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Obama in Wonderland
An exercise in attempting to square the circle
by Jim Babka, Downsize DC

Reposted by the Coffee Coaster with DDC permission

Text of letter to Downsize DC subscribers 02/26/09:

Alice laughed: "There's no use trying," she said; "one can't believe impossible things."
"I daresay you haven't had much practice," said the Queen. "When I was younger, I always did it for half an hour a day. Why, sometimes I've believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast."
-- from Alice in Wonderland, by Lewis Carroll

Subject: Obama in Wonderland

President Obama gave a speech Tuesday night. He asked the American people to believe many impossible things at once. He claims he's going to...

  • Continue to intervene in the economy and bailout irresponsible companies and individuals
  • Revolutionize health care
  • Transform energy and the environment
  • And cut government spending too

It was an "Alice in Wonderland" performance. His speech, to once again quote from "Alice," demonstrated a complete mastery of "The different branches of Arithmetic — Ambition, Distraction, Uglification, and Derision."

It's hard to decide which, of all his many impossible ambitions, is the most frightening. However, since we can only fight one impossible thing at a time, we choose this one... President Obama called for "cap and trade" legislation to limit carbon dioxide emissions. "Cap and trade" would...

  • Cap CO2 emissions
  • Sell CO2 emission permits to businesses in amounts equal to the cap
  • Allow companies to trade and/or sell these permits to allegedly create a market for innovations that would reduce CO2 emissions
  • Use the proceeds from the permit sales to create a vast new research bureaucracy to help corporations cope with the cap

As a practical matter, "cap and trade" will...

  • Raise your electricity and gasoline bills
  • Provide politicians with new tools to control the economy, hand out favors, and punish enemies
  • Be as ineffective in doing "research" as the Energy Department has been
  • Probably (if the example of Europe is a reliable guide) have little impact on over-all CO2 emissions

Even if you accept that human CO2 emissions are causing problematic global warming, a government run "cap and trade" system isn't the best way to deal with this problem. Here are some points to consider...

  • Fossil fuels create massive amounts of air pollution, quite apart from CO2.
  • This pollution causes health problems, none of which are reflected in the price of fossil fuels.
  • Fossil fuels enjoy a "free ride" in terms of pollution costs that make it hard for alternative energy sources to compete.
  • Air pollution is a form of trespass, and preventing trespasses is a legitimate function of government.

The federal government could do this by...

  • Taxing fossil fuels
  • Cutting other taxes so that your overall financial burden would remain unchanged or even reduced

Your energy costs would rise, but your taxes would fall by an equal or greater amount. Doing this would...

  • Eliminate any justification for a "cap and trade" boondoggle
  • Make fossil fuels reflect more of their true costs
  • Provide an incentive for everyone to reduce their use of fossil fuels
  • Make other sources of energy cost competitive
  • Limit the financial impact on you and the economy
  • Help reduce air pollution, including CO2 emissions

For those Americans who fear climate change a carbon tax combined with tax cuts in other areas would be a better approach than "cap and trade." This impossible "cap and trade" proposal must be defeated, especially since the federal government already has so many other impossible things on its agenda.

Please use our quick and easy Educate the Powerful System to tell your elected representatives to oppose all "cap and trade" legislation. Use your personal comments to point out that "cap and trade" hasn't worked in Europe.

Please also use this Dispatch to educate and recruit new members, by forwarding it to others, by re-posting on your own blog, if you have one, and by "Digging" it in on our blog. Thank you for being a part of the growing Downsize DC Army. We've added 303 net new subscribers so far this year, and 5,827 since February 27, 2007.

President, Inc.  

Additional Comment by Investment Guide Kay Augustin

As they said on CNBC, this [the Obama economic program] is a war on the private sector.  They are trying to stop all entrepreneurs and new companies.  They hate individuals who are not poor, depressed financially or willing to waste the prime years of their lives sitting in classrooms to qualify for bureaucratic jobs.  

Obama and his wife earned over $350,000.  Do they think they did not deserve it?  Then give back all funds earned over $160,000 per year. Socialized medicine is being pushed down as a solution to a financial crisis. He is doing what FDR, his hero, did.  Next we can kill thousands of young men in a war and mobilize industry to produce “wasted assets” of destruction to get out of this mess, just like FDR.  

Maybe this time we can give Canada to a dictator like Stalin for 40 plus years of liquidation of wealth and people as FDR gave over Eastern Europe, our ALLIES in WWII.  But we treated West Germany, Italy and Japan well.

Don’t read our lips. I chuckle at one of the simplistic earlier “solutions”. Someone on the Web suggested that we put a limit on the size of all corporations.  Then the “too big to fail” approach could never be used. No government help ever as no entity would be too big to fail.  Elegant even if anti capitalistic.  

Wonder if we could apply to Government entities also to keep them from growing out of control, entities fed by their pure size as opposed to usefulness (We probably need to spend on maintenance of the Congressional buildings, with much less support staff. Can’t have ceilings crumbling onto the anointed).

Very happy to say I voted for Ron Paul.

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