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Today marks the 40th annual Earth Day. Traditionally, this day is thought of as a leftist holiday that uses scare tactics to convince us that the world is ending soon unless we sinful Americans environmentally clean up our act. Surely, the Obama administration will use this day to push forward their anti-growth, high tax, job killing agendas to “save” the environment. The Earth Day network plans to,
organize a massive climate rally on The National Mall to demand that Congress pass a strong climate bill in 2010.
This makes one wonder how much CO2 that these activists will emit traveling to DC that they otherwise would not but that’s beside the point. I did more research on Earth Day to find that the majority of these activists want government bureaucrats to forcibly limit the amount of fossil fuels that American families use to heat up their homes during a cold winter.
They often label those in opposition of cap-and-trade and Senator Kerry (D-Mass.), Graham (R-S.C) and Lieberman’s (I-Conn.) proposed energy bill as “anti-environment” or “anti-Earth.” Some lefty environmentalists claim that it is a contradiction to be both pro-business and pro-environment. These claims could not be further from the truth. All of us, regardless of political affiliation, want everyone to have access to fresh air and clean water. We all tend to see excessive pollution in a negative light and generally do not want exotic animals to become extinct. However, in order to get this desirable greener world, we should promote policies that have been proven to provide us with environmental gains: free market capitalism.
According to Cato Institute scholar Jerry Taylor,
it's businessmen -- not bureaucrats or environmental activists -- who deserve most of the credit for the environmental gains over the past century and who represent the best hope for a Greener tomorrow.
He explains that before any bureaucratic EPA agency, pollution was declining rapidly in the United States as Americans were becoming wealthier. Wealth generally makes societies more environmentally conscious. When the people started demanding environmental-friendly products and services, the free market gladly delivered. People demanded gas instead of coal home furnaces, trains voluntarily switched to electric and power plants had an incentive to become more energy efficient. All of this happened without government intervention. The people received their environmental-friendly products, the producers made their profits and pollution levels decreased. In fact, when the newly created EPA intervened with the market the trend reversed and pollution levels starting increasing.
Cato Institute scholar Indur Goklany declares that the declining pollution levels were significantly declining before the EPA was founded in 1970,
But before there was an Earth Day, America's air was becoming cleaner, water-related diseases had been virtually eradicated and, habitat loss, the major threat to species, had been reversed.
Between 1957 and 1970, particulate matter concentrations in urban areas declined 15 percent, while sulfur dioxide concentrations peaked in 1963, declining 40 percent between 1962 and 1969…The death rate from various gastrointestinal diseases, which had been 1,427 per million in 1900 had declined to 6 in 1970 in large part due to chlorination.
Taylor goes on to explain that capitalism is responsible for reducing pollution,
Meanwhile, capitalism rewards efficiency and punishes waste. Profit-hungry companies found ingenious ways to reduce the natural resource inputs necessary to produce all kinds of goods, which in turn reduced environmental demands on the land and the amount of waste that flowed through smokestacks and water pipes. As we learned to do more and more with a given unit of resources, the waste involved (which manifests itself in the form of pollution) shrank… Capitalism can save more lives threatened by environmental pollution than all the environmental organizations combined.
Lefty environmentalists generally support coercive governmental environmental regulations that raise taxes for all Americans. These policies will hurt people and job creating small-businesses while forcibly taking away our liberties. The Americans for Tax Reform found that Obama’s budget calls for $220,000,000,000 increases in energy taxes by 2020. Cap and trade legislation will increase energy costs by $1,241 annually for a family of four and raise the price of gasoline by 58 percent. The new energy bill likely to be introduced next week will raise the price of gasoline by an average of 27 cents per gallon. With so many families struggling during these hard economic times, this will drastically reduce their standards of living. While everyone wants to improve the environment, we need to understand that there are true costs with implementing these proposed legislations such as raising costs, limiting production and diminishing liberty. On Earth Day thank free market capitalism for making the world greener while increasing our standards of living.
Today marks the 40th annual Earth Day. Traditionally, this day is thought of as a leftist holiday that uses scare tactics to convince us that the world is ending soon unless we sinful Americans environmentally clean up our act. Surely, the Obama administration will use this day to push forward their anti-growth, high tax, job killing agendas to “save” the environment. The Earth Day network plans to,organize a massive climate rally on The National Mall to demand that Congress pass a strong climate bill in 2010.
President Obama traveled to Wall Street today in order to deliver some “tough talk” in efforts to promote the financial regulation reform bill expected to be introduced in the Senate next week. Back in January, Obama pledged that taxpayers would never be forced to bailout another failing bank,
Never again will the American taxpayer be held hostage by a bank that is too big to fail.
Obama claims that it’s necessary to crack down on the irresponsibility of the institutions on Wall Street that
gambled on risky loans and complex financial products.
This morning, Obama asserted in front of Wall Street,
I believe in the power of the free market.
Following Obama’s rhetoric, large banks will be rightfully allowed to fail. After all, the free market punishes irresponsibility and poor decisions. It rewards those that have proper risk management. However, the financial regulation reform bill that Obama is pushing does not punish banks that make unwise and risky investments. Instead, it rewards them with unlimited taxpayer money.
For the past 25 years, the feds have bailed out banks that have suffered from large losses. Inevitably, this causes a moral hazard, banks behave differently than they would behave if they were actually allowed to fail. Banks have more incentive to engage in high-risk and high-reward positions. If they succeed, they are rewarded by the market. If they fail, they are rewarded by the government through taxpayers. It’s a win-win scenario.
According to Manhattan Institute fellow Nicole Gelinas the 1,408 bill will only increase taxpayer bailouts of large banks,
It says that failed financial firms must repay taxpayer money ‘unless the United States agrees or consents otherwise.’ It says, too, that Washington can bail out bondholders to financial firms as long as officialdom ‘determines that such payments or credits are necessary or appropriate to minimize losses.’ Wall Street will read this as a capitulation: Despite Obama's pronouncements, bailouts will still come when ‘necessary and appropriate.’ And bailouts will be ‘necessary and appropriate’ during the next crisis -- a crisis created by this very expectation.
Despite Obama’s words, he’s certainly not getting “tough” on Wall Street. The bill guarantees that Wall Street will receive more taxpayer handouts whenever necessary and appropriate if they engage in risky decisions and fail. Under the financial regulation reform bill, the risky behavior of Wall Street will only continue while increasing our chances of future financial crises.
Here’s a fun video from the Republican National Committee that states that "the party on Wall Street has just begun."
President Obama traveled to Wall Street today in order to deliver some “tough talk” in efforts to promote the financial regulation reform bill expected to be introduced in the Senate next week. Back in January, Obama pledged that taxpayers would never be forced to bailout another failing bank,Never again will the American taxpayer be held hostage by a bank that is too big to fail.
The Senate and Obama administration are pushing to pass a massive new regulatory regime for financial markets that promises more government involvement and potentially leaves taxpayers holding the bag for bad decisions made on Wall Street. The House passed legislation late last year, and now Sen. Chris Dodd (D-Conn.) is working to pass the Senate version—the Restoring American Financial Stability Act of 2010—so a final bill can be sent for the president’s signature. Unfortunately, the bill does little to address the underlying causes of the financial crisis and instead inserts the government into financial markets in ways that provide Wall Street access to taxpayer dollars should they fall on hard times. Among other things, the bill creates a new standard providing firms deemed “too big to fail” permanent access to TARP-like bailouts without even needing a vote by elected officials.
The Restoring American Financial Stability Act represents a significant intrusion by government into financial markets and poses significant concerns about moral hazard and other unintended consequences. New fees, regulations, and reporting requirements threaten jobs, global competitiveness, and capital formation—the engine of economic growth. At the same time, the legislation creates sweeping new powers for the oversight of private businesses, from insurance to banks to mortgage brokers. A new consumer protection agency will enact new regulations that may have the unintended consequence of limiting access to credit while raising the price of credit. Ultimately, consumers bear the brunt of the legislation through higher taxes and a tighter credit market.
Much of the current economic crisis was caused by loose monetary policy at the Federal Reserve coupled with federal housing policies and political objectives that fueled the subprime bubble in the mortgage markets. And while many rightly point to concerns in this sector of the economy, the administration and Congress should be wary of imposing unnecessary regulations or exposing taxpayers to new liabilities in financial markets.
A rush for federal intervention sends the wrong signal that risky behavior will be subsidized while making it more difficult for consumers and businesses seeking access to credit. The market currently is in a correction, sorting out the missteps of the recent financial crisis. It is a costly and sometimes painful process, but increased federal involvement will not improve the outcome. In fact, the legislation may generate new uncertainties and burdens that actually hamper the correction process. Congress should be wary of the impacts such legislation would have on financial markets and evaluate all the consequences—intended and unintended—before imposing such substantial regulations and fees on this critical sector of our economy.
Despite the obvious benefits of investment and risk-taking for our economy, the Senate legislation would impose a tighter regulatory regime on all forms of financial services, including areas that had little to do with the financial crisis. For example, new standards for “angel investors” in startup companies would make it more difficult to raise venture capital. Caution is required to avoid creating a regulatory monolith with sweeping new powers that does more harm than good.
In addition to new reporting and oversight requirements, the legislation also creates a new “systemic risk regulator,” to provide oversight of firms deemed too big to fail. In exchange for this increased oversight, firms would have access to taxpayer funds if a bailout became necessary. At the same time, this new regulator would have the authority to break up, shut down, and control these companies, moving these critical decisions from the marketplace to the government. By its very nature, “stability” is a difficult and nebulous policy goal subject to political pressure and manipulation, making it difficult to achieve an outcome superior to that of the market.
Even worse, taxpayers may become the ultimate backstop for risky private investments, as firms deemed “too big to fail” by systemic risk regulators are granted perennial bailouts funded by a government trust fund. Not only would these changes hamper economic growth, but they also turn our understanding of markets upside-down, separating risk from reward by providing private firms access to federal support should their investments sour, while they enjoy the profits generated in the good times. This distorts the flow of capital as firms that qualify for an implicit government backstop can attract capital easier than smaller competitors who may, in fact, be more efficient. Rather than the “crackdown on Wall Street” proclaimed by the bill’s advocates, these rules further insulate the large firms from competition.
The zeal for regulatory engineering must be tempered with an understanding of markets. By definition markets are risky. They can be volatile, they can be self-correcting, and they can be used to manage risk, but they cannot be controlled by even the best regulatory plans. It is very difficult to measure capital accurately and, with enough creativity, banks can always work around any potential regulatory scheme.
The Restoring American Financial Responsibility Act would create changes whose effects will linger long into the future. The bill would severely distort the workings of the market while transferring the burden of risk to the taxpayer. This legislation does little to restore responsibility but instead chooses to absolve the big players on Wall Street from responsibility for their mistakes via access to a taxpayer-funded bailout. And this access comes at a steep price—broad new government controls over private markets that touch on virtually all aspects of the financial services sector.
Policy experts, lawmakers, businesses, and constituents from across the country have continued to express their well justified opposition to the idea of a government-run cap and trade system in the U.S. Currently, a new version of a cap and trade based bill is being considered. This new bill, in large part, unfortunately resembles the original Waxman-Markey cap and trade bill.
The underlying criticism is that cap and trade, simply put, is far too expensive; particularly during a time when our national debt, fiscal deficit, and unemployment levels are still climbing. In addition to the vast scientific uncertainty that characterizes cap and trade backed science, the widely disseminated consensus has been that cap and trade’s subsequent effects on our domestic economy would unequivocally cripple industry in the United States.
Referring to proposed cap and trade legislation, Politico writes:
With millions of Americans out of work, the economy struggling and recovery in doubt, the last thing we should be doing is further burdening American families and businesses.
Politico then proceeds to say:
Legislation laden with job-killing regulations that does not produce cleaner, more efficient, American-made energy is not what Americans need or want.
Finally, Politico says:
Unfortunately, if the Senate legislation resembles the Waxman-Markey bill, that’s what they’ll get.
Although there are many advocates of alternative (perhaps renewable) energy resources and a green jobs market, many of these same advocates fail to realize that cap and trade is one of the least prudent ways of going about achieving the former and/or the latter. After all, economic models and data analyses have proven that cap and trade would be detrimental to both the producer and the consumer in both the short run, and the long run. You may be wondering: to what degree would cap and trade be detrimental to the producer and the consumer? The Heritage Foundation conducted a thorough study of the economic impact of Waxman-Markey sponsored cap and trade. Adjusted for inflation to 2009 dollars, these were their calculated findings:
Cumulative gross domestic product (GDP) losses are $9.4 trillion between 2012 and 2035;
Single-year GDP losses reach $400 billion by 2025 and will ultimately exceed $700 billion;
Net job losses approach 1.9 million in 2012 and could approach 2.5 million by 2035. Manufacturing loses 1.4 million jobs in 2035;
The annual cost of emissions permits to energy users will be at least $100 billion by 2012 and could exceed $390 billion by 2035;
A typical family of four will pay, on average, an additional $829 each year for energy-based utility costs; and
Gasoline prices will rise by 58 percent ($1.38 more per gallon) and average household electric rates will increase by 90 percent.
This CDA analysis extends only to 2035, as this is the forecasting horizon for the macroeconomic model used to prepare these estimates. But it should be noted that the emissions reductions continue to tighten through 2050 and that model-based analysis by other groups whose models extend beyond 2035 shows increasing harm to the U.S. economy.
Further validating the severity of cap and trade’s grim economic projections, Politico reports:
A study of Waxman-Markey by the American Council for Capital Formation and the National Association of Manufacturers found that it could translate into 2.4 million lost jobs and a cumulative gross domestic product loss as great as $3.1 trillion by 2030.
In an effort to put a finishing touch on their defense against cap and trade, Politico writes:
Waxman-Markey, or anything like it, is unnecessary, unwise and ill-advised.
Given what economists, policy experts, and energy scholars have emphatically revealed regarding the negative economic unintended consequences of cap and trade legislation, it baffles me to hear that there are still those out there who believe that cap and trade is necessary. Even more so, it baffles me to hear that there are still those who are not disenchanted by the widely proclaimed negative economic consequences of a cap and trade system in the U.S. Why should U.S. lawmakers rush to pass a multi-trillion dollar bill that will single handedly change the course of production in the U.S. for the worse? Also, given what we know about the recent IPCC global warming data scandal, why would such a drastic economic measure still be considered necessary? Ultimately, cap and trade is an awful legislative proposal. It threatens not only our prospects for economic growth and productivity, but also our economic liberties as energy consuming households. These are just some things to consider when considering the idea of a cap and trade system in the United States.
Policy experts, lawmakers, businesses, and constituents from across the country have continued to express their well justified opposition to the idea of a government-run cap and trade system in the U.S. Currently, a new version of a cap and trade based bill is being considered.
Updated: now includes Salt Lake City
In addition to the D.C. Tax Day Tea Party down the street at the Washington Monument, there were hundreds of tax day protests around the country. Here's a few reports from our members and their local tea parties:
Salt Lake City, Utah
It was only a few days ahead of time that I found out about the Tax Day Tea Party in Salt Lake City, but I thought I should go because I’ve never been to a political rally before and didn’t know what to expect. I forwarded the news to my Thoughtful Friends email list and called a few to see of any could get away on such short notice. Luck had it that a couple could get away and decided to go with me. It turned out to be an exceptionally good day. The weather was mild, the sun was bright, and the speakers were well informed.
There were actually two rallies, One at the Federal Building and one on the south lawn of the Capital. both crowds were very orderly and enthusiastic. Personally, I had a great time and am looking forward to the next one.
When asked how many had read the Constitution, the vast majority of the attendees had read it and were also well informed on the facts and issues of our day ... - Jerry
Our April 15th Tax Day Tea Party was a huge success, with perfect weather, outstanding speakers, 2,000 patriots in attendance, excellent positive media coverage including front page articles with pictures in the Post-Gazette and Tribune-Review. - Patti , Pittsburgh Tea Party Movement
While there were at least 25 tea parties across Oregon, the largest was in Salem where over 3,000 turned out to protest high taxes on the Capitol steps and over 1,000 were signed up to get more involved. The program included FreedomWorks Oregon State Director Russ Walker, experts from the Cascade Policy Center, Dr. Gordon Fulks of the University of Chicago, KXL 750 talk show host Rob Kremer, and the unveiling of the Contract From America. Read all about it here and here.
Aloha! There were several Tea Party rallies all over Hawaii on April 15: Hawaii Free Press Nearly 2,000 were at the capitol in Honolulu. Since our Tea Parties were the final ones to be held that day, wasn't it nice to know that while Americans on the east coast were asleep for the night, Americans in the 50th state were still holding the torch of freedom for them? - Gilia
Just wanted to let you know what a successful day it was on April 15th for the TEA party rally in Palatine, IL! My husband and I are not even from Palatine, but felt compelled to participate with our home-made protest signs and American flag in tow, in this northern suburb close enough to our home town of Villa Park, IL. (We attended with another TEA party friend of ours, as well). It was an amazingly energetic rally with unseasonably warm breezes that carried countless flags and banners high.
Our strong, but peaceful message to "VOTE THEM OUT in November!" "Show us the Books" (Illinois fiscal responsibility) and "STOP OBAMANOMICS" amongst other slogans was heard by passersby and motorists along East/West Highway 14. I don't know what the exact head count was for this event, but I hope the following photos will be enough to let you know how passionate "we the people" are, and how much we believe in and support the TEA Parties across America! This was our very first political rally, but it won't be our last! I intend to participate in others, especially as the months before November arrive! Congress and the Washington, D.C. corruption with their heavy spending and back room deals cannot continue, nor will they silence "We the People!" - Etola
Punta Gorda, Florida
Approximately 1,200 people attended (although the New York Times owned Sarasota Herald-Tribune reported that just 200 people showed up). There were a handful of infiltrators as well, but no problems. - Jan
More photos can be viewed here.
Shelby, North Carolina
Our tea party was fantastic, and [Reggie Saddler] was as motivating and inspirational as you said he would be. I can't even begin to describe how great he and his family were. We had a successful event yesterday. We had Joe Coletti, JLF, Bob Luebke, CIVITAS, and our local speaker was from Rutherfordton, Zo Naskrov, and our own Hayden Soloway, co-founder of 912 for shelby. We think we had 4-500. - Cindy
Over a thousand attended Tampa's tea party - check out the great pictures and video over at Don't Spread My Wealth.
Greenville, South Carolina: Upcountry Tea Party
About 15,000 turn out for the Upcountry Tea Party in Greenville, SC where FreedomWorks joined with 16 other conservative groups to pull off the protest.
35 entrepid volunteers - who also worked for the 9/12 Taxpayer March on Washington, so they knew what they were in for - traveled to DC to help pull off the DC Tax Day Tea Party. They used the time on the bus coming here to call Geico.
Over 8,000 came out for the event sponsored by Atlanta Tea Party, Georgia Tea Party Patriots, and Georgia FreedomWorks. FoxNews host Neil Cavuto broadcast his show live from the Capitol. Great write-up and video here and former presidential candidate Bob Barr says good stuff here.
It may come as a shock to people around the country whose familiarity with the Tea Party movement is gleaned from national media reports, but yesterday’s rally at the State Capitol in Atlanta, Georgia was well-organized, substantive, and well-behaved.
I had the pleasure of attending and speaking at this event, and I was impressed with the demeanor and attentiveness of the crowd — which included many young people in addition to adults from a very diverse background. The speakers reflected that diversity of backgrounds as well, and included many from Georgia (of course), but also from Washington, DC, other states and even other countries.
Rochester, New York
Several hundred showed up for a rally and march in Rochester, NY organized by a We Surround Them Rochester, Campaign for Liberty, Young Americans for Liberty, Rochester Watch, and FreedomWorks Congressional Action Team member Rochester Veteran of RochesterConservative.com where you can read the full report, and see great video and photos.
This is clearly FreedomWorks' favorite sign.
Naomi Swanson, a DC Tea party attendee, had her tea party story published in the Dalton Daily Citizen.
Despite the grueling itinerary, Swanson said the trip is an event “everyone should attend.”
“It’s a thrill to stand with like-minded Americans,” Swanson said. “You’re in a group where you stay polite, you don’t have to worry about offending people. It was a conservative group, it was a quiet group. We didn’t have anything that the media tried to project that was going to happen. We didn’t have negative things.”
Have a story or pictures from your April 15 events? Pictures and stories from DC? Please share.
Updated: now includes Salt Lake City In addition to the D.C. Tax Day Tea Party down the street at the Washington Monument, there were hundreds of tax day protests around the country. Here's a few reports from our members and their local tea parties: Salt Lake City, Utah
I find it rather interesting to read about how President Obama and many of his Democratic cronies are desperately pushing for financial regulatory reform. It makes me wonder why such legislation has become such a pressing priority. After all, both President Obama, and many Democratic lawmakers have financially benefited from the likes of Wall Street’s heavy hitting investment houses such as Goldman Sachs. This raises questions about who will benefit from the financial reform legislation that both the administration and Democrats in Congress are desperately pushing to pass.
Obama's $995,000 from employees and executives at investment bank giant Goldman Sachs is the most a politician has raised from a single company since the 2001 campaign finance reform law.
Earlier this month, a hedge fund manager at the center of the Goldman Sachs fraud case held a fundraiser for Schumer in New York.
With such a convenient relationship between politicians who have benefited from Wall Street contributions, it seems worth examining the legislation to determine just what it offers for Wall Street. Will this financial regulatory bill protect taxpayers from greedy investors and big government, or does it just pave the way for future bailouts that allow Wall Street to shift their losses to the public?
Recent reports have indicated that President Obama may want the $50 billion slush fund to be used for bailouts removed from Sen. Dodd’s “Restoring American Financial Stability Act” of 2010. But Obama is supporting an even bigger bailout provision for big banks. Writing in BG, Brian Darling of the Heritage Foundation reports:
The irony is that the Obama Administration supports a different provision in the bill that provides an even bigger bailout of Wall Street. The other provision, which appears in both the House and Senate bills, provides the Federal Reserve unlimited amounts of money in the form of “loans” to failing businesses. If you like the AIG bailout, get ready for that style of bailout for companies deemed to be friends of the Fed and “too big to fail.”
The new drafts expand this authority of the Fed and grants them an increased level of secrecy with regard to the granting of these loans.
Clearly, the legislation sought by Obama and the Democrats provides potentially huge benefits for Wall Street that may hurt the average American taxpayer. Rather than safeguard taxpayers and our economy, this legislation embraces banks deemed “too big to fail” by allowing them to keep their profits in the good years while leaving the door open to shift their losses in the bad years to the taxpayers.
I find it rather interesting to read about how President Obama and many of his Democratic cronies are desperately pushing for financial regulatory reform. It makes me wonder why such legislation has become such a pressing priority. After all, both President Obama, and many Democratic lawmakers have financially benefited from the likes of Wall Street’s heavy hitting investment houses such as Goldman Sachs.
As you probably know by now, Senator Graham (R-SC) has teamed up with Senators Kerry (D-MA) and Liebermann (I-CT) to unveil their own version of cap-and-trade in sheep's clothing next week. This new energy tax bill was crafted over months behind closed doors, and only special interest lobbyists could pry out any details.
What we do know is this: making energy more expensive hurts the economy, sends jobs overseas, and all for negligible environmental benefit. We also know it is clear that poor and middle class taxpayers aren’t among the big corporations that are getting any special favors or subsidies and will be hit hardest by plans like a “Fuels’ Fee” that tacks on 27 cents per gallon of gasoline!
We need you to invite a friend and join us to protest this massive tax hike outside Senator Graham’s district offices all across South Carolina this Saturday, April 24 from 1pm- 2pm. These coordinated protests should send a resounding “NO!” to Graham and make him think twice before he gets behind this bill next week.
Here’s where to be and the leaders who are coordinating each event:
Upstate Regional Office: 130 South Main Street, Greenville, SC 29601 (864) 250-1417
Linda Weeks, 864-288-9744
Midlands Regional Office: 508 Hampton Street, Columbia, SC 29201
Alan Olsen, 803-466-7217
Pee Dee Regional Office: McMillan Federal Building, 401 West Evans Street, Florence, SC 29501 (843) 669-1505
Karl Peters, 843-610-2608
Lowcountry Regional Office: 530 Johnnie Dodds Blvd, Mt. Pleasant, SC 29464 (843) 849-3887
Vickie Styles, 843-873-8018
Piedmont Regional Office: 140 East Main Street, Rock Hill, SC 29730
Joe Thompson, 803-526-9567
Golden Corner Regional Office: 124 Exchange Street, Pendleton, SC 29678
Kathy Murphy, 864-419-5218
I hope to see you on Saturday as we stand up together all across the state for our jobs and families. Thank you for helping us keep up the fight and for spreading the word. If you can’t be there Saturday, please be sure to call your district office and tell Senator Graham you oppose cap and trade.
Southeast Regional Director
As you probably know by now, Senator Graham (R-SC) has teamed up with Senators Kerry (D-MA) and Liebermann (I-CT) to unveil their own version of cap-and-trade in sheep's clothing next week. This new energy tax bill was crafted over months behind closed doors, and only special interest lobbyists could pry out any details.
Florida FreedomWorks members and allies - please see below an urgent call to action from our friends at the South Florida Tea Party:
HJR37, the Florida Health Care Freedom Act, and SCR10, the Balanced Federal Budget Bill, both passed the Rules Committee! The Florida Health Care Freedom Act will exempt Floridians and from buying health insurance and Obamare. The Balance Budget Bill will put presssure on Congress to balance the budget and calls for a limited constitutional convention if they fail to act.
Update: Several Democrat Florida House Reps have started filing amendments to stop the Balance Budget from going to a vote. They do not want to have to vote "no" and come back home to voters.
Voting is scheduled for Today - April 21st, Wednesday! - call your representative & tell them "NO" to Amendments - "Yes" for both HJR37, the Florida Health Care Freedom Act, and SCR10, the Balanced Federal Budget Bill
Please call your representative and tell them to vote "YES" for both HJR37, the Florida Health Care Freedom Act, and SCR10, the Balanced Federal Budget Bill. You can find your representative by clicking here!
Protect Our Health Care & Balance the Budget!
Florida FreedomWorks members and allies - please see below an urgent call to action from our friends at the South Florida Tea Party:HJR37, the Florida Health Care Freedom Act, and SCR10, the Balanced Federal Budget Bill, both passed the Rules Committee! The Florida Health Care Freedom Act will exempt Floridians and from buying health insurance and Obamare. The Balance Budget Bill will put presssure on Congress to balance the budget and calls for a limited constitutional convention if they fail to act.
A group of about 30 miners from Ohio who had traveled to D.C. to speak-out against cap and trade as part of FreedomWorks Take America Back Tax Day Tea Party activities decided to drop in on Senator Sherrod Brown (D-OH).
Check out the video clip!
While they didn’t get to meet with Brown himself, a member of the Senator’s staff talked with them and heard their concerns about cap and trade policy that would cost jobs and cause energy costs to skyrocket.
Note that at the end of the exchange the staffer references “a letter” that Senator Brown signed regarding the EPA that he encourages the miners to check-out. Below is a story that originally ran in The Columbus Dispatch that talks about the letter:
Ohio's senators ask EPA to go slow on clean-air rules: They say regulations may cut into jobs (Source: The Columbus Dispatch, Ohio) By Jack Torry, The Columbus Dispatch, Ohio
Apr. 20, 2010--WASHINGTON -- Ohio Sens. Sherrod Brown and George V. Voinovich are pressing the Obama administration to adopt clean-air regulations that would be more favorable to industry.
In a previously undisclosed letter, Brown, a Democrat, and Voinovich, a Republican, warned the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency that Ohio and other industrial states "simply cannot afford job losses associated with rules more stringent than necessary to protect the public health and safety."
Instead, they urged the EPA to write regulations that would include "technically sound and cost-effective options."
The letter was sent March 26 and signed by nine senators from industrial states, including Republicans John Cornyn of Texas and Kit Bond of Missouri and Democrats Evan Bayh of Indiana and Mark Warner of Virginia. The White House Office of Management and Budget has posted it online.
The EPA is under a federal court order to produce new regulations by April 29 that would slash emissions of toxic air pollution from a broad swath of industrial plants.
Most of those plants are powered by coal-burning boilers within the facilities. The new rules would cover tens of thousands of industrial facilities across the country.
"There is a real obvious lobbying blitz to water down what they think the EPA is going to do, and it looks as if they have enlisted George Voinovich and Sherrod Brown," said Frank O'Donnell, president of Clean Air Watch, an environmental organization in Washington.
Meghan Dubyak, a Brown spokeswoman, said the Ohio Democrat "believes that, during these tough economic times, the EPA should consider manufacturing competitiveness and jobs as it fulfills its important duty of maintaining public health and safety."
According to White House records, lobbyists and officials from Exxon-Mobil; BASF Corp., a major chemical company; PPG Industries of Pittsburgh; and ISP Chemco, a supplier of specialty chemicals, met with EPA officials last week to discuss the new rules.
A group of about 30 miners from Ohio who had traveled to D.C. to speak-out against cap and trade as part of FreedomWorks Take America Back Tax Day Tea Party activities decided to drop in on Senator Sherrod Brown (D-OH).Check out the video clip!
House and Senate Democrats are attempting to shove a massive 1,408 page financial regulation reform bill through Congress that grants unlimited taxpayer bailouts of Wall Street. Every single Republican in the Senate has signed a letter to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid expressing their opposition to the bill. The letter urges that bipartisan negotiations take place on the issue of financial regulation reform in order to prevent another financial crisis. According to the letter signed by 41 Republican Senators,
As currently constructed, this bill allows for endless taxpayer bailouts of Wall Street and establishes new and unlimited regulatory powers that will stifle small businesses and community banks.
One of the most unacceptable provisions in Senator Dodd’s (D-CT) bill is a $50 billion bailout fund. According to the Associated Press,
The provision in question would compel large financial institutions to provide the $50 billion, which the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. would use to pay for dismantling giant failing firms.
In addition, economist Larry Lindsey notes that there are multiple other sections that are dangerous in this lengthy bill, including:
First, the bill contains a $50 billion fund for resolution of systemically risky institutions. The bill allows a 2/3 vote of the Financial Stability Oversight Council to deem any firm (financial or non-financial) as coming under its rubric and then authorizes the FDIC and Treasury Secretary to treat each of the firm’s shareholders and creditors as they choose, without regard to bankruptcy law. Second, the bill gives the Treasury and the FDIC authority to grant an unlimited number of loan guarantees to systemically risky institutions. No Congressional authorization or appropriation is required. Third, the bill gives the Fed the authority to fund any “program” to assist these institutions accepting as collateral anything it deems appropriate. So perhaps too big to fail is dead. How could any firm actually fail when all of its debt could be guaranteed by the Treasury, the Fed could print money to assist it, and just in case, there was $50 billion sitting around to reassure nervous creditors that they would be repaid regardless what contract or bankruptcy law said?”
Dodd's bill is gaining bipartisan opposition, Brad Sherman (D-Calif.) warns of the dangers hidden in the financial regulation reform bill,
But there are serious problems with the Dodd bill. The Dodd bill has unlimited executive bailout authority. That’s something Wall Street desperately wants but doesn’t dare ask for. The bill contains permanent, unlimited bailout authority.
Undoubtedly, Senator Dodd’s bill is pro-Wall Street since it guarantees that they will have lower borrowing costs. According to Heritage Foundation scholar Brian Darling,
Congressional Democrats and the Obama Administration want to create a permanent bailout mechanism all while spouting their rhetoric of getting tough on Wall Street, but if you look at who is already lining up to support their ‘reform’ measure it’s a who’s who of the big banks that have already received the taxpayer bailout the first time.
According to Larry Lindsey, the bill will benefit politically powerful groups at the expense of the American people,
Labor gets “Proxy Access” to bring its agenda items before shareholders as well as annual “say on pay” for executives. Consumer activists get a brand new agency funded directly out of the seignorage the Fed earns. No oversight by the Federal Reserve Board or by the Congress on how the money is spent. This is the first known Congressional raid on Fed cash flow to fund projects without oversight.
Sen. McConnell(R-KY) has been an outspoken critic of the financial regulation reform bill stating that the biggest banks should be allowed to fail,
We cannot allow endless taxpayer-funded bailouts for big Wall Street banks. And that's why we must not pass the financial reform bill that's about to hit the floor…[The Dodd bill] gives the government a new backdoor mechanism for propping up failing or failed institutions.... We won't solve this problem until the biggest banks are allowed to fail.
Cato Institute scholar Gerald P. O'Driscoll refers to this financial reform proposal as crony capitalism when government and businesses collude,
Crony capitalism ensures the special access of protected firms and industries to capital. Businesses that stumble in the process of doing what is politically favored are bailed out. That leads to moral hazard and more bailouts in the future. And those losing money may be enabled to hide it by accounting chicanery...If we want to restore our economic freedom and recover the wonderfully productive free market, we must restore truth-telling on markets. That means the end to price-distorting subsidies, which include artificially low interest rates. No one admits to preferring crony capitalism, but an expansive regulatory state undergirds it in practice.
With more Americans claiming that the Federal Reserve may be to blame for the current economic crisis, this is the time for more Fed transparency by repealing their special audit protections. However, this financial regulation reform bill is partisan, pro-Wall Street, will likely result in permanent taxpayer bailouts of banks and it will greatly expand the powers of the Federal Reserve. Sen. Dodd's bill is likely to be debated in the Senate this week as Democrats struggle to obtain one Republican vote. Please use FreedomWorks' war room to contact your Senator and inform him or her that you do not approve of this unlimited bailout bill disguised as financial regulation reform.
House and Senate Democrats are attempting to shove a massive 1,408 page financial regulation reform bill through Congress that grants unlimited taxpayer bailouts of Wall Street. Every single Republican in the Senate has signed a letter to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid expressing their opposition to the bill. The letter urges that bipartisan negotiations take place on the issue of financial regulation reform in order to prevent another financial crisis.