Obamanomics is Exhausting

One way or the other, one of us is going to go down. President Obama, by insisting that he will go to the mat on his “green jobs” agenda, which is simply central planning with a coat of green paint, indicates he will risk his presidency on getting the cap-and-trade, gas tax and windmill mandate through the Senate (with a stranglehold on domestic energy production to boot), then through the House again on a conferenced bill.


If he succeeds he will have doomed us; if he fails, politically the effort will have finally, fully exposed him for what he is: a Power Grabbing Statist whose economics are recklessly dogmatic while at the same time ignoring those societies he claims are his model.

Obama reminded us how as a candidate he set out what he called a set of principles, which he acknowledged were passed by the House, in a vote almost precisely one year ago today.

Here is what he said then about cap-and-trade, which the House passed. This discussion occurred in the apparent context of how to mount his and his team’s big-ticket agenda items:

“The problem is, can you get the American people to say this is really important, and force their representatives to do the right thing. That requires mobilizing a citizenry…And climate change is a great example.”

You got it: this is the community organizer, refusing to allow a crisis to go to waste, but instead seeking to use it to do what he’s trying to do.

“Under my plan of a cap and trade system, electricity rates would necessarily skyrocket.”

“Because I’m capping greenhouse gases, coal-powered plants, you know, natural ga — you name, it, whatever the plants were, whatever the industry was — they will have to retrofit their operations. That will cost money, they will pass that money [sic] on to the consumer.”

That’s right. It’s a staggeringly large tax, which he acknowledged will be borne by consumers. This reflects two signs of economic literacy: the purpose and operation of cap-and-trade, and that businesses pass taxes on to consumers. Until they can’t, of course, then they move.

Oh, speaking of this being a tax, he added:

“This will also raise billions of dollars”.

Please note, that is not “some costs”. That is what Al Gore called a “wrenching transformation of society”.

First, a note about the lack of intellectual honesty in claiming that it was a lack of candor and political courage — both of which he was implicitly manifesting — that have left us relying on the most abundant reliable energy sources man has ever known. No. Physics and economics dictate from where we derive our energy. Not a lack of statism.

Further, we are not as he said running out of oil onshore, and in shallow water. We have generations of oil in oil shale and other “unconventional oil” sources, right beneath our soil. That he has to pretend we do not, and that he is not blocking it, tells you quite a bit of what you need to know about the sincerity of this seizure of a crisis to ensure it does not go to waste.

Which raises his claim that adopting his cap-and-trade statism will “grow the economy.” Absurd.

Consider the following excerpt from Chapter 6, “Green Eggs and Scam: The Wholesale Fraud of ‘Green Jobs'” from How Obama’s Green Policies Will Steal Your Freedom and Bankrupt America: (citations are omitted)


Sadly, however, such impacts, whether “opportunity” costs or otherwise, are not pressing considerations in Washington. No, we are now told that by mandating that the American economy be driven by all manner of energy sources that cannot stand on their own, we will “grow the economy.” That is the new, favorite phrase of my young Democratic congressman, Tom Periello. Mr. Periello, like a host of lawmakers desperate to find cover for their 2009 vote in support of the disastrous Waxman-Markey “cap-and-trade” bill, has since dedicated countless hours on the House floor and elsewhere to spread this tawdry exposition of economic illiteracy to those masses he and his colleagues hope are desperate or inattentive enough to fall for it….

Sadly, the best case scenario for this claim would be that it is made out of disgraceful ignorance. …

The truth is that even inherently biased administration studies of the “green job” scheme cap-and-trade, by EPA, the Energy Information Administration (EIA), and the Congressional Budget Office, as well as the independent Brookings Institute, Heritage Foundation, American Council for Capital Formation, and CRA International, agree that these cap-and-trade bills must reduce overall employment and lead to lower incomes than can be had without them. EIA, for example, said that the Waxman-Markey cap-and-trade bill destroys 2.3 million jobs on net when fully implemented (in 2030), 800,000 of them manufacturing jobs. Not one cap-and-trade scenario modeled by any of these entities produced net job or income growth from cap-and-trade.

Reckless and disingenuous though the claim is, agenda-driven whizzes in Washington insist that throwing away a billion dollars, confiscated from today’s and future generations, grows the economy–simply because they see a giant hamster wheel research facility go up in their district. But the claim that this will “grow the economy” is made up. These actions will do the opposite.

The government can give us nothing that it has not taken from us. The politics of envy, which underlies much of the “green jobs” hooey, have never been as strong in the United States as in Europe–and that fact gave us a chance for longer than the Europeans to stand firm against all of the promises of free ice cream. Now we are told to look to Europe, but ignore the actual lessons. Instead, accept a fairy tale.

Our German experts [at old-line and state-funded think tank RWI-Essen] summarized for us:

“German renewable energy policy, and in particular the adopted feed-in tariff scheme, has failed to harness the market incentives needed to ensure a viable and cost-effective introduction of renewable energies into the country’s energy portfolio. To the contrary, the government’s support mechanisms have in many respects subverted these incentives, resulting in massive expenditures that show little long-term promise for stimulating the economy, protecting the environment, or increasing energy security.”

I then discuss the doggerel, repeated by Obama, of Green Jobs in Red China, briefly excerpted here:

“What might be the most embarrassing aspect to this con is that the same policies supposedly ensuring that particular, politically desired goods will be produced here, because their use is mandated here, actually ensure they’ll be made somewhere else….

The lede in a November 5, 2009, Boston Globe story captured the situation well: “Little more than a year after cutting the ribbon at a new factory in Devens built with more than $58 million in state aid, Evergreen Solar said yesterday that it will shift its assembly of solar panels from there to China.” Ouch. It seems that “In exchange for receiving $58.6million in grants, loans, land, tax incentives, and other aid to build in Massachusetts, Evergreen pledged that it would add

350 new jobs,” which it did. Briefly, only to then “write off $40 million worth of equipment at Devens because of the production shift to China.” The company cited the cost of production here not faced if they build their machines elsewhere. No one told them it wasn’t polite to prove the president wrong, and send green jobs overseas, to make things for use back home in response to mandates making it more expensive to produce here, prompting others to move overseas.

Boy, Obamanomics can be exhausting.”

Tonight’s display, on substance, was sophomoric or uninformed. Politically, it was standard cynical fare.

It is difficult to be amazed by a politician but Obama’s rhetoric Tuesday night in fact betrayed a gobsmacking level of cynicism or ignorance: rationing is not a prescription for growth; the state cannot mandate defeat of the laws of physics. China is installing windmills because Western countries pay them to under Kyoto’s Clean Development Mechanism, simply because those nations get emission “reduction” crisis for doing so which they need as they’ve discovered they can’t actually reduce emissions without economic crisis driving it (like today) or resulting from it (like in Spain, cited by Obama as his model eight times). And China will stop building windmills the minute we abandon this fetish.


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