US Subsidizes Brazilian Cotton Farmers

from Americans For Prosperity Blog…

It’s bad enough that the U.S. spends $3 billion every year on subsidies to prop up American cotton farmers. Such payments enrich agri-businesses at taxpayer expense, hurt consumers while causing cotton prices to rise, and stand in the way of free trade and the free market.

But did you know that the U.S. also spends nearly $150 million of your taxpayer dollars each year to pay off Brazilian cotton farmers? It’s all part of an absurd scheme detailed in our recent blog post: U.S. Pays Off Brazilian Cotton Farmers to Prop Up U.S. Cotton Industry

Special handouts to cotton farmers—both abroad and here at home—are just a few of several examples of wasteful subsidies that should be on the chopping block, and fortunately Congress will get a chance to take a swing at them summer.

Every five years Congress reauthorizes the various farm subsidies paid out by the U.S. Department of Agriculture in one giant bill—a grab bag of handouts to big agri-businesses and special interests. Given that the last “Farm Bill” was enacted in 2008, debate over the next one will be heating up on Capitol Hill in the coming months.

Eliminating ill-conceived farm subsidies not only takes the government’s heavy hand out of our economy, but it can also save significant amounts of taxpayer money. One proposal by Senator Tom Coburn (R-OK) would cut back on these special handouts and save $136 billion over the next decade, all while maintaining a safety net for farmers.

Whether it’s in “green” energy or in agriculture, picking winners and losers has never proven to be a wise use of taxpayer dollars. Keep an eye on Congress as they debate the Farm Bill this year—voices like yours demanding an end to wasteful subsidies could make a huge difference.

All Cost No Benefit: EPA Proposes Carbon Dioxide Regulation for Power Plants | American Legislator

All Cost No Benefit: EPA Proposes Carbon Dioxide Regulation for Power Plants

Todd Wynn | March 27, 2012 | 1 Comment
Coal-Fired-Power-Plant

 

Today, the EPA has proposed a carbon dioxide standard for new power plants. The EPA blames carbon dioxide and other human emitted greenhouse gases for an increase in global temperature during the past 100 years. Unfortunately, this action is yet another EPA regulation that is essentially all cost and no benefit.

First, the EPA’s incessant use of the words “pollutant” and “pollution” in reference to carbon dioxide is deceptive. In the press release announcing this regulation, the agency mentioned the words “carbon pollution” eight times. Yet, as you learn in middle school science, carbon dioxide plays a vital role in the environment and has no direct negative human health effects. It is unlike particulate matter, sulfur dioxide, ozone or a volatile organic compound (substances explicitly regulated by the Clean Air Act); it is an essential part of photosynthesis, an important component of our atmosphere and a byproduct of the human respiratory system.  Thus any discussion referring to this regulation as making power plants “cleaner” is downright misleading.

In 2009, the EPA concluded greenhouse gases do endanger human health. This “endangerment finding” was outside of the legal context provided by the Clean Air Act, since the Act requires a reasonable approach that considers a real benefit to regulation of a “pollutant,” not merely negligible decreases in global temperature. Ironically, the EPA has not quantified any health benefits for the regulation of greenhouse gases whatsoever.

Good public policy and sensible environmental regulation weighs the cost and benefits of regulatory action. The costs of greenhouse gas regulation are well documented by both the EPA and independent research studies. They vary, yet all show significant costs. Meanwhile, the benefit of this specific regulation, which aims to reduce carbon dioxide, has not been calculated at all. Why? Because the EPA justifies the regulation with a decrease in global temperature decades in the future that, even according to EPA’s flawed science, will be negligible. Even if one accepts the scientific claims of climate change proponents, EPA’s own analysis shows that the regulations will have no substantive effect on reducing global temperatures. It is hard to calculate human health benefits when the EPA itself isn’t sure they exist.

To make the endangerment finding, EPA wove together three highly uncertain lines of evidence — temperature records, climate models, and understanding of large-scale physical phenomena — to create the false sense that it could be 90 percent certain of human caused global warming. Even more disconcerting is that the EPA ignored its own established process by refusing to submit its work for independent scrutiny by its Science Advisory Board (SAB) as required by the Clean Air Act. The SAB is a panel of top scientists from universities, research institutions and other highly regarded organizations, empowered by federal law to review any new “criteria document, standard, limitation, or regulation” that the EPA proposes to issue under the Clean Air Act. The EPA is legally required to have the SAB review its work on greenhouse gases, and the Agency broke the law by ignoring this obligation.

Despite any calculation of health benefits and any peer review of its endangerment finding, the EPA concludes that it is taking “common-sense steps” to limit carbon dioxide and ensure “a cleaner, safer and more modern power sector.” Obviously the EPA has learned the Washington game all too well; EPA wants you to follow the rules when it comes to big government regulations while they willfully ignore the rules themselves.

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One Response to All Cost No Benefit: EPA Proposes Carbon Dioxide Regulation for Power Plants

  1. Chuck Wiese says:

    These people are despicable scientific illiterates that are an arm of the Obama power grab to centralize America to a form of facism/socialism.

    Just do the math and you will see their claims about CO2 are baseless. At 389 ppmv, and assuming CO2 is a “well mixed” gas throughout the atmosphere, the mixing ratio of CO2 to a Kilogram of dry air is .595 grams. Integrating that mass to a zero pressure gives 1.24 x 10^-10 ppmv/tonne of CO2.

    Even if you wiped out ALL of the USA’s annual carbon emissions, or spread the reduction globally ( which is impossible to ever achieve ) listed as 5.8 billion metric tonnes of CO2, that only reduces the annual growth of CO2 by .72 ppmv from an annual growth of 2.5 ppmv, which is 50% of annual emissions because of ocean uptake. No matter what the reduction strategy, the growth of atmospheric CO2 cannot be stopped unless the oceans cool off agian, which means, according to the failed modeling of CO2 to temperature, that the annual temperatures will continue upwards to catastrophic levels no matter what we do.

    So the only real conclusion one can reach based upon real calculations and the EPA’s climate model projections, the human race is doomed not beacuse of human action, but the earth has just decided it’s all time we just go, and is outgassing the appropriate CO2 to kill us off.

    It is obvious cliamte models are failed concepts that have the wrong sensitivity factor to CO2 and temperature, primarily because the physics in the modeling is wrong based upon positive water vapor feedback, and that “climate models” are a true mathematical absurdity with respect to being able to accurately describe earth atmosphere physical processes for large time intervals with the Navier Stokes equations. The EPA is engaging in scientific misconduct and fraud.

    Chuck F. Wiese
    Meteorologist
    Portland, Oregon.

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    Comments Policy: We pre-moderate comments on our blog before they are published. This means there will be a delay between the time your comment is submitted and it appears on the post. We reserve the right to reject comments that are rude, profane or non-germane to this post.

Environmental radicals put in place under Obama reign.. are now turning the screws to enforce draconian new regulations designed to reduce domestic energy production and increase costs for everything that requires energy.. everything. A high cost for nothing in return but a reduced standard of living for all.. while insulating the governing class from participation. More of same to follow.

Oregon Hostage Taking- The Welfare State

Who’s Holding Whom Hostage?

| Feb 25, 2012 | 0 comments

GOVERNOR AND FELLOW DEMOCRATS STONEWALL REPUBLICANS’ JOBS INITIATIVE –

The Oregonian editorial board continues to pound away at Republican legislators and particularly House Co-Speaker Bruce Hanna.  On Wednesday of this week the editorial board railed against Republican failure to rush through education and health care reforms pushed by the Governor.  Today the editorial board expresses astonishment and outrage that Republicans are demanding action on their jobs package in return for action on the Governor’s health care and education initiatives. “Even in politics, friends don’t take friends hostage,” they write.

oregon governor john kitzhaber 2012

Photo: Associated Press

OK.  Fair enough.  But who is holding whom hostage?  On Thursday the Governor “invited” business leaders to a press conference at which he plead for quick action by the legislature on health care and education.  Are those folks going to stiff the Governor?  Of course not.  They understand that they have to get along with the guy who happens to hold the office.  But let’s hope those who agreed to serve as props for the Governor’s show and tell have also picked up the phone and let the Governor know privately that there needs to be action on the jobs package as well.

The Oregonian describes GOP leaders as having “crashed Kitzhaber’s news conference.”  So were not all business leaders invited?   Bruce Hanna, Kevin Cameron and Tim Freeman are all successful businessmen and business leaders.  Dennis Richardson is a successful lawyer who represents businesses.  And these are business people who not only show up when the Governor calls a news conference or when they are looking for something from government, but also impose significant costs on their businesses by volunteering to serve in the Oregon Legislature.  Of course, they are all from outside the Portland-Salem-Eugene power center, so perhaps that explains why they weren’t invited.

And the fact that these individuals and most other Republicans represent rural and small town Oregon gets to the heart of the apparent stalemate in Salem.  The Oregonian expresses sympathy with Republican job initiatives, but says “it’s wrong and dangerous to pretend that this kind of legislation is of equal importance to creating a new accountability system for schools, or reforming an early childhood education system that every year leaves an estimated 18,000 Oregon kids unprepared to learn when they show up to kindergarten.”

Maybe it’s wrong if you live in the Valley and can’t see past the Cascades or the Coast Range.  But if you live in eastern or central or southern or coastal Oregon, a dozen jobs here and a hundred jobs there make an enormous difference to the future prospects of your community.  Although many urban Oregonians have persuaded themselves that rural Oregon can survive on tourism and the “new green economy,” the reality is that we live in a resource rich state and if we refuse to responsibly develop and use those resources we condemn many Oregon communities and Oregonians to continuing economic decline.

The effects of that decline are not confined to rural Oregon.  They slowly, but steadily, trickle over the mountains and into Salem.  Did anyone notice that the state economist’s revenue projections are consistently wrong on the high side?  That’s a sad commentary on the sorry condition of the economy of the entire state.

Rather than condemn Republicans for holding hostage the Governor’s health care and education reforms, The Oregonian might more reasonably have asked why the Governor and his fellow Democrats are holding the Republican jobs initiatives hostage.  Of course health care costs and education are important to the future of business in this state.  But so too are jobs in the near term which will result from making greater use of the resources of the state.  Oregon could be a national model for responsible development of state controlled resources – if only the Governor and Democrats were willing.

If the jobs package is of such limited importance relative to the health care and education reforms, why don’t Democrats happily accept them.  According to The Oregonian they would be getting a lot in return for giving up very little.  Though one has to wonder what it is they think they would be giving up by encouraging a little job growth.

So who’s holding whom hostage?

@COPYRIGHT Northwest Free Press 2012. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

 

Obama’s Road to Nowhere – Mark Steyn – National Review Online

Mark Steyn

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June 11, 2011 5:00 A.M.

Obama’s Road to Nowhere

This is Main Street, Obamaville: All bumps, no road.

‘There are always going to be bumps on the road to recovery,’’ President Obama said at a Jeep plant in Toledo the other day. “We’re going to pass through some rough terrain that even a Wrangler would have a tough time with.’’ His audience booed. They’re un-fire-able union members with lavish benefits, and even they weary of the glib lines from his twelve-year-old speechwriters.

We’re not on the road to recovery. You can’t get there from here, as they say. Obama was in Toledo to “celebrate” the sale of the government’s remaining stake in Chrysler to Fiat. That’s “Fiat” as in the Italian car manufacturer rather than “an authoritative or arbitrary decree (from the Latin ‘let it be done’),” which would be almost too perfect a name for an Obamafied automobile. The Treasury crowed that Fiat had agreed to pay a whopping $560 million for the government’s Chrysler shares.

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Wow! 560 million smackeroos! If you laid them out end to end, they’re equivalent to what the federal government borrows every three hours. That’s some windfall! In the time it takes to fly Obama to Toledo to boast about it, he’d already blown through the Italians’ check. But who knows? If every business in the U.S. were to be nationalized and sold to foreigners to cover another three hours’ worth of debt, this summer’s “Recovery Summer” would be going even more gangbusters. I’d ask one of Obama’s egghead economists to explain it to you simpletons, but unfortunately they’ve all resigned and returned to cozy sinecures in academia. The latest is chief economic adviser Austan Goolsbee, the genius who in 2007, just before the subprime hit the fan, wrote in the New York Times that this exciting new form of home “ownership” was an “innovation” that had “opened doors to the excluded” and was part of an “incredible flowering of new types of home loans.”

Where have all the flowers gone? Not to worry. By now, some organization of which you’re a member has already booked Professor Goolsbee to give an after-dinner speech at your annual meeting where you’ll be privileged to get a glimpse of his boundless expertise for a mere six-figure speaking fee.

“I’m not concerned about a double-dip recession,” Obama said last week. Nor would I be if I had government housing, a car and driver, and a social secretary for the missus. But I wonder if it’s such a smart idea to let one’s breezy insouciance out of the bag when you’re giving a press conference. In May the U.S. economy added just 54,000 jobs. For the purposes of comparison, that same month over 100,000 new immigrants arrived in America.

So what kind of jobs were those 54,000? Economics professorships at the University of Berkeley? Non-executive directorships at Goldman Sachs? That sort of thing? No, according to an analysis by Morgan Stanley, half the new jobs created were at McDonald’s. That’s amazing. Not the Mickey D supersized hiring spree, but the fact that there’s fellows at Morgan Stanley making a bazillion dollars a year analyzing fluctuations in minimal-skill fast-food service-job hiring trends. What a great country! For as long as it lasts. Which is probably until some new regulatory agency starts enforcing Michelle Obama’s dietary admonitions.

Until then, relax. That bump in the road is just a quarter-pounder with cheese that fell off the counter on the drive-thru lane to recovery. Like every other blessing, we owe the Big MacConomy to the wisdom of Good King Barack. “This plant indirectly supports hundreds of other jobs right here in Toledo,” Obama told the workers at Chrysler. “After all, without you, who’d eat at Chet’s or Inky’s or Rudy’s? . . . Manufacturers from Michigan to Massachusetts are looking for new engineers to build advanced batteries for American-made electric cars. And obviously, Chet’s and Inky’s and Zinger’s, they’ll all have your business for some time to come.”

A couple of days later, Chet’s announced it was closing after nine decades. “It was the economy and the smoking ban that hurt us more than anything,” said the owner. But maybe he can retrain and re-open it as a community-organizer grantwriting-application center. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that the median period of unemployment is now nine months — the longest it’s been since they’ve been tracking the numbers. Long-term unemployment is worse than in the Depression. Life goes slowly waiting for a fast-food job to open up.

This is Main Street, Obamaville: All bumps, no road. But shimmering on the distant horizon, beyond the shuttered diner and the foreclosed homes, is a state-of-the-art electric car, the new Fiat Mirage, that should be wheeling into town in a half-decade or so provided it can find somewhere to charge. “We will be able to look back and tell our children,” declared King Barack the Modest of his own candidacy in 2008, “this was the moment when the rise of the oceans began to slow.” Great news for the oceans! Meanwhile, back on dry land, a quarter of American mortgages are “underwater” — that’s to say, the home “owners” owe more than the joint is worth. In Harry Reid’s Nevada, it’s 63 percent. Perhaps Obama’s Aquatic Bodies Water-Level Regulatory Authority, no doubt headed by Jamie Gorelick or Franklin Raines or some other Democrat worthy, could have its jurisdiction extended to the Nevada desert.

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The name could also be linked to Greek language. ‘Philosopher’ came from philo = fond of + sophi = wisdom, so assume Sopher=someone of wisdom.”

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So Steyn is both a skillful writer and someone of wisdom. I think my use of it was right on.

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Mark Steyn- pulls back the curtain on the Obama “recovery”… Ouch

» Kudlow: Pawlenty’s 5 Percent Growth Vision Commentary

Former Minnesota governor Tim Pawlenty turned out a blockbuster economic-growth plan this past week, including deep cuts in taxes, spending and regulations. It’s really the first Reaganesque supply-side growth plan from any of the GOP presidential contenders. And he caps it all off with a defense of optimism as he charges ahead with a national economic growth goal of 5 percent.

That’s right: 5 percent.

Pawlenty calls this target aspirational. OK, fine. But deeper down, he’s basically saying no to the declinists and pessimists who seem to populate the economic landscape these days. Big government doesn’t work. Let’s try something different.

Ronald Reagan always believed that America is exceptional. By removing obstacles to growth, the Gipper held that economic policies could unleash a massive outpouring of risk-taking, creativity and entrepreneurship. He was right, and his policies launched a two-decades-long boom.

Actually, the first couple of years of the Reagan recovery came in at more than 7 percent. And as Pawlenty noted in his speech at the University of Chicago this week, between 1983 and 1987, the Reagan recovery grew at 4.9 percent annually. I note that President John F. Kennedy also had a 5 percent growth target, a response to Ike’s three recessions.

So while those on the left criticize Pawlenty, and while even some conservatives scoff at his growth target, history says we’ve been there before.

The Wall Street Journal editorial page calls it a “growth marker.” Famed CEO Jack Welch calls it a vision for America. I think it’s an act of great leadership.

The details of Pawlenty’s economic program are very similar in scope and structure to Reagan’s. Slash tax rates. In particular, the single-best Pawlenty proposal is to take the business tax rate all the way down to 15 percent from 35 percent, get rid of all the deductions and quit taxing foreign earnings of American companies. Critically, he would make small-business S-Corps or LLC partnerships eligible for the new low corporate rate.

Small businesses and brand-new startups have faltered during the Obama years. They should be the engine of job growth, but it’s not happening. Under Pawlenty’s plan, however, their rewards for new pass-the-hat investments among friends and families would be lifted by more than 40 percent on a take-home-pay basis.

The former college hockey player also would reform the personal tax system by moving to two rates of only 10 and 25 percent. And, get this: He would abolish taxes on capital gains, interest, dividends and estates. He’d also sunset all economic regulations. And he’d apply a “Google test,” whereby if you can find a federal government good or service on the Internet, the federal government doesn’t need to run it. That means the Post Office, the Government Printing Office and Amtrak could be sold off, privatized or leased out.

The governor also comes out for a strong King Dollar, with a blistering attack on the Bernanke Fed’s loose-money policies. He also offers up an outline for entitlement reform, along with a 5 percent budget-impoundment approach until such time as the budget is balanced.

Quintessentially, Pawlenty has delivered a private-sector, free-enterprise vision of economic growth and jobs, saying: “Markets work. Barack Obama’s central planning doesn’t.” It’s in this spirit that he would repeal Obamacare, which is one of the greatest job-blockers of all right now, with its maze of tax-and-regulatory interventions into the private economy.

But let me return to the key point — Pawlenty’s 5 percent growth vision for America. He’s not going to accept some kind of “new normal,” 2 percent growth rate.

Smaller government, lower tax rates, fewer economic regulations and sound money were tried down through the 20th century by Calvin Coolidge, John F. Kennedy and Ronald Reagan. These policies worked. Over the past decade, however, the historic postwar U.S.-growth baseline of 3.4 percent per year has been dismantled. Through 2010, actual growth is nearly 20 percent — or close to $3 trillion — below the historical norm. Pawlenty is saying we have to do our best to close that humungous output and jobs gap.

He also notes that by reigniting growth and a stronger jobs market that demand for government-spending assistance will come down while tax revenues will go up. In other words, we’ll never solve the spending-and-borrowing problem without a major increase in growth.

Is he serious? Of course he is. And he’s pretty darned specific. Remember, this is a guy who said no to ethanol subsidies in Iowa, yes to extending the Social Security retirement age in Florida and no to crony capitalism for Wall Street banks in New York.

In other words, Tim Pawlenty is a tough hombre.

If he stays on message unrelentingly, his growth plan could carry him right to the White House.

Larry Kudlow, National Review Online’s Economics Editor, is host of CNBC’s “The Kudlow Report” and author of the daily web blog Kudlow’s Money Politic$.

COPYRIGHT 2011 CREATORS.COM

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Very Interesting… I think this fellow deserves some very careful consideration!