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Nadir In the House

June 26th, 2009 by Myrhaf · 4 Comments · Politics

Is this the low point?

All my life the American state has been destroying freedom one law at a time. Some laws have been more idiotic, irrational and destructive than others. Nixon’s wage and price controls would be among the worst if they had not been quickly rescinded. Johnson’s Great Society was a huge step in the wrong direction.

Today the House passed Waxman-Markey, the “cap and trade” bill, also called a climate-change bill. The vote was 219-212, with eight Republican votes. The only good news is that the bill might not pass the Senate.

If the bill passes the Senate and is then signed into law by President Obama, it will give government power over all CO2 emissions. Theoretically, the state will have the power to dictate how much breath we can exhale. The bill’s scope is breathtaking:

By putting a price on emissions of greenhouse gases, such as carbon dioxide, the bill would affect the way electricity is generated, how homes and offices are designed, how foreign trade is conducted and how much Americans pay to drive cars or to heat their homes.

Politico says the bill “would transform the country’s economy and industrial landscape.”

Boortz wrote before the bill passed,

Today the House is going to vote on this Cap and Trade – more accurately called “Cap and Tax” climate change scam. Any idea as to how big this bill is? Try 1,201 pages. [pdf] Any idea how many members of the House have read the darn thing? Try zero. Yeah, we are talking about a bill that is going to cost us $845 billion over the next 10 years … and not one House member has read the entire thing.

Not only has no one read the bill, but it was not written at the time of the vote:

4:05pm: Excellent exchange between chair and GOP Rep. Louis Gohmert. He asks for a physical copy of the 300-page-plus late-night amendment filed out of public view. Chair cannot tell him where one is. Rules him out of order for not making parliamentary inquiry. Chair stumped.

Barton asks chair if there is any rule requiring copy of bill being voted on to be nearby. Chair: Not that I’m aware of.

Barton asks if official copy is necessary to be at desk for final vote.

Chair says it’s at the desk. Barton says it’s not the official copy. Markey tells him to go to the cloakroom and look it up on the web.

Markey says the full bill and manager’s amendment is on the desk.

Chair rules that all the piles of paper at the desk “in effect” are an “official copy.”

On the cost of the bill:

The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office has estimated the bill would have a modest impact on family budgets. The CBO projected an annual economy-wide cost in 2020 of $22 billion, or about $175 per household.

But get this:

The biggest doozy in the CBO analysis was its extraordinary decision to look only at the day-to-day costs of operating a trading program, rather than the wider consequences energy restriction would have on the economy. The CBO acknowledges this in a footnote: “The resource cost does not indicate the potential decrease in gross domestic product (GDP) that could result from the cap.”

As Ace writes,

…the “costs” examined are merely the costs of salaries and phones and computers and Post-Its for the people administering this program — the actual costs just to hire bureaucrats to sabotage the American economy.

Not the costs those bureaucrats in turn inflict on us all.

That $175 per household does not factor in the burden on the economy as the state destroys wealth, makes America less productive and kills jobs. All taxes levied on corporations and big business will be passed on to consumers.

Don Surber writes,

The cap and trade bill is junk steroids — superstition. The climate of the Earth is determined by the Sun, not by the mumbo-jumbo gobbledygook thinking and jibberish of James Hansen, Al Gore and Daryl Hannah.

The Democratic Party has used  global warming hysteria to slap the largest tax in history on the American economy.

It is crushing.

Vodkapundit sums it up:

Never have so few stolen so much from so many to achieve so little.

The bill is based on bad, politicized science. There is no evidence that the globe is warming, and if it were that man-made CO2 emissions are causing it, and if they were that global warming would be a bad thing. Environmentalist lies have created fear of CO2, which gives the House enough cover for a massive power grab that will give the state control over every aspect of the economy that involves energy — which is every aspect.

The bill is nonsense meant to rationalize state control of the economy. The environmentalists and Democrats know this; power is what they want. Politicians will have the power to levy fees on greedy capitalists they don’t like, and to ignore or lighten the fees on their favored constituents — all at their whim. To those who would be dictators, such a law is irresistible. This bill is a huge step in the direction of totalitarian fascism, in which America has been heading for at least half a century.

The bill will destroy wealth across the economy and burden the American people — all in the name of a fantasy.

This massive power grab, which no one has read because it has not been written, was rammed through the House while the American people, who have little interest at best, were distracted by the death of a freakish pop star.

The 111th United States Congress has disgraced itself, if disgrace is still possible for this circus full of clowns. They have reached the low point in Congress’s 220-year history. If they can go lower than this… we don’t want to see it.

4 Comments so far ↓

  • Bill Brown

    The cap-and-trade would be bad in isolation, but what really makes this the bottom is that it’s just one salvo in a shock-and-awe campaign against freedom. Health care “reform” plus subordination of our financial system to the Federal Reserve plus nationalization of the domestic auto industry plus impotent action against North Korea and Iran make me want to shake by the lapels half of the people I encounter and ask them what the hell they were thinking.

  • Mo

    Can we say Junior Europe

  • madmax

    What does this mean for the vote-Democrat Objectivist position? Suddenly a possible theocracy is the last thing on my mind. Bush was bad but Obama is an order of magnitude worse.

  • Myrhaf

    What is happening now is exactly why I did not vote Democrat in the last two presidential elections. I voted for Bush in 2006 and abstained in 2008.

    Dr. Peikoff is a philosopher who sees the big picture, the effect of philosophy on culture over the centuries. He has identified a process that happens over and over: subjectivism destroys all absolutes, values and standards, and then people turn to religion for those things. It happened in ancient Greece, the Renaissance and the Reformation, and it is happening now with the black hole of postmodernism and the rise of religion over the last generation or so. In the long run, I believe Dr. Peikoff is right about religion as the most dangerous growing threat.

    The problems start when you call Democrats the party of subjectivism and Republicans the party of religion. What’s to stop the Democrats from using religion to gain power? They lie about everything else; surely they can lie about that. If the Dems face the choice of staying in power or staying true to their pro-choice position, they will toss out abortion. The feminists might scream, but what do the Democrat men care if women can’t have an abortion?

    In a country with elections, the two parties tend to be a lot alike in the mainstream, with differences at the edges. If America becomes an overwhelmingly religious nation, then the Democrats will follow. It’s either that or go the way of the Whig Party.

    Another factor to remember is that right now the Democrat Party is farther down the road to serfdom than the Republican Party. They are a New Leftist party, which is much different than the party of Hubert Humphrey and LBJ. They are a dictatorship waiting to happen. They embrace the “ends justifies the means” premise and now lie brazenly on principle. They think reason is useless, and that only force and fraud are efficacious.

    The Republicans are not this corrupt. Not yet.

    So I think it’s an error to just vote Democrat now. There might be times to vote out an especially bad Republican, and there might be times to abstain from either major party.

    There is an outside chance that the Republicans will follow Yaron Brooks’s lead and become a party of individual rights. If that happens, then Dr. Peikoff will be forced to go back to the blackboard.