We reported previously that the U.S. Climate Action Partnership’s (USCAP’s) members include some of the country’s worst-managed corporations, as demonstrated by their need for government bailouts. These include former USCAP members AIG and Lehman Brothers, as well as government-dependent entities like General Motors and Chrysler. Our position is that companies that need government mandates to force people to buy their products or services contribute nothing to society, and they should not be in business. If General Electric, for example, cannot engineer cost-effective wind turbines and solar panels, and must instead get the government to require businesses and utilities to buy its products, it is a liability to the country and should not be in business. This message comes across clearly in Kimberley Strassel’s “If the Cap Fits,” from the Wall Street Journal.
- GE makes all the solar equipment and wind turbines (at $2 million a pop) that utilities would have to buy under a climate regime. GE’s revenue from environmental products long ago passed the $10 billion mark, and it doesn’t take much “ecomagination” to see why Mr. Immelt is leading the pack of climate profiteers.
Americans are fortunately waking up to Barack Obama’s plans to raise prices for consumers and knife the unions and workers who helped elect him by imposing carbon taxes that would enrich special interests (USCAP members) while driving energy-intensive businesses offshore.
Kimberley Strassel’s “The Climate Change Lobby Has Regrets: Cap and trade is going to cost them” in yesterday’s Wall Street Journal describes the problem perfectly.
“People are learning,” says William Kovacs, vice president of environment, technology and regulatory affairs at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce (which has been cautious about embracing a climate plan). “The Obama budget did more to help us consolidate and coalesce the business community than anything we could have done. It’s opened eyes to the fact that this is about a social welfare transfer system, not about climate.”
Truth is, any cap-and-trade system is a tax, even if Mr. Obama’s plan has only started to force business proponents to admit it. The government sets a cap on how much greenhouse gas can be emitted annually. Companies buy and sell permits that allow them to emit. Customers bear the price of those permits.
If Barack Obama succeeds in imposing a scheme to transfer wealth from middle-class Americans to fat-cat special interests while destroying wholesale the jobs of the workers and union members who elected him, voters will clean the Democrats out of Congress in 2010 with the only exceptions being those who vote against Obama’s carbon agenda.
- During last year’s debate on Sen. Barbara Boxer’s (D., Calif.) climate bill, he [Corker] offered an amendment to require rebates of all auction funds to American families. It helped kill the bill, as did a growing awareness among Midwest and Southern Democrats that the legislation would disproportionately hammer their industries and constituents.
Barack Obama may idolize Abraham Lincoln, but he is more like James Buchanan because carbon taxes would in fact re-create the economic differences that resulted in Southern secession with the roles being reversed this time. In 1860, the North was heavily industrialized while the South was agrarian, while today’s South and Midwest are industrialized while the North provides mostly financial services, coffeehouse liberals, and community activists. Strassel concludes,
- Business leaders might do better to use this as an opportunity to kill the beast. They might get some credit for protecting their customers from what they are now, finally, admitting is a giant tax — in the middle of a recession.
We must all help educate the American public as to the fact that the “global warming” scare is exactly that: a scam with which to enrich fat-cat special interests, non-producing nonprofit groups that have to pay their staffs and directors to pretend to work, and foreign countries like China that will be happy to take our energy-intensive jobs. It differs little from the medieval scam of selling indulgences for sins, with Al Gore being the chief indulgence seller; he has made millions of dollars from “Earth in the Balance” and similar entertainment media. Meanwhile, it is becoming clearer every day that Barack Obama is the stock market’s real problem; investors have no confidence whatsoever that this community organizer will do anything but wreck what is left of the American economy and plunge the nation into economic collapse and even bankruptcy.