People for the West -Tucson
Newsletter, June, 2022
PO Box 86868, Tucson, AZ 85754-6868
Real environmentalism can go hand in hand with natural resource production, private property rights, and access to public lands
In this issue we will examine the science and politics of energy and climate. As H. L. Mencken once wrote:
“The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary.”
The main hobgoblin of the day is carbon dioxide generated by burning fossil fuels (which represents only 0.1% of total greenhouse gases). Our civilization depends on fossil fuels and life on Earth depends on carbon dioxide.
We begin by exploring that last point in an essay by scientist David Wojick:
Farming the air
by David Wojick
You are built almost entirely out of carbon dioxide and water. So is all the food you eat. Likewise for all the energy you use moving about and staying alive. Carbon dioxide and water! In short the carbon dioxide in the air is the global food supply. This is why all life on Earth is said to be “carbon based”.
The climate alarmists play a tricky word game here. They call carbon dioxide “pollution” and wind and solar power “clean.” Our food supply is not pollution. Nor is emitting carbon dioxide (which we all do when we exhale) unclean. This is just false advertising. Watching a child grow is watching processed carbon dioxide be reprocessed.
Here is how it works. Plants collect carbon dioxide from the air then use sunlight and water to create the stuff they consume to build their bodies and to live on. They also use tiny amounts of vitamins and minerals, just as we do. Fertilizer is like vitamins, not like food. So almost all of what they use is carbon dioxide and water. Animals eat the plants for food, basically reprocessing the carbon dioxide and water. Then we eat both plants and animals.
There is a saying that you cannot live on air but in fact that is just what we do. All of our food begins as airborne (or waterborne) carbon dioxide. Our farmers are literally farming the air!
Go into a grocery store and look around. All the food you see — vegetables, fruit and meat — fresh, frozen or canned — is processed carbon dioxide. So are the people shopping there. So are you.
The climate scare is based on the fact that the amount of carbon dioxide in the air has been slowly increasing for the last hundred years or so. That this might cause a tiny bit of global warming is really not a problem. The good news is that plant productivity is increasing around the world as a direct result of the increasing carbon dioxide. This is called the “greening” of planet Earth and it has been clearly observed by NASA satellites.
So the global food supply of carbon dioxide has been steadily increasing. This helps explain how we are able to feed our growing human population. Crop yields have consistently increased even though the amount of farm land has actually gone down.
The actual process is a miracle. Plants are passive consumers. They sit there and wait for carbon dioxide molecules to bump into them, where they are then combined with water and sunlight to make the plant’s food. Carbon dioxide is called a trace gas because there is very little of it as a fraction of the air. A hundred years ago it is estimated that there was something like one carbon dioxide molecule out of every 3,000 air molecules. Today it is more like one out of 2,500 which is a big help to the passive plants.
Note that this increase in global plant growth due to increasing carbon dioxide is incorrectly called the “fertilization effect”. It should be called the food effect. Imagine putting on a table everything you will eat in a day. Next to that put a vitamin pill. Fertilizer is like the pill while carbon dioxide is like the pile of food.
Also the carbon dioxide is not there because of our burning gasoline, diesel, natural gas, oil and coal. It is part of a natural “carbon cycle” that is twenty times bigger than our emissions. Life on Earth is part of and depends on this natural carbon cycle. Our carbon dioxide just adds a little bit to it, which is a good thing.
Unfortunately you will seldom, if ever, hear any of this, because of climate change hysteria. Carbon dioxide is called dangerous pollution, when it is actually the stuff of life. The increase is decried as bad when it is actually good. The alarmists want to stop the increase or even reverse it, ignoring that this is the global food supply. As a carbon based life form we should be leery of calls for “decarbonization”.
Likewise calling wind and solar power “clean energy” just because they do not create carbon dioxide is false, bordering on a hoax. There is nothing unclean about carbon dioxide. It is our food.
We should be very thankful that carbon dioxide is increasing, not demonizing it. We are all made of carbon dioxide. (Source) ☼
MORE ON CLIMATE
It is claimed that we are at the edge of a “climate crisis” brought on by carbon dioxide emissions. That claim is based mainly on climate modeling, the results of which run much hotter that reality. There is, in fact, no physical evidence that carbon dioxide emissions have a significant effect on climate.
Major surface data issues argue the global warming hypothesis can’t be validated
By Joseph D’Aleo, CCM, AMS Fellow
Temperature Measurement Timeline Highlights: Virtually every month and year we see stories in the once reliable media and from formerly unbiased data centers that proclaim the warmest such period in the entire record back to 1895 or earlier. The following suggests most of the period is model-based guesswork. (Read more, 18 pages) ☼
Is It Time To Ditch Those Shoddy ‘Climate Models’?
by Steven F. Hayward
Just about every projected environmental catastrophe going back to the population bomb of the late 1960s, the “Club of Rome” and “Global 2000” resource-exhaustion panics of the 1970s, the ozone depletion crisis of the 1980s, and beyond has depended on computer models, all of which turned out to be wrong, sometimes by an order of magnitude. The defects of the computer climate models—more than 60 are used at the present time—that the whole climate crusade depends on have become openly acknowledged over the past few years, and a fresh study in the mainstream scientific literature recently highlights the problem afresh: too many of the climate models are “running hot,” which calls into question the accuracy of future temperature projections. (Read more) ☼
The Sun is the primary energy source for climate; the oceans are the primary energy “storage” mechanism; ocean currents are the primary energy “transport” and “collection” vehicle; and the atmosphere has a negligible capacity to store long term climate energy. [Apparently these natural features of the Earth are too complex for the IPCC and its modelers; so their focus is on the atmosphere, which has a negligible storage capacity – and still get that wrong.]
An important issue generally ignored by climate studies looking back in history: what causes changes to ocean currents? 1) as continents have drifted, ocean passages have opened and closed over time; 2) as a result, there have been major changes in ocean currents; 3) these changes have affected energy collection and transport and climate.
Continental Drift: For tens of millions of years starting about 66 million years ago, there was an open seaway near the equator, circulating the energy stored in the oceans. Temperatures were high, water levels were high, there were no ice caps. In the Eocene, about 56 million years ago, the Antarctic was still closed, there was no Drake passage. The Arctic Ocean was closed, temperatures 16-18° C above today. This warmth led a biological boom.
Starting in the Oligocene, about 34 million years ago dramatic climate change, cooling, began. The Drake passage opened, and the Antarctic circumpolar current began, allowing for the beginning of the east Antarctic ice sheet. India was colliding with Asia narrowing the equatorial seaway in that region. In the Mid-Miocene about 14 million years ago, the seaway in between North and South America narrowed as well as the seaway between Asia and Australia. The isolation of Antarctica increased with a widening of the southern polar current. The Antarctic ice cap extended to west Antarctica.
By 3.3 million years ago, the seaway through Panama closed and the seaway in Indonesia narrowed, terminating the Equatorial Current. These events gave us the Quaternary Period beginning with the Pleistocene Epoch which immediately proceeded the current Holocene Epoch. The Earth’s oceans were forced into a North-South pattern, the North and South ice caps and ice sheets expanded. The equatorial heat transport of the oceans no longer moderated the Milankovitch Cycles, and they began to cause large 100,000 and 41,000-year glacial cycles with drastic 10-degree C swings in temperatures. ☼
Will Planting Trees Reduce Global Warming?
By Richard W. Fulmer, MasterResource
“The Earth is an unimaginably intricate system comprised of countless subsystems – many of which are poorly understood and some, probably, still unknown. The science that purports to explain those systems is unsettled and, well…, complicated.”
It’s complicated. Trees are natural carbon sinks, absorbing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. But they also emit volatile chemicals that can form methane and ozone, both powerful greenhouse gases. A 2014 study suggests that deforestation between 1850 and 2000 may have reduced volatile chemical emissions enough to “slightly offset the warming from greenhouse gas emissions.”
But it’s more complicated than that. Trees’ chemical emissions can also form aerosols that impact the climate in different ways. For instance, they can create a haze that reflects sunlight back into space. Aerosol particles may also “act as seeds for cloud droplets,” which similarly reflect sunlight away from the Earth.
But wait, it gets even more complicated. Research suggests that arboreal aerosol emissions may decline as atmospheric CO2 concentrations increase. Complicating the picture still further, land covered with trees tends to be darker than land covered with grass, sand, or snow. Dark surfaces trap more of the sun’s heat, warming the local climate. (Read more) ☼
The History and Importance of U.S. Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG)
by Linnea Lueken, Heartland Institute
Liquified natural gas, commonly called LNG, is primarily methane (CH4) cooled to a liquified form for transportation and storage. LNG makes it possible for natural gas to be imported and exported around the world in a safe and affordable manner. In its liquefied form, natural gas is easier to transport across vast distances because it does not require pipelines. LNG can be delivered via tanker ships, trucks, and railcars due to the fact that it takes up less space than gaseous state methane.
Fracking Changes Everything: From Imports to Exports:
In the early 2000s, the United States was predicted to have looming natural gas shortages. Federal policies made public lands difficult to develop for natural gas production. Moreover, production from existing wells on state and private lands was declining. Prices were high and the United States was importing LNG to satisfy growing demand.
In 2006, there were five LNG terminals in the United States, all designed to import LNG, with a capacity of around 4 billion cubic feet per day. At that time, 41 LNG projects were under consideration to increase U.S. import capacity. However, beginning in 2008, the fracking and shale gas revolution fueled a huge increase in natural gas production in the United States, which meant the United States no longer needed to import large amounts of LNG.
Horizontal drilling combined with fracking-improved production allowed U.S. producers to access large, untapped deposits of shale gas reserves and other unconventional formations that had previously been too difficult to access. [Read the whole paper here.] ☼
41 Inconvenient Truths on the “New Energy Economy”
by Mark P. Mills
1. Hydrocarbons supply over 80 percent of world energy: If all that were in the form of oil, the barrels would line up from Washington, D.C., to Los Angeles, and that entire line would grow by the height of the Washington Monument every week.
2. The small two-percentage-point decline in the hydrocarbon share of world energy use entailed over $2 trillion in cumulative global spending on alternatives over that period; solar and wind today supply less than two percent of the global energy.
7. Eliminating hydrocarbons to make U.S. electricity (impossible soon, infeasible for decades) would leave untouched 70 percent of U.S. hydrocarbons use—America uses 16 percent of world energy.
19. It costs less than $0.50 to store a barrel of oil, or its equivalent in natural gas, but it costs $200 to store the equivalent energy of a barrel of oil in batteries. (Read full list) ☼
How Biofuel Subsidies Contribute To Rising Food And Fuel Prices
by Jerry Jung, Washington Times
Let’s overlook the devastating impact that biofuel production has on our surface and groundwater. Let’s forget about the loss of tens of millions of acres of natural habitat and its calamitous impact on local and migrating biodiversity. Let’s instead focus on the economics of biofuel subsidies and how it contributes to rising food and fuel prices.
The most significant biofuel mandate applies to corn-based ethanol. The EPA, no longer constrained by legislation providing guidelines, has continued to increase the number of gallons of ethanol that must be blended into our gasoline supplies.
This year the EPA has mandated the production of 20,770,000,000 gallons of ethanol. A bushel of corn will make 2.75 gallons of ethanol and the average yield for corn is 177 bushels per acre.
Basic arithmetic then substantiates that 41,900,000 million acres of prime farmland in this country are diverted from food production to fuel production. (Read more) ☼
Hydrogen — The Magical Rainbow Gas
by Viv Forbes
If you believe in the tooth fairy or vote Green, you probably believe that hydrogen is the magical rainbow gas that will banish global warming, replace wicked hydrocarbons in electricity generation, fuel tomorrow’s trucks, planes, and heavy equipment, and earn unlimited export income.
There is one big problem – unlike coal, oil, and gas, there are no hidden pools of hydrogen we can tap. Every bit of hydrogen has to be manufactured from water or hydrocarbons using huge amounts of energy. The energy content of liquid hydrogen is about 70% of the energy required to produce it. Burn it in a combined cycle gas turbine (energy efficiency 50%) and see that energy return drop to around 35%. Use it as a vehicle fuel and see energy efficiency fall even further. The density of liquefied hydrogen is much lower than that of natural gas – thus the transportation costs will be higher. And because the tiny hydrogen atom finds any small leak, the safety risks are very high – imagine a road accident involving flammable lithium batteries plus explosive hydrogen gas. (Read more) ☼
The Clean Energy Minerals Reform Act Is the Wrong Solution for American Mining
By Pete Stauber
Everything in this world is either grown or mined, and if we don’t grow it or mine it in America, we import it. Events from the past few years, namely the COVID-19 pandemic and the Russian invasion of Ukraine, have highlighted America’s hunger for metals, including copper, nickel, cobalt, platinum-group elements, and more. Therefore, Congress needs to boost domestic production. Instead, the majority is putting up more arbitrary hurdles, like the so-called Clean Energy Minerals Reform Act.
Don’t let the name fool you. This legislation, introduced by Chairman Grijalva (D-AZ) and being considered before the House Natural Resources Subcommittee on Energy and Mineral Resources this week, will make it even harder to access clean energy minerals domestically while furthering our reliance on Russia, China, and the Congo. The bill contains several provisions that contribute to longtime goals of the Left: dissuade investment in mining and choke projects to death with an unpredictable permitting process. (Read more) ☼
The INTENDED Consequences of Climate Policy: ‘Electricity Shortage Warnings Grow Across U.S.’
From Climate Depot
The risk of electricity shortages is rising throughout the U.S. as traditional power plants are being retired more quickly than they can be replaced by renewable energy and battery storage. Power grids are feeling the strain as the U.S. makes a historic transition from conventional power plants fueled by coal and natural gas to cleaner forms of energy such as wind and solar power, and aging nuclear plants are slated for retirement in many parts of the country.
The challenge is that wind and solar farms—which are among the cheapest forms of power generation—don’t produce electricity at all times and need large batteries to store their output for later use. While a large amount of battery storage is under development, regional grid operators have lately warned that the pace may not be fast enough to offset the closures of traditional power plants that can work around the clock. (Read more) ☼
A Mostly Wind- and Solar-Powered U.S. Economy Is a Dangerous Fantasy
by Francis Menton
When President Biden and other advocates of wind and solar generation speak, they appear to believe that the challenge posed is just a matter of currently having too much fossil fuel generation and not enough wind and solar; and therefore, accomplishing the transition to “net zero” will be a simple matter of building sufficient wind and solar facilities and having those facilities replace the current ones that use the fossil fuels.
They are completely wrong about that.
The proposed transition to “net zero” via wind and solar power is not only not easy, but is a total fantasy. It likely cannot occur at all without dramatically undermining our economy, lifestyle and security, and it certainly cannot occur at anything remotely approaching reasonable cost. At some point, the ongoing forced transition… will crash and burn.
It doesn’t matter whether you build a million wind turbines and solar panels, or a billion, or a trillion. On a calm night, they will still produce nothing, and will require full back-up from some other source. (Read more) ☼
Study: ‘Green Energy’ Unsafe For Birds, Bats, Endangered Species
by Matthew Vadum
Wind and solar energy technologies, which eco-religionists claim will save the planet from the ravages of capitalism and the destruction it supposedly causes, are culling endangered animals and wiping out their habitats. (Read more) ☼
Long-Term Driving Of Your Gas Car Has Lower Lifetime CO2 Emissions Than EVs
by Kenneth Richard
A new study finds that after analyzing the CO2 emissions associated with producing an EV, the EV battery manufactured and replaced every ~5 years, and the power supply of the charging stations, “the total CO2 emissions will be much lower with continued use of the old but operational combustion car instead of buying a new electric one.” (Read more) ☼
Electric Car Lie Exposed
by Ron Clutz
Jim Le Maistre has done the homework showing the futility of substituting electric cars for gas-powered vehicles. Entrepreneurs and the media have failed to inform us the EVs require almost 1/3 more energy per kilometer travelled than conventional cars. His document is Electric Cars Increase Energy Demand 31% over Gas Cars. Some of his exhibits are reproduced below to express the thrust of his analysis. (Read more)
STATE OF THE UNION
Milton Friedman: Why Government Is the Problem
The major social problems of the United States—deteriorating education, lawlessness and crime, homelessness, the collapse of family values, the crisis in medical care—have been produced by well-intended actions of government. That is easy to document. The difficult task is understanding why government is the problem. The power of special interests arising from the concentrated benefits of most government actions and their dispersed costs is only part of the answer. A more fundamental part is the difference between the self-interest of individuals when they are engaged in the private sector and the self-interest of the same individuals when they are engaged in the government sector. The result is a government system that is no longer controlled by “we, the people.” Instead of Lincoln’s government “of the people, by the people, and for the people,” we now have a government “of the people, by the bureaucrats, for the bureaucrats,” including the elected representatives who have become bureaucrats. At the moment, term limits appear to be the reform that promises to be most effective in curbing Leviathan. Download your eBook here (24 pages download is free) ☼
BLM Flags on Public Buildings Violates the Law
by Harold “Hal” Shurtleff
When they started putting BLM flags on public buildings particularly schools, Hal’s guest, John Klar, became increasingly alarmed. As a farmer and attorney he has run for governor, and is now running for congress in the state of Vermont. After they painted BLM murals on the streets is front of government buildings, John asked to paint a companion message of “liberty and justice for all” and was denied. Now with the recent 9-0 Supreme Court ruling in Shurtleff v. City of Boston these law breakers have been put on notice. Overtly partisan symbols have no place in public spaces and violates basic law. (Watch podcast) ☼
NEPA Revisions Would Undercut Infrastructure Projects
By Krisztina Pusok
Repairing American infrastructure has been the primary big-ticket item on which President Biden has staked his presidency, but his own environmental regulations threaten to undermine the goals of his landmark $1.2 trillion infrastructure bill. President Biden has directed the White House Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) to restore strict environmental standards for all large infrastructure projects that require a permit or use federal dollars. The standards are part of the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), which has been updated to require federal agencies to calculate both the “indirect” and “cumulative impacts” of new projects in areas such as air and water quality, wildlife habit, CO2 emissions, and climate change. In addition, the standards will now grant agencies the power to develop environmental procedures that “go beyond the CEQ regulatory requirements.”
These changes, which are set to take effect on May 20th, represent a significant expansion of the reach of environmental reviews and could present an obstacle to the Biden Administration’s plan to upgrade America’s infrastructure. Projects pertaining to roads, bridges, and pipelines will now all need to go through a lengthy review process, which could mean higher construction costs, more frequent delays, and new lawsuits from environmental groups opposed to a particular project’s construction. This appears to run counter to the stated policy goals of Biden’s White House. (Read more) ☼
See also my blog article: How Nepa Crushes Productivity
DeSantis: Biden Wants ‘Higher Gas Prices’ To ‘Punish’ Americans For Using Carbon
by Hannah Bleau
President Biden and Democrats want to “punish” Americans via high gas prices, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) said on Friday, noting that the administration is “totally out of touch, I think, with the realities that people are dealing with.”
DeSantis briefly walked through some of the issues that have surfaced since Biden took office, highlighting his “series of policy errors” which have “made life more difficult for the average American and the average Floridian.”
“They have an energy policy that is deliberately trying to suppress production here in the United States, even though they inherited a country that was energy independent for the first time in an awful long time,” he said, explaining that [the administration] has reduced supply, canceled leases, and made it abundantly more difficult to produce domestically. (Read more) ☼
Why New York’s ‘Assault Weapon’ Ban Didn’t Stop the Buffalo Massacre
by Jacob Sullum
The problem is not sneaky entrepreneurs who sell accessories; it’s legislators who ban guns based on functionally unimportant features. The suspect in the mass shooting that killed 10 people at a Buffalo grocery store on Saturday used a rifle that was widely described as an “assault weapon.” With certain exceptions that don’t apply here, that category of firearms is illegal in New York. Yet The New York Times reports that the shooter legally bought the rifle from a gun dealer in Endicott, New York. How is that possible? It turns out that the rifle, a Bushmaster XM-15 ES, was not an “assault weapon” at the time of the purchase, but it became an “assault weapon” after the shooter tinkered with it. The details of that transformation illustrate how arbitrary and ineffectual bans like New York’s are. (Read more) ☼
Democrats Blame Inflation on ‘Greed,’ Instead of Their Own Failed Policies
By Brian C. Joondeph
Inflation, over the past year, has gone from conspiracy theory to transient, to no big deal, to ignored, and now finally reluctantly acknowledged by the ruling class.
Is this simply economic stupidity? Or is this approach more sinister?
Former Soviet Premier Vladimir Lenin correctly observed, “The way to crush the bourgeoisie is to grind them between the millstones of taxation and inflation.” This is exactly what is happening in America. Democrats want tax increases to fight inflation, which even the corporate media recognizes as “reckless.” What better way to demoralize and destroy a society than by making the people poor and hungry? Which is exactly where we are headed. (Read more)
Pallets and pallets of baby formula for illegals, nothing on the shelves for Americans
By Monica Showalter
You’ve heard of pallets of cash for the mullahs? Now it’s pallets of baby formula exclusively for illegals — while American babies go hungry. Such is the incredible story being reported by the Washington Examiner on the state of Joe Biden’s “priorities.” According to videos posted by a Florida lawmaker, the Biden administration has been shipping “pallets” of baby formula to migrant holding facilities. (Read more) ☼
Team Biden Is Fueling Food Inflation With His Climate Agenda
by Betsy Mccaughey
President Joe Biden is prioritizing climate preservation over your ability to feed your family affordably. His policies are driving up the costs of fertilizer, energy, and farm-to-store transportation. Add to that overall inflation driven by excessive federal-government spending. The result is sky-high food prices. (Read more) ☼
Despite Spending $1.1 Billion, San Francisco Sees Its Homelessness Problems Spiral Out Of Control
by Lee Ohanian
San Francisco is slightly smaller than Jacksonville, Florida. Yet San Francisco’s homelessness budget—$1.1 billion in fiscal year 2021–22—is nearly 80 percent of Jacksonville’s entire city budget. But despite this enormous spending, homelessness and the attendant problems of drug abuse, crime, public health issues, and an overall deterioration in the quality of life, spiral further downwards each year. An important reason why San Francisco policies continue to fail is that there is little or no accountability within the city’s government to evaluate the efficacy of its spending. Some of the city’s programs are so poorly managed that some homeless people likely prefer living on the streets to the facilities that are being provided to them at enormously inflated costs to taxpayers. (Read more) ☼
Biden climate advisor boasts ‘100 rules this year alone on appliances’ & urges ‘sustainable airlines’ – Warns industry ‘better be’ all in ‘or they’re gonna be out of here’
by Marc Morrano
White House National Climate Advisor & former EPA chief Gina McCarthy: “We have solutions that can deliver. We’re actually going to do 100 rules this year alone on appliances, just like you asked. We are developing partnerships on how we work together for new building standards, even for sustainable airlines. Who’d a thunk that they’d be all in, but they better be, or they’re gonna be out of here.”
Climate Depot’s Morano comment: “Welcome the Dystopia USA 2022. The very last thing Americans need right now is a regulatory ambush of 100 additional climate ‘rules’ that would impact every major home appliance but do absolutely nothing for the climate. After years of COVID lockdowns, mask and vaccine mandates, skyrocketing energy costs and now war, U.S. businesses do not need mandated government ‘partnerships’ to meet mythical climate ‘standards.’ The Biden administration’s attempt to force so-called ‘sustainable airlines’ on the public — or else — is not a sane path forward.” (Read more) ☼
Biden administration thwarts Biden administration’s goal of increasing domestic mining
by Isaac Orr
The Biden administration has suffered another devastating blow from the Biden administration. President Biden’s latest setback occurred as President Biden’s Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued a recommendation to the Army Corps of Engineers, stating the agency did not believe the Corp should reissue the Clean Water Act (CWA) Section 404 permit for PolyMet’s NorthMet mining project. This will complicate the President’s goals of increasing domestic mining for critical minerals.
Biden’s latest move to impede domestic mining comes just one month after Biden announced he would invoke the Defense Production Act (DPA) to increase domestic mining. Among the critical minerals, Biden sought to boost lithium, nickel, cobalt, graphite, and manganese through the DPA. The EPA’s recommendation on the CWA permit threatens the future of the NorthMet mine, which would be a significant domestic producer of nickel and cobalt.
Minnesota’s Duluth Complex contains 34 percent of U.S. copper reserves, 95 percent of the nation’s nickel reserves, 88 percent of the domestic cobalt reserves, 51 percent of platinum reserves, and 48 percent of palladium reserves. Northeast Minnesota is also home to 90 percent of the country’s iron ore reserves. (Read more) ☼
Don’t Wait! The National Debt Is Only Getting Worse
by Eric Boehm, Reason Magazine
Getting a handle on America’s massive and growing national debt will only be more difficult if lawmakers keep postponing the effort.
In a report released Thursday, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) attempted to attach some math to the difficult policy decisions that lie ahead. Regardless of when lawmakers decide to address the $30 trillion national debt, just stabilizing it (that is, implementing policies to stop it from growing relative to the nation’s economy as a whole) will require that “income tax receipts or benefit payments change substantially from their currently projected path.”
In short, taxes will have to go up and government services—including benefits from programs like Social Security and Medicare, the health insurance program for the elderly—will likely have to be reduced.
A larger amount of debt translates into reduced economic growth in the long run, as the cost of interest payments on the debt consumes dollars that could otherwise be put to productive use. As the CBO notes, persistently high levels of debt can also put upward pressure on interest rates and make it more difficult to combat inflation. (Read more) ☼
THOUGHTS TO PONDER
“Without Freedom of Thought there can be no such Thing as Wisdom; and no such Thing as Public Liberty, without Freedom of Speech.” —Benjamin Franklin (1722)
“They put up a wall around the U.S. Capitol to protect politicians. They put up a wall around the Supreme Court to protect justices. But they can’t build a wall at the southern border to protect you.” —Congressman Jim Jordan
“Our educational system may not teach students much math or science, but students learn from gutless academic administrators that mob rule is the way to get what you want — and to silence those who disagree with you.” —Thomas Sowell
“Have we reached the ultimate stage of absurdity where some people are held responsible for things that happened before they were born, while other people are not held responsible for what they themselves are doing today?” —Thomas Sowell
“A really efficient totalitarian state would be one in which the all-powerful executive of political bosses and their army of managers control a population of slaves who do not have to be coerced, because they love their servitude. To make them love it is the task assigned, in present-day totalitarian states, to ministries of propaganda, newspaper editors and schoolteachers.” —Aldous Huxley (1894-1963)
“One of the most pathetic — and dangerous — signs of our times is the growing number of individuals and groups who believe that no one can possibly disagree with them for any honest reason.” —Thomas Sowell
“Activism is a way for useless people to feel important, even if the consequences of their activism are counterproductive for those they claim to be helping and damaging to the fabric of society as a whole.” —Thomas Sowell
“On issue after issue, the morally self-anointed visionaries have for centuries argued as if no honest disagreement were possible, as if those who opposed them were not merely in error but in sin.” —Thomas Sowell
“One of the bittersweet things about growing old is realizing how mistaken you were when you were young. As a young political leftist, I saw the left as the voice of the common man. Nothing could be further from the truth.” —Thomas Sowell
“It is our attitude toward free thought and free expression that will determine our fate. There must be no limit on the range of temperate discussion, no limits on thought. No subject must be taboo. No censor must preside at our assemblies.” —Justice William O. Douglas (1898-1980)
“The principle of spending money to be paid by posterity, under the name of funding, is but swindling futurity on a large scale.” —Thomas Jefferson (1816)
“The prosperity of commerce is now perceived and acknowledged by all enlightened statesmen to be the most useful as well as the most productive source of national wealth, and has accordingly become a primary object of its political cares.” —Alexander Hamilton (1787)
“Why is it that so many people who are ‘pro-choice’ when it comes to abortion are against choice when it comes to letting parents choose where their children go to school?” —Thomas Sowell
“To render us again one people acting as one nation should be the object of every man really a patriot.” —Thomas Jefferson (1801
“Disinformation is thus defined as anything that Democrats say it is.” – Douglas Andrews, Patriot Post
“A good government implies two things; first, fidelity to the objects of the government; secondly, a knowledge of the means, by which those objects can be best attained.” —Joseph Story (1833)
“There are more instances of the abridgment of the freedom of the people by gradual and silent encroachments of those in power than by violent and sudden usurpations.” —James Madison (1788)
“Everybody is in favor of free speech. Hardly a day passes without its being extolled, but some people’s idea of it is that they are free to say what they like, but if anyone says anything back, that is an outrage.” —Winston Churchill (1874-1965)
“Spending $40 billion on Ukraine aid — more than three times what all of Europe has spent combined — is not in America’s interests. It neglects priorities at home (the border), allows Europe to freeload, short changes critical interests abroad and comes [with] no meaningful oversight.” —Senator Josh Hawley
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1) Support private property rights.
2) Support multiple use management of federal lands for agriculture, livestock grazing, mining, oil and gas production, recreation, timber harvesting and water development activities.
3) Support a balance of environmental responsibility and economic benefit for all Americans by urging that environmental policy be based on good science and sound economic principles.
Newsletters can be viewed online on Jonathan’s Wryheat Blog:
See my essay on climate change:
If you like murder mysteries, try Lonni’s novels. See descriptions and links at:
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
People for the West – Tucson, Inc. is an Arizona tax-exempt, 501(c)(3) corporation. Newsletter subscriptions are free.
In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. section 107, any copyrighted material herein is distributed without profit or payment to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving this information for non-profit research and educational purposes only.