American Elephants

You Can’t Cut That! You Can’t Cut That! You Can’t Cut That! by The Elephant's Child

— The Obama budget adds $80,000 per household to the National Debt.  The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) says that Obama understated the budget deficits by $2.3 trillion.  Douglas Holtz-Eakin says the best spin that one can put on the CBO’s analysis of the president’s budget—Ugly!   Congress simply must get serious.

Over the three decades just before this recession, federal revenues averaged 18.3% of gross domestic product while outlays averaged 20.8%,  The problem is simply too much spending.  Congress loves to spend and really, really doesn’t like to cut anything.

— Republicans voted to cut funding for the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. With 500 cable channels , the internet on people’s cell phones, and so many sources of media, public broadcasting is a bit of an anachronism. In 2010 the Corporation for Public Broadcasting received $420 million from the government.  About $90 million of that went to NPR. NPR also gets money form the National Endowment for the Arts and from the Departments of Education and Commerce. You Can’t Cut That!

Of course CPB immediately hauled out the Big Bird defense.  Who doesn’t like Big Bird?  Does the fact that there is a Big Bird on PBS mean that we must have public funding for PBS?

Does it change your mind if you learn that Sesame Street made $211 million from consumer products from the Sesame Workshop? Would it be a bad thing if PBS sold commercial time instead of the endless pleas for money?  I would rather put up with commercials; some of them are quite good.  Does it change your mind if you learn that the Sesame Workshop  CEO and President made $956,513 in 2008? And the PBS President Paula Kerger made $632,233 in annual compensation?  It seems to me that the Corporation for Public Broadcasting is always pleading poverty while all sorts of companies are eager for more advertising opportunities.  Dump the poverty pleas, sell commercial time, and stop feeding at the public trough.

— President Obama wanted a Cap-and-Trade-Bill.  Since such a bill is a job killer and damaging to business, Congress refused to pass it. Obama has chosen to go around Congress and have the EPA do a cap-and-trade through the back door by regulating emissions of CO2. This puts heavy ‘taxes’ on everything, from apartments to manufacturers, or simply anything the EPA wants to regulate.  The Supreme Court, in one of their more unfortunate rulings, said that if CO2 was really a pollutant and dangerous to public health, then the EPA could regulate it.  The idea that CO2 is a “pollutant” is absurd.  Republicans in Congress intend to revoke the EPA’s authority to regulate “greenhouse gases”. You Can’t Cut That!

The EPA (in the guise of American Family Voices) is running ads for a week on D.C. cable suggesting that the target audience is Beltway elites and the goal is to “frame the Democrat response in Congress. The ad is offensive, and false. Nobody knows if the Clean Air Act prevented even one death last year. You cannot prove a negative.  The Clean Air Act was intended by Congress to solve problems like smog in Los Angeles, and it has done a fine job. Our air is clean. There are all sorts of things around us and in our diets that could be poisonous in large quantities. Some poisons are used in small quantities in medicine.  Always, “the dose makes the poison.” Here’s the text:

The Clean Air Act prevented 160,000 early deaths last year, including 230 infants, yet Congress is busy working to prevent the EPA from updating and enforcing standards that would limit toxic pollutants that endanger the public health,” Mike Lux, President of American Family Voices, says. “If we don’t curb those pollutants, they’ll end up in our air, water and food and eventually in our children. Congress needs to let the EPA do its job to protect public health.”

The ad is a disgrace.  It is first of all a complete lie, and designed simply to  manipulate feelings.  The EPA  is an out-of-control agency trying to gather power by regulating everything they can get their grubby hands on.  They wanted to regulate farm dust, for heaven’s sake. To assert that someone who disagrees with your policies wants to kill babies is far, far, beyond acceptable.

The EPA is also giving funds to charitable organizations to attack GOP members of Congress.  The American Lung Association has placed billboards in Michigan’s 6th Congressional District— including one outside the office of Rep. Fred Upton (R-MI) who heads the House Energy and Commerce Committee—that feature a sickly looking girl with an oxygen mask and read “Rep. Fred Upton, protect our kid’s health.  Don’t weaken the Clean Air Act.”

Again, way out–of-line!  The Republican majority, elected to stop the spending and restore our institutions that are under attack, is trying to restore the Clean Air Act to its congressional intent.  From 1990 to 1995 the EPA gave the Lung Association some $5 million. In the past decade they have given the ALA and additional $20 million.

This is a good demonstration of just how far one side is willing to go to avoid losing either funding or power.  They simply refuse to take the disaster that they have created with their spending, their bailouts, their mindless “stimulus,” seriously.  It’s going to be a battle to restore the economy to some kind of health, and our Congressmen are going to need all the help and encouragement they can get.


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