David Harsanyi

Were you aware that Americans have a collective obligation to stop kicking challenges to the next generation and join the White House in supporting "sweeping" and "transformative" legislation? I thought so.

These days, there are few higher callings in Washington than pretending to save the environment. Authoritative "leadership" is sorely needed in this area -- and quickly, before the three-cornered-hat-wearing Visigoths storm Washington's barricades this midterm election.

Reporting for duty are John Kerry and Joe Lieberman, armed with a new cap-and-trade "energy" bill -- christened the Newspeak-esque "American Power Act" -- that is so inclusive it nearly secured the support of a single radical right-winger (as if there were any other kind) in Republican Lindsey Graham, before he had a temper tantrum.

Praising the legislation, President Barack Obama made his customary case, twinning the fictitious economic benefits of statism with freshman-class utopianism, claiming that "we will put Americans to work in new jobs that pay well and can't be outsourced -- jobs building solar panels and wind turbines; constructing fuel-efficient cars and buildings; and developing the new energy technologies that will lead to even more jobs, more savings and a cleaner, safer planet in the bargain."

Like most parents, I, too, hope my children one day toil in a nonproductive factory assembling taxpayer-subsidized wind turbines rather than turn to imported Canadian fossil fuels and constructive high-income professions. Unlike profits, you see, dreams never can be outsourced.

We are only in the "discussion draft" phase of the bill -- entailing tons of discussions on how to entice Western Democrats and circumvent Republicans -- which would make efficient energy more expensive, put non-energies on the dole and slap a layer of crony capitalism on the entire energy industry.

And seeing as we never waste a crisis, the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico has given cap-and-trade supporters another hammer to add to the debate. Though, as Newsweek summed it up, "considering that the Kerry-Lieberman bill contains a little something for everyone, it's likely to pass."

A little something for everyone except you, that is. The fabricated cap-and-trade "market" is a well-documented concoction of rent-seeking corporations that will work diligently with Washington to ensure taxpayers always foot the bill. As the legislation stands now, oil companies would also have to pay emissions allowances -- outside the cap-and-trade market -- which are nothing more than another gas tax.


David Harsanyi

David Harsanyi is a senior editor at The Federalist and the author of "The People Have Spoken (and They Are Wrong): The Case Against Democracy." Follow him on Twitter @davidharsanyi.