Tuesday, May 13, 2008

What's the point?

If McCain wins, he bends over for the watermelons* and buys hook, line and sinker into the global warming hoax and gives us a cap and trade big government bureaucracy. How's that different than what the Dems are offering? Nothing, in principle.
Then there's cap and trade, which Mr. McCain has backed for years and would, as he put it with some understatement, "change the dynamic of our energy economy." He noted that Americans have a genius for problem-solving but continued, "The federal government can't just summon these talents by command - only the free market can draw them out." To translate: His plan is "market based" insofar as it requires an expensive, invasive government bureaucracy to interfere with the market.

Mr. McCain's proposed targets and policy instruments more or less mesh with the global-warming bill sponsored by Senators Joe Lieberman and John Warner that may come up for debate next month. The McCain plan would aim to return emissions to 2005 levels by 2012, and to 1990 levels by 2020. Barack Obama supports similar reductions.

In theory, this would be achieved by imposing emission ceilings on electric power, transportation fuels, commercial business and industries. If a company produced less carbon than it was allowed under the cap, it could sell -- i.e., trade - its extra allowances to other businesses. Under the McCain plan, permits would be given away to industries, at least initially. Mr. Obama prefers to "auction" the permits, meaning businesses would be taxed at the outset. So Mr. McCain's plan would help mitigate the transition costs of putting "the age of fossil fuels behind us."

The problem is that once government creates an artificial scarcity of carbon, how the credits are allocated creates a huge new venue for political rent-seeking and more subsidies for favored industries. Some businesses will benefit more than others, in proportion to their lobbying influence and how well they're able to game the Beltway. Congress itself will probably take the largest revenue grab, offering itself a few more bites out of the economy and soaking politically unpopular businesses.
I've decided that I can't be a part of McCain's (or anyone else's) global warming lunacy and at this point, I won't be voting for such a phony "conservative." Conservatism opposes such socialism. It doesn't embrace it. I guess I just won't vote for president in November. Or I'll be writing in Ronald Reagan's name. I always wanted to vote for him, so here's my chance.

*Green on the outside, red on the inside