Throw the Bums Out

David Limbaugh

6/26/2009 12:01:00 AM - David Limbaugh

Here they go again -- our faithful representatives in Washington, that is. They're about to pass, without reading its 1,200-plus pages, an incredibly expensive and destructive cap and trade bill, which has little prayer of accomplishing what it sets out to accomplish but satisfies their urgent need to pay homage to their liberal ideology and secular humanist worldview.

Do you remember when Barack Obama was forced to give an answer to justify his advocacy of a capital gains tax increase in view of such taxes' history of actually decreasing revenues? The revenue reductions are worth it because it's a matter of "fairness," he said. Spread the misery. Likewise, with cap and trade, Obama and his congressional cohorts will wreak untold destruction on the economy and get little benefit in return.

I'm not exaggerating here. Doesn't it make sense that before enacting legislation to reduce greenhouse gas emissions for the purpose of reducing man-made global warming, Congress would investigate whether significant man-made global warming is occurring (as opposed to watching Al Gore's propaganda film and simply declaring, by fiat, that scientists have reached a consensus on the issue when they clearly have not)?

And if, after a thorough and balanced inquiry, they determine that it is occurring, shouldn't they next examine whether their proposed legislative remedy is likely to significantly ameliorate the problem?

But they not only have not conducted a bona fide examination of the man-made warming issue but also have not attempted to examine, in any remotely scientific way, how much their proposed bill would reduce global warming (assuming it exists to the extent they contend) or whether any such reductions would make any difference at all to humanity's short- or long-term health or happiness or anything else.

All of this would be outrageous enough if there were no economic costs associated with their proposal. But in fact, the costs would be astronomical and way beyond the calculations they are presenting -- fraudulently -- to the American people to stunt the opposition they'd encounter if the truth were revealed.

The truth is that there is no crisis, and all the hysteria they're generating is solely for the purpose of ramrodding this odious bill through Congress before the public realizes it has, once again, been duped and betrayed.

The Heritage Foundation's senior policy analyst for energy and environment, Ben Lieberman, has produced a stellar paper on these questions -- reproduced from his remarks at The Heartland Institute's Third International Conference on Climate Change on June 2.

Let me share a few of the highlights and encourage you to read the rest of his report -- and others like it -- online.

Based on available evidence and analysis, Lieberman concludes "that both the seriousness and imminence of anthropogenic global warming has been overstated." But even if we assume the problem is as bad as the hysterics claim, the proposed bill "would have a trivial impact on future concentrations of greenhouse gases. … (It) would reduce the earth's future temperature by 0.1 to 0.2 degree C by 2100, an amount too small to even notice." The bill would bind only the U.S., not other nations, many of which, like China, are "polluting" at a record pace. Also note that many European nations that have already imposed similar emissions restrictions have seen their emissions rise.

But what would the costs be for this quixotic legislative paean to earth goddess Gaia? Contrary to the flawed analyses being advanced by the bill's proponents, Heritage estimates that the direct costs would be an average of $829 per year for a household of four, totaling $20,000 between 2012 and 2035. But when considering the total cost as reflected in the cost of allocations and offsets, the average cost to that family unit would be $2,979 annually from 2012 to 2035. Adding insult and hypocrisy to injury, the bill would hurt the poor the worst because they would bear a disproportionate burden of the higher energy costs the bill would trigger.

Now here's the kicker. The bill is also projected to harm the manufacturing sector and cause estimated "net" job losses, averaging about 1.15 million between 2012 and 2030. The overall gross domestic product losses would average $393 billion per year from 2012 to 2035, and the cumulative loss in gross domestic product would be $9.4 trillion by 2035. The national debt for a family of four would increase by $115,000 by 2035.

Enough already. Throw the bums out.