Is Obama Insane?

Seriously, is Barack Obama insane here or has he just been misreported?

The heart of Sen. Obama\’s spending program is his plan to spend $15 billion a year for 10 years on energy technology. It would be funded by revenue collected from a separate Obama proposal to cap greenhouse emissions through a system of trading pollution permits. Sen. Obama would auction those permits to producers of carbon dioxide, such as electric utilities, and figures the sales would yield about $100 billion a year. Most of that would go to consumers as rebates on utility bills, he said.

OK, cap and trade, auction all permits, very good.

But spend the money raised on rebates to energy consumers? WTF?


We\’re going to tax energy at one end of the system then subsidise it at the other?

Use the cash raised to lower other taxes, perhaps, use it to provide a citizen\’s dividend maybe, heck, spend it even.

But subsidise utitlity bills with the money you\’ve just raised by a tax on those utilities?

That\’s insane.

12 thoughts on “Is Obama Insane?”

  1. It’s about what I’d expect from Gordon Fucking Brown. (Who is a Cunt which has turned into an Arse).

  2. um, isn’t that standard economics?

    At least I have a hazy memory that to avoid adverse distributional consequences, a tax and redistribute policy and still achieve the optimal outcome in terms of carbon emissions, without disproportionately hurting the poor.

    Or something like that. Can any better informed economists help me out?

    It makes the whole idea of making energy a lot more expensive to consume, for environmental motives, more politically viable too. Think how differently the whole ‘petrol is too expensive’ debate would be those poor-who-are-hit-hardest were also getting rebate cheques. And they’d still have incentives to use their cars less.

  3. “It’s about what I’d expect from Gordon Fucking Brown. (Who is a Cunt which has turned into an Arse).”

    Why am I reminded of Gary Johnstone’s speech in Team America World Police?

  4. oh hang on – not sure why it’s rebates on utility bills, that does seem nuts. why not cash?

    Tim adds: Yup, that’s the point. Compensate the poor and hardest hit, by all means, but in cash, not utility bills.

  5. I guess the utilities still have an incentive to get their emissions down, but consumers aren’t walloped with high energy bills. Still think cash would be better.

    If the utilities are successful in reducing emissions, will that mean less revenue generated by the scheme, lower rebates and therefore potentially less consumer demand for energy? Thus undermining the utilities incentives to cut emissions … or do I have that wrong?

  6. The logic worked for gasoline, right?
    Make it more expensive so we’ll use less of it and migrate towards a government program that acts as a meager substitute. Think of buses and mass transit as an alternative to your car. Sure, they are expensive and inconvenient, but so will the paperwork necessary for the Obama Tax and Spend Electricity Rebate.

  7. Hmm. The Green insulation policy seems a bit more sensible than any of the others, if the aim is to reduce energy usage and carbon emissions in a poor-person-friendly fashion. But I like the British Gas rant.

  8. So Much For Subtlety

    Surely Obama’s policy is a typical Leftist redistributionist one – you take money from people you don’t like (carbon emitters) and give it to people you do like – and who will probably vote for you as well (people with solar panels for instance).

    Did he say what sort of energy he would spend that money on? Theoretically this could be a revenue neutral policy. I wouldn’t mind that myself. Suppose that there was a tax on every ton of CO2 produced and that was handed out to the producers of every kilowatt hour of electricity or other energy. That would take money from CO2 emitters and would benefit low CO2 emitters. But it will be a distorted revenue neutral policy I expect. Let’s see how much goes to nuclear.

  9. Obama and his team are delusional beyond belief. The tax hikes on the wealthy and the reasonably well to do people with overtaxation of business and other ton of new taxes will help the main street regular people? How? Over tax the businesses and they will do what? That’s right… pass on their higher cost of doing business to all of us. Do you have to be a Harvard MBA genius to figure this out? I don’t think so. Solution is to cut taxes all across the board. Then raise it when we are all much more healthier. Then we won’t complain as much. Truly they are just running off their mouth unabated just running on idealistic bullshit fumes. It is truly a dangerous thing.

  10. Frankly, this thing with the American citizens having to pay for Obama’s personal excess baggage is getting old. Air your personal vendettas in psychoanalysis, B.O., – we weren’t your Daddy, smoking was your personal choice, and we don’t want to have to pay because you didn’t get your pony.

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