American Elephants

A Temporary Stay! Hopefully, It Will Become Permanent! by The Elephant's Child
January 2, 2012, 8:22 pm
Filed under: Capitalism, Domestic Policy, Economy, Energy, Junk Science | Tags:

A U.S.federal appeals court issued a last-minute order on Friday to delay the January 1 roll out the EPA’s Cross-State Air Pollution Rule, pending further court review. The EPA finalized the rule in July, claiming to protect the health of residents in states downwind from the emissions.  The agency said:

The EPA firmly believes that when the court does weigh the merits of the rule it will ultimately be upheld.

Power companies said the January 1 implementation date was too soon to allow the design and installation of pollution control equipment to meet the rule, forcing a number of nits to shut or run only part-time. (Brownouts and blackouts)

Texas challenged the rule because the state was included in the final version without having an opportunity to provide input on the impact to Texas.

“The underlying rule was the subject of hasty process, poor technical support, unequal application and substantial threat to jobs, power bills and reliability,” said Scott Segal, director of the Electric Reliability Coordinating Council.  “Stays are granted when there is a strong chance of success on the merits and when parties can be injured without preliminary relief.”

Britain has reached the point where far too many citizens are suffering from fuel poverty — they have to choose between food and electric power. The numbers of people freezing to death are climbing. The EPA has said that they are not required to concern themselves with whether their regulations will cost jobs. I wonder if they are required to consider the other consequences of their poorly considered rules? Certainly the cost of power is not one of their concerns. Keep an eye on your upcoming power bills.


Buying Your Vote Can Become Too Expensive For a Profligate Government by The Elephant's Child

I am pessimistic about 2012.  President Obama has vowed to govern without the assistance of Congress.  Since he has little respect for the Constitutional separation of powers, this does not bode well. He believes that he no longer needs Congress to promote his agenda, and that it would probably be a good thing if lawmakers accomplish little.  The president is in full campaign mode, and his governing decisions are designed to enhance his reelection efforts, an agenda that is directed at pleasing contributors, not the country.

The end of one year and the beginning of another make it a time of lists: the top ten of this, the ten worst, and so on, and so on. Over at Big Government, Wynton Hall has come up with Seven Devastating Facts About 2012:

  1. Every day, the U.S. government takes in $6 billion and spends $10 billion.  This means that every day the federal government spends $4 billion more dollars than it has.
  2. The real unemployment rate is a jaw-dropping 11 percent.
  3. Every fifth man you pass on your way to work is now out of work.
  4. College graduates are now 34% less likely to find a job under Obama than they were under President George W. Bush.
  5. Every seventh person you pass on the sidewalk now relies on food stamps.
  6. The ravages of the Obama economy now mean that more Americans live under the federal poverty line than at any time in U.S. history since records have been kept.
  7. Under President Barack Obama, every fifth child in America now lives in poverty.

A really dreadful list, based on statistics that could, of course, be accompanied by many caveats.  We see many evidences of food stamps squandered on lobster tails and expensive goodies which indicates that the food stamp program is rife with fraud. The poverty line has been raised many times to include more people. But nevertheless, it’s a dismal picture, and there is no sign that this president will take any action that will actually improve the economy.  He listens to a different drummer, and does not change his mind.

Democrat election efforts are aimed at convincing voters that the Democrats will take care of them, the mommy government, who will extend unemployment benefits, give them food stamps when they are hungry, health care when they are sick, Social Security when they are old and at the same time, create more jobs, rebuild crumbling infrastructure (oh wait, we did that!) and improve the economy.  Trouble is, these are incompatible goals.

The biggest single reason that employers are not hiring is ObamaCare  which doesn’t kick in fully for another 2 years. College students are getting credit at Columbia University for studying and participating in the Occupy movement.  President Obama is trying to get more students to take out more available student loans to go to college. And one of  journalist Claudia Rosett’s axioms for the year is: “the government does not ‘create’ jobs.”

Consider this: employers are facing even more uncertainty in the wake of a letter from the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission warning them tat requiring a high school diploma from a job applicant might violate the Americans with Disabilities Act. This development has some wondering if the agency’s advice will create a backlash by creating less of an incentive for high school students to graduate.

The best and most immediate way to increase employment is to approve the Keystone XL pipeline — 20,000 private sector jobs + many associated jobs around the project.  The project has been vetted and approved by every applicable governmental agency, yet Obama has claimed that he wants to review alternate routes in order to postpone a decision until 2013 — after the election. This, environmental groups claim, means that the president must kill the pipeline deal, though his union supporters want the project to go through because it offers union jobs.

When a political party bases its appeal on what they are going to give you, sooner or later the dependent groups’ wants begin to cancel each other out. Give one group what they want and deprive another. Democrats have long lists of new “rights” they want to guarantee to voting groups.  A right to education, housing, a job, health care, and the list goes on and grows and grows. But if you pay for all the stuff promised, there’s no money left to take care of the elderly, or provide for the common defense.  Or why else are we slashing the military down to the bones?

Republicans want to guarantee liberty and the freedom to make of y ourself whatever you can. And rights? They are enumerated in the Declaration of Independence — our founding document — life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Is that really mean? Or is it enabling all the opportunity in the world?


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