Wednesday Chronicle

The Economic Punishment Agency

Jan. 9, 2013

The Foundation

“I think all the world would gain by setting commerce at perfect liberty.” –Thomas Jefferson

Editorial Exegesis

EPA: The Economic Punishment Agency

“Georgia Power … announced this week that it is asking state regulators for permission to shut down 15 electrical generating units – the closure of four power plants in all. The utility company says new regulations from the Environmental Protection Agency – known as the Utility MACT rule – will simply make the plants too expensive to run. The regulations in question are intended to reduce the amount of mercury released into the air. But in fact, they have every appearance of being a back-door attempt to regulate carbon emissions – precisely the kind of scheme that then-Sen. Barack Obama had in mind when he acknowledged in 2008 that ‘electricity rates would necessarily skyrocket’ under his energy plan. The 15 units that Georgia Power wants to shutter – all but two of which are fired by coal or oil – have a combined capacity of 2,061 megawatts, or enough to provide power for roughly 1.5 million homes. The company plans to close 11 of them on April 16, 2015, the exact day the EPA’s new mercury regulations are scheduled to take effect. … The EPA has claimed that its new mercury regulation will produce $140 billion in annual economic benefits. Apparently, those benefits will not be going to the 480 power plant workers in Georgia who now stand to lose their jobs. Then there are the millions of Georgia energy consumers who will soon see higher rates and higher bills. More broadly, the National Association of Manufacturers estimates that this single rule will kill 1.65 million jobs nationwide through 2020…. Even taken at face value, the EPA’s claims of economic benefits are highly doubtful. In fact, the reductions to mercury are expected to produce only a tiny sliver of that $140 billion benefit – just $6 million of it, in fact. But it will cost so much money to comply with these rules and produce this minuscule benefit that many plants will simply be closed instead. … Obama also said in 2008 that ‘if somebody wants to build a coal-powered plant, they can. It’s just that it’ll bankrupt them.’ He seems to be making this come true, even without the carbon cap-and-trade system he once envisioned.” –The Washington Examiner

Upright

“It is Congress’s job to oversee economic policy, and the House’s in particular. Regardless of whether it is ‘good’ policy or not, the House of Representatives is wholly within its rights to refuse to raise the debt ceiling if it so wishes. To submit that Congress has the right to raise the debt ceiling but that to refuse to do so would be ‘a step too far’ is to grant that Congress does not actually enjoy power over the issue at all, but is instead just a bystander armed with a rubber stamp. If this were true, it would undermine the American constitutional order, which is of course exactly what those making asinine (the platinum coin) or downright illegal (Fourteenth Amendment) suggestions wish to do. Their view is that this issue is just too important to leave to our system of government, so the president – or anyone – must step in and ‘do the right thing.’” –columnist Charles C.W. Cooke

“Americans prefer small government to big government – in the abstract. But 60 million receive Medicaid benefits, 54 million collect Social Security, 48 million participate with Medicare, 45 million receive Food Stamps, 7 million are in prison, jail, or on parole/probation, more than a million have de facto government jobs working for defense contractors, nearly a million children participate in Head Start and about 40 percent of K-12 students receive free or reduced price meals. There’s some overlap in those categories, but it still adds up. … The average beneficiary will receive far more in Medicare and Social Security benefits than he paid for in taxes. We are, in short, a socialist-style society just like Europe. And Obamacare has yet to kick in. The road to recovery begins with admitting you have a problem.” –columnist Mona Charen

“The liberal media have spent 12 years feeling sorry for Al Gore. The Man Who Should Have Won in 2000 has had megatons of positive publicity dumped on him, hailing him as the ‘Goracle.’ … So when Gore sold his left-wing cable channel Current TV to Al-Jazeera for $500 million, where were they? … At about 42,000 viewers during primetime, the nationwide audience [of Current TV] could fit inside the Washington Redskins' Fedex Field and still leave the stadium half-empty. … But the controversy is not about ratings. It’s about one network selling itself to another best known for vicious anti-American propaganda. … Gore rebuffed an offer from conservative radio/TV personality Glenn Beck to buy Current TV. Beck was told, ‘The legacy of who the network goes to is important to us, and we are sensitive to networks not aligned with our point of view.’ Beck is not aligned with the Gore viewpoint, and yet Al-Jazeera is? … None dares express horror that the man who was almost president on 9/11 was allying himself with al-Qaida’s video jukebox.” –columnist L. Brent Bozell

Insight

“Liberals, it has been said, are generous with other peoples' money, except when it comes to questions of national survival when they prefer to be generous with other people’s freedom and security.” –American conservative author and commentator William F. Buckley Jr. (1925-2008)

“The hardest tumble a man can make is to fall over his own bluff.” –American writer Ambrose Bierce (1842-1914)

Demo-gogues

The BIG Lie: “We don’t have a spending problem.” –Barack Obama during cliff negotiations according to House Speaker John Boehner

Class war and blame game, all in one: “The wealthiest individuals and the biggest corporations shouldn’t be able to take advantage of loopholes and deductions that aren’t available to most Americans. And as I said earlier this week, one thing I will not compromise over is whether or not Congress should pay the tab for a bill they’ve already racked up. If Congress refuses to give the United States the ability to pay its bills on time, the consequences for the entire global economy could be catastrophic.” –Barack Obama on raising the debt ceiling

Lookout for more tax increases: “Obviously, there is still more to do when it comes to reducing our debt. And I’m willing to do more, as long as we do it in a balanced way that doesn’t put all the burden on seniors or students or middle class families, but also asks the wealthiest Americans to contribute and pay their fair share.” –Barack Obama, who is in no way finished in his quest to raise more taxes on “the wealthy”

“[T]he president had said originally he wanted $1.6 trillion in revenue. He took it down to $1.2 as a compromise. In this [fiscal cliff] legislation we had $620 billion, very significant, high-end tax – changing the high-end tax rate to 39.6 percent. But that is not enough on the revenue side.” –House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), who apparently wants another $1 trillion in tax hikes

Bless her heart: “There are many members in the Republican caucus who do not believe in government. And bless their hearts, they act upon their beliefs. … They’re anti-government ideologues, and that’s what the speaker has to deal with.” –Nancy Pelosi

He knows his constituents: “When we had that devastation from [Hurricane] Katrina, we were there within days taking care of Mississippi, Alabama and especially Louisiana – within days. We are now past two months with the people of New York and New Jersey. The people of New Orleans and that area, they were hurt but nothing in comparison to what happened to the people in New York and New Jersey.” –Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) taking a factually incorrect cheap shot at those who suffered through Katrina

Dezinformatsia

With “friends” like these: “I’ve hunted for over 35 years. Do I look like a guy who wants to see my firearms and my freedoms being taken away? No, of course not. But there are sensible laws. You know, we’re right now operating on a document that is archaic in many ways.” –MSNBC’s Ed Schultz attacking the Constitution

At least he’s honest: “Enough. We talk now. And my position is going to be direct: America needs to repeal the Second Amendment. … The problem is, for a variety of reasons, the Second Amendment has been twisted and bastardized in ways that could never have been conceived at the time of the nation’s founding. … As written, though, the amendment has nothing – nothing – to do with modern America. Worse, it is the biggest mess of verbiage in the whole Constitution, making its actual meaning almost impossible to discern. We need to get rid of it and try again with an amendment that makes sense.” –Vanity Fair’s Kurt Eichenwald

Tolerance: “[W]henever someone invokes the word ‘Socialism’ in that belligerent, moronic, conversation-ending way conservatives now do almost on a minute-to-minute basis, you know how to describe them: Sociopaths. … You also know what future they’re offering, because the murder-suicide massacres we see from time to time are the purest expression of the conservative mentality as it now exists in this country.” –Daily Kos blogger Troubadour

Blame the Tea Party: “The only job of Congress is to govern. That may be impossible, given that the House hooligans have planted fresh land mines designed to blow us all up in a few months. (See debt ceiling, the explosive of choice.) The fault is entirely with a knot of Tea Party extremists who will never consider a fresh idea and a House Speaker whose notion of compromise is to tell his Democratic counterpart in the Senate to commit an unprintable act.” –New York Times columnist Timothy Egan

Newspulper Headlines:

Questions Nobody Is Asking: “Could 2013 Be the Year We Finally Learn to Love the Taxman?” –Globe and Mail (Toronto)

They Should’ve Used One of Those Safer Low-Capacity Magazines: “Fed Says It’s Running Out of Bullets” –MarketWatch.com

Longest Books Ever Written: “Why Congress Will Only Get Worse From Here” –BuzzFeed.com

Shortest Books Ever Written: “Good News for Republicans” –TheDailyBeast.com

We Blame George W. Bush: “Why Women Pile On the Pounds as They Age – and It May Not Be Their Fault” –Daily Mail (London)

We Blame Global Warming: “Quantum Gas Temperature Drops Below Absolute Zero” –Wired.com

Bottom Story of the Day: “Finally: Team O Launches Inaugural Souvenir Store” –HotAir.com

(Thanks to The Wall Street Journal’s James Taranto)

Village Idiots

Twisting a fair point: “Nobody forced Congress to rack up the bills that it incurred. And it is an abdication of responsibility to say we’re going to let the country default and cause global economic calamity simply because we’re not getting what we want in terms of our ideological agenda.” –White House Press Secretary Jay Carney, who merely serves a president who called for and signed all of the aforementioned spending

More than labor negotiations: “Do not think for a minute that the wealthy are ever going to allow you to legislate their riches away from them. … [W]e are in a moment where the wealth disparity in this country is very reminiscent of the robber baron ages. The labor leaders of that time, though, were ready to kill. They were. They were just – off with their heads. They were seriously talking about that. I don’t think we’re at that point. And that’s scary to most people. But the key is they think nothing of killing us.” –Chicago Teachers Union president Karen Lewis

Civility: “[John Wilkes Booth was] a man who believed what still probably 20 percent of this country still believes. He could be a poster child for the Tea Party.” –“Killing Lincoln” executive producer Erik Jendresen

Hate the troops: “I don’t support the troops, America, and neither do you. … I beg any young person reading this who’s thinking of joining the armed forces to please reconsider. … [N]ext time some ‘supporter of the troops’ says to you with that concerned look on their face, ‘I thank you for your service,’ you have my permission to punch their lights out (figuratively speaking, of course).” –filmmaker Michael Moore

Short Cuts

“The Congressional Budget Office estimates that the latest triumphant deal includes $2 billion of cuts for fiscal year 2013. Wow! That’s what the Government of the United States borrows every 10 hours and 38 minutes. Spending two months negotiating 10 hours of savings is like driving to a supermarket three states away to save a nickel on your grocery bill.” –columnist Mark Steyn

“By all accounts, President Obama won the fiscal cliff showdown. Why anyone would take much pride in this kind of ‘win’ is beyond me. It’s a bit like being the least filthy toddler in the mud pit.” –columnist Jonah Goldberg

“Al Gore’s Current TV has been sold to Al-Jazeera for a reported $500 million. Experts believe that Al-Jazeera overpaid for Current TV by approximately $500 million.” –comedian Jay Leno

“GOP senators vowed to delay John Kerry’s confirmation until Hillary Clinton testifies about her role in the terrorist attack on Benghazi. She blames a concussion for her delay. It’s ironic for someone who successfully ducked this for three months to hit her head.” –comedian Argus Hamilton

Semper Vigilo, Fortis, Paratus et Fidelis!
Nate Jackson for The Patriot Post Editorial Team