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People who say it cannot be done should not interrupt those who are doing it. Welcome to From On High.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Memo To Rick Boucher

Are you prepared to tell the poor people of Southwest Virginia that the completely unnecessary "climate change" bill that you've signed on to is going to cost each of them $700 a year? And that that's not counting the $1,300 increase in price each of them might have paid had they thought they could afford a new car?

Let's cut through the bullshit, Rick, and level with the people of the coalfields. This bill will kill jobs.

But don't take my word for it:
Cap-and-Trade Delusions
Proponents need to stop pretending cap-and-trade will cost nothing and create tons of jobs.
By Ronald Bailey, Reason

"The Waxman-Markey bill will create jobs by spurring investment in renewables and efficiency." So declared the liberal Center for American Progress as it announced support for the new cap-and-trade climate change bill introduced in Congress last week.

Clocking in at nearly 1000 pages, the American Clean Energy and Security Act—or Waxman-Markey after its sponsors Rep. Henry Waxman (D-Calif.) and Rep. Edward Markey (D-Mass.)—proposes to reduce U.S. greenhouse gas emissions by 20 percent below their 2005 level by 2020, by 42 percent by 2030, and by 83 percent by 2050. In addition, the bill requires that electricity retailers meet 20 percent of their load by 2020 using either renewable sources of electricity or conservation. To achieve these goals, the U.S. will have to spend money on clean energy technologies which are far more expensive than conventional energy technologies.

All rhetoric aside, mandates cost money.

Producing low-carbon electricity will also cost more money. Currently, producing solar photovoltaic electricity costs about 33 cents per kilowatt hour; wind generated electricity is about 9 cents per kilowatt hour; and coal-fired production with carbon capture and sequestration is estimated to cost up to 10 cents per kilowatt hour. In contrast, producing electricity by means of conventional coal-fired plants now costs 6.5 cents per kilowatt hour and nuclear power comes to 7.5 cents per kilowatt hour.

Once again, all other things being equal, higher costs mean that the energy industry will raise the prices of its goods and services. Which means that consumers will buy less, thus leaving the industry with less to spend on producing goods and services or to pay its workers. Will there be more people specifically employed making and installing higher-cost, government subsidized wind turbines, photovoltaic arrays, batteries for plug-in hybrid automobiles, and weatherized houses? Sure. But on net, there will fewer new jobs thanks to rising low-carbon energy costs.

Man-made climate change may be a huge problem, but cap-and-trade proponents need to stop pretending that the solution will cost virtually nothing while producing more jobs than it destroys. [link]
Look 'em in the eyes and tell 'em, Rick, why you went with your pals in Washington rather than with the good people of Southwest Virginia.

Quote of the Day

From the Washington Post:
"We share Congress's belief that before resources are given for a project, that they need and deserve a more detailed plan," Gibbs said. But he skirted questions about why the administration had asked for $80 million to close Guantanamo before it had a plan in place.
"Obama Will Try to Quell Concern on Detainees," May 21, 2009

On The Lighter Side

James Taranto:
She Charges Extra for That
"Hooker Breaks Big 12 Record in High Jump"--headline, Austin American-Statesman, May 18
Too funny.

I Wonder How They Reacted

Yard signs can be so revealing.
It seems only logical that the next door neighbor would be proud of his or her position.

But does anyone really believe they'd be accepting of this open invitation?

The Second of Many

Treasury Said to Plan Second Bailout for GMAC

Thank God for the Stimulus!

That $800,000,000,000 in tax money that we thought went down a rat hole actually ...

... well, no, it went down a rat hole:
Fed's economic forecast worsens
By Chris Isidore, CNNMoney.com senior writer

New York (CNNMoney.com) -- The Federal Reserve's latest forecasts for the U.S. economy are gloomier than the ones released three months earlier, with an expectation for higher unemployment and a steeper drop in economic activity.

The Fed's forecasts, released as part of the minutes from its April meeting, show that its staff now expects the unemployment rate to rise to between 9.2% and 9.6% this year. The central bank had forecast in January that the jobless rate would be in a range of 8.5% to 8.8%, but the unemployment rate topped that in April, hitting 8.9%.

The Fed also now expects the gross domestic product, the broadest measure of the nation's economic activity, to post a drop of between 1.3% and 2% this year. It had previously expected only a 0.5% to 1.3% decline. [link]
You watch, Obama will still claim he "saved" three million jobs. How? By his secret tally that the rest of us are not privy to.

Stimulus. We warned the fool it wouldn't work.

Does This Mean That Obama Isn't Emperor?

The law, it seems to this layman, is pretty clear. And it ain't on Obama's side.

Let's find out:
Funds move to halt Chrysler restructuring
By Bernard Simon and Nicole Bullock, Financial Times

Three of Chrysler’s secured creditors are mounting a fresh attempt to thwart the carmaker’s Chapter 11 reorganisation on the grounds that it violates their legal rights and the US government’s authority under the Troubled asset relief programme.

The three – all Indiana state pension funds – are among a group of 46 creditors that had appeared to back away this month from efforts to derail the process under which a “new” Chrysler would emerge from bankruptcy protection by July 1. The new entity would be owned by a union healthcare trust, the US government and Italy’s Fiat.

Chrysler, with backing from the US Treasury, had offered its secured creditors just under 30 cents on the dollar to settle claims totalling $6.9bn. Four big banks, holding the bulk of the claims, accepted the offer following political pressure from Washington. [link]
Now, you might think that, with the situation Chrysler is in, 30 cents on the dollar ain't a bad deal. But secured creditors are guaranteed 100 cents on that dollar, as long as there is any money to be paid out. They get theirs before anyone else.

Having been an unsecured creditor who had to wait at the back of the line in a similar circumstance, I know a little bit about how this works. And, if I were that secured creditor, I'd be waving the United States Constitution in a bankruptcy judge's face (figuratively) about now, demanding that he get familiar with it.

Obama to judiciary: "What Constitution?"

From Golden State To State Of Denial

It's not like they didn't bring this on themselves:
California voters kill budget measures
By Eric Bailey, Los Angeles Times

Reporting from Sacramento -- The "big five" elected leaders -- Schwarzenegger and the legislative chieftains from both houses -- are slated to begin closed-door meetings today upon the governor's return from Washington, where he spent election day after casting a last-minute absentee ballot.

On Thursday a small group of Senate and Assembly members will hold the first of what's expected to be a slew of daily public sessions to wrangle over the details of the budget.

Schwarzenegger has called for cuts that would hit every corner of the state. He announced plans to lay off 5,000 of the state's 235,000 workers and has proposed slashing education by up to $5 billion, selling state properties, borrowing $2 billion from local governments and potentially reducing eligibility for healthcare programs.

The governor also wants to borrow up to $6 billion, but awaits word on whether Washington would guarantee those loans. The White House has never done so for the state but is considering the action as Wall Street expresses concern that California could become a deadbeat borrower.

In a bid to salt those prospects, Schwarzenegger met privately Tuesday in the U.S. Capitol with members of California's congressional delegation. "We have a major problem in California, and I think if we work together, we can make it through this crisis," he told reporters after attending the White House announcement on tougher vehicle emission standards. "We need assistance. . . . I didn't come for any bailout. We're going to make the necessary cuts." [link]
"We need helllllp."

For the love of God.

From Golden State to Welfare State. Such the pity. And it didn't have to be, had anyone there had an ounce of fiscal responsibility in him.

It Didn't Have To Be This Way

Where once we had high hopes for this conservative giant of a man, we now bid a less-than fond farewell to a liberal, big-government master of disaster.

Too bad. Too bad.

- - -

George Will:
In a surreal attempt to terrify voters into supporting the propositions, Schwarzenegger (job approval: 33 percent) threatened to do something sensible: sell such state assets as San Quentin prison, which sits on prime ocean-view real estate. But Californians should now pay a real price, in realism about ways and means, for Schwarzenegger's wasted years. His governance-by-attention-deficit-disorder has involved flitting from one trendy irrelevance (e.g., stem-cell research) to another (e.g., cooling the planet) while the state has sagged. Fittingly, he was in Washington as his shambolic legacy was being defined by Tuesday's defeat.
When Hollywood gets involved in politics ...

Headline and photo courtesy of Hot Air.