Obama’s Cap and Trade Costs vs. GOP’s Lies, Damned Lies and Statistics

Thu, 2009-04-09 09:01Jeanne Roberts
Jeanne Roberts's picture

Obama’s Cap and Trade Costs vs. GOP’s Lies, Damned Lies and Statistics

The quote (lies, damned lies and statistics) is from 1840’s British statesman Benjamin Disraeli, but the political scene remains unchanged 170 years later. The Republicans would have you believe that President Barack Obama’s proposed cap-and-trade emissions plan will cost the average American family $3,000 a year if implemented.

If, as they say, a lie oft repeated becomes the truth, Fox News, CNN, Politifact and Roll Call are clearly in the business of “retruthing” the administration’s cap-and-trade proposals by parroting the GOP’s lie. Shamelessly, in fact, since none of the above-mentioned media sources (or their reporters) even bothered to question the figures presented them like so much frosting on a truly toxic fossil-fuel cake. 

One would expect nothing less (or more?) from Faux News, whose worship of all things elephantine put a Teflon finish on the Bush administration, but CNN? Come on, Ted Barrett, we know you can do better. In fact, the other Ted (Turner, billionaire founder of CNN) has already come out in support of alternative energy technologies supported by the Dems.

Roll Call, Capitol Hill’s insider rag, remained famously unbiased until it was scooped up by the Economist Group in 1992, so ‘nuff said there, but we would still expect fledging CongressNow reporter Jay Heflin to ask questions instead of quoting Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX) verbatim when Cornyn says Obama’s plan is a “light switch tax” that will cost American families $3,128 per year. Cornyn is from Texas, the “burn, baby, burn” state of fossil fuel production; Heflin, a journalist, should have a wider perspective.
 
The truth about the plan, according to Professor John Reilly, one of the authors of the much misquoted and miscalculated cap-and-trade study from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), is that the figures are inflated by a factor of ten. The real cost to Americans? More like $340, and that doesn’t even account for an emissions reduction threshold reached (or passed) by 2050, or the fact that all dollar calculations are made at today’s dollar value.

The GOP, a bunch of miscreant recalcitrants shamed by Bush administration antics into a bully pulpit for gas and oil, prefer the numbers in their infamous March 23 “Talking Points” press release. And PolitiFact.com, which bills itself as “sorting out the truth in politics”, simply took the press release and ran with it by charging Obama with paying for his health care reform through that aforementioned light switch tax. 

As a reporter, I’ll grant you it’s easier to copy and paste than do the research. It’s also more profitable, in terms of word output. But when did the Fourth Estate, charged with keeping the people honestly informed – and thus guaranteeing healthy democracy – become shills for the power brokers?

Alex Knott knows, and the almost $13 billion spent every year by these special interest groups has tipped the balance in favor of copy and paste because anything else is foolhardy if one wants to remain gainfully employed, as Fox News reporter Eric Shawn knows. Why else would he prompt Congressman Tom Price (R – GA) to repeat the GOP’s figures like a trained ventriloquist’s dummy without asking a few questions of his (Shawn’s) own?

Shawn, we forgive you because of extenuating circumstances, but get a real job. One that you actually know how to do. The rest of you? Stop drinking the GOP Koolaid and wake up to smell the coffee along with your morning ration of air pollution. Cleaner air and water will cost us, but the cost of not acting is even greater. Have you ever tried to breathe underwater, or through a hazmat face mask?

Previous Comments

“I have changed my mind about participating in the carbon credit program. And have resolved to give the money I received to St Jude’s Children’s Hospital.

 

Here is why.

 

Recently I sat in the fire hall with a few dozen farmers. We had been invited to hear how we can get paid for carbon credits.

 

The speaker explained how their satellites can measure the carbon in our land individually and how much money we could get. Then asked for questions.

 

I asked “what is the source of this money”?

 

The presenter said it comes from big companies that pollute.

 

I asked “where do they get this money”? He had no answer.

 

So I answered for him, asking, “won’t it come from everyone who pays their power bill”? He then agreed and said “that could be”.

 

I then said isn’t this about the theory of man made global warming? he said “we are not going to talk about that”. Here they are on the prairie soliciting land for carbon credits tempting us with free money.

 

I believe that agreeing to take their money means you agree with taxing cattle gas also, because methane is a greenhouse gas 20 times more powerful than carbon. I believe taking this money without considering its source makes us no better than the bankers who lent money to people, knowing they could not pay it back. Collecting their fees then selling the bad loans in bundles to someone else. They did not care where the money came from either.

 

Let’s be clear.

 

Carbon is not a new commodity! No new wealth is being created here! Is this the way we want to make a living? Let me ask you, what if their satellites determine that your land has lost carbon? You will get a bill, not a check, right? If you make a tillage pass you will get a bill for emitting carbon, is this not correct?

 

It is also a fact that this income will, in short order, get built into your land cost. You will keep very little and be left with the burden of another bureaucratic program.

 

Let’s be honest, we feel compelled to take this money because of the need to be competitive, however we also need to hold true to our values and lead by example that means placing our principals ahead of money.

 

No good citizen is opposed to using the earth’s resources wisely, however, wisdom means a person who has both intelligence and humility. In my view many of the proponents of man made global warming have the first and lack the second.”

Yes, read that last line again. This farmer has got more common sense than the whole IPCC and their hangers-on

Posted from “Watts up with that”, with permission.

You failed to cite your article properly. Who wrote it? When? Why? Your comment is also entirely off-topic; it bears no relevance to the above post; which suggests that you are merely posting propaganda to waste space.

Firstly, I give celeb news so I must admit, this topic isn’t exactly my cup of tea. However, I am studying in my writing class that with any argument, you must provide your sources for information that is new to you, and information that is not common knowledge. That way, you’re more credible for providing those credible sources.

… but not especially credible.

it does read like a made up story. No specifics in terms of times, places and names.

It’s an interesting story that raises questions about program drawbacks, but is it something that actually happened  or mostly fiction?

VJ, it is clear that you didn’t bother to read to the end of my comment, before you piled on.

 

FYI I said ‘Posted from “Watts up with That”, with permission.’

Inadequate. Clearly you did not read my comment carefully.