Obama’s food-stamp dole at record levels

Obama’s food-stamp dole at record levels

David
Paulin

 

Nearly 15 percent of the population — 45.8 million people
–  were on the food-stamp dole in August, the Wall Street Journal
reported. How come?

According to the paper, it’s all because of the horrible
economy, with the number of people on food stamps having risen 8.1 percent in
the past year.

What the WSJ doesn’t mention is that the exploding use of
food stamps has much to do with changing attitudes over the years about what
food-stamp recipients are entitled to — and that now includes junk food and
sugary drinks. In addition, soaring levels of fraud have helped to drive soaring
food-stamp use, according to a recent Op-Ed in The Journal, “The Food-Stamp Crime Wave.” (Do WSJ
reporters read their paper’s Op-Ed page?)

Interestingly, New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg tried some
months ago to stop the use of food stamps for sugary beverages like soda pop in
an effort to curb exploding levels of diabetes and obesity among New Yorkers. However, the
Obama administration rejected Bloomberg’s proposal for eliminating soda. Among other
things, administration bureaucrats claimed Bloomberg’s plan lacked “a clear and
practical means to determine product eligibility, which is essential to avoid
retailer confusion at point-of-sale and stigma (emphasis added) for
affected clients.”

Stigma? Now that’s an interesting word, because there is no
stigma left anymore for those using food stamps, which incidentally are no
longer actually “stamps” but debit cards that you swipe like a credit card. And
food-stamp cards can buy just about anything your stomach
desires. Nationwide, 6 percent of
food stamp benefits are spent on sugary beverages, according to the United
States Department of Agriculture, which administers the food stamp program and
that was the source of the WSJ’s statistics about soaring levels of food-stamp
use.

As to fraud, that WSJ Op-Ed by James Bovard noted that “The
number of food-stamp recipients has soared to 44 million from 26 million in
2007. Not surprisingly, fraud and abuse are rampant.”

Among other things, he explained:

Millionaires are now legally entitled to collect food
stamps as long as they have little or no monthly income. Thirty-five states have
abolished asset tests for most food-stamp recipients. These and similar
“paperwork reduction” reforms advocated by the United States Department of
Agriculture (USDA) are turning the food-stamp program into a magnet for abuses
and absurdities.

Ultimately, soaring food-stamp use is not just another
anti-poverty program for the Obama administration. It’s all about “spreading the
wealth around.”

Unfortunately, poor people who really need food stamps must
now endure the “stigma” of being lumped together with the many deadbeats now on
the food-stamp dole.

White House to put up to 5,000 salad bars in schools

Lettuce pray

White House to put up to 5,000
salad bars in schools

by Ed Bruske
18 Nov 2010 7:33 AM
and Food Initiative Coordinator, help kids in the White House kitchen garden
harvest vegetables daydreaming of a salad bar.Photo: Samantha Appleton
First Lady Michelle Obama is expected to announce on Monday a major new
initiative that would place up to 5,000 salad bars in public schools nationwide,
despite uncertainties over how local health inspectors might treat those salad
bars and USDA nutrition-tracking rules that could prove a major impediment.
Officials in the White House, led by chef Sam Kass,
and at the U.S. Centers for Disease and Prevention, have been working to build a
coalition representing the produce industry and Ann Cooper, director of
nutrition services in Boulder, Colo. schools, who recently teamed with Whole Foods to raise $1.4
million from customers to establish a grant program that would place salad bars
in qualifying schools.
Under the initiative expected to be announced on Monday in Florida, where
First Lady Michelle Obama has taken her “Let’s Move” campaign to fight childhood
obesity, Cooper would manage applications for salad bars from the schools along
with distribution of funds to purchase necessary equipment.
One potential obstacle to the program is the refusal of many school districts
to install salad bars for food-safety reasons and because of cumbersome USDA
rules governing the federally subsidized school lunch program that feeds some 31
million U.S. school children every day.
Cooper named three school districts she knows of — Philadelphia, Austin,
Tex., and Montgomery County, Md., — that have already indicated they will not
support salad bars. Concerns have been raised that elementary school children in
particular might be prone to spread disease at salad bars because they are too
short for the standard “sneeze guard” installed on most salad bars, or because
they might use their hands instead of the serving utensils provided.
Cooper, who would not comment on the pending White House announcement, has
dismissed those concerns, saying, “As far as I’ve found out, there are no
documented disease outbreaks from school salad bars. By and large, this is not a
high risk area.”
But schools also are deterred by USDA regulations that require students to
pass by a cash register or “point of sale” station after they have been to the
salad bar to ensure that they have served themselves the correct portions of
fruits and vegetables required under the federal lunch program. In October, the
USDA’s Food and Nutrition Services division, which oversees the subsidized meal
program, circulated a memo saying that while it encourages the use of salad bars
in schools, school menu planners must tell students the minimum amounts they
must take from salad bars, cashiers “must be trained to judge accurately the
quantities of self-service items,” and point-of-sale registers “must be
stationed after the salad bar.”
Cooper has previously said USDA rules too often “don’t work on the ground”
and that forcing students to double back and pass a checkpoint after they’ve
been to the salad bar “slows everything down.”
Also, the CDC was trying to determine how local health inspectors might pass
judgment on salad bars scattered across the country and what federal health
requirements they might apply.
In addition to Cooper, the White House initiative participants are said to be
United Fresh Produce Association, the National Fruit and Vegetable Alliance, and
Whole Foods. The recent Whole Foods campaigns raised enough money to pay for
salad bars in 564 schools. Around 570 schools applied for salad bar grants.
Until now, the produce industry has been backing its own campaign to donate
salad bars to schools.
Michelle Obama has embraced more fruit and vegetable consumption as a major
plank in her efforts to improve American diets and combat weight-related
illnesses, especially among children. Kass, who directs the First
Lady’s nutrition efforts, was seen as central to bringing the various salad-bar
interests together and developing a unified effort under the White House
banner.
A reporter for the Washington Post in a previous life, I now tend my “urban
farm” about a mile from the White House in the District of Columbia and teach
kids something I call “food appreciation.” I believe in self-reliance, growing
food close to home and political freedom for the residents of the District of
Columbia. I am currently working to introduce local produce into the D.C. school
system. I write a daily food blog called The Slow Cook.

Drill!

Drill!

By Michael Reagan
FrontPageMagazine.com | 7/7/2008

Americans are worried. Americans are angry. Soaring gas prices are seriously crippling our economy and hitting us where it hurts the most — in our pockets.

We have a right to be angry, but anger is no longer enough. It’s time for rage — good, old American rage aimed at those elitist Democrats who prefer to see the folks beggared by soaring fuel prices rather than take the action this very real economic crisis demands.

Drill.

We know that the law of supply and demand is what’s causing gas prices to soar, but merely knowing the ultimate cause of the crisis is not enough. We need to know why the most obvious remedy — one that promises to increase supply — is being studiously avoided by the powers that be, the leadership in Congress.

Once Americans become aware of that reason, get out of the way because they will be at the gates of Capitol Hill armed with pitchforks and scythes like enraged villagers marching on Dracula’s castle, determined do wreak vengeance on the very people who refuse to act in the way current circumstances clearly demand.

The steady increase in gas prices can be stopped dead in its tracks, and rolled back to less onerous levels literally overnight. The Democrats in Congress have in their hands the magic wand they could easily wave, but they arrogantly refuse to use it. And so we continue to pay the price for their refusal to help their fellow Americans when they have the power to do so.

All they need to do is lift all moratoria and restrictions on domestic, offshore and Alaskan drilling for oil. That’s all. A quick wave of that magic wand is all that’s needed. But they will not act, and for that they must be made aware that they will pay a steep price at the polls for their refusal to act when action is desperately needed.

Make no mistake about it, the liberals in the House and Senate — in the pockets of the super-rich environmentalists who scarcely conceal their contempt for their fellow humans, activists who won’t be happy until every automobile is driven from America’s roads and highways — simply will not come to our aid.

As Marie Antoinette is said to have remarked about her starving subjects who were demanding bread, “Let then eat cake,” many of our elected Democratic members of Congress are in effect saying of Americans, “Let them ride bikes.”

In their contemptuous sophistry their spokesmen sneer that opening the gates to domestic and offshore drilling would not yield results for 10 years. That excuse for inaction is insultingly deceptive. While it will take years to see our domestic supply of petroleum begin to take up the slack, the very declaration that the floodgates will be opened and America is on he way to independence from foreign oil will strike fear into the hearts of OPEC and the speculators who have driven the price of oil skyward.

Their reaction would be instantaneous — they would increase production to the fullest extent possible, motivated by the knowledge that their stranglehold on supply faces its eventual demise, and gas prices at the pump would fall.

As economist Lawrence Kudlow wrote in his column, “An America First Energy Plan,” “As soon as you say, ‘End the drilling moratoriums,’ it is precisely those traders who will start selling oil contracts — long before the first offshore oil barrels are delivered to market. If they see presidential leadership on oil and shale drilling, they will rapidly turn a bull market into a bear market.”

A partial answer to our immediate problem is at hand. The steady increase in pump prices can be halted and prices somewhat rolled back to a more acceptable level. Yet those environmentalist-controlled Democrats are turning their backs on the voters who sent them to Washington and coldly refusing to lift a finger to help the American people, preferring instead to lay the blame for the problem on big oil, speculators, and every place but where it belongs: on themselves.

If that doesn’t enrage you, nothing will.

If this continues, the payback will come in November, when people drive them from office, unless they do what needs to be done: Drill, Drill, Drill!


Mike Reagan, the eldest son of President Ronald Reagan, is heard on more than 200 talk radio stations nationally as part of the Radio America Network.

Top 10 reasons to blame Democrats for soaring gasoline prices

Top 10 reasons to blame Democrats for soaring

gasoline prices

By William Tate

This started out as an attempt to create a light and humorous, Letterman-esque Top 10 list. But the items on the list, and the drain Americans are seeing in their pocketbooks because of Democrats’ actions (sometimes inaction) are just too tragic for that.

10) ANWR  If Bill Clinton had signed into law the Republican Congress’s 1995 bill to allow drilling of ANWR instead of vetoing it, ANWR could be producing a million barrels of (non-Opec) oil a day–5% of the nation’s consumption. Although speaking in another context, even Democrat Senator Charles Schumer, no proponent of ANWR drilling, admits that “one million barrels per day,” would cause the price of gasoline to fall “50 cents a gallon almost immediately,” according to a recent George Will column.

 

9) Coastal Drilling (i.e., not in my backyard) Democrats have consistently fought efforts to drill off the U.S. coast, as evidenced by Florida Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz’s preotestation against a failed 2005 bill: “Not only does this legislation dismantle the bi-partisan ban on offshore drilling, but it provides a financial incentive for states to do so.” 
A financial incentive? With the Chinese now slant drilling for oil just 50 miles off the Florida coast,  wouldn’t that have been a good thing?

 

8) Insistence on alternative fuels  One of the first acts of the new Democrat-controlled congress in 2007 was an energy bill that “calls for a huge increase in the use of ethanol as a motor fuel and requires new appliance efficiency standards.”  By focusing on alternative fuels such as ethanol, and not more drilling, Democrats have added to the cost of food, worsening starvation problems around the word and increasing inflationary pressures in the U.S., including prices at the pump. 

 

7) Nuclear power   Even the French, who sometimes seem to lack the backbone to stand up for anything other than soft cheese, faced down their environmentalists over the need for nuclear power. France now generates 79% of its electricity from nuclear plants, mitigating the need for imported oil. The French have so much cheap energy that France has become the world’s largest exporter of electric power. They have plans in place to build more reactors, including an experimental fusion reactor.

 

The last nuclear reactor built in the United States, according to the US Dept of Energy, was the “River Bend” plant in Louisiana. Its construction began in March of 1977

 

 Need I say more?

 

6) Coal   “The liquid hydrocarbon fuel available from American coal reserves exceeds the crude oil reserves of the entire world,” writes Dr. Arthur Robinson in an article on humanevents.com. The U.S. has approximately one-fourth of the world’s known, proven coal reserves. Coal would be a proven, and increasingly clean, source of electric power and–at current prices–a liquified fuel that would reduce our dependence on foreign oil. Yet Dems and their enviro friends have fought, and continue to fight, both coal-mining and coal plants. 

 

5) Refinery capacity  “High oil prices are still being propped up by a shortage of refinery capacity and there is little sign of the bottleneck easing until 2010,” according to Peak Oil News.  And, while voters in South Dakota have approved zoning for what could become the first new oil refinery in the United States in 30 years,  the Dems’ environmentalist constituency vows to oppose it, just like environmentalists opposed the floodgates that could have saved New Orleans from Hurricane Katrina. 

 

4) Reduced competition  With consolidation in the oil industry, has come reduced competition. Remember, most of the major oil company mergers — Shell-Texaco, BP-Amoco, Exxon-Mobil, BP-ARCO, and Chevron-Texaco — happened on Clinton’s watch.  The number of oil refiners dropped from 28 to 19 companies during Clinton’s two terms.

 

3) The Global Warming Myth  At a Group of 8 meeting this week, host and Japanese Economy, Trade and Industry Minister Akira Amari “described the issues of climate change and energy as two sides of the same coin and proposed united solutions … to address both issues simultaneously”.   As a result of Global Warming hysteria, the Al Gore-negotiated Kyoto Protocol created a worldwide market in carbon-emissions trading. Both 2005  –the year that trading  was initiated–and this year  –when the trading expanded dramatically — saw substantial and unexpected price spikes in the cost of oil, leading us to reason Number…

 

2) Speculation  “Given the unchanged equilibrium in global oil supply and demand over recent months amid the explosive rise in oil futures prices … it is more likely that as much as 60% of the today oil price is pure speculation,” writes F. William Engdahl, an Associate of the Centre for Research on Globalization.  According to a June 2006 US Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations report, US energy futures historically “were traded exclusively on regulated exchanges within the United States… The trading of energy commodities by large firms on OTC electronic exchanges was exempted from (federal) oversight by a provision inserted at the behest of Enron and other large energy traders into the Commodity Futures Modernization Act of 2000.” The bill was signed into law by Bill Clinton, in one of his last acts in office. 

 

1) Defeat of President Bush’s 2001 energy package   According to the BBC, “Key points of Bush(‘s 2001) plan were to:

 

-Promote new oil and gas drilling

 

-Build new nuclear plants

 

-Improve electricity grid and build new pipelines -$10bn in tax breaks to promote energy efficiency and alternative fuels

 

A New York Times article, dated May 18, 2001, explained:

 

“President Bush began an intensive effort today to sell his plan for developing new sources of energy to Congress and the American people, arguing that the country had a future of ‘energy abundance if it could break free of the traditional antagonism between energy producers and environmental advocates.
Mr. Bush’s plea for a new dialogue came as his administration published the report of an energy task force containing scores of specific proposals… for finding new sources of power and encouraging a range of new energy technologies.” 

[The Bush plan] “mentions about a dozen areas including land-use restrictions in the Rockies, lease stipulations on offshore areas attractive to oil companies, the vetting of locations for nuclear plants, environmental reviews to upgrade power plants and refineries that could be streamlined or eliminated to help industry find more oil and gas and produce more electricity and gasoline.”

 

The article went on to quote some rather prescient words from the President, “this great country could face a darker future, a future that is, unfortunately, being previewed in rising prices at the gas pump and rolling blackouts in the great state of California” if his plan was not adopted in 2001.

 

The Times account continued:

 

“Mr. Bush talked not only of blackouts but of blackmail, raising the specter of a future in which the United States is increasingly vulnerable to foreign oil suppliers…Mr. Bush was praised by many groups for laying out a long-term energy policy. His report contained 105 initiatives…”

 

Just as President Bush’s predictions have been born out, the article quoted from that most sage of Democrats, former President Jimmy Carter:

 

“World supplies are adequate and reasonably stable, price fluctuations are cyclical, reserves are plentiful,” he (Carter) argued. Mr. Carter said “exaggerated claims seem designed to promote some long-frustrated ambitions of the oil industry at the expense of environmental quality.”

 

But, as a later Times article notes, “the president’s ambitious policy quickly became a casualty of energy politics and, notably, harsh criticism from Democrats enraged by the way the White House had created the plan.”

 

In other words, Democrats refused the President’s plea to “break free of the traditional antagonism between energy producers and environmental advocates.”

 

Remember that the next time you pull up to the pump … or the voter’s booth.

 

William Tate is a former award-winning journalist and the author of the new ovel, A Time Like This  (www.atimelikethis.us/)

John Coleman vs Al Gore

John Coleman vs Al Gore

Danny Huddleston
Regular readers of this website are well aware of the Global Warming scam. Poking holes in the AGW theory is becoming child’s play. But we have to keep at it because the general public and major presidential candidates are not so well informed. A large percentage of the public still get their news from the mainstream media. And of course the MSM is in the tank with Al Gore and the global warming believers.

That’s why it’s important to let the public see the other side of the global warming debate. We are very lucky to have a scientist like John Coleman who is not afraid to speak his mind. John has been a weatherman since 1953, for 7 years he was the weatherman on “Good Morning, America”. He is also the founder of “The Weather Channel” on cable. Now he is in his “retirement job” at KUSI in San Diego. A lot of younger meteorologists just starting out can not speak out against AGW orthodoxy because they might lose their jobs. John has reached a point in his career where he doesn’t need a paycheck and can speak his mind, and he did just that in his comments before the San Diego Chamber of Commerce. Here are a few excerpts:

There is no significant man made global warming. There has not been any in the past, there is none now and there is no reason to fear any in the future. The climate of Earth is changing. It has always changed. But mankind’s activities have not overwhelmed or significantly modified the natural forces.

Through all history, Earth has shifted between two basic climate regimes: ice ages and what paleoclimatologists call “Interglacial periods”. For the past 10 thousand years the Earth has been in an interglacial period. That might well be called nature’s global warming because what happens during an interglacial period is the Earth warms up, the glaciers melt and life flourishes. Clearly from our point of view, an interglacial period is greatly preferred to the deadly rigors of an ice age. Mr. Gore and his crowd would have us believe that the activities of man have overwhelmed nature during this interglacial period and are producing an unprecedented, out of control warming.

Well, it is simply not happening. Worldwide there was a significant natural warming trend in the 1980’s and 1990’s as a Solar cycle peaked with lots of sunspots and solar flares. That ended in 1998 and now the Sun has gone quiet with fewer and fewer Sun spots, and the global temperatures have gone into decline. Earth has cooled for almost ten straight years. So, I ask Al Gore, where’s the global warming?

The cooling trend is so strong that recently the head of the United Nation’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change had to acknowledge it. He speculated that nature has temporarily overwhelmed mankind’s warming and it may be ten years or so before the warming returns. Oh, really. We are supposed to be in a panic about man-made global warming and the whole thing takes a ten year break because of the lack of Sun spots. If this weren’t so serious, it would be laughable.

Now allow me to talk a little about the science behind the global warming frenzy. I have dug through thousands of pages of research papers, including the voluminous documents published by the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. I have worked my way through complicated math and complex theories. Here’s the bottom line: the entire global warming scientific case is based on the increase in carbon dioxide in the atmosphere from the use of fossil fuels. They don’t have any other issue. Carbon Dioxide, that’s it.

Hello Al Gore; Hello UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. Your science is flawed; your hypothesis is wrong; your data is manipulated. And, may I add, your scare tactics are deplorable. The Earth does not have a fever. Carbon dioxide does not cause significant global warming.

The focus on atmospheric carbon dioxide grew out a study by Roger Revelle who was an esteemed scientist at the Scripps Oceanographic Institute. He took his research with him when he moved to Harvard and allowed his students to help him process the data for his paper. One of those students was Al Gore. That is where Gore got caught up in this global warming frenzy. Revelle’s paper linked the increases in carbon dioxide, CO2, in the atmosphere with warming. It labeled CO2 as a greenhouse gas.

Later in his comments there is this: “By the way, before his death, Roger Revelle coauthored a paper cautioning that CO2 and its greenhouse effect did not warrant extreme countermeasures”.

So, Roger Revelle, Al Gore’s mentor and teacher did not believe that CO2 and its greenhouse effect warranted extreme countermeasures. I wonder if he would approve of what his former student is doing?

Since the planet has actually been cooling in the last ten years it’s fun to watch the AGW believers flail about trying to come up with new theories to explain what’s happening. Their favorite new word is “variability”, this is how they explain global cooling.

And what do we call this scam? Global Warming has been passe for some time now and until recently it was Climate Change (better to explain temps going up or down). Now, in one of those slick new public service ads (courtesy of Al Gore’s Nobel Prize money) they use the phrase “Climate Crisis”. Apparently Obama has copyrighted “Change” and anyway “Crisis” adds a little more urgency to the whole enterprise. I wonder what it will be called next year? Perhaps “Climate Catastrophe”.

 

Countering Democrats on Drilling

Countering Democrats on Drilling

By Patrick J. Casey

The Democrats have a standardized talking point against any domestic drilling (in  ANWR, the Midwest oil shales and off-shore), settling on the comeback: “It won’t help us today.” Energy-savvy Republicans too often respond “If Clinton hadn’t vetoed ANWR, that oil field would have been producing three years ago.” While technically correct, the retort doesn’t hit the Democrats where they are weakest.

 

Battle of the Narratives

 

Blame for the rise of gasoline prices (and everything else dependent on petroleum) is a political commodity right now, with each side seeking to hold the other culpable. The Democrats are avoiding their traditional environmental arguments for good reason.

 

If the voters see environmentalists, tree-huggers, and their Democratic political minions as causing $4 or $5 dollar a gallon gasoline, along with the rise in consumer prices across the board because of the increase of the cost of oil used as an ingredient in many products, they will blame the Democrats.

 

And frustration with environmentalism is starting to show up in the polls, which are indicating an increasing call for domestic drilling from the American public. 

 

With most of the TV interview time on the major networks and cable news stations limited to a minute or so, there is a very short window in which a politician can get out an effective message. Even worse is the decreasing sound bite time used in non-interview style news reports. According to a recent study, that’s down to 7.7 seconds. So it’s vital for the GOP to develop a quick response to the Democrats’ argument that will focus attention on the positives of the GOP argument.

What is that effective message? Here’s a suggestion. It should be used every time a Democrat marches out their new favorite line:

 

Every solution currently under consideration by the Democrats and Republicans is a future solution. Oil drilling and processing is a present-day technology that offers the quickest solution to our energy needs. As the other technologies are gradually proven and perfected and go on-line, we can then reduce our dependence on oil.

 

A sympathetic news media will often grant time for the Democrats’ counter argument, which is likely to be: this “solution” won’t solve the problem of speculative  investors forcing up the price of oil.

 

The Republicans’ retort to that excuse should be along the following lines:

 

Right now, with the Democrats in charge, global investors realize that Congress will never allow the United States to develop its own energy reserves. With a Democratic President it would be even worse.  If the Democrats stop their obstruction of drilling, that would immediately put downward pressure on such speculation in the oil futures markets.

 

Or the Democrats might respond by suggesting that we regulate the commodities market, especially the oil commodities market NYMEX. The GOP response should be:

 

If the Democrats go after NYMEX, then oil speculators will move the futures markets overseas to a more friendly economic host, such as Dubai. We must address the fundamentals of supply and demand, instead of blocking every chance we get to create jobs and wealth in America through domestic production..

 

The facts and the answers to the energy crunch are on the GOP’s side. Right now, every Republican interviewed attacks the problem with different talking points. The public likes and appreciates simple messages — that’s why the Democrats have been so effective with their “drilling won’t help us today” slogan. The GOP must have a unified and concise message, repeated every time there’s a microphone or a camera around, that effectively counters the Democrats’ and the media’s opposition to common sense and logical solutions to our energy needs.

 

Unless the presumptive nominee changes his position, this will put Republicans at odds with the McCain campaign. That’s fine, since he’s in the wrong on this issue. And I’m certain that he’d appreciate the “maverick” nature of Republicans in Congress going against a president or presumed presidential nominee.

 

John McCain feels free to disagree with his party, and there is no reason Republicans shouldn’t return the favor. Independent swing voters, much sought after by McCain, seem to have a taste for divided government. A few of them might actually be more inclined to vote for Republican in Congress as well as McCain if they knew that  Congtressional Republicans would not be in his pocket or vice versa

About That Global Warming Bill….

About That Global Warming Bill….

By Ben Lieberman
The Heritage Foundation | 6/3/2008

On June 2, the United States Senate will begin debate on America’s Climate Security Act (S. 2191), sponsored by Senators Joseph Lieberman (I-CT) and John Warner (R-VA). The Lieberman-Warner bill (LW) would restrict energy use to combat global warming. Like global warming itself, the bill has been the subject of considerable hype and little hard-nosed analysis. For this reason, there are several myths about it that need to be dispelled.

Myth #1: LW would not be expensive.

Fact: Simply put, LW works like a massive energy tax. By restricting carbon dioxide emissions from coal, oil, and natural gas–with a freeze at 2005 levels beginning in 2012, to a 70 percent reduction in 2050–the bill forces down supply and thus boosts the price of energy. In fact, if energy prices did not go up, then the targets in the bill would not be met. As energy is the economy’s lifeblood, and 85 percent of it comes from these fossil fuels, the impact will be substantial. Cumulative gross domestic product (GDP) losses could reach $4.8 trillion by 2030, according to an analysis conducted by the Heritage Foundation. The Massachusetts Institute of Technology, the Environmental Protection Agency, Charles River Associates, and the National Association of Manufacturers have all conducted studies predicting significant economic burdens on consumers should the bill be enacted.

Myth #2: The costs fall on industry, not consumers.

Fact: Virtually all the burden imposed by LW falls upon consumers. The bill will spur net job losses well into the hundreds of thousands, and possibly nearing one million. Particularly hard hit is the manufacturing sector where over one million jobs will be lost by 2022 and two million by 2027. The losses in household incomes could reach $1,026 per year by 2015. Annual household energy-price increases could hit $1,000 by 2030, including a 29 percent increase in the price of gasoline from 2008 levels.

Myth #3: Global warming is a crisis that must be addressed at all costs.

Fact: Global warming is a concern, not a crisis. Both the seriousness and the imminence of the threat are overstated. For example, the recent United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report estimates 7 to 23 inches of sea level rise by the end of the century–far less than the widely popularized claims of 18 to 20 feet and little more than ongoing trends over the past several centuries. The attempt to link Hurricane Katrina with climate change is directly contradicted by the World Meteorological Organization and many scientists. Overall, current and expected future temperatures are far from unprecedented, and are highly unlikely to lead to catastrophes.

Myth #4: LW effectively addresses the threat of climate change.

Fact: Even assuming the worst of global warming, LW reduces the threat by a minuscule amount. The bill reduces emissions of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases in the United States only. China has overtaken America as the world’s largest emitter, and its emissions growth is several times greater than that of the U.S. India and other fast-developing nations are on a similar trajectory. Thus, the unilateral impact of the bill on global emissions would be inconsequential. At most, it would reduce the earth’s future temperature by one or two tenths of a degree Celsius–too small to even verify. In other words, LW is all economic pain for no environmental gain.

Myth #5: LW’s cap-and-trade approach is a proven success.

Fact: Critics of the cap-and-trade approach in LW, in which emissions are capped and regulated entities may trade their rights to emit, point to the European Union’s substantial difficulties since initiating its own cap-and-trade program in 2005. Most E.U. nations are not on track to meet their targets, and many are seeing their emissions rise faster than those in the U.S. The program is furthermore plagued by accusations of fraud and unfairness. LW essentially adopts the European approach wholesale.

Conclusion

Overall, the Lieberman-Warner bill promises substantial hardship for the economy overall, for jobs, and for energy costs. Given current economic concerns and energy prices, this is the last thing the American people need. At the same time, the environmental benefits would likely be small to nonexistent. The Lieberman-Warner bill fails any reasonable cost-benefit test.



Ben Lieberman is Senior Policy Analyst in the Thomas A. Roe Institute for Economic Policy Studies at The Heritage Foundation.
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