June 26, 2009
Posted by Jon Sanders at 4:24 PM
Save the planet
Posted by Paul Chesser at 4:13 PM
Steve Milloy reports:
Rep. G.K. Butterfield says that Waxman-Markey “literally will save the planet.”
Re: Why I am not a Republican
Posted by Jon Sanders at 3:52 PMRoy, that's an excellent catch. It's nice to hear politicians talking about making sure the benefits are worth the costs — after all, that is something we at the John Locke Foundation have talked about for years. (For example, check out this week's press release on the costs in jobs of the General Assembly raising taxes during this recession and Policy Report on high-speed rail.) But it's only nice if they really mean it.
Unfortunately, (though not surprising in the least) the Republicans either are not serious in calling for comparing costs and benefits or have no idea of the practical applications of that philosophy. Such weak-mindedness, ad hoc fumbling for a position counter to Democrats, and the consequential philosophic uncertainty plague Republicans during the heat of policy debates — a spectacle no doubt partly responsible for why a "conservative state" such as North Carolina is still a one-party state under the thumbs of big-government, self-enriching Democrats.
Re: Income tax increase for North Carolina?
Posted by Paul Chesser at 3:43 PM
Besides its study of the effects of a North Carolina income tax increase, this week the Beacon Hill Institute also has produced its economic analysis of the Waxman-Markey cap-and-tax global warming bill, which the U.S. House will vote on sometime today (have they done it yet?). Not surprisingly, BHI found that W-M will sock it to the economy; but the economics experts also drilled down to some state level analysis, including North Carolina (PDF). The results:
We find that the cap‐and‐trade system would impose a tax of $92.66 per metric ton of carbon in 2020 in order to reach the 20% emissions reduction goal. The cost of carbon would rise to $714 in 2050 to reduce emissions by 83% below 2005 levels. These carbon taxes would cost the residents of North Carolina $4.43 billion dollars in 2020 and $37.34 billion by 2050 through increased energy prices. These increased energy prices would inflict significant harm on the North Carolina economy. The state economy would shed 43,550 jobs by 2020 and 534,070 by 2050. The decrease in labor demand, as seen in the job losses would cause gross wages per person to fall by $446.60 per capita annually by 2020 and $3,766.32 by 2050.
BHI is so good at debunking the fantasies of environmental extremists, much as they did with North Carolina's Climate Action Plan Advisory Group.
Why I am not a Republican--reason number 243
Posted by Dr. Roy Cordato at 3:04 PM
From the NC Republican Party Platform, Article IX, The Environment:
is needed to protect the environment the government should not proceed
without evidence that the benefits warrant the cost."
"We support efforts to become
energy independent. Drilling for oil and natural gas offshore
and inland, nuclear power, solar, wind and alternative fuels will improve
our economy, prevent us from being held hostage to oil producing countries,
and give jobs to our citizens. It will also keep cost of power/energy
Now where's the "evidence that the benefits warrant the costs" regarding these claims..solar, wind and alternative fuels will improve
our economy, prevent us from being held hostage to oil producing countries,
and give jobs to our citizens. It will also keep cost of power/energy
affordable? I guess that benefit/cost stuff doesn't apply to claims made in the platform.
It's fuzzy thinking like this that led most Rs to vote for the state's costly and wasteful renewable portfolio standard Senate Bill 3.
You might be a progressive if...
Posted by Dr. Roy Cordato at 1:20 PM
...you have no evidence to dispute what climatologist Pat Michaels and his co-author Sallie James say in this article but you still refuse to reconsider your position on cap and trade. In other words, your reasons for supporting the bill have little to do the facts.
let's use the federal government's own model which — we are not making this up — is called MAGGIC (Model for the Assessment of Greenhouse-gas Induced Climate Change). It comes from the National Center for Atmospheric Research in Boulder, Colorado.
Let's compare the effects of Waxman-Markey to the United Nations' "business-as-usual" emissions scenario... If the U.S. only adopts Waxman-Markey, global warming would be reduced by a grand total of 0.2ºF by 2100. This is too small to even detect, because global temperatures bounce around by about this amount every year. For those who like to think more near-term, the amount of warming prevented by 2050 would be 0.07 of a degree...Now...assume that every nation that has "obligations" under the (failed) Kyoto Protocol cuts emissions as much as we do. Then the saved warming balloons all the way to 0.14ºF by 2050 and 0.4º by 2100...
And one other tidbit of interest. Under Waxman-Markey "Americans are allowed to emit the same carbon volumes as the average citizen did in 1867."
NCAE launches offensive
Posted by Dr. Terry Stoops at 12:38 AM
Leaders from the NC Association of Educators are mad at Senate Republicans and Democrats, "the very political party that has triumphed class size as its crowning public education achievement," according to this article. The NCAE Civil War continues.
NCAE President Sheri Strickland said,
Educators and students get dragged onto stages as political props only to be discarded when times get tough. Actually, they were dragged onto stages as political props when times got tough, as well, and were used to justify tax increases.
I guess they are not content with their cut of the spoils.
Re: Mixed messages
Posted by Jon Sanders at 11:30 AM
Terry, concerning your post about those particular critics, while it certainly seems that they show a comic lack of consistency in attack, I think that is because all they need to do to show they are giving their cause due diligence is to say something against you for ... um ... something, anything, whatever.
Income tax increase for North Carolina? Say goodbye to 2,800 private-sector jobs
Posted by Mitch Kokai at 11:17 AM
That's the projection in a new report from economists at Boston's Beacon Hill Institute.
Roy Cordato reacts below.
Mixed messages from the Left
Posted by Dr. Terry Stoops at 11:15 AMTwo days ago, North Carolina's "Bolshiest" opinion outlet said that I wanted to "dismantle public education altogether."
Today, they said that I "have been moved to defend More at Four from the budget knife."
...but do they really know the real me? (Cue Theme from Shaft.)
The Renewable Energy Scam in Congress
Posted by Daren Bakst at 11:12 AM
Today, the United States House is expected to
consider the American Clean Energy and Security Act (H.R. 2454), also
known as Waxman-Markey. This 1,000-page bill contains the House’s
version of a renewable-electricity mandate.
You can learn about this mandate and many of its problems in this National Review Online article I wrote.
...on those amazing increases in test scores
Posted by Dr. Terry Stoops at 08:56 AM
School districts are reporting big jumps in test scores on state tests.
Here is the Stoops and Kakadelis take:
1. The retests obviously make a huge difference. Let the debate begin over the move to a stronger "outcome-based" accountability system.
2. Even without the retests, some schools made impressive gains. This has very little to do with superintendents, consultants, administrators, "the system," programs, state support, and the like. It has everything to do with teachers.
3. These test score gains must be validated with increases in NAEP scores and other measures. Otherwise, we have further evidence that North Carolina's school accountability program is a farce.
4. Similarly, DPI continues to hurt the credibility of their testing program by making changes that result in huge shifts in test scores. A redesign of the state standards is underway, so we'll likely see another drop-off in scores.
5. We do not have access to the content of the tests, so the rigor of the test (or lack thereof) may account for some test score increases.
6. We also do not have access to vital DPI testing data and analysis, which will be released in a few months.
7. We still cannot compare North Carolina's results to public school performance in other states.
8. Allowing retest scores to count will essentially roll back DPI's laudable efforts to increase standards, i.e., raise cut scores.
Stupid, stupid, stupid
Posted by Joseph Coletti at 08:36 AM
I just don't get the new beach property insurance scheme that could raise property insurance rates for every homeowner in the state by 10 percent. That's a tax to you and me.
Eli Lehrer provided better ideas to stop the beach plan's growth andfix it.
Another indirect tax on homeowners throughout the state is not the way.
Light rail and cars don't mix
Posted by Dr. Michael Sanera at 07:52 AM
Here is what we have to look forward to in the Triangle when the light rail is built.
Woman hits light-rail train, flees, police say
by Jessica Andrews - Jun. 25, 2009 02:08 PM
The Arizona Republic
A driver doing an illegal U-turn hit a light-rail train Wednesday morning and fled the scene, Tempe police said.
Shaurice Mayhew, 20, was making the turn on the 1800 block of East Apache Boulevard around 10:45 a.m. when she collided with the train, police said. There are signs prohibiting U-turns posted in the area.
Mayhew left the scene, officials said, but she was pulled over by two DPS officers who were nearby.
Mayhew was booked into jail on charges of failing to remain at the scene of the collision and driving on a suspended license, authorities said. She also received a citation for failing to obey a traffic control device.
There were no injuries, and little damage was done to either the train or Mayhew's car, which was impounded.
Special interest groups
Posted by Dr. Terry Stoops at 07:50 AM
In an article describing special breaks for homebuilders, this guy wrote, "No matter how you look at it, that's a pretty powerful reminder of how the General Assembly often works, and who it works for."
He's right. I am often reminded of the same point when I see the General Assembly work for special interest groups like the NC Association of Educators, the NC School Boards Association, the League of Municipalities, NC Association of County Commissioners, etc.
Speaking of government interference …
Posted by Mitch Kokai at 07:01 AMJohn Makin disputes the notion that our financial meltdown marks a case of “market failure.” The American Enterprise Institute visiting fellow writes in Commentary:
The housing bubble was thus a fully rational response to a set of distortions in the free market — distortions created primarily by the public sector. The heads of large financial institutions … recognized the risk-taking subsidy inherent in public policy, but felt they had no choice but to play along or fall behind the other institutions that were also responding rationally to the incentives created by government intervention.
The housing collapse and its painful aftermath, including that $15 trillion wealth loss for U.S. households (so far) does not, therefore, represent a market failure. Rather, it represents the dangerous confluence of three policy errors: government policy aimed at providing access to home ownership for American households irrespective of their ability to afford it; the Fed’s claim that it could not identify bubbles as they were inflating but could fix the problem afterward; and a policy of granting monopoly power to rating agencies like Standard & Poor’s, Moody’s, and Fitch’s to determine the eligibility of derivative securities for what are supposed to be low-risk portfolios, such as pension funds.
We don't need no stinking charities
Posted by Mitch Kokai at 07:00 AMThe latest Commentary magazine declares in its cover story that the United States has entered another war … on philanthropy.
Why? David Billet, whose article is not yet posted online, explains:
The hundreds of billions of dollars that the government transfers every year to alleviate social problems have not solved the problem of poverty; government does not do it well, and often the act of subsidizing poverty has the unfortunate effect of exacerbating rather than ameliorating it. Virtually wherever public and private groups take up the same task, the private group outperforms, whether it is the Federal Emergency Management Agency versus the Red Cross in post-Katrina New Orleans, Meals-on-Wheels before and after it was adopted by the federal government, or church-run rehab clinics achieving better recovery rates than government clinics that spend ten times more per patient. This is hardly surprising, given that the private sphere enjoys the energy of individuals passionate about their work, and has greater flexibility than a bureaucracy to be nimble, to take risks, to adjust, to weed out corruption, and to move on to the next pressing task.
For these and other reasons, the role of private philanthropy in the United States has been a matter of concern for the Left going back decades. Leftists believe these tasks are justly the responsibility of government, and that leaving them in private hands is a way of keeping the public sector from performing its true function as the administrator of social justice.
Hmm. I seem to remember someone else discussing the “socialist goal of government control of every aspect of our lives.”
This weekend on Carolina Journal Radio
Posted by Mitch Kokai at 06:58 AMThe Obama administration has pursued sweeping changes during its opening months. Do its policies make sense economically? Roy Cordato offers his assessment during the next edition of Carolina Journal Radio.
We’ll also hear John Hood discuss the problems associated with forced annexation, and N.C. State political science chairman Andy Taylor will discuss the issue of session limits for state legislators.
You’ll hear highlights from the contentious debate over the so-called school “bullying bill,” and Jenna Ashley Robinson will discuss whether college makes sense for everyone.
Today's Carolina Journal Online features
Posted by Mitch Kokai at 06:53 AM
This week's Carolina Journal Friday interview features Donna Martinez's conversation with George Leef about the problems associated with college students' reliance on "essay mills."
Karen Palasek's guest Daily Journal focuses on the downside of using "fairness" as the standard for judging whether a proposed policy is good or bad.
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