It’s all over the news and in front of Congress and all of a sudden. Know much about this stuff?
Here’s one explanation, colorful and informative. It’s worth the lede alone.
The stimulus bill was the legislative equivalent of the famous cantina scene from Star Wars,
an eye-popping collection of the freakish and exotic, gathered for
dubious purposes. The Waxman-Markey cap-and-trade bill, known as ACES
(the American Clean Energy and Security Act), is more like the third
panel in Hieronymus Bosch’s Garden of Earthly Delights — a hellscape that disturbs the sleep of anybody who contemplates it carefully.
Okay, break this down:
Two main things to understand about Waxman-Markey:
First, it will not reduce greenhouse-gas emissions, at least not at any
point in the near future. The inclusion of carbon offsets, which can be
manufactured out of thin air and political imagination, will eliminate
most of the demands that the legislation puts on industry, though in
doing so it will manage to drive up the prices consumers pay for every
product that requires energy for its manufacture — which is to say, for
Second, it represents a worse abuse of the public trust and purse than the stimulus and the bailouts put together.
Whoa. That’s too much to get one’s mind around.
Waxman-Markey creates a permanent new regime in which
environmental romanticism and corporate welfare are mixed together to
form political poison. From comic bureaucratic power grabs (check out
the section of the bill on candelabras)
to the creation of new welfare programs for Democratic
constituencies to, above all, massive giveaways for every financial,
industrial, and political lobby imaginable, this bill would permanently
deform American politics and economic life.
The House of Representatives may not have read this bill before passing it, but these guys did.
If you take the time to read the legislation, you’ll
discover four major themes: special-interest giveaways, regulatory
mandates unrelated to climate change, fanciful technological programs
worthy of The Jetsons, and assorted left-wing wish fulfillment. We
cannot cover every swirl and brushstroke of this masterpiece of
misgovernance, but here’s a breakdown of its 50 most outrageous
And there they are, all broken down.
We could go on. And on.
When Nancy Pelosi was advising congressmen to back this beast, she
said they should not worry about the words of the bill they had not
read, but think about four others: “jobs, jobs, jobs, jobs.” The
legislation offers Pelosi perverse vindication: Waxman-Markey will
create a lot of jobs for Wall Street sharps, Big Business rent-seekers,
ACORN hucksters, utility-company lobbyists, grant-writers at left-wing
organizations, college administrators, light-bulb-policing bureaucrats,
and an army of parasitic hangers-on. It’s up to the Senate to stop it.
Now what are the odds of that?
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