“Cap and Trade” is Capital Punishment for the US Economy
“I love America. That’s why it has to be destroyed.“
The quotation cited above comes from a liberal character in the 2008 satirical comedy “An American Carol.” David Zucker’s film skewered the American political left for its arrogance and its hypocrisy. Sadly, one can easily see President Obama or some member of his administration expressing a similar oxymoronic sentiment to explain its peculiar and destructive policies.
Obama seems intent upon destroying the American love affair with the automobile by crippling the auto industry and laying waste to the larger economy. If no one can afford to drive a car, it follows that fuel consumption will decline and pollution will decrease. It is almost reminiscent of an episode of the science fiction television series “Doctor Who” in which the misguided leaders of a radical environmental movement were exposed as dangerous and genocidal frauds. Their futuristic plan to save the planet from pollution in the television program turned out to be premised upon eradicating nine tenths of the world’s population. Fewer humans meant less pollution and more abundant resources for those interested in returning the Earth to a pristine Golden Age. That scenario was, of course, fiction. Obama’s plan is a nightmare reality.
I mistrust the administration claims that heretofore unknown or economically unviable alternative “green energies,” including those which cannot be produced without generous government subsidies, are going to make everything work in the future. The policies of the failed Soviet Union exposed the fallacy that governments can dictate to researchers that scientific progress can be achieved on a decreed timetable.
Years ago, I asked my father why our family seemed to have a definite preference for Ford automobiles. My dad explained to me that when his grandfather operated a rural hardware store, almost ninety years ago, that Ford Motors shipped its cars via rail to the store. Upon delivery of the freight, the crates were opened and the cars would be assembled on site for customers. With a few exceptions, we have been a family of loyal Ford customers ever since. John Dillinger, himself, wrote a letter praising Ford cars for their reliability. My dad’s story was similar to others that I have heard over the years. When I attended college, a local family, the Koehlers, owned a car dealership. Previously, their family business had been harness making. Likewise, the Studebaker family of Indiana had been wagon makers before adapting to the new era by switching over to automobile production. The normal progression is for an outmoded technology to be replaced as soon as a new technology is perfected to replace it. Not so, in Obama land where the legislature will simply dictate technological changes to industry.
The supine bozos in Congress, including our own Representative Mark Kirk (R-10th), have passed a “Cap and Trade” bill in advance of any economically viable alternative energies being developed to replace coal and oil. Does this mean that the Kennedy family is going to permit windmills to be placed near their estate in Hyannisport? I highly doubt it. It seems more likely that you will be taxed to operate your car, compelled to purchase a government authorized vehicle that resembles a circus clown car or to ride public transportation.
When the most stringent provisions take effect, a visit to a gas station is going to be beyond the means of most middle class wage earners. How many people know where to purchase a car that can reliably travel seventy miles on a single gallon of gasoline? To be sure, the legislation contains provisions to subsidize green energy alternatives and to award prizes to inventors who can create the new technologies to replace fossil fuels. In saner times, a new invention or technology was tested, proven and made available before an older method of performing a task was eliminated by consumers.
America has abundant natural resources, but the Congress will not allow the oil and minerals be processed and refined due to the environmentalists. A component of higher gasoline prices is the fact that no new oil refineries have been built to keep pace with demand since the Seventies. Apart from food processing, most manufacturing has departed the USA to be performed abroad in order to escape the regulatory agencies that have handicapped businesses in America. It is more important that the barren tundra of Northern Alaska be maintained to support mosquitoes and warbler flies than to pump oil to the lower forty-eight states.
The legislation, which still must be approved by the Senate, has little to do with climate change or saving the environment. It will represent the most massive increase in taxes and expenses in history combined with the largest expansion of the government bureaucracy since World War Two. Government apparatchiks will be able to regulate our lives to an unimaginable degree.
The Waxman/Markey bill had to be rushed through because opposition was growing to the legislation. Former Vice President Albert Gore, Jr., was prevailed upon not to lobby for the legislation in person for fear that his appearance might prompt a backlash against the bill. If the legislation had been fully debated, in all likelihood it would have been defeated or tabled. As things turned out, after all of the unethical stunts coordinated by Rahm Emanuel and Nancy Pelosi in the past week, the bill passed by a vote of 219-212.
The legislation passed by the House yesterday reminded me of the emergency enabling act passed by the German Reichstag that legally transferred supreme power to a certain chancellor seeking to impose dictatorial rule. That infamous act was passed on account of an urgent crisis also. Will the Congressional Democrats someday seek to outlaw all opposition parties too? As a disciple of Saul Alinsky, how far can we trust President Obama to tell us the truth?
The final bill, which numbered over a thousand pages, including a three hundred page amendment slipped into the legislation during the wee, small hours of the morning, could not possibly have been read by all of the representatives who voted blindly for the bogus bill to fight the phony crisis of global warming. The scientific data to support such legislation has been twisted and perverted by an administration that is ready, willing and able to lie to the public to achieve its ends. There is no consensus that the crisis described by the Obama administration actually exists. Other nations which have adopted similar legislative programs are abandoning the schemes.
This type of farce indicates that Obama may have appreciated the shenanigans that occur routinely in the Chicago City Council or Illinois General Assembly where legislators routinely are called upon to vote without having read bills. Illinois courts have facilitated this fraud in Springfield by proclaiming that “the enrolled bill” doctrine means that legislation is presumptively valid if the entries in the official journal of proceedings indicate that the bills were read the appropriate number of times. In Illinois, no legislative vote is supposed to be called until a bill has been read three times. The General Assembly has been ignoring this provision for years.
Now, for the second time in less than six months, Obama and his operatives have called upon the Congress to pass another massive bill without permitting the representatives an opportunity to read the monstrously long bill and its amendments. Like the stimulus bill, which promoted a new brand of Kenyan economics, as opposed to Keynesian economics, no meaningful discussion was permitted. Is anyone disturbed that Obama seems radically opposed to all of the free market economists who hailed from the University of Chicago? One wonders if he merely has undertaken his programs to demolish capitalism and to eradicate the American economy?
The automobile has been an instrument of freedom which has permitted many people the ability to travel far and wide. Henry Ford revolutionized American industry, raised wages for laborers and made automobile ownership affordable for the working man. Prior to the arrival of the Ford Model T, automobiles were a luxury item available only to the elites. Obama and his Luddite followers would change all that and return us to an era when only the wealthy could afford motor cars. They care nothing for the rules that they have imposed upon us since they will be largely exempted from compliance.
Daniel J. Kelley is a regular contributor to “The Chicago Daily Observer.