People for the West -Tucson
PO Box 86868, Tucson, AZ 85754-6868 firstname.lastname@example.org
Newsletter, November, 2016
The State of the Union
by Jonathan DuHamel
We are about to choose our next batch of political leaders. In some cases it is a choice between more Big Government or a reigning in of regulation. Many people are dissatisfied about the way government works. Let’s take a look:
Why the Federal Government Fails
By Chris Edwards, CATO Policy Analysis 777
Most Americans think that the federal government is incompetent and wasteful. Their negative view is not surprising given the steady stream of scandals emanating from Washington. Scholarly studies support the idea that many federal activities are misguided and harmful. A recent book on federal performance by Yale University law professor Peter Schuck concluded that failure is “endemic.” What causes all the failures?
First, federal policies rely on top-down planning and coercion. That tends to create winners and losers, which is unlike the mutually beneficial relationships of markets. It also means that federal policies are based on guesswork because there is no price system to guide decision making. A further problem is that failed policies are not weeded out because they are funded by taxes, which are compulsory and not contingent on performance.
Second, the government lacks knowledge about our complex society. That ignorance is behind many unintended and harmful side effects of federal policies. While markets gather knowledge from the bottom up and are rooted in individual preferences, the government’s actions destroy knowledge and squelch diversity.
Third, legislators often act counter to the general public interest. They use debt, an opaque tax system, and other techniques to hide the full costs of programs. Furthermore, they use logrolling to pass harmful policies that do not have broad public support.
Fourth, civil servants act within a bureaucratic system that rewards inertia, not the creation of value. Various reforms over the decades have tried to fix the bureaucracy, but the incentives that generate poor performance are deeply entrenched in the executive branch.
Fifth, the federal government has grown enormous in size and scope. Each increment of spending has produced less value but rising taxpayer costs. Failure has increased as legislators have become overloaded by the vast array of programs they have created. Today’s federal budget is 100 times larger than the average state budget, and it is far too large to adequately oversee. Management reforms and changes to budget rules might reduce some types of failure. But the only way to create a major improvement in performance is to cut the overall size of the federal government. Read full paper ☼
Record-High Number of Pages of Obama Regulations Exceed That of Bush, Clinton
by Ali Meyer, Free Beacon
The number of pages of regulations issued by the federal government during the Obama presidency has hit a record high, according to a count from the Federal Register.
President Obama’s administration has issued 28,239 new final rules encompassing 201,046 pages in the Federal Register.
George W. Bush’s administration issued 31,634 regulations encompassing 178,571 pages in the Federal Register. Bill Clinton’s administration issued 37,366 rules for a total of 161,766 pages.
The Obama administration has also produced more “major” regulations, which are defined as regulations estimated to have an economic impact of $100,000 more per year, result in a major increase in costs or prices for consumers, and adversely affect competition and employment. (Source) ☼
As Media Credibility Dies, Obama Announces War on Free Press
By Alex Newman
Expressing nostalgia for the days when just three establishment-controlled propaganda organs dominated the public narrative, President Obama lashed out at what he called the “wild, wild west” media landscape that allows non-establishment voices and viewpoints to be heard. Claiming that “censorship” would not be the answer, Obama called for Americans to submit to a vaguely defined (presumably government-run) “curating function” that would help “discard” unapproved information. Critics, though, warned that an increasingly desperate establishment was plotting all-out war on freedom of the press and the free Internet. Read more ☼
How Obama Is Burning the Constitution to Make Your Electric Power Bills Skyrocket
by Alan Carlin
President Obama has been willing not only to use invalid science in pursuit of his impossible climate goals but also to burn the Constitution as a prominent liberal constitutional law professor has pointed out. Presumably Hillary Clinton would do the same. When Congress turned down Obama’s cap and trade bill in 2009-10, Obama decided to use the Clean Air Act (CAA) to reduce US carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions. He said at the time that his CO2 reduction efforts would make electric power rates “skyrocket,” and that is just what the EPA Clean Power Plan (CPP) will do.
So the issues are very much broader than the trillions of taxpayer and ratepayer dollars which the states are being forced to devote to the misguided effort to tear down fossil fuel plants and replace them with much more expensive and much less reliable wind and solar plants which will have no measurable impact on climate or anything else other than the profits of the solar/wind industries.
The larger issue is the very survival of the US system of government enshrined in the Constitution. If Obama gets the courts to approve the CPP he will have shown that a President can drastically change a law passed by Congress on the flimsiest of legal excuses, that the Executive Branch can tell the states what laws they must pass in areas of state responsibility (energy production in this case), and that the Fifth Amendment is null and void since property that EPA has forced electric power companies to install to curb real air pollution from power plants can be “taken” without compensation. Obama claims that Congress must accede to his wishes and confirm a ninth Supreme Court justice who presumably would agree to all this. Read f ull post ☼
Bishop: Administration More Interested in Destroying Dams than Generating Affordable Hydroelectricity
Department of the Interior (DOI) Secretary Sally Jewell urged the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to approve the destruction of four dams on the Klamath River in California and Oregon. Chairman Rob Bishop (R-UT) issued the following statement:
“The administration’s priorities are crystal clear when the federal government takes more time to study and approve plans for a single dam than it took to send a man to the moon. They spend a lot of time focusing on dam removal when they should be prioritizing plans to construct new, multi-purpose water storage. Our nation is missing out on cheaper, cleaner and more abundant sources of energy while drought stricken communities grasp for much needed water storage, thanks to the administration’s narrow-mindedness. In the absence of announcements from the administration to move forward on long-delayed water projects, this symbolizes they are more concerned with removing water infrastructure than building it.” ☼
ObamaCare About to Dump 1.4M From Coverage
by Thomas Gallatin, Patriot Post
Just in time for the election, news is that at least 1.4 million individuals currently enrolled in the ObamaCare marketplace will lose their coverage in 2017, as big insurance companies are pulling out of the exchanges due to massive revenue losses. Over 10% of the current number of individuals enrolled in ObamaCare nationwide will lose their coverage plan, forcing them to search for new plans in an ever shrinking and more costly market. In short, the government-mandated product will only become more expensive with a diminishing value. The S&P forecasts that next year ObamaCare enrollment will “stall or even decline.” So ObamaCare is untenable with a collapse imminent. Who saw that coming?
When ObamaCare was first rolled out, Health and Human Services predicted that 26 million people would be enrolled in the ObamaCare exchanges by 2017. In 2015, the projection of 22 million enrollees for 2016 was reduced 40% to 13 million, and it has since shrunk to 11.1 million. The reason so many are leaving (or not even entering) the ObamaCare exchange is because the “Affordable” Care Act has made insurance unaffordable. The whole premise for ObamaCare was one of stemming growing health care costs (though in reality it was always about government control). ObamaCare has proven to do exactly the opposite of what Democrats promised it would do. Socialism is never a cost effective or economically industrious system. It kills competition and innovation in favor of an “equality” standard that proves only to drag down those who produce rather than raise those who, often through lack of effort, don’t. ObamaCare has managed to drag everyone down. (Source)
An email leaked by WikiLeaks appears to suggest that Hillary Clinton wants the Affordable Care Act to fail, presumably as a pretense for implementing single-payer, government-controlled health care. LifeZette ☼
Feds Thinking About Killing 31,000 Mining Jobs To Protect A Chicken
by Andrew Follett, Daily Caller
A new report has government officials considering setting 10 million acres of across six states in the American west off limits to mining and development to protect the chicken-like Greater Sage Grouse, which is not an endangered species.
The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) report found that much of the Sage Grouse’s habitat sits on top of extremely valuable deposits of minerals including gold, copper, lithium, silver, uranium and many others. The USGS report means that the government’s most restrictive grouse protection plan could kill even more than 31,000 jobs and lead to more than $5.6 billion in reduced annual economic output, estimated by a Western Energy Alliance report.
Federal agencies have already frozen new mining claims across the 10 million acres while they do another environmental impact study.
The Sage Grouse is not listed as endangered or threatened under the Endangered Species Act. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has said the grouse doesn’t need federal protections under the Act for at least the next 4 years. Research from the Western Association of Fish & Wildlife Agencies published in 2015 found that the species’ population had increased by 63 percent over the last two years to a total breeding population of 424,645. Read more ☼
Obama labor regulations will cost $80 billion and 411 million paperwork hours
By Rick Moran, American Thinker
A study by the National Association of Manufacturers of new regulations issued in the last year of President Obama’s presidency shows the massive cost that businesses will be forced to bear. The regulations from the Department of Labor, OSHA, NLRB, and EEOC will cost American businesses $80 billion over the next 10 years, with the subsequent loss of 150,000 jobs. Complying with these regulations will add 411 m illion hours in paperwork burden. Read more ☼
” Unthinking respect for authority is the greatest enemy of truth.” – Albert Einstein
“Remember, democracy never lasts long. It soon wastes, exhausts, and murders itself. There never was a democracy yet that did not commit suicide.” –John Adams
Here’s Why Hillary’s ‘Half A Billion’ Solar Panels Plan Will INCREASE Energy Prices
by Andrew Follett, Daily Caller
Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton’s plan to install half a billion solar panels by the end of her prospective first term will increase electricity prices for American families, according to a study by the free market Institute for Energy Research (IER).
Researchers found Clinton’s plan would increase power price through expanding a solar subsidy, called net metering, which forces utilities to buy the electricity produced by rooftop solar panels often at two to six times the market price. Net metering also forces people who don’t own rooftop solar panels to pay more to maintain the grid. (Source) ☼
The carbon tax is not just political; it’s ineffective, too
By Benjamin Zycher, The Hill
In a recent editorial in support of a carbon tax, The Washington Post complains that “Americans are burning record amounts of gasoline,” arguing that “one of the most glaring … flaws” of the “Environmental Protection Agency fuel-efficiency mandates” is the reality that the regulations “cannot control how much people drive or what type of vehicles people buy.”
That the absence of such coercion is viewed casually as a “flaw” illustrates the descent of the Post editorial board into the totalitarian mindset that is the very definition of modern environmentalism. Moreover, the Post seems not to understand even the basics of the Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) standards regulating gasoline mileage for passenger cars and light trucks: They are promulgated not by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), but by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). Instead, the EPA measures actual fuel consumption for the auto manufacturers’ respective fleets, and promulgates regulations on various emissions, which in principle are coordinated with the NHTSA mileage regulations. Read more ☼
Boondoggle: How Ontario’s pursuit of renewable energy broke the province’s electricity system
by Terence Corcoran, Financial Post
Back in 2010, deep green environmentalist Rick Smith, then head of Environmental Defence Canada, hailed Ontario’s Green Energy and Green Economy Act regime as a cost-free operation that would catapult the province into the big leagues of renewable energy. Through fat subsidies and high prices offered to wind, solar and other renewable industry players, jobs and growth would boom and Ontario would be free of its dirty coal plants. It was the End of Coal, the government said. The birth of a renewable miracle.
The doubling of electricity prices since 2005 is big politically, but it is just the top-line item on a long list of problems, misconceptions and outright fabrications that lurk within the Liberal government’s decade-long pursuit of radical greenism.
Instead of being a worthy model for other nations and states, the province’s green energy megaproject stands as a cautionary tale.
For all the costs of going green — estimated by Ontario’s auditor general to total $170 billion over 30 years—none of the alleged economic and social benefits have materialized.
The promise of maybe hundreds of thousands of renewable energy jobs was also a fantasy; today, nobody can say where the jobs are, mainly because few new permanent jobs exist.
Instead of boosting Ontario’s economy and the health of its citizens, the province has created an incoherent electricity industry that many say threatens the viability of key industries. Read more ☼
Renewable Energy Cost Explosion
by Daniel Wetzel, Die Welt
The Institute for Competition Economics at the University of Dusseldorf has calculated the total cost of Germany’s Green Energy Transition. The result: By 2025, an estimated €520 billion euros will be spent. A family of four will pay more than 25,000 euros for the Energiewende. Read more ☼
Despite constant claims to the contrary, the issue is not whether greenhouse gas emissions affect Earth’s climate. The questions are whether those emissions are overwhelming the powerful natural forces that have always driven climate fluctuations, and whether humans are causing dangerous climate change.
No Real-World evidence supports a “dangerous manmade climate change” thesis. In fact, a moderately warmer planet with more atmospheric carbon dioxide would hugely benefit crop, forest and other plant growth, wildlife and humans – with no or minimal climate effect. A colder planet with less CO2 would punish them. And a chillier CO2-deprived planet with less reliable, less affordable energy (from massive wind, solar and biofuel projects) would threaten habitats, species, nutrition and the poorest among us. -Paul Driessen
Science, Democracy Casualties of the Climate War
By H. Sterling Burnett, Heartland Institute
Transparency is a paramount virtue in science and politics, even more so when those two fields of endeavor overlap, as they do in discussions of climate change.
The scientific process produces discoveries that expand human knowledge and further human welfare only when scientists act in a transparent manner: when different teams of researchers collaborate, sharing data, assumptions, and methodologies, exchanging theories and ideas, and reviewing and testing each other’s work. Transparency is critical to confirming or disconfirming research results and thus is the best way to ensure what scientists claim to have proven is true and to prevent other scientists from going down unproductive research paths.
The United States was founded as a constitutional republic with an elected legislature and executive, not a dictatorship. Transparency in the political sphere is even more important to most Americans’ lives than in science. The laws, regulations, and executive orders enacted by Congress or imposed by the president expand or limit people’s freedom and affect their social and economic well-being on a daily basis.
In America, these laws and rules are supposed to flow ultimately from the people. But the people can effectively participate in the political process only if they are aware of what the government is doing. Only transparency allows the public to confirm that the laws and rules they must live under reflect their will, and only transparency gives them the ability to oversee and restrain government when necessary.
The lack of transparency in the scientific and political spheres of the climate war — recognizing the two are almost inextricably intertwined these days — debases both.Read more ☼
30 peer reviewed studies show no connection between climate change and hurricanes
by Anthony Watts
This list is useful for refuting those misguided people that insist that there was a climate component to hurricane Mathew. The list provides links and main points of the papers. Here is a sample:
“The impact of climate change is seen in slightly decreased intensities in landfalling cyclones.”
“[T]be global frequency of category 4 and 5 hurricanes has shown a small, insignificant downward trend [1990-2014].”
“All of the counts, lifespans, and accumulated cyclone energy of the late-season typhoons during the 1995–2011 epoch decreased significantly, compared with typhoons that occurred during the 1979–94 epoch.”
“There has been no trend towards an increase in the number of categories 3–5 cyclones over the last 30 years.” Read more ☼
Scientists: The Arctic Was Sea-Ice-Free, 19°C Warmer 4 Million Years Ago — And Yet Polar Bears Somehow Survived
By Kenneth Richard
During the Pliocene, or from about 3 to 5 million years ago, subarctic regions of the Northern Hemisphere (Norway, Iceland, Canada) were up to 10°C warmer than they are now, and the Arctic region itself was as much as 19°C warmer than now, with sea-ice-free summers and no permafrost. All this warmth occurred while CO2 concentrations were well below today’s levels. Polar bears somehow managed to survive in these balmy Arctic and subarctic climates. Read more ☼
Some climate madness:
Global warming may cause moose to freeze
JACKSON, Wyo. – Global warming might cause moose to freeze to death in Yellowstone National Park.
As explained in Headwaters, a special environmental supplement to the Jackson Hole News&Guide, moose populations in Jackson Hole have declined significantly in recent years, as they have across the northern United States. The reason for the decline is complicated. Wolves have taken moose, and grizzly bears have been expanding their presence.
But climate could be the biggest challenge. Part of the problem is ticks. A moose with too many of the parasites during the winter can lose its hair and freeze to death.Read more
Climate change threatens status of several British mountains
Staff writers, News Corp Australia Network
Several mountains in the UK could literally disappear from the map because of climate change after it was revealed that rising sea levels could see them reclassified as hills. Read more
Study: Global Warming Causes Cold Winters
by Eric Worrall
A study published in the Journal of Geophysical Research claims that global warming is the root cause of recent spate of cold winters in the Eastern United States. But don’t worry – as temperatures rise, the warming effect of global warming will overcome the cooling effect of global warming. Read more
Bad timing: Study Claiming Less Rain Published in the Middle of a Flood
by Eric Worrall
A study led by ANU Professor Neville Abram, which claims climate is driving clouds south, resulting in less rain reaching Australia’s Southern Coast, has been published in the midst of massive flooding in South Australia. Greens of course blame climate change for the deluge. Read more
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Newsletters can be viewed online on Jonathan’s Wryheat Blog:
See my essay on climate change:
The Constitution is the real contract with America.
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People for the West – Tucson, Inc.
PO Box 86868
Tucson, AZ 85754-6868
Jonathan DuHamel, President & Editor
Dr. John Forrester, Vice President
Lonni Lees, Associate Editor
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