Sunday, April 22, 2012

Charles Krauthammer On The "Fairness Doctrine"

Capital gains are treated differently than normal income because it is the pool of capital that allows the economy to grow. That's why, every time we have dropped the Capital Gains tax over the past half century, it has resulted in increased tax revenues overall. And that's why Sweden, the most "progressive" of the European socialist countries, recently took the "radical" step of dropping their capital gains tax to zero. There are a host of arguments to be made for treating capital gains differently than ordinary income, and Charles Krauthammer makes a lot of them in the video below.

(H/T Nice Deb)

I would just add that Obama's Fairness Doctrine is the pure and unadulterated language of socialism. It is not the language of capitalism.


End The All Volunteer Military?

Perhaps the dumbest column ever, this from Thomas Ricks who apparently actually gets paid for his opinions by the Washington Post:

Since the end of the military draft in 1973, every person joining the U.S. armed forces has done so because he or she asked to be there. Over the past decade, this all-volunteer force has been put to the test and has succeeded, fighting two sustained foreign wars with troops standing up to multiple combat deployments and extreme stress. This is precisely the reason it is time to get rid of the all-volunteer force. It has been too successful. Our relatively small and highly adept military has made it all too easy for our nation to go to war — and to ignore the consequences.

Good idea. Let's screw the finest military in the world in order to . . . . what, make sure we don't use it anymore? In order to insure our soldiers, less professional, take far higher casualties? This really is stupidity on steroids. Ricks has to take some sort of award for this one.


Thursday, April 19, 2012

Holocaust Remembrance Day

Evil is real. It is not an abstract concept.

I learned that two decades ago, when I visited Buchenwald, site of one of the infamous Nazi concentration camps, but by no means the worst. There were hundreds of pictures on the walls documenting life in that little piece of hell on earth, one worse than the other.  I am sure one of the pictures was the same as is at the top of this post, showing corpses stacked behind the camp's crematorium on the day the camp was liberated in April, 1945.  But in truth, none of those horrid pictures have stuck in my mind.

What did overwhelm me, and what leaves me with chills to this day, was strolling about the camp grounds. It was dotted with the small, slightly raised plots of land, each approximately 10 feet by 15 to 25 feet, Each of these was a mass grave.  To put it in perspective, each plot was about enough land, in a typical cemetery, to bury four or five people.

A plaque at each of the small plots gave the number of people buried underneath, with the numbers ranging from a low of 1,500 to a high of close to 10,000. Estimates are that 55,000 living, breathing people had come to the camp, then were tortured and executed, or died as a result of medical experimentation, or, for the vast majority, been worked and starved to death.  This was all done on an industrial scale. The crime of these victims was simply their religion or nationality.

Looking at those small plots was truly overwhelming.  It was evil given form and substance.  To stand there was to stand in the midst of evil of such magnitude as to strain comprehension.  It was to feel evil in a way that no photo or composition or film could ever duplicate.

Yom HaShoah, Holocaust Remembrance Day, is a Jewish day of remembrance - and given the slaughter of six million Jews at the hands of the Nazis, it is appropriate.  That said, it should be a world day of remembrance, not only as to the Jews.  The slaughter on a grand scale we saw in Nazi Germany is, unfortunately, not unique to either the Jews or Germany, or even the 20th century.  Such holocausts and genocides have occurred and will occur in the future so long as, to paraphrase Edmund Burke, good men do nothing.  They go on today in Sudan and are threatened by Iran against Israel.  If the Jewish Holocaust teaches us nothing, it is that we cannot allow such evil to survive in this world uncontested.

Robert Avrech's post on this remembrance day refers to The Devil's Arithmetic, a film adaptation about a modern young Jewish girl transported back to the Nazi Germany. Robert won an Emmy for the movie. He has posted part I of the movie on his site, and if you haven't seen it, let me tell you, it's riveting. Bookworm Room also has a thought provoking post on how this day impacts her.



(Photoshop from the Daily Caller)

It turns out that Obama is not just a dog owner, he's a rancher.

For weeks now, the left has regaled us with stories of how the Romneys, three decades ago, transported their dog on vacation by putting it in a carrier on the roof of their car.  I doubt if I would do that with my labbies, but it's just a variant on the dog in the back of the pickup truck.  Nonetheless, the left played it up repeatedly, implying that Mitt was cruel to his dog.

But now we learn, via Jim Treacher who actually waded through Obama's autobiographies, that Obama, instead of putting the dog on the car roof, put his dog on a bed of argula and then transported it home in a doggie bag.  Yes, Obama has dined on Lassie.

Update: The WSJ has republished some of what are believed to be Obama's favorite dog recipes: "Yorkshire terrier pudding, mutt chop, Pekingese duck, bichon frisee salad, beagle with cream cheese, pure bread." The WSJ also claims that President Obama defines "happiness" as "a warm puppy, with a side of fries."


(Above from Instapundit, where he also informs us that “Obama just got endorsements from Michael Vick and Anthony Bourdain.”)

This provides the right with a virtually endless pool for comedy and ridicule.  So how much longer do you expect the left to keep up with the Romneys' dog story???

Let me add a mea culpa.  My best friend's brother in Korea owned a dog restaurant and, yes, I dined there more than once.  And indeed, to this day, when my dogs are bad, I threaten them by pulling out my Korean cook book and showing them the recipe for puppy-goki.  At any rate, my point here is that, in fairness to Obama, if you've gone native while living in places such as Indonesia or the far East for any length of time, there is a reasonably good chance you've dined on Lassie.

But who wants to be fair?

(See Daily Caller for more photos)

Via Instapundit, there is this from The Virginian:

“It’s amazing how the aptly named ‘Army of Davids’ is able to use the Internet and social media to run with a theme and dominate the popular imagination. We may be seeing the end of an era dominated by ability of Leftist comedians like Jon Stewart, Bill Maher or the cast of SNL to create a false image of a political figure. Perhaps the trashing of Sarah Palin was the high point of their power, just as Watergate was for the MSM. Ridicule is the most potent political weapon. Obama is rapidly looking less and less like a President and more and more like an inept pol who’s also something of a doofus.”

I would like to think that is an accurate observation.


Monday, April 16, 2012

"I am Mitt Romney And I Approve This Ad"

This Ad Paid For By Democrats Seeking A Better America

Is there any reason for Romney to produce another ad between now and November?


Sunday, April 15, 2012

Social Darwinism?

Before President Obama called Rep. Paul Ryan's budget "thinly-veiled social Darwinism" last week, I must confess, I had never heard of "social" Darwinism. Jonah Goldberg has stepped into the breech to explain the history of the term. Apparently, it is part of the lexicon used by the left to tar the "robber barons":

. . . Merle Curti in The Growth of American Thought argued that Social Darwinism “admirably suited the needs of the great captains of industry, who were crushing the little fellows when these vainly tried to compete with them.” Henry Steel Commager wrote in The American Mind that “Darwin and Spencer exercised such sovereignty over America as George III had never enjoyed.” And of course Robert Reich has said that Social Darwinism “offered a perfect moral justification for America’s Gilded Age, when robber barons controlled much of American industry, the gap between the rich and poor turned into a chasm, urban slums festered, and politicians were bought off by the wealthy. .  .  . The modern Conservative Movement has embraced Social Darwinism with no less fervor than it has condemned Darwinism.”

The only problem: None of this is true either. Yes, Andrew Carnegie was a follower of Herbert Spencer and lots of people referenced “natural law” (though rarely as a reference to Darwinian evolution). But for the most part the captains of industry couldn’t care less about this stuff. As Robert Bannister and Irwin Wylie (and more recently Princeton intellectual historian Thomas Leonard) have painstakingly documented, the captains of industry in the 19th century were not particularly influenced by, or even aware of, Darwin and Spencer. This shouldn’t surprise anybody. “Gilded Age businessmen were not sufficiently bookish, or sufficiently well educated, to keep up with the changing world of ideas,” writes Wylie. “As late as 1900, 84 percent of the businessmen listed in Who’s Who in America had not been educated beyond high school.”

Overwhelmingly, businessmen of the period were influenced by Christianity first, classical economics second, self-help inspirational nostrums a distant third, and egghead notions about biology almost not at all. Cornelius Vanderbilt read one book in his entire life. It was Pilgrim’s Progress. And he didn’t get to it until he was past the age of 70. “If I had learned education,” Vanderbilt famously quipped, “I would not have had time to learn anything else.”

Also, it’s worth noting that the so-called red-in-tooth-and-claw Gilded Age was a time of massive, historic economic growth. It was when America overtook Britain as the economic powerhouse of the globe. That’s one reason the left has always hated it. When Europe was boldly embracing socialism, America was proving that capitalism was better at generating wealth and lifting people out of poverty. Moreover, as anybody who’s been in a library, hospital, university, or concert hall bearing the name of Carnegie, Mellon, Rockefeller, et al, can attest, the “Robber Barons” didn’t remotely believe in letting the little guy fend for himself or that wealth was a reflection of either moral superiority or evolutionary “fitness.” Even the one real Spencerist in the bunch, Andrew Carnegie, believed that “the amassing of wealth is one of the worst species of idolatry—no idol more debasing than the worship of money.” He believed that the man who “dies rich dies disgraced” and himself died one of the most famously generous philanthropists in the world.

One reason the term “Social Darwinism” caught on with progressives was that it served to divert attention from the sins of “reform Darwinism”—i.e., the progressive passion for eugenics. The progressives advocated aggressive statist intervention to improve the genetic stock of the country, while the alleged Social Darwinists championed laissez-faire and private charity and—gasp—reproductive freedom. Moreover, the term Social Darwinism, which in Europe was used to justify nationalist and racist theories of the Hitlerian variety, was the perfect label for playing guilt-by-association in America. Ever since Hofstadter’s book, liberals have used the term to accuse conservatives of desperately wanting to return to a past that never was.

On April 4, Mitt Romney had his turn in front of the newspapermen. “The president came here yesterday and railed against arguments no one is making—and criticized policies no one is proposing. It’s one of his favorite strategies—setting up straw men to distract from his record.”

One suspects that even Romney had no idea how right he was.

And for a bit more clarity, here is the great economist, Milton Friedman, discussing the place of the "robber barons" in our economic history:


Gingrich: The Second Amendment Should Be A Universal Human Right

From Newt Gingrich in remarks to the NRA:

I concur with his remarks. Do note that as it stands now, the UN is attempting to severely limit the ability of the citizens of the world to bear arms. It is the dream of all those of a left wing authoritarian bent to disarm the citizens. It is all about control and the perfection of society.

(H/T Hot Air)


The "Really Destructive Maniacs"

From Dr. Sanity:

At least the selfish narcissist is limited in the chaos and havoc he wreaks. But, the "really destructive maniacs of this world" are the ones who do it for your own good.

The more benign form of this type of narcissism - but equally as insidious - is the left's core belief that society can and should be perfected by government regulation.


Monday, April 9, 2012

Vote Fraud - A White Eric Holder Votes In The DC Primary

The left's claim that vote fraud does not exist, and thus that virtually no safeguards need to be put in place, is itself a fraud. Exhibit One comes from James O'Keefe:


Saturday, April 7, 2012

Performing A True Public Service

Capitalism is far from dead on German college campuses. Heh. And to think that anyone would question their altruistic goals. There is a Sandra Fluke joke in here somewhere, I am sure.


Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Why We Will Never Have An Honest Debate With The Left

Maureen Dowd is the poster girl for why its impossible to have an honest debate with the left.

I am not a big reader of the New York Times columnist, Maureen Dowd. I was reminded of why when I clicked onto her column today, Men In Black. According to Ms. Dowd, the right side of the Court, whom she describes as "hacks dressed up in black robes," are wholly partisan. Thus she not merely excuses Obama for his repugnant attack on the Court yesterday, but eggs him on.

Her column is one long ad hominem attack after another. But its the few arguments she makes that are what have me frosted. Her arguments are at best intellectually dishonest. The other options are that she is either intellectually lazy or, worse, not too intelligent. You can decide for yourself.

For instance, at one point, she takes Justice Scalia to task:

If he’s so brilliant, why is he drawing a risible parallel between buying health care and buying broccoli?

Now, she's not a lawyer, so she can be forgiven for not understanding the nuances of the law. But this is not nuance. The basic argument against the Obamacare mandate is so simple anyone can grasp it. It is that our government is one of enumerated powers, it does not have the power to force someone to buy something, and if it does, then there is no limit to government power. I hope for her sake that she is not so dumb that she is incapable of understanding why Scalia's question goes to the heart of the whole case against Obamacare. She is either being deliberately disingenuous or she is too lazy to bother making the tiniest effort to understand the arguments in the case.

But she doesn't end there. She later adds:

Just as Scalia voted to bypass that little thing called democracy and crown W. president, so he expressed ennui at the idea that, even if parts of the health care law are struck down, some provisions could be saved: “You really want us to go through these 2,700 pages?” he asked, adding: “Is this not totally unrealistic?”

Poor girl, she still hasn't gotten over Bush v. Gore. That aside, I don't expect her to understand the legal nuances of severability and why the Supreme Court has no business trying to rewrite a law where Congress itself included no severability provision. That said, she should at least acknowledge that if the Court opts to only throw out the mandate to buy insurance, this bill will have no funding provision, and that would drive health insurance costs rocketing skyward. Is she so dumb that she is unable to fathom the consequences of what she is asking for?

And lastly, Dowd concludes:

But it isn’t conservative to overturn a major law passed by Congress in the middle of an election. The majority’s political motives are as naked as a strip-search.

Whoa. That is her closing argument for why Obamacare should be found constitutional? That constitutionality should turn on election year politics? What sheer idiocy. There can be no common ground with people this dumb, lazy, or dishonest. And Dowd is at least one of those, if not all three.


Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Trevon Martin, The Race Hustlers & A Real Conversation On Race

The investigation of Florida's Special Prosecutor into what happened in the death of Trevon Martin and whether George Zimmerman is in any way culpable is still ongoing. But the trial and sentence of Zimmerman by the race hustlers has been finalized.

Yet evidence that racism was behind the death of Trevon Martin is not merely dwindling into absence, but is being contradicted as more facts come out (see here, here, here and here). But that is not lessening the calls of the race hustlers for the immediate arrest of George Zimmerman, or in some circles of the black community, vigilante "justice." And is there any doubt whatsoever that this is headed for race riots if Zimmerman is not charged for insufficient probable cause or, if tried, found innocent?

Given all the above, is the Trevon Martin case going to be the race hustlers last big hurrah? Probably not, but it is shaping up to be a major milestone along the path. The race hustlers are determined to label Martin's death an act of racism, irrespective of the facts; they are demanding that everybody not black wallow in collective guilt; their movement is coming far more to resemble a lynch mob than a demand for justice; and the whole situation is highlighting some awful realities that the "black leadership" wants all America to ignore, such as the fact that young black males, who comprise about 2% of our population, are responsible for 30% of the crime. You can find many more such facts here.

Victor Davis Hanson touches on much of this in a recent column at PJM:

Much of black America, and many liberals in general, believe that the Martin shooting is a classic reminder of both contemporary racial prejudice, and the wages of decades of discrimination and oppression in the United States. In such a climate and in a country with such a history, there is not necessarily logic to be found, or some sort of constructed equivalence. Instead, they accept that America is a racist society, and then all of the above assumptions take on a certain logic.

The problem?

There are millions of Americans who do not buy into the above paradigm. Millions of whites were born decades after the civil rights movement, and do not believe, rightly or wrongly, that they are privileged on the basis of their race. They came of age in the era of affirmative action, do not discriminate or tolerate discrimination, do not wish to utter the repulsive N-word, and, to be candid, often have experienced first-hand inordinately high black crime percentages. (My first two experiences with violent crime were as a graduate student in East Palo Alto in 1975, when an African-American male tried to break into my apartment with a bat, and when two African-American males tried to knock me off a bike and steal it.) For millions, then, the notion of collective guilt is less palatable. Millions of others are Latino, Asian, or of mixed heritage. In their view, fairly or not, they too do not accept many of the above premises: they do not see their apostasy as racism, and charges of racism cause them little worry. Nor do a growing number of blacks see their fates as predicated on the degree present of white racism.

In other words, we are left with the following paradoxes: the traditional civil rights industry will see the Martin case as an indictment against America, one deserving of compensatory and reparatory action from the majority, which they are prepared to oversee and adjudicate. The majority, of citizens, however, sees the current civil rights hierarchy as much of the problem with, not the solution to, the Martin tragedy. No, it is worse than that still: the Martin case has evoked renewed interest not in disproportionate rates of black crime alone, but in the civil rights leadership’s apparent lack of concern about it.

What has happened to a large section of the black community in America is a travesty - and responsiblity for it can be laid at the feet of the left who hijacked the civil rights movement after the death of MLK, turning it from a cry for equality into a tool of power politics seeking permanent victim status. Remember when our color-centric AG, Eric Holder, told the world that white Americans were cowards for refusing to hold an honest conversation on race in America. That really was turning reality on its head. The last thing our modern left wants is an honest conversation about race in our society. But I think the irony of the Trevon Martin case is that it is bringing us a great deal closer to that necessary day when the left will be forced into one.

Update: An LAPD Officer has also written at PJM on how the "race grievance industry" is making a huge issue out of the Trevor Martin incident, yet ignoring the massive problem of black violence, particularly directed against other blacks. As he points out, the only problem in the black community is "racial profiling" by police. It is well worth a read.


Monday, April 2, 2012

The Future Of The Internet

The internet is a staple of modern life. Yet its future direction is very much at issue. Michael J. Gross has written a detailed and enlightening article, World War 3.0, on the issue at Vanity Fair.

When the Internet was created, decades ago, one thing was inevitable: the war today over how (or whether) to control it, and who should have that power. Battle lines have been drawn between repressive regimes and Western democracies, corporations and customers, hackers and law enforcement. Looking toward a year-end negotiation in Dubai, where 193 nations will gather to revise a U.N. treaty concerning the Internet, Michael Joseph Gross lays out the stakes in a conflict that could split the virtual world as we know it.

Do read the entire article. This is one of those situations where everybody should be paying attention, though I suspect that for most people, it is slipping completely under the radar.


Obama's Deeply Cynical Manipulation Of Public Opinion On Obamacare

This from Obama today when questioned at a news conference about the Supreme Court's review of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010 (PPACA):

So Obama is telling America that it would be an "unprecedented, extraordinary" act of "judicial activism" were "an unelected group of people" to "overturn a duly constituted and passed law" that was "passed by a strong majority of a democratically elected Congress." This deeply cynical man is attempting to poison the well of public opinion in advance of what may be an adverse Supreme Court decision striking down Obamacare, and he is not letting truth or reality slow him down the slightest.

The central purpose of the Supreme Court since Marbury v. Madison was decided in 1803 has been to review laws passed by Congress for constitutionality. There is nothing "unprecedented" or "extraordinary" about it. And Obama's argument against Constitutional review in this case - that because the PPACA was passed by a "majority in Congress" it should pass Constitutional muster - is ludicrous. All laws passed by Congress do so by a "majority" or they don't become law. If the mere passing of a law by Congress were the standard for constitutionality, then no law would ever be subject to review and our Constitution would be just meaningless words with no constraining effect. Update: As Doug Ross points out, the Supreme Court has acted in an "unprecedented" and "extraordinary" manner to strike down over 1,315 laws as unconstitutional in its history.

And let's be completely clear, this new found left wing antipathy for the "unelected group of people" sitting in Constitutional judgment could not be more hypocritical. The left's entire modus operandi for the past fifty years has been to solicit true judicial activism and use the Courts as an end run around democracy and majority rule. For but one recent example, where was the hue and cry from Obama and the left when an unelected Judge in California overruled the votes of 7 million Californians to divine a heretofore never seen right in the Equal Protection clause to gay marriage? Or for another, where was their outcry when the Supreme Court ruled Congress's laws regarding the procedure for handling terrorist detainees unconstitutional in Boumediene? As I recall, Obama was praising that decision. Apparently, constitutional review is only "unprecedented" and "extraordinary" when the ruling might go against the left.

And lastly, to state that striking down the PPACA for violating the Constitution would be an act "judicial activism" is to completely redefine the term. Obama is using that term to confuse the issue as much as possible. He is using it to create the fantasy that it is conservatives on the Court who seek to act without reference to the Constitution and prior precedent, rather than he and the left. Obama is further using this charge to paint the Supreme Court as the enemy of the people. Sounds pretty Bolshevik, doesn't it? It is all BS by the the truckload.

"Judicial activism" occurs when a Court creates new law not supported by the text of the Constitution or by prior decisions of the Court. That's what Congress has done here, not the Courts.

To uphold Obamacare, the Supreme Court would have to vastly expand the power of the federal government under the Commerce Clause. None of the prior cases under the Commerce Clause allow for the government to force people into an act of commerce (see here, with the relevant discussion beginning at page 20.) As Justice Anthony Kennedy pointed out during oral argument, "the government is saying that the Federal Government has a duty to tell the individual citizen that it must act, and that is different from what we have in previous cases and that changes the relationship of the Federal Government to the individual in a very fundamental way."

What that means is that, if the Supreme Court holds Obamacare unconstitutional, they will not have to overturn existing precedent in any way. The federal government would have - unfortunately - exactly the same expansive powers under the Commerce Clause that it had on the day Obama was inagurated. All the Court would have to hold is that the mandate forcing people into commerce is not supported by the text of the Constitution, nor by any of the prior decisions interpreting the Commerce Clause. To do so would be an act of judicial restraint - the polar opposite of "judicial activism." It is the Supreme Court doing precisely what it is meant to do - to keep our government within the constraints of the Constitution.

Obama's not that dumb. He is a former teacher of Constitutional Law, and I am sure that in between teaching classes on critical race theory, he managed to find some time to lead his class through Marbury v. Madison and the Commerce Clause. Rather, he is lying through his teeth in order to motivate his far left base, to effect the opinion of those in the middle who are uneducated on the law, to appeal to those who see the Constitution as an out dated impediment to achieving their goals, and to warn the Supreme Court that they will be demagogued severely if they don't vote his way.

As to the demagoguery, note that this is the second time Obama has made a boogeyman of the Supreme Court for issuing - or in this case, seemingly preparing to issue - a decision that he does not like. The first was his attack on the Court over the Citizens United decision. For that decision, you will recall Obama publicly criticizing the Court at the State of the Union speech in 2010. Imagine the hue and cry from Obama and the left should the Court strike down Obama's signature achievement as unconstitutional. This is shades of FDR who so intimidated the Supreme Court that they gave up interpreting the Constitution and in the end became a rubber stamp for approving the massive accretion of government power under the Commerce Clause. What Obama is exhibiting is not a respect for the rule of law in America, but like FDR before him, a wholesale disregard for it as an impediment to his remaking of our country.

Obama is so intellectually dishonest, he makes Nixon look like a paragon of veracity. Not a single word this man says can be trusted. And no need to take my word for it, just ask Cardinal Dolan. Democracy only works if people have the relevant facts. What Obama is doing is substituting falsehoods for the facts in an effort to subvert democracy.


Sunday, April 1, 2012

The Highest Corporate Tax In The Developed World

It's official, we now have the highest corporate tax rate in the world at 35%. This from Heritage:

This April Fool’s Day, the joke is on all of us. That’s because as of April 1, the U.S. now has the highest corporate tax rate in the developed world.

Our high corporate tax rate has long made the U.S. an uncompetitive place for new investment. This has driven new jobs to other, more competitive nations and meant fewer jobs and lower wages for all Americans.

Other developed nations have been cutting their rates for over 20 years. The U.S. did nothing.

The U.S. was at least able to stay out of the top spot until now, because Japan had also failed to get its corporate tax rate in line with other more competitive nations. . . .

The U.S. rate is well above the 25 percent average of other developed nations in the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD). In fact, the U.S. rate is almost 15 percentage points higher than the OECD average.

This gaping disparity means every other country that we compete with for new investment is better situated to land that new investment and the jobs that come with it, because the after-tax return from that investment promises to be higher in those lower-taxed nations.

Our high rate also makes our businesses prime targets for takeovers by businesses headquartered in foreign countries, because their worldwide profits are no longer subject to the highest-in-the-world U.S. corporate tax rate. Until Congress cuts the rate, more and more iconic U.S. businesses such as Anheuser-Busch (which was bought by its Belgian competitor InBev in 2008) will be bought by their foreign competitors.

Republicans have been trumpeting their willingness to make a bipartisan deal on this issue virtually since Obama came to office. Obama has poisoned every chance for a deal with an insistence on punishing oil companies as part of any corporate tax deal - he would take away the tax breaks from oil companies available to every other U.S. business - and in addition, he wants to impose a tax on corporate profits earned overseas, all under the guise of fairness. Who needs a functioning, growing economy when we can have a "fair" one, anyway. That is the very definition of socialism, as well as its greatest ill.


Who Voted For The End To Coal?

The Obama EPA's war on coal is nearly complete. On Tuesday, the EPA issued it's first proposed rule for green house gases that will effectively prevent any new coal plant from being built, at least beyond the 20 or so in the pipeline today. This from the CS Monitor:

The Obama administration on Tuesday proposed the nation’s first-ever restrictions on greenhouse gas emissions from US power plants. If approved, the restrictions are expected to sharply curb construction of new coal-fired power plants nationwide.

The proposed restrictions, unveiled by officials at the Environmental Protection Agency, would apply only to new fossil-fuel-burning power plants – limiting them to no more than 1,000 pounds of carbon dioxide emissions per megawatt generated.

A typical coal-fired plant produces more than 1,700 pounds of carbon dioxide per megawatt. Most natural-gas fired plants – the majority of power plants under construction today – emit less than the new standard, around 800 pounds per megawatt.

The Obama EPA's other recently issued rules, the Cross State Air Pollution Rule, Boiler MACT, and Mercury and Air Toxics Standards, all attack existing coal fired power plants. Coal provides nearly 50% of our electrical generating capacity today.

We may be lucky. Obama, when he started the war on coal, sold the fantasy of replacing coal with solar and wind - yet neither are any closer to being cost effective at scale today than they were in 2009. That said, natural gas, which has exploded in recent years, may provide a replacement. Still, the overhead costs of building new LNG plants to replace working coal plants prior to the end of their natural period of operation will be significant. Then there is the question of how much the price of natural gas will rise as demand increases exponentially to replace coal. So whatever happens, electric costs are going to rise, the only questions are by how much and whether we will experience significant disruptions of electric service as part of this top down forced replacement of coal.

All of that said, the question that we should be asking is this, did any of our elected representatives vote into law a bill driving coal from our energy marketplace? No, quite the opposite, when the President's energy plan was presented two years ago, it couldn't make it out of the Senate. So why is it that something so fundamental to our nation is being decided based on regulations made without the approval of our elected representatives and in contravention of Article I, Section I of our Constitution (all legislative power is vested in Congress). This out of control, extra constitutional regulatory bureaucracy is the single greatest systemic problem our nation faces. As I wrote in a prior post, End The Tyranny - No Regulation Without Representation.