played by the mainstream media and the White House propagandists continues at Titanic-about-to-plough-into-an-iceberg pace.  Bad economic news that is not as bad as it could have been is projected as good news, while seriously bad news is buried in the 22nd paragraph of an optimistically-entitled and positively-spun article.

What we have is a numbers game in which actual unemployment could literally soar, even as the “official” unemployment rate actually decreases.

But you can bet your boots that actual unemployment will continue to go up.

Obama and his propagandists have since incessantly argued that they “underestimated” how bad the economy that “Bush left them” actually was.  That’s how they explain away their pathetic failure to do what they promised they could do if the got their porkulus.  But that argument utterly fails because Obama repeatedly compared it to the Great Depression.  In fact, Paul Volcker, the Chair of Obama’s handpicked President’s Economic Recovery Advisory Board, back on February 20th actually told us the situation “may be WORSE than the Great Depression.”

So I’ll leave it to you to figure out how the Obama administration could have argued on the one hand that the economy was the worst since, or even worse than, the Great Depression on the one hand, and then turned around on the other hand and said that they didn’t realize how bad the economy actually was.  Because if you know anything at all about the terrible conditions of the Great Depression, you know that our present economic situation has never been even close to being as bad as the Great Depression.

But don’t worry.  If you feel left out because you haven’t been able to experience the Great Depression, Obama’s policies are making sure you’ll be able to enjoy a Great Depression of your own soon.

Now we know this was just liberals using a “crisis” as an “opportunity.” As Obama’s Chief of Staff put it:

EMANUEL: You never want a serious crisis to go to waste. What I mean by that is it’s an opportunity to do things that you think you could not do before. This is an opportunity.

The point is that this unemployment “crisis” is just another “opportunity” for Barry Obama to “fundamentally transform America” and pay off his pro-liberal corporate and union special interests doing it.

Obama’s decision to deliberately snub the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the National Federation of Independent Business in a “job summit” was either pathologically petty, idiotically incompetent, or both.  And the American people are going to suffer as a result.

If anybody should have been snubbed from attending the jobs summit, Barry Hussein, it was YOU.

As for the three-quarters of American workers who get their jobs from small businesses, well, screw you people.  That’s the “change” you get.

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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/).