Last night Barack Obama told his supporters that he won the Democratic nomination for president “because you decided that change must come to Washington.” If Obama’s plan to address global warming is anything like the Lieberman-Warner bill being debated by the Senate (and it is), then he will have completely failed. In order to forge a coalition beyond hardcore environmental activists, any carbon-capping legislation will have to resort to the exact same classic, Washington vote-buying being deployed by liberals in Congress.
At the core of Lieberman-Warner’s corruption is the trillions of dollars the federal government would raise by forcing American businesses to buy allowances to emit carbon (Obama’s plan taxes U.S. businesses at rates much higher than Lieberman-Warner). The left is using this huge slush fund to buy off enough special interests to get enough votes to pass carbon-capping legislation. Politico reports: “The climate change legislation being debated now in the Senate is the Super Bowl for lobbyists.”
The list of special-interest groups slated to receive billions of U.S. taxpayer dollars includes unions that get cash for “green collar” jobs; the auto industry that gets cash to build cleaner engines; the coal industry that gets cash to develop emissions reducing-technology; pecan farmers in Georgia and wheat farmers in Montana that get cash for conservation programs; states, like Democratic Sen. Barbara Boxer’s California, that get cash for trying to reduce carbon before other states.
And the vote-buying doesn’t stop there. The real estate, airline and oil industries all are paying lobbyists millions so they can get in on the giveaway, too.
Even liberals such as former Clinton Labor Secretary Robert Reich have had enough of the obvious corruption carbon-capping legislation generates. His solution: immediately direct all taxes collected from forced purchases of carbon permits into dividend checks that would go to every adult citizen in equal share. Alas, Reich has been away from Washington too long. Sen. Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) already has announced he will propose such an amendment for Lieberman-Warner. However, Corker is not offering his amendment to save Lieberman-Warner, but to kill it. Corker knows that an amendment depriving the left of the massive vote-buying slush fund is a poison pill that will destroy the coalition necessary to pass the bill.
- According to the National Taxpayers Union, to clinch the Democratic nomination Barack Obama promised new federal programs that would increase spending by $343.9 billion a year.
- Responding to market forces such as consumer demand, General Motors is moving to more fuel-efficient vehicles and may kill its Hummer brand altogether.
- Eager to move on and celebrate the Olympics, Chinese authorities are dragging away crying mothers from protests over shoddy school construction that led to the earthquake deaths of thousands of children.
- In Rome yesterday for a U.N. summit on world hunger, Iranian leader Mahmoud Ahmadinejad blamed Israel and the United States for high fuel and food prices.
- A new study suggests drinking red wine may help extend the human lifespan.