Sarah Palin makes her debut as a pundit at the Washington Post. If it were a middle-school essay, a sympathetic teacher would probably give her a C for effort. Content seems to be Palin’s weak point. The ‘Cap And Tax’ Dead End
Our nation’s debt is unsustainable, and the federal government’s reach into the private sector is unprecedented.
Unprecedented? Not really. In WW I the railroads were nationalized as part of the war effort. President Hoover created the Federal Home Loan Act to spur construction and curtail home foreclosures. President Roosevelt’s Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation entwined the government with private banking from 1933 onward. Also in the 1930s , the government used the Reconstruction Finance Corp.to buy shares in over 6,000 banks in order to rescue them.President Reagan spent $125 billion to seize failed S&Ls in the 80s. Our nation’s highways, essential to our economy, are a nationalized form of transportation aid to the nation’s businesses. The continental shelves off our shores are nationalized and rights to use them are leased to oil companies at bargain basement prices. The same arrangement is true of our national forests. Those forests are the property of every citizen and we allow the timber industry to extract trees at pennies on actual dollar value. I could have used the entire length of Palin’s column listing “unprecedented” actions our government has taken. Sarah needs to do just the slightest amount of research about her country and how it works.
Our debt is not unsustainable ? Reagan and Bush 43 left us with record deficits. Dick Cheney said in 2004 “You know, Paul, Reagan proved deficits don’t matter. We won the (congressional election) midterms. This is our due.” If America got sea sick from the flip-flops conservatives have done on deficits over the last fifty years the entire nation would be on motion sickness meds.
I am deeply concerned about President Obama’s cap-and-trade energy plan, and I believe it is an enormous threat to our economy. It would undermine our recovery over the short term and would inflict permanent damage.(Palin)
The problem with Palin’s claim is that no one agrees with her except the coal industry and some astroturf conservative groups like the ‘Rural American Solutions Group”. Palin manages to hit all their talking points. maybe a coincidence, maybe not.
Leaders of a new GOP group, the “Rural American Solutions Group,” are distributing a document attacking climate change legislation as an economic burden to most of the country. As it turns out, the information in the press release was provided to the Republican congressmen by Peabody Energy, a juggernaut of the coal industry.
A few weeks ago, Republican Dave Camp asked the CBO to calculate the economic impacts of the bill’s cap on carbon emissions. For some time, the GOP has been insisting that the cap would cost upward of $3,000 per family per year. And they may have been hoping the CBO would agree. But the report’s now out, and the CBO estimates that the cap will actually cost Americans just $175 per household—or $70 per person—by 2020
Inflation has averaged about 2% a year and Palin seems to relying on erroneous information to claim that a few cents per day increase in the cost of living in ten years will somehow cripple the economy. The Congressional Budget Office also admits that cap and trade may end up costing America’s families zero because of improvements in energy saving technology and more energy efficient consumer products.
Job losses are so certain under this new cap-and-tax plan that it includes a provision accommodating newly unemployed workers from the resulting dried-up energy sector, to the tune of $4.2 billion over eight years. So much for creating jobs.(Palin)
Palin attended several public universities. So she received a college education (training) subsidized partly by the American taxpayer. What those devious Democrats have done is anticipate that the nearly half a million auto workers laid off during Bush’s two terms will need some training to get into new industries like manufacturing and installing solar panels, batteries for storing energy generated by solar cells and wind turbines and manufacturing wind turbines among dozens of other tech related industries. Palin leaves the reader left to do this basic research on their own. Palin makes wild claim after wild claim based on the just trust me school of advocacy essayists. Victory for clean energy bills= job creation
On June 24, representatives of Dow Corning, a leading producer of silicon-based materials used in solar energy technologies, and representatives of America’s top solar energy companies visited Washington D.C. to request new federal policies to encourage the growth of a domestic solar energy industry that will promote economic growth, create jobs, and enable greenhouse gas emissions goals to be met.
[ ]…Dow Corning, whose silicon-based materials are used in solar cell manufacturing, solar module assembly and installation, was joined by nine of its customers representing the solar energy value chain including: Abengoa Solar, BP Solar, Kyocera, National Semiconductor Corporation, Sanyo, SCHOTT Solar, Solar Power Industries, SolarWorld, and Suniva. The solar industry has become increasingly more organized and influential in leading the Green Revolution across the U.S., as solar has strong public support and has become one of the most powerful voices among the clean energy technology camps, which also encompass biofuels, wind, geothermal, and hydroelectric.
So when Palin states that Presdient Obama’s energy polices are going to hurt “business” and jobs she needs to be more specific. In a study done by American Progress on the economic effects of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act and American Clean Energy and Security Act they found that contrary to Palin’s claims, moving toward energy independence and greener energy will produce jobs,
We estimate this sustained expansion in clean-energy investments triggered by the economic stimulus program and the forthcoming American Clean Energy and Security Act can generate a net increase of about 1.7 million jobs. This expansion in job opportunities can continue as long as the economy maintains a commitment to clean-energy investments in the $150 billion per year range. If clean-energy investments expand still faster, overall job creation will increase correspondingly.
Those are cautious estimates. If we take into account an acceleration of the clean energy industry due to market demand there is even greater potential for job creation ( A.P.s estimates also included an allowance for net jobs created as people employed in fossil fuel related work make a transition to green jobs. No economic transition is painless). Palin is allegedly concerned – considering the level of distortion and falsehoods in her column its difficult to tell if she actually cares – about the initial costs to business of cap and trade. In the beginning it will not costs anything for most businesses and as the program ramps up some businesses will make money, Using Cap-and-Trade Auction Revenue to Help American Families and Spur Clean Energy
The Congressional Budget Office estimates that the monetary value of emissions permits created by a cap on global warming pollution in the United States would range between $50 billion and $300 billion generated each year (in 2007 dollars) by 2020. Deciding how many of these permits will be sold and how many will be given away for free is one of the most vital components of a successful cap-and-trade system. The permits’ valuable dividends will, if given away, provide massive windfall profits for polluters, or, if auctioned, generate capital for major public investment programs to ensure an effective, equitable, and expeditious transition to a clean energy economy.
[ ]…The Climate Security Act gives away approximately 40 percent of the emissions permits to polluting industries— carbon-intensive manufacturing, fossil fuel-powered power plants, petroleum refiners, and natural gas processors—for free. The remainder is auctioned in order to fund programs such as those listed above. Not until 2032 would polluting industries have to purchase 100 percent of the permits to account for their greenhouse gas emissions, although 1 percent of the allowances would still be available as “bonus allowances” for coal-fired power facilities that have installed carbon capture and sequestration.
So M’s Palin in her first attempt at being a nationwide voice on matters of public policy, matters of some urgency on which honest debate from her side of the political spectrum would be refreshing, if not shocking, decides to fib her way through. She has established quite a record as a serial liar. In a previous attempt to establish her credibility on energy issues, Palin bragged and lied about an Alaska oil pipeline,
One of governor Palin’s very few actually documented achievements in office as governor has been what she has described as a breakthrough in constructing an oil pipeline. Here’s how she put it in her convention address:
“And when that deal was struck, we began a nearly $40 billion natural gas pipeline to help lead America to energy independence.”
….In fact, the entire pipeline is at this point as reality-based as that “Mission Accomplished” banner:
The pipeline exists only on paper. The first section has yet to be laid, federal approvals are years away and the pipeline will not be completed for at least a decade. In fact, although it is the centerpiece of Ms. Palin’s relatively brief record as governor, the pipeline might never be built, and under a worst-case scenario, the state could lose up to $500 million it committed to defray regulatory and other costs.
And at her news conference declaring a commitment to build the pipeline, she was forced to concede later she had been ahead of herself:
After some of her aides offered a more restrained assessment, she dialed back her exuberance, saying, “We’re not turning dirt yet.” Under the most optimistic circumstances, dirt is not expected to be turned for years. TransCanada’s plan calls for it to file an application with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission by the end of 2011, and to have the pipeline operational by late 2018. The company is not obligated to proceed with the project even if it clears all the financial and regulatory hurdles.
In assessing the state of the project, Mr. Galvin, the state revenue commissioner, avoided the characterization that Ms. Palin employed in her convention speech.
Palin ends with,
Can America produce more of its own energy through strategic investments that protect the environment, revive our economy and secure our nation?
Yes, we can. Just not with Barack Obama’s energy cap-and-tax plan.(Palin)
That’s it. The end. She doesn’t have an alternative plan or innovative ideas.
Related is this article about job loses in Michigan where green jobs are growing at 7.7 percent a year in a state that has suffered the most from the economic crisis.