Monday, December 06, 2010

The sheep look up

The Republican Party apparatchik, Myron Ebell, who is a living lie every time he is described as being employed by a "non-partisan public policy group" outlines his plan for bringing misery, death and poison to millions of Americans:
The 2009 stimulus plan has done little besides pile up national debt, and a further stimulus would be equally useless. The fact is that the U.S. economy is going to struggle as long as the Obama administration keeps piling on new regulations that are strangling investment.

The environmental and energy regulations are the worst. They include
  • EPA regulation of greenhouse gas emissions using the Clean Air Act,

  • the forthcoming SOX-NOX transport and ozone rules to shut down coal-fired power plants,

  • the arbitrary use of the Clean Water Act to stop surface coal mining in central Appalachia,

  • the de facto moratorium on offshore oil and gas exploration,

  • the boiler MACT rule, the coal ash rule,

  • the cooling water intake structures rule,

  • the delay in approving the pipeline from the Alberta oil sands,

  • the cancellation of oil exploration leases on federal land in the Rocky Mountains, and

  • higher fuel efficiency standards for cars, pickups and SUVs, and heavy-duty trucks.

  • The administration is also rushing to develop regulations to limit natural gas production using hydraulic fracturing.
Myron just loves the smell of toxic pollution in the morning.

No regulation. Never. Any. Good.

Except last May when Myron spoke of the need for more scrutiny of the industry and regulations.

I guess it's quite easy to forget that event if you don't actually live on the shores of the Gulf and don't detect the diseases and cancers that are brewing.

Myron concludes with his extinct support for technological retreat back to the 20th century:
The Obama administration with strong support from the Democratic leadership in Congress is engaged in a multi-front war on coal, oil, and natural gas. At the same time, it is wasting tens of billions of dollars on dead-end renewables that raise energy prices. Taken together, the Obama administration is making consumers poorer and pricing U.S. manufacturing out of existence.

That is why investment capital is fleeing the U.S. There are undoubtedly many people who would like to invest in the American economy, but who in their right mind would take a chance that the Obama administration’s regulatory strangulation is going to be reversed. The new Republican majority in the House of Representatives faces an enormous challenge to limit and undo the damage done by President Obama to America’s long-term economic prospects.
To balance Mr Ebell's awesome fear and ignorance, it's necessary to include the contribution from Dean Baker, the man who knows the numbers and recognized the 6 trillion dollar property bubble when no one else bothered:
The stimulus has performed pretty much as projected. It created 2-3 million jobs and lowered the unemployment rate by between 1-2 percentage points. It also is coming to an end.

I'm not sure why anyone would have expected it to offset a downturn of this magnitude. The collapse of the housing bubble and the bubble in non-residential real estate cost us about $600 billion in annual construction demand. The loss of more than $6 trillion in housing wealth and an equal amount of stock wealth led to a drop in annual consumption of around $600 billion.

Pulling out technical fixes (the alternative minimum tax) and money to be spent in later years, the stimulus came to about $300 billion a year for 2009 and 2010. This was offset by declines in state and local government spending of around $150 billion a year, leaving a net government stimulus of around $150 billion a year.

Outside of Washington, it is not hard to understand that $150 billion in stimulus from the government sector cannot offset a $1.2 trillion loss in demand from the private sector. Unfortunately the reporters who cover economic policy aren't very good with arithmetic so they somehow can't get this.


Post a Comment

<< Home