Among the issues most commonly discussed are individuality, the rights of the individual, the limits of legitimate government, morality, history, economics, government policy, science, business, education, health care, energy, and man-made global warming evaluations. My posts are aimed at intelligent and rational individuals, whose comments are very welcome.

"No matter how vast your knowledge or how modest, it is your own mind that has to acquire it." Ayn Rand

"Observe that the 'haves' are those who have freedom, and that it is freedom that the 'have-nots' have not." Ayn Rand

"The virtue involved in helping those one loves is not 'selflessness' or 'sacrifice', but integrity." Ayn Rand

18 August 2009

The Coming Energy Takeover

Amidst all the furor over the government attempt to takeover the health care industries, their efforts to take over the control of energy use is receiving less attention. The Waxman-Markey carbon tax and trade bill has passed the House of Representatives, but the Senate has not been eager to take it up. When a medical services takeover bill has been passed, Democrat pressure will mount on the Senate to return to putting restrictions on energy. They may not agree with a plan as drastic as the House plan, but they will no doubt agree to doing considerable damage to the economy and to the interests of the People. Even if they do nothing, the EPA is declaring CO2 a pollutant and will itself cause massive damage to the economy through its open-ended regulatory powers.

A front page article in the Washington Times on 17 August 2009 proved very interesting to me. Its thrust was that a huge growth of Federal bureaucracies was going to be required by the Waxman-Markey bill if it is enacted. This itself is interesting, but the most interesting point in the article was a quote of Bart Chilton, the commissioner of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission. His commission will regulate the trading of carbon allowances. He is looking forward to expanding the size of his commission for the task by 31%, though I expect the expansion will be much greater than that. But, his most interesting comment was:
"It [the carbon allowances trading market] could be a $2 trillion market within five years."
Well, the entire U.S. GDP was about $14.3 trillion in 2008 and is a bit smaller in 2009 due to the recession. Slow growth is expected in the next several years. In five years when Chilton expects the carbon allowances market he will regulate to be $2 trillion in size, perhaps the GDP will be $14 or 16 trillion, bearing in mind that the health care bill which will be passed, the refusal to allow drilling, the destruction of the coal industry, the continued pandering to labor unions at the expense of investors and civil liberties, the plundering of the wealthy and productive, and the renewal of class and racial warfare generally promoted by the Democrats will be unchecked given their control of the House, the Senate, and the Presidency. In other words, they will be doing all the right things, if one wants stagnation, which they clearly do.

So, the critical assessment here is that a $2 trillion carbon allowance market affects business and the People just as a $2 trillion tax increase would. Sure, not all of that money is going to the government, but just as when we send our money to the government, that money will have been spent for nothing. OK, maybe 25% of the money we send to the government is spent for something of value, such as defense, some police powers, some interstate roads (the post roads of the Constitution?), etc. Now as I see it, every penny spent on carbon allowances is wasted money. Yes, that waste will prompt some companies to spend more money on energy conservation, but they could have done that anyway without the waste of the carbon allowances market. So, all of this money is wasted. The government is going to spend about $4 trillion this year, so the usual rule would say that $3 trillion of this is wasted money. Except given the bailouts, a larger fraction than usual is wasted. Projections say that federal spending over the next two years will be about $3.5 trillion. Applying the 25% rule to this, about $2.6 trillion of these expenditures will be wasted.

Adding the mandated additional waste of $2 trillion in the carbon allowances market to the $2.6 trillion in wasted money in the federal expenditures, one finds that we can expect a waste of $4.6 trillion out of a total economy of about $15 trillion. So, we are going to soon waste 30.7% of the U.S. economy, if a bill similar to Waxman-Markey is passed by Congress! Government is not going to be treading lightly on the American People. No, it is going to stomp us into the ground! Then to this we will have to add the mischief of the so-called health care reform.

Actually, this is still an underestimate of the weight of government on our economy. Freedom from government day this year was 12 August, which means that about 62% of the economy is already taken by government. This would then be (0.62) ($14.3 trillion) = $8.9 trillion! Now, if we add the $2 trillion carbon allowance market to this, we get $10.9 trillion going to government altogether or being wasted at government requirement. Of a $15 trillion economy a few years down the road, this means that government will control at least 73% of the economy!

This being the case, we will be working for government about 73% of the time in a few years if Waxman-Markey becomes law. One would think that almost anyone would have enough sense to see themselves as the slave they are under such circumstances. How could any such person even imagine they are an American? When American fundamental principles of government disappear, when our government's function is no longer to preserve and protect the sovereign rights of the individual, does America even exist anymore? Is American just a continental area and the people who happen to reside there? Or are America and the American People defined by their fundamental commitment to the rights of the individual? I think it is the latter. Everyone but Americans may find it adequate to be defined by the land on which they live and little else, but we Americans should be defined by our individualistic ideals!

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission would oversee the day-to-day trading of carbon allowances and is estimating that it will need to expand its personnel by 20 - 30%. The EPA will need to expand greatly. It is supposed to regulate 6 billion tons of CO2 emissions from 7,400 facilities under the House bill. It is now regulating only 330 million of other emissions. The CBO thinks $8 billion is needed for the expansion of federal regulatory agencies to monitor Waxman-Markey over 10 years. This figure is absurdly low in my opinion. For the bill to be effective, the CBO thinks about 1,500 regulations will be needed and mandates will have to be approved by at least 21 federal agencies. No one will have a clue what is going on for years!

The huge uncertainties of how Waxman-Markey will be applied to industry, businesses, and individuals will add monstrously to the $2 trillion in new "taxes" this program will bring on. No business will be able to plan for the future. Heck, even home owners will have no idea if they will be able to heat or air condition their homes in the future.

As I have been saying: "The Democrats are the party of Mass-Destruction." How funny that this is all being done in the name of the man-made global warming farce the Democrats are so deeply embedded in. Could they ever find a way to mash their faces into more eggs? OK, it would be funny if they were not trying so hard to commit America to self-immolation and if the American People had not so completely handed the keys to the nation, the banks, industry, and our homes to them.

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