Reason TV gives us a look at regulations implemented by government with the best intentions that have had very negative results, such as corn ethanol subsides and ObamaCare:
Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels has found his way off my list of potential Republicans I could vote for in 2012 as he recently said that he was open to tariffs on imported oil and a VAT (though to replace the current tax system):
Daniels, once the Hudson Institute’s chief executive, described himself as an acolyte of Kahn’s and marveled at the creative thinking evident in his 1982 book, “The Coming Boom.”
Daniels recited from Kahn’s book: “It would be most useful to redesign the tax system to discourage consumption and encourage savings and investment. One obvious possibility is a value added tax and flat income tax, with the only exception being a lower standard deduction.”
“That might suit our current situation pretty well,” said Daniels, who served as George W. Bush’s Office of Management and Budget director and was a senior adviser in Ronald Reagan’s White House. “It also might fit Bill Simon’s line in the late ‘70s that the nation should have a tax system that looks like someone designed it on purpose.”
Daniels also suggested support for increasing gasoline taxes. Kahn wrote, in a passage Daniels read from Thursday, “One fully justifiable tax would be on imported oil. Any large importation of oil by the U.S. raises security problems. There are, in effect, external costs associated with importing oil that a tariff would internalize.
“Now, maybe that transgresses some philosophical viewpoint of yours,” Daniels told the well-heeled crowd of 250. “But to me, that’s an interesting point today, just as valid as the day he wrote it.
We’ve noted here recently that Jon Stewart, host of The Daily Show on Comedy Central, has become increasingly skeptical of the Obama Administration and Democrats. Back in June, Stewart slammed the administration on civil liberties and abuse of executive power and the rhetoric surrounding energy independence. In July, he took the administration to task on transparency and Afghanistan. Last month, he had some fun with both parties on the rhetoric from both sides on the Ground Zero Mosque. And just a couple of days ago, he called Democrats out on ObamaCare in a conversation with DNC Chair Tim Kaine.
Stewart’s latest rant is directed at the administration and Democrats’ claims of a “Summer of Recovery,” saying, “‘Summer of Recovery’ is quickly sliding into the ‘Autumn of Nothing but Ramen Noodles for Dinner.” Here is the video:
We noted last week that the National Taxpayers Union was launching a $4 million ad buy opposing tax hikes on energy providers in the United States, which would at the same time, exempt state-owned energy companies in countries like China and Venezuela, as would BP, a British-owned company.
Last night, I spoke with Andrew Moylan, Director of Government Affairs at NTU, about the proposal, how it would impact consumers and the debate over taxes currently taking place in Congress.
You can download the podcast here (10:28/9.5MB).
Here is the TV version of the ad:
With Sen. Harry Reid (D-NV) planning to push a new energy bill between the time Congress come back into session and the end of the year, possibly during a lame duck session, the National Taxpayers Union has launched a new campaign to push back against the proposal.
NTU argues, correctly in my view, that the proposal is a double tax on American-owned energy companies and make the U.S. more dependent on foreign oil and “signal[s] a new wave of punitive tax policies aimed at politically convenient targets.”
Sen. Harry Reid (D-NV) has not given up hope of passing an energy bill this year, likely in a lame-duck session, even though cap-and-trade is dead:
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) said Tuesday a nationwide renewable-electricity standard, or RES, is “absolutely” in the mix as he tries to salvage energy legislation this year — possibly in a lame-duck session.
Before the August recess, Reid said he doubted an RES — which would require utilities to provide escalating amounts of power from sources like wind and solar energy — could win 60 votes. It was left on the cutting-room floor when Reid unveiled a modest energy bill in late July.
But Reid told reporters on a conference call Tuesday the energy bill is still a work in progress and cited two Republicans who have expressed interest in an RES. He did not name them.
Stephen Milloy, author of Green Hell, has a write-up about a conference call where Al Gore, perhaps the world’s most famous climate alarmist, conceded defeat on a climate bill passing this year:
Speaking about the likelihood of climate bill being passed by Congress in 2010, Al Gore told a conference call of supporters tonight that, “this battle has not been successful and is pretty much over for this year.” Gore bitterly denounced the Senate and federal government stating several times, “The U.S. Senate has failed us” and “The federal government has failed us.” Gore even seemed to blame President Obama by emphasizing that “the government as a whole has failed us… although the House did its job. [emphasis added]”
Gored urged his listeners to take the “realistic view that they had failed badly.” Gore said that “Comprehensive legislation is not likely to be debated” and that a “lame duck debate” is a “very slim possibility indeed.”
Gore blamed the skeptics for “attacking science and scientists.” “They [the skeptics] did damage and cast doubt,” Gore said.
Asked why the alarmists were ineffective in addressing Climategate, Gore bitterly blamed a “biased right-wing media… bolstered by professional deniers.” Gore claimed the Wall Street Journal published 30 editorial and news articles about Climategate and “not a single one presented [his] side of the science.”
A resolution presented by Rep. Tom Price (R-GA) to prevent a lame-duck session was shot down by the House of Representatives yesterday:
On a 236-163 procedural vote, the House quashed a resolution (pdf) from Rep. Tom Price (R-Ga.) pledging that Congress would not convene between November and January except in the case of a national emergency.
Price and other GOP lawmakers are looking to fend off Democrats’ efforts to pass major legislation including a sweeping climate and energy bill after the November election. Top White House officials and Democratic leaders have suggested that climate legislation that stalled in the Senate this year may have a better shot once political pressure on Capitol Hill has dissipated.
“Democrats are trying to avoid accountability by delaying the passage of a national energy tax and other unpopular policies until after Election Day,” Price said in a statement. “Some might think that is a good way to override the will of the public, but it is a terrible way to govern. A lame duck session should not be used as a post-election blitz to impose liberal programs that Americans do not support.”
You can see how your representative voted here. Only 6 Democrats voted in favor of overturning the the chair’s ruling to allow the resolution to come to the floor for debate and final vote.
The Obama Administration isn’t ruling out pushing an energy bill during a lame-duck session, after the mid-term election:
In an exclusive interview on NBC’s “Meet the Press,” [Carol] Browner was asked whether the president has conceded defeat on energy legislation.
“Not yet,” Browner said. “The Congress is coming back and we will continue to see if we can get legislation. We passed it in the House and we will continue to work in the Senate.”
Asked if Democrats could potentially get it done in a lame-duck session, Browner responded, “Potentially.”
The bill is scaled down compared to the cap-and-trade bill, but still would negatively impact the economy, especially in the Gulf region. The problem there will be no accountability if Congress passes this bill, especially as Democrats faces what could be a 1994-style wave against them at the ballot box in November.
For their part, Republicans are trying to block Democrats from being able to call Congress back for a lame duck session:
Republican Study Committee (RSC) Chairman Rep. Tom Price (Ga.) introduced the privileged resolution last Thursday in response to reports that Democratic leaders told their base that they could move big-ticket legislation after the November elections and before the new Congress convenes in January.
Price explained that his resolution says that a lame-duck session should not occur unless there were to be a national emergency.
Democrats are trying to change the name of cap-and-trade, the system that would force businesses to purchase carbon credits when they reach their limit, since it has become a polarizing term to the American public:
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid played dumb last week when a reporter asked him if the energy and climate bill headed to the floor would come with a “cap” on greenhouse gas emissions.
“I don’t use that,” the Nevada Democrat replied. “Those words are not in my vocabulary. We’re going to work on pollution.”
Moments earlier, Reid had confirmed he was trying to craft legislation targeting the heat-trapping pollution that comes from power plants. But he’s determined to win the war of words when it comes to a carbon cap — and that means losing the lexicon attached to past climate battles.
Gone, in the Democrat’s mind, are the terms “cap” and “cap and trade,” which are synonymous with last June’s House-passed climate bill as well as other existing environmental policies for curbing traditional air pollutants. In their place are new slogans recommended by prominent pollsters (and even a neuroscientist) that Reid and allies hope they can use to overcome the long-shot prospects for passing climate legislation.
As you can see here, the votes aren’t there, at least to move it past a GOP filibuster. And in an election year where losses are expected to be deep for Democrats, many members of the Senate may not want to risk the vote.
The Heritage Foundation explains the policy in this video: