Monthly Archives: May 2009

The Waxman-Markey Climate Change Bill (Part3)……The Science?

“All across the world, in every kind of environment and region known to man, increasingly dangerous weather patterns and devastating storms are abruptly putting an end to the long-running debate over whether or not climate change is real. Not only is it real, it’s here, and its effects are giving rise to a frighteningly new global phenomenon: the man-made natural disaster.” – President Barack Obama 
 
“The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed — and hence clamorous to be led to safety — by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary.” – H.L. Mencken, famous columnist 

Al Gore, former vice president: “I believe it is appropriate to have an over-representation of factual presentations on how dangerous it is, as a predicate for opening up the audience to listen to what the solutions are, and how hopeful it is that we are going to solve this crisis.” 

These quotes are representative of a host of statements by environmental activists that all but admit, that at a minimum, there is an intentional attempt to use fear and deception as a means to advance their agenda. 

The scientific community is split into two very distinct groups on the subject of global warming/climate change – those who believe it is induced by humans and those who don’t. 

Let’s start with the hypothesis about how excessive carbon dioxide in the atmosphere can create a greenhouse effect that results in global warming. 

The work of scientists (Fourier 1824 and Tyndall 1861) have been cited as the basis for the greenhouse effect theory. However, an analysis of these papers shows neither included the concept of the atmospheric greenhouse effect.  The earth’s atmosphere contains trace gases, some of which absorb heat. These gases (water vapor, carbon dioxide, methane, ozone, and nitrous oxide) are referred to as “greenhouse gases.” 

Below is a link to a scientific paper that destroys the basic premise of the greenhouse effect through the science of thermal dynamics and physics. The basic analysis is a comparison of the mechanics of a greenhouse and the thermal dynamics of earth’s atmosphere. It is clear and concise. It contends that the IPCC has manufactured science that supports a political agenda rather than a scientific premise. 

http://arxiv.org/PS_cache/arxiv/pdf/0707/0707.1161v4.pdf 

The United States Department of Energy, confirmed in a 1985 report that the “CO2-greenhouse effect”, the theoretical atmospheric greenhouse effect (projecting the climatic effects of increasing carbon dioxide) does not compare to the actual warming phenomenon in a glass house. This comprehensive pre-IPCC publication explicitly states that the terms “greenhouse gas” and “greenhouse effect” are misnomers. 

Conclusion: 

Commonly held perceptions of the climatic relevance of CO2 and other so-called greenhouse gases rest on a staggering failure to grasp some of the fundamentals of physics. Correct interpretation of the Second Law of Thermodynamics and sound appreciation of the necessary physical conditions for emission of radiation by gases lead to the understanding that within the troposphere no backradiation can be caused by so-called greenhouse gases. Therefore, it is not at all correct to speak of a thermal effect of these gases on the biosphere. 

The thermal conditions in our and any atmosphere are determined by its pressure and the mass of its main components. Higher concentrations of CO2 in our atmosphere – at least until they reached 2% (a 60-fold increase) and thus became injurious to health – would endanger neither the climate nor mankind. To avoid further misunderstanding, the terms greenhouse effect and greenhouse gases should be avoided in describing the functioning of the atmosphere. A more correct term would be atmosphere effect. 

The operation of this effect is described in “The Thermodynamic Atmosphere Effect” at http://www.geocities.com/atmosco2/atmos.htm.)

It is completely incomprehensible and unjustified to imagine that mankind can or must protect the climate by attempting to control trace amounts of CO2 in the air. Source – Heinz Thieme  http://freenet-homepage.de/klima/indexe.htm

 Also in all of these articles allude to problems with the computer models being used to predict the impending climate disaster. However, when these models are tested against actual data from satellites and weather balloons the models appear to be wrong. See the following articles for more details: 

http://science.nasa.gov/newhome/headlines/essd06oct97_1.htm 

http://www.heartland.org/policybot/results/15727/Global_Warming_Computer_Models_Seriously_Flawed_Studies_Show.html

So here is where we are: 

Current plans and actions to protect the climate lack an adequate basis in the proven results of scientific research. The group of scientists currently offering policy advice has so far failed to demonstrate the alleged mechanisms by which trace gases will damage weather and climate. Moreover, several potentially major influences on climate are being ignored. Enhanced scientific understanding of meteorological processes might suggest substantially different climate protection activities, if in fact these are necessary or feasible. Substantial further research is required by experts in biology, chemistry, thermodynamics and meteorology to improve knowledge of atmospheric dynamics and assess the extent to which human activities affect climate. Source – Heinz Thieme  http://www.geocities.com/atmosco2/Influence.htm

In the final installment of this series the discussion will turn to the potential economic impact of this craziness. If allowed to move forward The Waxman Markey Climate Change Bill will have a devastating impact on the U.S. economy and it’s citizens. 

Quote by Emma Brindal, a climate justice campaigner coordinator for Friends of the Earth: “A climate change response must have at its heart a redistribution of wealth and resources.”  

Stephen Schneider, Stanford Univ., environmentalist: “That, of course, entails getting loads of media coverage. So we have to offer up scary scenarios, make simplified, dramatic statements, and make little mention of any doubts we might have.”

The Waxman – Markey Climate Change Bill (Part 2) … Does “human activity” really induce global warming?

“Not only do journalists not have a responsibility to report what skeptical scientists have to say about global warming. They have a responsibility not to report what these scientists say.” – Ross Gelbsan, former journalist

Even though the mainstream media refuses to cover it, there is momentum building in the scientific community to challenge the current hype around global warming and the allegedly negative effects of greenhouse gases. Today’s blog is intended to point you in the direction of this information as I continue to lay the ground work for debate on why this bill is bad for America. 

Let’s start with a documentary produced in the U.K. on the subject: 

(N.Y. Post) March 17th BRITAIN’S Channel 4 has produced a devastating documentary titled “The Great Global Warming Swindle.” It has apparently not been broadcast by any U.S. networks, but is available on the Web.

Distinguished scientists specializing in climate and climate-related fields talk in plain English and present readily understood graphs showing what a crock the current global-warming hysteria is.

These include scientists from MIT and top-tier universities in a number of countries. The names of some were paraded on some of the global-warming publications that are being promoted in the media – but they state plainly that they neither wrote those publications nor approved them. One threatened to sue unless his name was removed.

While the public has been led to believe that “all” leading scientists buy the global-warming hysteria and the political agenda that goes with it, in fact the official reports from the United Nations or the National Academy of Sciences are written by bureaucrats – and then garnished with the names of leading scientists who were “consulted,” but whose contrary conclusions have been ignored.

There is no question that the globe is warming – but it has warmed and cooled before, and is not as warm today as it was some centuries ago, before there was as much the burning of fossil fuels as today. None of the dire things predicted today happened then.

The documentary goes into some of the many factors that have caused the Earth to warm and cool for centuries, including changes in activities on the sun, 93 million miles away and wholly beyond the jurisdiction of the Kyoto treaty.

According to these climate scientists, human activities have very little effect on the climate, compared to many other factors, from volcanoes to clouds.

These climate scientists likewise debunk the mathematical models used to hype warming hysteria, showing that they’re contradicted by hard evidence stretching back centuries.

Much effort has been put into silencing scientists who dare to say that the emperor has no clothes. One of the scientists interviewed in the documentary reported getting death threats.

In politics, even conservative Republicans seem to have taken the view that, if you can’t lick ’em, join ’em. So have big corporations, which have joined the stampede.

No one denies that temperatures are about a degree warmer than they were a century ago. What the climate scientists in the British documentary deny is that you can mindlessly extrapolate that, or that we are headed for a climate catastrophe if we don’t take drastic steps that could cause an economic catastrophe.

“Global warming” is just the latest in a long line of hysterical crusades to which we seem to be increasingly susceptible.  

For more information on this documentary go to:

http://www.greatglobalwarmingswindle.co.uk/        It is also available on YouTube.

“A climate change response must have at its heart a redistribution of wealth and resources.” – Emma Brindal, a climate justice campaigner coordinator for Friends of the Earth

 Next there is the infamous open letter that another group of scientists wrote to the U.N. on the subject. The letter not only disagrees openly with the reported conclusions of the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) but also challenges the methodology of how it was written. See below:

 Open Letter to the Secretary-General of the United Nations


Dec. 13, 2007
His Excellency Ban Ki-Moon
Secretary-General, United Nations
New York, N.Y.
 

Dear Mr. Secretary-General, 

Re: UN climate conference is taking the World in entirely the wrong direction.

It is not possible to stop climate change, a natural phenomenon that has affected humanity through the ages. Geological, archaeological, oral and written histories all attest to the dramatic challenges posed to past societies from unanticipated changes in temperature, precipitation, winds and other climatic variables. We therefore need to equip nations to become resilient to the full range of these natural phenomena by promoting economic growth and wealth generation.

The United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has issued increasingly alarming conclusions about the climatic influences of human-produced carbon dioxide (CO2), a non-polluting gas that is essential to plant photosynthesis. While we understand the evidence that has led them to view CO2 emissions as harmful, the IPCC’s conclusions are quite inadequate as justification for implementing policies that will markedly diminish future prosperity. In particular, it is not established that it is possible to significantly alter global climate through cuts in human greenhouse gas emissions. On top of which, because attempts to cut emissions will slow development, the current UN approach of CO2 reduction is likely to increase human suffering from future climate change rather than to decrease it.

The IPCC Summaries for Policy Makers are the most widely read IPCC reports amongst politicians and non-scientists and are the basis for most climate change policy formulation. Yet these Summaries are prepared by a relatively small core writing team with the final drafts approved line-by-lineby ­government ­representatives. The great ­majority of IPCC contributors and ­reviewers, and the tens of thousands of other scientists who are qualified to comment on these matters, are not involved in the preparation of these documents. The summaries therefore cannot properly be represented as a consensus view among experts.

Contrary to the impression left by the IPCC Summary reports:

z Recent observations of phenomena such as glacial retreats, sea-level rise and the migration of temperature-sensitive species are not evidence for abnormal climate change, for none of these changes has been shown to lie outside the bounds of known natural variability.

z The average rate of warming of 0.1 to 0. 2 degrees Celsius per decade recorded by satellites during the late 20th century falls within known natural rates of warming and cooling over the last 10,000 years.

z Leading scientists, including some senior IPCC representatives, acknowledge that today’s computer models cannot predict climate. Consistent with this, and despite computer projections of temperature rises, there has been no net global warming since 1998. That the current temperature plateau follows a late 20th-century period of warming is consistent with the continuation today of natural multi-decadal or millennial climate cycling.

In stark contrast to the often repeated assertion that the science of climate change is “settled,” significant new peer-reviewed research has cast even more doubt on the hypothesis of dangerous human-caused global warming. But because IPCC working groups were generally instructed (see reference) to consider work published only through May, 2005, these important findings are not included in their reports; i.e., the IPCC assessment reports are already materially outdated.

The UN climate conference in Bali has been planned to take the world along a path of severe CO2 restrictions, ignoring the lessons apparent from the failure of the Kyoto Protocol, the chaotic nature of the European CO2 trading market, and the ineffectiveness of other costly initiatives to curb greenhouse gas emissions. Balanced cost/benefit analyses provide no support for the introduction of global measures to cap and reduce energy consumption for the purpose of restricting CO2 emissions. Furthermore, it is irrational to apply the “precautionary principle” because many scientists recognize that both climatic coolings and warmings are realistic possibilities over the medium-term future.

The current UN focus on “fighting climate change,” as illustrated in the Nov. 27 UN Development Programme’s Human Development Report, is distracting governments from adapting to the threat of inevitable natural climate changes, whatever forms they may take. National and international planning for such changes is needed, with a focus on helping our most vulnerable citizens adapt to conditions that lie ahead. Attempts to prevent global climate change from occurring are ultimately futile, and constitute a tragic misallocation of resources that would be better spent on humanity’s real and pressing problems. 

Yours faithfully,

A complete list of signers available at the bottom of this blog.

http://www.nowpublic.com/environment/open-letter-100-scientists-ban-ki-moon-0

 “The answer to global warming is in the abolition of private property and production for human need. A socialist world would place an enormous priority on alternative energy sources. This is what ecologically-minded socialists have been exploring for quite some time now.” – Louis Proyect, Columbia University

Here are a few other sites to visit: 

http://climateresearchnews.com/2009/02/japanese-scientists-dispute-man-made-warming-hypothesis/ 

http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=5086 

http://www.capmag.com/article.asp?ID=212 

Again, all of this reading is in preparation for the final 2 parts of this series. Part 3 will deal with the scientific facts in dispute. Part 4 will summarizes my opinion about the potential impact of proposed governmental policies and regulations of greenhouse gas. More to come….

I have included these signatures to make a point which is there is clearly not a consensus opinion or indisputable evidence on this subject as we are often led to believe.

Don Aitkin, PhD, Professor, social scientist, retired vice-chancellor and president, University of Canberra, Australia

William J.R. Alexander, PhD, Professor Emeritus, Dept. of Civil and Biosystems Engineering, University of Pretoria, South Africa; Member, UN Scientific and Technical Committee on Natural Disasters, 1994-2000

Bjarne Andresen, PhD, physicist, Professor, The Niels Bohr Institute, University of Copenhagen, Denmark

Geoff L. Austin, PhD, FNZIP, FRSNZ, Professor, Dept. of Physics, University of Auckland, New Zealand

Timothy F. Ball, PhD, environmental consultant, former climatology professor, University of Winnipeg

Ernst-Georg Beck, Dipl. Biol., Biologist, Merian-Schule Freiburg, Germany

Sonja A. Boehmer-Christiansen, PhD, Reader, Dept. of Geography, Hull University, U.K.; Editor, Energy & Environment journal

Chris C. Borel, PhD, remote sensing scientist, U.S.

Reid A. Bryson, PhD, DSc, DEngr, UNE P. Global 500 Laureate; Senior Scientist, Center for Climatic Research; Emeritus Professor of Meteorology, of Geography, and of Environmental Studies, University of Wisconsin

Dan Carruthers, M.Sc., wildlife biology consultant specializing in animal ecology in Arctic and Subarctic regions, Alberta

R.M. Carter, PhD, Professor, Marine Geophysical Laboratory, James Cook University, Townsville, Australia

Ian D. Clark, PhD, Professor, isotope hydrogeology and paleoclimatology, Dept. of Earth Sciences, University of Ottawa

Richard S. Courtney, PhD, climate and atmospheric science consultant, IPCC expert reviewer, U.K.

Willem de Lange, PhD, Dept. of Earth and Ocean Sciences, School of Science and Engineering, Waikato University, New Zealand

David Deming, PhD (Geophysics), Associate Professor, College of Arts and Sciences, University of Oklahoma

Freeman J. Dyson, PhD, Emeritus Professor of Physics, Institute for Advanced Studies, Princeton, N.J.

Don J. Easterbrook, PhD, Emeritus Professor of Geology, Western Washington University

Lance Endersbee, Emeritus Professor, former dean of Engineering and Pro-Vice Chancellor of Monasy University, Australia

Hans Erren, Doctorandus, geophysicist and climate specialist, Sittard, The Netherlands

Robert H. Essenhigh, PhD, E.G. Bailey Professor of Energy Conversion, Dept. of Mechanical Engineering, The Ohio State University

Christopher Essex, PhD, Professor of Applied Mathematics and Associate Director of the Program in Theoretical Physics, University of Western Ontario

David Evans, PhD, mathematician, carbon accountant, computer and electrical engineer and head of ‘Science Speak,’ Australia

William Evans, PhD, editor, American Midland Naturalist; Dept. of Biological Sciences, University of Notre Dame

Stewart Franks, PhD, Professor, Hydroclimatologist, University of Newcastle, Australia

R. W. Gauldie, PhD, Research Professor, Hawai’i Institute of Geophysics and Planetology, School of Ocean Earth Sciences and Technology, University of Hawai’i at Manoa

Lee C. Gerhard, PhD, Senior Scientist Emeritus, University of Kansas; former director and state geologist, Kansas Geological Survey

Gerhard Gerlich, Professor for Mathematical and Theoretical Physics, Institut für Mathematische Physik der TU Braunschweig, Germany

Albrecht Glatzle, PhD, sc.agr., Agro-Biologist and Gerente ejecutivo, INTTAS, Paraguay

Fred Goldberg, PhD, Adjunct Professor, Royal Institute of Technology, Mechanical Engineering, Stockholm, Sweden

Vincent Gray, PhD, expert reviewer for the IPCC and author of The Greenhouse Delusion: A Critique of ‘Climate Change 2001, Wellington, New Zealand

William M. Gray, Professor Emeritus, Dept. of Atmospheric Science, Colorado State University and Head of the Tropical Meteorology Project

Howard Hayden, PhD, Emeritus Professor of Physics, University of Connecticut

Louis Hissink MSc, M.A.I.G., editor, AIG News, and consulting geologist, Perth, Western Australia

Craig D. Idso, PhD, Chairman, Center for the Study of Carbon Dioxide and Global Change, Arizona

Sherwood B. Idso, PhD, President, Center for the Study of Carbon Dioxide and Global Change, AZ, USA

Andrei Illarionov, PhD, Senior Fellow, Center for Global Liberty and Prosperity; founder and director of the Institute of Economic Analysis

Zbigniew Jaworowski, PhD, physicist, Chairman – Scientific Council of Central Laboratory for Radiological Protection, Warsaw, Poland

Jon Jenkins, PhD, MD, computer modelling – virology, NSW, Australia

Wibjorn Karlen, PhD, Emeritus Professor, Dept. of Physical Geography and Quaternary Geology, Stockholm University, Sweden

Olavi Kärner, Ph.D., Research Associate, Dept. of Atmospheric Physics, Institute of Astrophysics and Atmospheric Physics, Toravere, Estonia

Joel M. Kauffman, PhD, Emeritus Professor of Chemistry, University of the Sciences in Philadelphia

David Kear, PhD, FRSNZ, CMG, geologist, former Director-General of NZ Dept. of Scientific & Industrial Research, New Zealand

Madhav Khandekar, PhD, former research scientist, Environment Canada; editor, Climate Research (2003-05); editorial board member, Natural Hazards; IPCC expert reviewer 2007

William Kininmonth M.Sc., M.Admin., former head of Australia’s National Climate Centre and a consultant to the World Meteorological organization’s Commission for Climatology Jan J.H. Kop, MSc Ceng FICE (Civil Engineer Fellow of the Institution of Civil Engineers), Emeritus Prof. of Public Health Engineering, Technical University Delft, The Netherlands

Prof. R.W.J. Kouffeld, Emeritus Professor, Energy Conversion, Delft University of Technology, The Netherlands

Salomon Kroonenberg, PhD, Professor, Dept. of Geotechnology, Delft University of Technology, The Netherlands

Hans H.J. Labohm, PhD, economist, former advisor to the executive board, Clingendael Institute (The Netherlands Institute of International Relations), The Netherlands

The Rt. Hon. Lord Lawson of Blaby, economist; Chairman of the Central Europe Trust; former Chancellor of the Exchequer, U.K.

Douglas Leahey, PhD, meteorologist and air-quality consultant, Calgary

David R. Legates, PhD, Director, Center for Climatic Research, University of Delaware

Marcel Leroux, PhD, Professor Emeritus of Climatology, University of Lyon, France; former director of Laboratory of Climatology, Risks and Environment, CNRS

Bryan Leyland, International Climate Science Coalition, consultant and power engineer, Auckland, New Zealand

William Lindqvist, PhD, independent consulting geologist, Calif.

Richard S. Lindzen, PhD, Alfred P. Sloan Professor of Meteorology, Dept. of Earth, Atmospheric and Planetary Sciences, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

A.J. Tom van Loon, PhD, Professor of Geology (Quaternary Geology), Adam Mickiewicz University, Poznan, Poland; former President of the European Association of Science Editors

Anthony R. Lupo, PhD, Associate Professor of Atmospheric Science, Dept. of Soil, Environmental, and Atmospheric Science, University of Missouri-Columbia

Richard Mackey, PhD, Statistician, Australia

Horst Malberg, PhD, Professor for Meteorology and Climatology, Institut für Meteorologie, Berlin, Germany

John Maunder, PhD, Climatologist, former President of the Commission for Climatology of the World Meteorological Organization (89-97), New Zealand

Alister McFarquhar, PhD, international economy, Downing College, Cambridge, U.K.

Ross McKitrick, PhD, Associate Professor, Dept. of Economics, University of Guelph

John McLean, PhD, climate data analyst, computer scientist, Australia

Owen McShane, PhD, economist, head of the International Climate Science Coalition; Director, Centre for Resource Management Studies, New Zealand

Fred Michel, PhD, Director, Institute of Environmental Sciences and Associate Professor of Earth Sciences, Carleton University

Frank Milne, PhD, Professor, Dept. of Economics, Queen’s University

Asmunn Moene, PhD, former head of the Forecasting Centre, Meteorological Institute, Norway

Alan Moran, PhD, Energy Economist, Director of the IPA’s Deregulation Unit, Australia

Nils-Axel Morner, PhD, Emeritus Professor of Paleogeophysics & Geodynamics, Stockholm University, Sweden

Lubos Motl, PhD, Physicist, former Harvard string theorist, Charles University, Prague, Czech Republic

John Nicol, PhD, Professor Emeritus of Physics, James Cook University, Australia

David Nowell, M.Sc., Fellow of the Royal Meteorological Society, former chairman of the NATO Meteorological Group, Ottawa

James J. O’Brien, PhD, Professor Emeritus, Meteorology and Oceanography, Florida State University

Cliff Ollier, PhD, Professor Emeritus (Geology), Research Fellow, University of Western Australia

Garth W. Paltridge, PhD, atmospheric physicist, Emeritus Professor and former Director of the Institute of Antarctic and Southern Ocean Studies, University of Tasmania, Australia

R. Timothy Patterson, PhD, Professor, Dept. of Earth Sciences (paleoclimatology), Carleton University

Al Pekarek, PhD, Associate Professor of Geology, Earth and Atmospheric Sciences Dept., St. Cloud State University, Minnesota

Ian Plimer, PhD, Professor of Geology, School of Earth and Environmental Sciences, University of Adelaide and Emeritus Professor of Earth Sciences, University of Melbourne, Australia

Brian Pratt, PhD, Professor of Geology, Sedimentology, University of Saskatchewan

Harry N.A. Priem, PhD, Emeritus Professor of Planetary Geology and Isotope Geophysics, Utrecht University; former director of the Netherlands Institute for Isotope Geosciences

Alex Robson, PhD, Economics, Australian National University Colonel F.P.M. Rombouts, Branch Chief – Safety, Quality and Environment, Royal Netherland Air Force

R.G. Roper, PhD, Professor Emeritus of Atmospheric Sciences, School of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences, Georgia Institute of Technology

Arthur Rorsch, PhD, Emeritus Professor, Molecular Genetics, Leiden University, The Netherlands

Rob Scagel, M.Sc., forest microclimate specialist, principal consultant, Pacific Phytometric Consultants, B.C.

Tom V. Segalstad, PhD, (Geology/Geochemistry), Head of the Geological Museum and Associate Professor of Resource and Environmental Geology, University of Oslo, Norway

Gary D. Sharp, PhD, Center for Climate/Ocean Resources Study, Salinas, CA

S. Fred Singer, PhD, Professor Emeritus of Environmental Sciences, University of Virginia and former director Weather Satellite Service

L. Graham Smith, PhD, Associate Professor, Dept. of Geography, University of Western Ontario

Roy W. Spencer, PhD, climatologist, Principal Research Scientist, Earth System Science Center, The University of Alabama, Huntsville

Peter Stilbs, TeknD, Professor of Physical Chemistry, Research Leader, School of Chemical Science and Engineering, KTH (Royal Institute of Technology), Stockholm, Sweden

Hendrik Tennekes, PhD, former director of research, Royal Netherlands Meteorological Institute

Dick Thoenes, PhD, Emeritus Professor of Chemical Engineering, Eindhoven University of Technology, The Netherlands

Brian G Valentine, PhD, PE (Chem.), Technology Manager – Industrial Energy Efficiency, Adjunct Associate Professor of Engineering Science, University of Maryland at College Park; Dept of Energy, Washington, DC

Gerrit J. van der Lingen, PhD, geologist and paleoclimatologist, climate change consultant, Geoscience Research and Investigations, New Zealand

Len Walker, PhD, Power Engineering, Australia

Edward J. Wegman, PhD, Department of Computational and Data Sciences, George Mason University, Virginia

Stephan Wilksch, PhD, Professor for Innovation and Technology Management, Production Management and Logistics, University of Technolgy and Economics Berlin, Germany

Boris Winterhalter, PhD, senior marine researcher (retired), Geological Survey of Finland, former professor in marine geology, University of Helsinki, Finland

David E. Wojick, PhD, P.Eng., energy consultant, Virginia

Raphael Wust, PhD, Lecturer, Marine Geology/Sedimentology, James Cook University, Australia

A. Zichichi, PhD, President of the World Federation of Scientists, Geneva, Switzerland; Emeritus Professor of Advanced Physics, University of Bologna, Italy

The Waxman-Markey Climate Change Bill (Part1)……What is it?

I will apologize in advance for posting so much information that is already in the public domain but I thought if I can put it all in one place maybe you could scan it and use it as a reference with Part 2  – nobody wants to read it not even congress. 

First up we have a summary of the bill from the legislators that wrote/sponsored it. 

The U.S. House of Representatives – Committee on Energy and Commerce 

The Waxman-Markey discussion draft, “The American Clean Energy and Security Act of 2009,” is comprehensive energy legislation. The legislation will create millions of new clean energy jobs, save consumers hundreds of billions of dollars in energy costs, enhance America’s energy independence, and cut global warming pollution. 

The legislation has four titles: (1) a “clean energy” title that promotes renewable sources of energy and carbon capture and sequestration technologies, low-carbon transportation fuels, clean electric vehicles, and the smart grid and electricity transmission; (2) an “energy efficiency” title that increases energy efficiency across all sectors of the economy, including buildings, appliances, transportation, and industry; (3) a “global warming” title that places limits on the emissions of heat-trapping pollutants; and (4) a “transitioning” title that protects U.S. consumers and industry and promotes green jobs during the transition to a clean energy economy. 

To read the entire draft bill go to:

http://energycommerce.house.gov/Press_111/20090331/acesa_discussiondraft.pdf 

So how does the bill deal with cap & tax? Below is a summary from GreenBiz.com: 

The bill aims to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 17 percent below 2005 levels by 2020 and would give away up to 85 percent of the pollution permits in a proposed cap-and-trade program.  

Here is the breakdown of the permit allocation:

• 15 percent of the carbon permits will be auctioned off (proceeds will go toward helping low- and moderate-income families)

The rest will be given away as follows:

• 35 percent for electric utility sector, including 30 percent for distribution companies and 5 percent for privately owned coal companies
• 15 percent for carbon-intensive industries, such as steel and cement, in 2014 (reduced by 2 percent every year)
• 10 percent for states for renewable energy and efficiency investment from 2012 to 2015 (reduced to 5 percent between 2016 to 2022)
• 9 percent for local natural gas distribution companies (reduced to zero between 2026 and 2030)
• 5 percent for tropical deforestation projects
• 3 percent for automakers toward advanced technologies through 2017 (reduced to 1 percent from 2018 and 2025)
• 2 percent for domestic adaptation to climate change between 2012 and 2021 (increases to 4 percent between 2022 to 2026, to 8 percent in 2027)
• 2 percent for international adaptation and clean technology transfer from 2012 to 2021 (increases to 4 percent between 2022 to 2026, to 8 percent in 2027)
• 2 percent for carbon capture and storage technology from 2014 and 2017 (increases to 5 percent after 2018)
• 2 percent for oil refineries from 2014 to 2026
• 1.5 percent for programs helping home heating oil and propane users (reduced to zero between 2026 and 2030)
• 1 percent for Clean Energy Innovation Centers for R&D funding
• 0.5 percent for job training from 2012 to 2021 (increases to 1 percent after 2022)
 

There is a combined renewable energy and energy efficiency standard of 20 percent by 2020 (15 percent for renewable energy and 5 percent in energy efficiency). If a state cannot meet the requirement, its governor may cut the renewable target to 12 percent and boost the energy efficiency goal to 8 percent.“This bill marks the dawn of the clean energy age,” said Subcommittee Chairman Edward Markey (D-Mass.) in a statement. “This is a once-in-a-generation opportunity to revive our economy and create millions of good-paying clean energy jobs.”

 

The bill, however, has some environmental groups expressing concern and recommending outright rejection.

“Congressmen Waxman and Markey have done an admirable job satisfying a lot of competing interests,” Liz Perera, Washington representative for Union of Concerned Scientists’ Climate Program in a statement. “But now, as the bill moves forward, Congress needs to strengthen many of the bill’s provisions to ensure that we dramatically cut emissions, save consumers money, and strengthen our economy with a well-designed climate and energy policy.”Greenpeace, Friends of the Earth, Public Citizen and TheCLEAN.org coalition are calling for politicians to dump the bill and start over. 

 

Next we have a response document from GOP.gov, The website of Republicans in Congress: 

The Waxman-Markey Climate Legislation: Higher Energy Prices, Fewer Jobs, and More Government Intrusion

STATUS

On March 31, 2009, House Energy and Commerce Chairman Waxman (D-CA) and Energy and Environment Subcommittee Chairman Markey (D-MA) released their draft “American Clean Energy and Security” legislation. Both Chairman Waxman and Chairman Markey plan on considering their bill in Committee over the next few weeks.

Under my plan of a cap and trade system electricity rates would necessarily skyrocket … that will cost money. They will pass that money on to consumers … -President Barack Obama, Meeting with the Editorial Board at the San Francisco Chronicle, January, 2008

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

Just shy of 650 pages, the Waxman-Markey bill contains four sections outlining mandates for renewable energy, mandates for energy efficiency, an incomplete cap-and-tax proposal, and a “transitioning” section focused on forestalling expected job loss. With regard to the cap-and-tax proposal in the bill, there are no specifics on how CO2 emissions allowances would be allocated to energy producers-in other words, will they be free or auctioned, and at what price. Therefore, the bill provides little for the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) to use to calculate its economic impact. However, in contrast to the details which are conveniently left out of the bill, there are plenty of details on how the plan increases energy prices, strains the economy, reduces jobs, and intrudes into private citizens lives.

– Higher Energy Prices: The bill imposes a national cap-and-tax regime that will tax every domestic energy producer for their carbon emissions-a tax which will inevitably be passed onto consumers. Independent researchers, CBO, and the President all agree that this cost will be passed to consumers. Furthermore, other provisions in the bill also increase the cost of energy, such as a new federal renewable electricity standard that will likely cause electricity prices to spike.

– Fewer Jobs: The bill does little to address the enormous loss of jobs that will ensue when U.S. industries absorb the cost of the cap-and-tax plan and other provisions, likely sending millions of American jobs overseas. In addition, the bill mandates undeveloped technologies for coal-fired plants, causing coal-fired plants to close when they cannot comply with federal regulation.

– More Government Intrusion: The bill creates a host of new federal mandates on everything from outdoor light bulbs and table lamps to water dispensers, commercial hot food cabinets, and Jacuzzis. The bill would also increase the demand for electricity (to fuel vehicles via new transportation mandates) at the same time as the other portions of the bill cause consumer electricity costs to spike.

To read the full response with point by point rebuttal go to:
http://www.gop.gov/policy-news/09/04/21/the-waxman-markey-climate-legislation 

This might be the most dangerous piece of legislation to come out of the House of Representatives this year from an economic impact standpoint (which considering what they have done so far that is saying something). This piece of legislation is Al Gore and environmentalists dream come true. Well almost, apparently the folks at Greenpeace and tree hugger.com can not support the bill in its’ watered down form. It is 650 pages of economic devastation and of course, nobody had time to read it. So in case the request was made for the bill to be read out loud as is often required the Democrats hired a speed reader – this is not a joke – they really hired a speed reader! 

First, let me say I do not really trust the Republicans or the Democrats in this dispute. However, common sense tells you that there are a multitude of unanswered questions in the global warming debate. This should lead one to wonder who the winners and losers in this are going to be. History shows that any time the government wants to create regulations like these somebody is going to get rich. More to come…..

A story that hits closer to home………65,000+ jobs lost

There is an industry in America that is generally overlooked by almost everyone, yet it touches almost every industry and every home. Direct mail, printing and related services employ approximately 9 million people in the U.S. generating $900 billion a year in revenue. The printing and mailing industry in partnership with USPS generate and deliver 203 billion pieces of mail per year. Often the butt of jokes, Americans take for granted the exceptional level of service we receive from the USPS. 

I have made my living for over 30 years in the printing and mailing industry. In that time I have never seen the industry in this bad a shape. The recent economic meltdown has had a major effect on the USPS, direct mail and related industries. The tightened credit markets and the mortgage crisis have virtually destroyed an entire sector of the direct mail market. Couple this with a massive slowdown in consumer spending and retail sales, you have the perfect storm. Mail volumes have dropped drastically, resulting in the elimination of approximately 50,000 USPS jobs in the last 7 months and record revenue losses. The mailing/printing industry also lost over 15,000 jobs in the same period. 

(Value of Mail – USPS) – “For more than 230 years, the Postal Service has delivered mail to every citizen regardless of address – six days a week. But the Postal Service may be forced to curtail its’ operations due to legislative efforts to reduce the volume of Standard Mail or advertising mail. This includes mail such as catalogs, retail offers, coupons and ads for local services. Efforts to reduce the amount of advertising mail could undermine the economics of mail and require the USPS to make difficult choices about the kinds of services it is able to provide Americans. The postage paid on letters, checks and bills (First Class Mail) is not nearly enough to fund today’s universal service mail system”. Standard mail is actually the most highly prepared mail the USPS receives and handles making it the most profitable. 

While the industry tries to deal with the problems I have already mentioned it also remains under attack directly and indirectly. There are attempts to impose government regulation through “Do Not Mail” legislation, the constant misinformation about the industry’s environmental impact and identity theft concerns. Government, environmental groups and consumers do not understand or appreciate our industry’s role in the economy or the self regulation measures we have adopted to address concerns from recycling, waste reduction, privacy protection and forest stewardship. 

In 2007 American businesses spent about $284 billion on advertising their products and services. Of this 21.5% or $61 billion was spent on direct mail. A common complaint from proponents of “Do Not Mail” legislation is that consumers are continually bombarded with mail they do not want. However this does not have to be the case as the industry, the postal service and credit bureaus already provided consumers ways to selectively manage the mail they receive. All provide opt out choices on both an individual advertiser or category basis. Some of these services are listed below: 

For pre-screened credit card and insurance offers go to http://www.optoutprescreen.com or call (888) 567-8688 

For catalogs and other advertising mail go to: DMA Choice at https://www.dmachoice.org and set up your mailbox preferences. This site is sponsored by the Direct Marketing Association an organization that supports both the industry and consumer in maintaining a customer and environmentally friendly mail system. 

Also individual advertisers welcome your direct feedback. You can contact them directly and ask to be removed from their mail list. Unwelcome direct mail is a bad investment for the advertiser so your feedback is appreciated by them even though it might seem negative. 

There is also an extremely negative perception of the environmental impact of direct mail. Here are a few facts about how green our industry really is: 

Forestry – Currently in the U.S. there are over 1,600 paper companies and printers who are members of the Forest Stewardship Council. FSC is an international organization dedicated to green and sustainable forestry practices worldwide.

The wood products industry (which paper companies are a large part of) in North America plants more trees than it harvests each year. As a result, the amount of U.S. forestland today is about the same as it was in the early 1900’s despite a dramatic rise in population.*

Recycling – 66% of the U.S. population has access to recycling for magazines, catalog and direct mail paper as a result 55% of all paper consumed in the U.S. was recovered for recycling in 2007.*

Last year, the Direct Marketing Association (DMA) successfully worked with the Federal Trade Commission to legalize the placement of the DMA “Recycle Please” logo on direct mail to encourage recycling. Prior to that time, the FTC considered it an unfair business practice for direct marketers to use the logo because there was no conclusive research demonstrating that a majority of consumers had access to recycling for direct mail. Now due to DMA’s efforts, many catalogers are using the logo and participating in a nationwide “Recycle Please” program to raise consumer awareness about the new opportunity and capacity to recycle catalogs and direct mail pieces throughout the US. Through this program, DMA intends to improve the overall recovery rate for catalogs and other “mixed paper.”*

Greenhouse Gas Reduction – Shopping by mail-order or through a catalog replaces shopping trips made by car. This reduces gasoline consumption and carbon dioxide emissions from vehicles. In fact, by replacing just two shopping trips to the mall each year, Americans could eliminate 3.3 billion driving miles, reduce emissions by 3 billion pounds, and save more than $490 million on gas costs.*

 Going Green – Last year, the Direct Marketing Association adopted the “Green 15,” a set of standard business practices to reduce our environmental impact. These recommendations will encourage the direct mail community to focus on using more recycled, certified paper, reducing paper size, and decreasing unwanted and undeliverable mailings by improving list management and targeting.*

The USPS – The postal service has a wide variety of green initiatives covering everything from their delivery vehicle fleet, delivery route optimization, facilities management, internal recycling programs to eliminating undeliverable as addressed mail and educational campaigns such as “environMAIList” a program which encourages green practices in business mailing policies & production. The USPS has already become a recognized leader in environmental stewardship having won over 70 major environmental awards including 40 prestigious White House Closing the Circle Awards.

 For more information on industry environmental efforts visit: 

Sustainable Forestry Initiative at – http://www.sfiprogram.org

Forest Stewardship Council at – http://www.fsc.org

The USPS at http://www.usps.com/green

Direct Marketing Association at – http://www.the-dma.org 

* = source DMA 

Last, there are the concerns regarding identity theft through the USPS. According to the Federal Trade Commission only 2% of all identity theft results from mail. The most common sources for identity theft are online or in-person commercial transactions, theft by a personal acquaintance or family member or loss of a wallet.

The Postal Inspection Service has formed an alliance with banking, credit card, retail, airline and law enforcement representatives known as the Financial Industry Mail Security Initiative. This collaboration allows the inspection service, law enforcement and private companies to pool resources and information to target criminals and fraud schemes. Through this collaboration effective strategies are developed to prevent and deter fraud schemes. The Postal Inspection service also leads the Alliance for Consumer Fraud Awareness, a program that informs consumers  about overseas fraud activities that target Americans with a variety of fake check, money order and charity schemes. 

For more information on identity protection and mail fraud visit: 

The Postal Inspection Service at http://postalinspectors.uspis.gov 

The Alliance for Consumer Fraud Awareness at http://www.fakechecks.org 

The Federal Trade Commission at: http://www.ftc.gov 

As I hope you can see direct mail while not perfect, is a responsible, environmentally conscious industry. In spite of all the job losses and set backs of the past 18 months we are not asking for a bail out. However, we are an integral part of the U.S. economy directly employing millions of Americans and contributing $900 billion a year to the CDP. 

Catalogs and advertising mailers have been around since Ben Franklin produced the first mail order catalog in 1774. The mail is used to raise over $200 billion a year in charitable donations covering everything from medical research to famine relief. Direct mail and the U.S. Postal Service are both a part of Americana. The postal service according to recent surveys remains the most trusted government agency by citizens with an 83% rating compared to an average of all other agencies of only 47%. (source: 2007 Privacy Study) 

Our goal as an industry must now be to educate consumers and law makers of the value we provide to the economy and the quality of life in the U.S. For those of us in the industry it has been a difficult 18 months watching tens of thousands of our fellow workers in graphic arts and related industries lose their jobs. The economic down turn has been tough to weather but the prospects of facing even deeper losses due to the misperceptions about the industry by detractors who don’t understand it is unfathomable. If you think that advertising mail is just “junk mail” please use the resources I have provided and give us another look before you decide your position on this valuable industry. If you already understand the value of mail, please write your congressional and state legislators and let them know where you stand. Eliminating advertising mail is eliminating jobs and is not the answer to protecting the environment, your identity or your mailbox.

The Truth about Change…..there is plenty of change but is it really what you want……

“Sometimes I wonder whether the world is being run by smart people who are putting us on, or by imbeciles who really mean it.” -Mark Twain 

So in a 100+ days we have seen more sweeping changes in our government than we have in the last 25 years, but is it the change we want? We have witnessed a full scale assault on our system of government, our economy, our security, states’ rights and our national sovereignty. Government spending, intervention, regulation and oversight is at an all-time high. Our Constitution is being shredded by an arrogant approach to governing that starts with the premise that the government knows what is best for us. Ironically,  the Constitution was written and designed to protect our rights from just this type of governing. 

Here is a quick list of some of the adventures the new administration and the current Congress have taken us on so far, in no particular order: 

The Stimulus Bill – (N.Y. Times) Feb 14th “The president made clear when we started this process that this was about jobs,” Mr. Boehner (R) Ohio, said after the vote. “Jobs. Jobs. Jobs. And what it’s turned into is nothing more than spending, spending and more spending.” “Never let a serious crisis go to waste. What I mean by that is it’s an opportunity to do things you couldn’t do before.” – White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel This was undoubtedly part of the logic behind the $787 million stimulus bill that nobody in Congress read. The bill was a democrat’s wish list which contained such stimulating items as $1 billion for Amtrak, the federal railroad that hasn’t turned a profit in 40 years; $2 billion for child-care subsidies; $50 million for that great engine of job creation, the National Endowment for the Arts; $400 million for global-warming research and another $2.4 billion for carbon-capture demonstration projects. There’s even $650 million on top of the billions already doled out to pay for digital TV conversion coupons.  Plus  $252 billion is for income-transfer payments — that is, not investments that arguably help everyone, but cash or benefits to individuals for doing nothing at all. There’s $81 billion for Medicaid, $36 billion for expanded unemployment benefits, $20 billion for food stamps, and $83 billion for the earned income credit for people who don’t pay income tax. While some of that may be justified to help poorer Americans ride out the recession, they aren’t job creators.*  source* -The Wall Street Journal  The only jobs we are creating are government jobs – 66,000 census workers and 800 IRS agents.  (Category – Excessive Spending) 

Closing Guantanamo Bay – On Jan. 22nd, President Obama signed an executive order to close Guantanamo Bay.  On May 18th, the democrats denied President Obama’s request for $80 million to close Guantanamo Bay. “When they (the administration) have a plan, they’re welcome to come back and talk to us about it.” – House Appropriations Chairman David Obey (D-WI) Apparently, lawmakers are concerned about what would happen to the roughly 245 current Guantanamo inmates, many considered hardened terrorists particularly which congressional districts they would land in. Rep. Frank Wolf (R., Va.) said the Justice Dept. was prepared earlier this month to release Guantanamo prisoners into his district — which the administration denied — and he called for a moratorium on such releases. “We need a plan. We need to know where these men will go,” Mr. Wolf said. (Category – National Security) 

Release of the “torture memos” – April16th,  (CBS News) -“Withholding these memos would only serve to deny facts that have been in the public domain for some time,” Mr. Obama said. “This could contribute to an inaccurate accounting of the past, and fuel erroneous and inflammatory assumptions about actions taken by the United States.”  (WSJ) – “The four memos from 2002 and 2005 revealed new details about the interrogations, including a detailed description of water boarding, or simulated drowning, and descriptions of lesser-known methods such as “walling” and using insects. Sections involving names of some detainees and the way techniques were applied to particular prisoners were blacked out.” This should really improve our national security and relations with Muslims everywhere. The administration’s arrogance was on full display as this was done over the objections of their own CIA Chief Leon Panetta and others in the U.S. intelligence community. (Category – National Security) 

Greenhouse gases are harmful – April 17th, The Obama Administration used its’ regulatory power to circumvent the need to try and force unpopular legislation. Instead, the EPA announced that greenhouse gas emissions were a threat to public health because they contribute to climate change. This sets the stage for the EPA to regulate emissions from a wide spectrum of sources including vehicles, power plants, manufacturing facilities, oil refineries and airplanes. The executive branch trumped the legislative process to further their agenda by cutting off a congressional debate that they couldn’t win. We still live in America – don’t we? (Category – Excessive Government Regulation) 

The apology tour – President Obama has made a habit of using his speeches abroad to apologize for American behavior in the past. Here are some highlights.

Ÿ         Jan. 26: “All too often the United States starts by dictating … and we don’t always know all the factors that are involved. So let’s listen. And I think if we do that, then there’s a possibility at least of achieving some breakthroughs. … My job to the Muslim world is to communicate that the Americans are not your enemy. We sometimes make mistakes. We have not been perfect.”
President Obama, in an interview with Al Arabiya

Ÿ         April 1: “If you look at the sources of this crisis, the United States certainly has some accounting to do with respect to a regulatory system that was inadequate.”
President Obama, at a press conference ahead of the G20 in London

Ÿ         April 2: “It is true, as my Italian friend has said, that the (economic) crisis began in the U.S. I take responsibility, even if I wasn’t even president at the time.”
President Obama, at the G20 in London, as reported by Germany’s Der Spiegel

Ÿ         April 6: “I know there have been difficulties these last few years. I know that the trust that binds us has been strained, and I know that strain is shared in many places where the Muslim faith is practiced. Let me say this as clearly as I can: the United States is not at war with Islam.”
President Obama, in Ankara, Turkey

Ÿ         April 16: “Too often, the United States has not pursued and sustained engagement with our neighbors. We have been too easily distracted by other priorities and have failed to see that our own progress is tied directly to progress throughout the Americas. My administration is committed to renewing and sustaining a broader partnership between the United States and the hemisphere on behalf of our common prosperity and our common security.”
President Obama, in an op-ed that appeared in U.S. and Latin American newspapers prior to the Summit of the Americas

Ÿ         April 18: “We have at times been disengaged, and at times we sought to dictate our terms. But I pledge to you that we seek an equal partnership. There is no senior partner and junior partner in our relations.”
President Obama, at the Summit of the Americas in Port of Spain, Trinidad

Ÿ         Is this a new form of “statesmanship”? Are these the positions that we want our leader expressing to the rest of the world. We are not a perfect nation but we are a good and generous one. We give the rest of the world billions of dollars a year in foreign aid and relief efforts trying to make it a better place. Let’s be honest – the hardworking people of our country are not the ones who are benefiting from the political hi-jinx that our politicians pull around the world – they and their cronies do! The only thing, “We, the people” need to apologize for is electing some of these idiots, in the first place. 

Remember the words of George Washington“’Tis folly in one Nation to look for disinterested favors from another; that it must pay with a portion of its Independence for whatever it may accept under that character; that by such acceptance, it may place itself in the condition of having given equivalents for nominal favors and yet of being reproached with ingratitude for not giving more. There can be no greater error than to expect, or calculate upon real favors from Nation to Nation. ‘Tis an illusion which experience must cure, which a just pride ought to discard. …….. ‘Tis our true policy to steer clear of permanent Alliances, with any portion of the foreign world.” (Categories – National Security/Foreign Policy/National Sovereignty) 

The Chrysler Bailout/Bankruptcy – (N.Y.Times) WASHINGTON — President Obama forced Chrysler into federal bankruptcy protection on Thursday so it could pursue a lifesaving alliance with the Italian automaker Fiat, in yet another extraordinary intervention into private industry by the federal government.  – This intervention resulted in the UAW getting a 55% ownership share in Chrysler for about $4.2 billion while the taxpayers got about 8% for our $12 billion. Really! This is the kind of good deals you get when the government gets involved with business. So far the buy out has only saved union and management jobs . On the other side of the equation, the 789 dealerships closing will result in the loss of another 30,000 jobs in communities of every size nationwide. Many of these are family run businesses left holding inventories of cars and parts. Watch out GM is next. (Categories – Excessive Spending/Government Intervention) 

The G20 Rollover –  (Telegraph.co.uk) A single clause in Point 19 of the communiqué issued by the G20 leaders amounts to revolution in the global financial order. “We have agreed to support a general SDR allocation which will inject $250bn (£170bn) into the world economy and increase global liquidity,” it said. SDRs are Special Drawing Rights, a synthetic paper currency issued by the International Monetary Fund that has lain dormant for half a century. In effect, the G20 leaders have activated the IMF’s power to create money and begin global “quantitative easing”. With this agreement President Obama helped lay the groundwork for global financial regulation. The creation of a Financial Stability Board is the first step towards an international financial regulator. These moves are designed to strengthen the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund and possibly create a new world currency. In the future, the FSB could/will technically be able to impose global financial regulations that the SEC would be obliged to follow. Welcome to the New World Order, goodbye sovereignty! (Categories – Economic Security/Foreign Policy/National Sovereignty) 

Executive Pay Limits – May 15th  , (N.Y. Times), Obama Administration officials are contemplating a major overhaul of the compensation practices in the financial services industry, moving beyond banks to include more loosely regulated hedge funds and private equity firms. Federal policymakers have been discussing ways to ensure that pay is more closely linked to performance. Representative Barney Frank, the Massachusetts Democrat who heads the Financial Services Committee, said he believed giving the government new authority to take over troubled companies could be adopted by the House. “This would give the government the same powers that you would get as if the company were in bankruptcy,” Mr. Frank said in an interview shortly after meeting with Mr. Geithner on the plan. But Mr. Frank and other lawmakers said other elements of the plan could take more time, like expanding the authority of the Federal Reserve to become a systemic regulator. Among the ideas under consideration are incorporating compensation as a “safety and soundness” concern on official bank examinations as well as expanding the existing regulatory powers of the Securities and Exchange Commission and Federal Reserve to obtain more information. This sounds an awful lot like socialism, today banks, financial services companies and hedge funds – tomorrow?  Is your job next?   And ….. Where in the constitution does the government get this authority? I guess if you control salaries the redistribution of wealth model is easier to manage.   (Categories – Government Intervention) 

The administration will tell you that all of this is being done to protect the country and for the general welfare of its’ citizens. To which our founding fathers would have responded as follows: 

“With respect to the two words ‘general welfare,’ I have always regarded them as qualified by the detail of powers connected with them. To take them in a literal and unlimited sense would be a metamorphosis of the Constitution into a character which there is a host of proofs was not contemplated by its creators.” James Madison 

This only a handful of the examples that illustrate that the federal government is out of control. There are many more spanning a broad spectrum of categories from nationalizing private businesses, retroactive taxes, state’s rights, financial regulation and continued bailouts to plans to “reform” health care , gun laws, cap & trade and card check. It is the time to this stop madness. 

We are careening down the road toward socialism at an incredible rate of speed. Politics long ago replaced leadership, statesmanship and governing. The elected officials and bureaucrats in Washington have thrown our constitution and all the values used to create it out the window. The federal government  has pushed citizens and the states aside, in an effort to take total control. We can not let this happen. You need to write or contact every elected official in your voting district. Tell them to cease and desist or they will lose their jobs. The time to act is now. Let’s take back America!

Obamanomics 101, closing the loopholes ……..

(NPR, All Things Considered) May 4, 2009 · President Obama sent a broadside Monday across the bow of those companies that now avoid taxes by keeping much of their business on the books of offshore subsidiaries. The practice is perfectly legal right now (1), but the White House wants that to change. 

President Obama vowed Monday to “detect and pursue” American tax evaders(2) and go after their offshore tax shelters. 

In announcing a series of steps aimed at overhauling the U.S. tax code, Obama complained that existing law makes it possible to “pay lower taxes if you create a job in Bangalore, India, than if you create one in Buffalo, N.Y.” 

The president said he wants to prevent U.S. companies from deferring tax payments by keeping profits in foreign countries rather than recording them at home, and called for more transparency in bank accounts that Americans hold in notorious tax havens like the Cayman Islands. 

“If financial institutions won’t cooperate with us, we will assume that they are sheltering money in tax havens and act accordingly,” Obama said. (3) 

The president, who hammered on this issue during his long campaign for the White House, said at a White House event that his plan would generate $210 billion in new taxes over 10 years and “make it easier” for companies to create jobs at home. (4) Over a decade, $210 billion would make a modest dent in a federal deficit expected to swell to $1.2 trillion in 2010. 

He said the government also is hiring nearly 800 new IRS agents to enforce the U.S. tax code. (5) 

Under the plan, companies would not be able to write off domestic expenses for generating profits abroad. The goal is to reduce the incentive for U.S. companies to base all or part of their operations in other countries. (6a) 

“The plan will reduce the ability of U.S. companies to compete in foreign markets,” said John Castellani, who heads the Business Roundtable, which represents some of the largest U.S. companies. “We believe it will not only reduce jobs, but it will also cripple economic growth here in the United States. It just couldn’t have come at a worse time.”

Gary Hufbauer, a senior fellow with the Peterson Institute for International Economics, says eliminating the deduction on U.S. expenses associated with foreign profits would encourage multinationals to move more of their essential functions abroad. (6b) 

“Those are the good jobs at good pay that America should want,” Hufbauer said. “I mean, do we want these headquarters’ expenses to be incurred in Singapore or London?” (6c) 

Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner said the proposals would end “indefensible tax breaks and loopholes which allow some companies and some well-off citizens to evade the rules that the rest of America lives by.” (7) Geithner called them “common-sense changes designed to restore balance to our tax code.” 

Once again I ask you  – can you believe what you just read? I highlighted in the copy some key statements woven into this story. Here are my observations based on these key statements in the same order they appear in the story. 

  1. First and very important to note, while the administration may not like it, the practice they are complaining about is not illegal.
  2. Even though it is not illegal, the President referred to the users of this “legal loophole” as “American tax evaders.” He also vowed to “detect and pursue” them. What does that mean? If it’s not illegal, does this mean the administration plans to bully, harass and attempt to publicly embarrass these companies? At a minimum it means that Obama’s full scale assault on capitalism and American business will continue. The administration seems to be intent on making the business community the bad guys for everything in the eyes of the public. Of course, the savior for the average citizen in “Obama World” is more government oversight and control.
  3. Now for the scariest statement in the article “If financial institutions won’t cooperate with us, we will assume that they are sheltering money in tax havens and act accordingly,”  – what does he mean by this? In America, there is a presumption of innocence until proven guilty. We don’t assume guilt and persecute. Plus let’s not forget that what these companies are doing is not illegal under the current rules. The financial institutes the President is referring to are in foreign countries so what is their incentive to cooperate with his administration? So without the cooperation of these foreign institutes the result will mostly likely be a smear campaign against these “evil corporations”.
  4. The President goes on to assert that by closing these loopholes it will “make it easier” for companies to create jobs at home. What?? So paying higher taxes will stimulate job growth? What school of economics teaches this business theory? This quite possibly the dumbest thing I have heard from the administration so far.
  5. We are also finally getting to see how the president is going to stimulate job growth. He is going to make government bigger by adding IRS agents to persecute real businesses. This will result in increased job loss in the private sector. Is it possible to have a prosperous economy with a giant government workforce? Who are you going to tax in that model? The last time this model was tried we referred to it as the Soviet Union and as I recall their economy collapsed.
  6. (a, b,& c) In yet another stroke of business genius, the administration asserts that by eliminating certain write off and deductions it will reduce the incentive for U.S. companies to base all or part of their operations in other countries. However, conventional wisdom would indicate just the opposite is likely to occur. Rather than moving things back to the U.S., it is more likely that large multinational companies would move their headquarters offshore taking high paying executive and management positions with them.
  7. Of course this brilliant strategy would not have been be complete without a comment on this “common sense” approach to fair taxes by everyone’s favorite “tax evader” Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner who is certainly an expert on “indefensible tax breaks and loopholes which allow ……some well-off citizens to evade the rules that the rest of America lives by.” Apparently it is O.K. to be a “tax cheat” as long as you have a cabinet post but “make no mistake”, this won’t be tolerated in the private sector. The arrogance of this administration is at times overwhelming considering how little any of them seem to understand about how business works in the real world. Maybe they should all go get a job at a company that produces a product. Then they could learn what it takes to satisfy customers, to stay competitive, and make a profit so that the business can succeed. 

So what is the solution – instead of creating more ways to tax businesses which drives jobs to other countries, let’s lower business taxes to stimulate job growth domestically. The U.S. has some of the highest business taxes in the industrialized world which is why jobs are leaving the country. The U.S. has been steadily climbing the world rankings for business taxes. We are currently ranked #1. Since 2000, Japan, Germany, France, Canada, Greece, Italy and Mexico have all lowered their business taxes to stimulate business growth, some by more than 10%. Since 1993 U.S. business tax rates have remained virtually flat. Currently, the effective federal business tax rate is 39.3% in the U.S. which is down from 39.4% in 2000. Japan is at 30% down from 40.9% in 2000. However most of Europe has rates between 25 and 35%. Of course, China arguably the world’s largest competitor is communist and they succeed in the global economy on the back of their people and the ability to play by their own rules. 

This administration has capitalism and business squarely in it’s sights. America became the great nation it is by becoming the preeminent economic force in the world. Government jobs do not improve the economy or the GNP. The only way that America can remain a powerful and respected nation that can protect its’ people, its’ sovereignty and its’ way of life is to remain an economic powerhouse. The only way this happens is, we change our tax laws to make America more competitive, instead of forcing us to compete with one hand tied behind our back. 

I have made the tough decisions, always with an eye toward the bottom line. Perhaps it’s time America was run like a business. – Donald Trump 

The budget should be balanced, the treasury should be refilled, the public debt should be reduced and the arrogance of public officials should be controlled.  – Ross Perot

You’ve got to stand for something or you’ll fall for anything……………

This is the chorus from a country song that is so grounded in common sense that you wonder why more people don’t get it. I thought about the song as I was listening to a group of radio political pundits debate whether the Republican Party needed a makeover to re-establish its’ clout. Ironically, most of the debate was about style over substance and if the party should move more to the center or more to the right.

As I listened to their babbling I couldn’t help but think that political parties are supposed to represent an ideology that is based on a system of values. So if that is true – how much room do they really have to move before they begin to compromise their beliefs?

It seems that politics today is more about winning the election than it is about a commitment to principles and values. Ideally, candidates in a political contest would debate clearly articulated points of differentiation providing the voters a choice between approaches to problem solving and philosophies of governing. 

However, the political strategists of the day seem content with and adept at blurring those lines. Combine that with a little help from the media and often you don’t know who you are really electing until the election is over and the candidate is in office. This by the way is not a shot at any single elected official but rather a comment on the sad state of our political system. Both parties are guilty! 

Back to our pundits – they talked about strategies to recruit younger, better looking, more energetic candidates. They suggested a need for candidates who had a better TV presence and were more gifted speakers. One of the esteemed panel even went as far as to say that the content of the message doesn’t matter as much as how it is delivered. 

I am not sure what horrifies me more; the fact that this might be true or that we have become a nation of media junkies. It seems we are no longer capable of telling the difference between a commercial and the program. 

What I never heard discussed by the panel was the importance of leadership, experience, a record of performance and a well defined ideology by which the candidate would govern. Aren’t these the characteristics that you would want to understand about a candidate that you were considering voting for? 

However, this is the real rub. The candidates aren’t the only ones that have to stand for something. As voters, our responsibilities are the same as the candidate’s. We need to invest enough time in the process that we have well thought out and defined positions on the issues. We also have a responsibility to understand, at least conceptually how the candidate will solve a problem or address an issue. 

Unfortunately, far too many of us don’t make the time to study the issues instead we get our news in sound bites. We vote for what sounds “good” without ever knowing if it is good. In the end the only ones that can hold the candidates accountable are the voters. This accountability should start on the campaign trail not once they are in office. There should be no surprises once elected. If we understand the issues and set expectations of our elected officials we won’t have to worry about “falling for anything.” 

So in the end the pundits got it all wrong! It is not about if the Republicans should move right, center or left. It is not about if they should be more moderate or more conservative. It is about both parties deciding what they stand for and sticking to it. Both parties need to use the election process to honestly sell their views and let the voters decide.

If you lose, you try again next time but you don’t sell out your principles to get in office and then rediscover them once elected. That is corrupt and corruption will destroy trust in the government. When the government loses the trust of the people the country will cease to be great. 

Restore the Republic, Reject the Socialistic Agenda of the Progressive Left!

One of the key problems today is that politics is such a disgrace; good people don’t go into government. – Donald Trump