Fool Mental Junket

A new poll on Americans’ domestic policy concerns was released this week by the Pew Research Center. Unsurprisingly, Americans believe the economy and jobs are the two top priorities – each rated a priority by over 80% of respondents – followed closely by terrorism at 76%. Out of twenty possibilities, global warming finished dead last – rated as a priority by a mere 30% of respondents.

Meanwhile, a recent Rasmussen poll shows that a plurality of US voters believe climate change is not caused by man but a result of natural planetary trends. Opinion on the seriousness of the issue is widely divergent based on political affiliation:

While 64% of Democrats say global warming is a Very Serious problem, just 18% of Republicans and 33% of unaffiliated voters agree.

With Barack Obama and the new Congress focused heavily on economic recovery, it’s interesting to note that 46% of voters believe there is a conflict between economic growth and environmental protection. Thirty-two percent (32%) see no such conflict, however, and 22% are not sure.

One would think that with legislation supposing we can tinker with the global thermostat ranking dead last as a priority and a near majority of people understanding the detrimental affect environmental rules have on economic growth, Washington might temper its enthusiasm for imposing the financial burden of a carbon rationing scheme on American businesses and consumers.

Whoever might think that doesn’t know Henry Waxman.

The chairman of a key House committee said Thursday he will move “quickly and decisively” to push legislation curbing greenhouse gases with a goal of passing climate legislation out of his committee before Memorial Day.

Rep. Henry Waxman, D-Calif., opening the new Congress’ first hearing on the threats from global warming, said inaction on the climate issue is causing uncertainties that make it more difficult to emerge from the recession.

“Our environment and our economy depend on congressional action to confront the threat of climate change and secure our energy independence,” said Waxman.How increased energy prices across all segments of the US economy will make it less difficult to emerge from the recession remains to be seem. In actuality, Waxman’s words are just another invocation of “saving the economy through increased taxation and redistribution of funds to favored industries”. Forcing Americans to pay more for energy – the end result of either cap-and-trade schemes or carbon taxes – cannot possibly strengthen the economy. It merely snatches money away from businesses and consumers.

Waxman and especially Pelosi will want the cover of “bipartisanship” when foisting their carbon taxapalooza upon the voters. Republicans need to sit this abomination out en masse so the full shame and blame falls where it belongs.

Americans had better realize what they’re getting as Pelosi and Waxman maneuver to impose their brand of “California politics” on the entire nation:

*California leads the country in spending on government employees.

*California spends twice as much as the national average on education (with dismal results).

*California has the most draconian anti-business rules and regulations in the nation. That forces businesses to spend too much. The result is that California is the most costly place in America to do business (according to the Milken Institute’s business cost index).

*California is heaven for trial lawyers and hell for small businesses. That could be why so many major employers have left the state (according to Investor’s Business Daily).

*California has the second highest income tax rates in all of America. And it is among the nation’s leaders in virtually every tax category possible- income taxes, business taxes, sales taxes, property taxes, taxes on real estate transactions, taxes on stock transactions, capital gains taxes, workers compensation taxes, the list is endless.

The results:
*Over the next 18 months, California is facing (according to the Governor) a budget deficit of over $40 billion dollars- and that may prove to be conservative.

*California is reduced to begging the federal government for a bailout. There is no other solution on the table. But one year after a federal bailout, the state would undoubtedly be $20 billion (or more) in debt again.

*California has been given the lowest bond ratings of any state in America (soon no one will dare to loan a penny to California). That little problem costs California’s taxpayers millions of wasted dollars per year in increased interest costs.

*In the 1970’s California led the nation in job growth. Since 2000, California’s job growth is 20% lower than the nation. But it’s not just any jobs that California is losing. According to the California Manufacturers and Technology Association, the state has lost 440,000 high-wage jobs.

*California’s unemployment rate is now the 3rd highest in the nation.Based on early reports out of Washington, California may be the perfect microcosm of what’s to come for all of America. The question is, to whom will America turn when its government needs a bailout?

Only in Washington could the solution to an economic crisis brought on by loose monetary policy and excessive government spending be to further loosen monetary policy and expand government spending even more. Add to that the anti-commerce bones Democrats want to throw to their big donors, like card check for organized labor or the “fair pay act” for trial lawyers, and businesses are indeed facing an uncertain environment. To further cripple the economy with a carbon taxation scheme is just madness. Republicans need to roundly reject the Californication of the US economy.

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