Elizabeth Warren's Cruel Plan For "Environmental Justice"

  • Elizabeth Warren wants to be known as the Democratic presidential candidate who has a “Plan” for everything. I count some 50 of these Plans here on her website.

  • [N]ow we can make that 51 Plans, because yesterday Warren came out with the latest and greatest of them all, titled “FIGHTING FOR JUSTICE AS WE COMBAT THE CLIMATE CRISIS.”

  • [According to Warren] we have a “crisis of environmental justice,” caused by racist people like you putting “profits before people” while the government “look[s] the other way.”

  • I have a different word to describe Warren’s Plan for Climate Justice. There’s nothing uplifting about my word. The word is “cruel.” Warren’s Plan is truly cruel to the poor and to the people in “frontline and fence line communities” (as Warren calls them). It is cruel because it points only toward greater dependency, which will mean worse health, and toward higher energy costs, which will mean further impoverishment.

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The Competition Over How To Impoverish The American People Continues Among Democratic Candidates

It was back on June 4 that I posed the eternal question, “Will The Democratic Candidates Ever Notice That The Climate Change Thing Is Over?” That post noted that the Democratic candidates for President had begun a kind of bidding war over who could put forth the most extreme proposal to shackle the American economy in the name of climate salvation, while at the same time “out in the rest of the world” they were “laugh[ing] at this spectacle.” Among the data points cited in that post were that China was seeking reductions in the price of coal in order to spur consumption of electricity, and that in Australia a national election had just been lost by the party that made a principal issue out of its opposition to a huge new coal mine in Queensland.

In the three months since early June, things have only gotten sillier.

  • The Statistical Review of World Energy 2019 from the BP oil company came out. A summary of it in Forbes on June 28 noted: “Coal consumption in most of the developing world continues to grow. Asia Pacific increased consumption [in 2018] by the most overall, but its 2.5% growth rate lagged Africa's (+3.9%) and Central and South America (+3.7%).”

  • The annual Google billionaires’ climate summit was held in Sicily at the beginning of August. From euronews: “114 private jets flew into the Italian Verdura Resort, according to the Italian press, and many of the elite guest list arrived in multi-million pound yachts. With stars like Leonardo DiCaprio, Barack Obama and Prince Harry in attendance, reports Jim Dobson at Forbes, they were hardly going to be hitch-hiking. . . .” . . .

So then, by now, at least some of the Democratic candidates must have noticed that the climate change thing is over, right? Don’t be ridiculous. In fact, back in June the bidding war of insane “climate” proposals was only getting started. Now, the run-up to last night’s CNN climate “town hall” provided the impetus for a round of new and ever-more-extreme bids, each one promising some new impoverishment of the American people in the name of appeasing the climate gods: . . .

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It's About Time Someone Pushed Back About The Disaster Of Democrat-Controlled Cities

On Sunday, after taking some criticism from Representative Elijah Cummings of Baltimore about conditions on the Southern border, President Trump unleashed a series of tweets excoriating Cummings about conditions in his own district. Some excerpts:

If racist Elijah Cummings would focus more of his energy on helping the good people of his district, and Baltimore itself, perhaps progress could be made in fixing the mess that he has helped to create over many years of incompetent leadership. His radical “oversight” is a joke! . . . Baltimore’s numbers are the worst in the United States on Crime and the Economy. Billions of dollars have been pumped in over the years, but to no avail. The money was stolen or wasted. Ask Elijah Cummings where it went. He should investigate himself with his Oversight Committee!

All I can say is, I can’t believe that it has taken so long to get some serious push-back going about the abject failure of any Democrat-controlled city to alleviate poverty and improve the lives of its citizens. Although in these tweets President Trump focused on Baltimore, it’s not just Baltimore. Other examples include Detroit, Cleveland, St. Louis, Gary, Camden, and even Chicago and Philadelphia. And there are many others. All share the characteristics of massive spending by governments at all levels on “programs” to alleviate poverty — welfare, food stamps, housing, Medicaid, clothing assistance, phones, energy assistance, and on and on. (One list has some 76 categories of federal “anti-poverty” programs.) All those cities also share the characteristic of unbroken rule by Democrats for decades on end. And poverty that only worsens, particularly relative to what is going on in the rest of the country.

Rather than reinventing the wheel today, I just want to point out that the Manhattan Contrarian was way ahead of the world on this issue, with two posts on April 28 and 29, 2015, titled “Do You Think That The Government Can Fix Poverty? Look At Baltimore” and “Can The Government Fix Poverty? — Part II.” . . .

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The Democratic Candidates' Bidding War: Can Anybody Even Compile A Full List?

In the run-up to tonight’s first debate among the 2020 Democratic candidates, many have noted the outbreak of what is being called the “bidding war.” In this war, the “bids” consist of proposals for new government spending, handout and giveaway programs. Among both the candidates and those covering the process, the assumption appears to be that the game will be won by the candidate who bids the biggest collection of the most expensive and extravagant such new programs. With time running out to get bids on the table before the debates begin, the last few weeks have seen a blizzard of new and ever-more-expensive proposals for buying the votes of the electorate. After all, when you get hit at one of these debates with a question about some human problem, you certainly don’t want to be caught without having already proposed a program or handout to “solve” that particular problem.

Meanwhile, don’t worry, none of these moderators will bother to ask you how you plan to pay for your various proposals. Obviously, we all know that payment can come from the infinite pile of free government loot. In the off chance that somebody tries to press you, you can always refer to your plan for a new “billionaire’s tax.” No details required.

A funny thing about this process is how piecemeal it is. One day one candidate comes out with a proposal for Medicare for All, and another day another candidate comes out with a proposal for a universal childcare system, and on yet another day another candidate comes out with a proposal for a renters’ tax credit. Can anybody give us a complete list of all the proposed new programs? How else are we ever going to get an idea of what kind of country these people intend to leave us with when all their programs get enacted?

Well, I’m sorry to be the one to tell you, but I don’t think it’s possible. . . .

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Can Anybody Around Here Admit Out Loud That The Federal Government Cannot Fix Every Human Problem With Another New Program?

When you get right down to it, the fundamental fallacy of the progressive movement is the idea that the central government can fix every human problem by just creating some new programs and spending some new money. And the most important theme of this blog is showing by a thousand examples how that effort always fails.

That’s why one of my favorite recent posts is the one of the past November 23, titled “The Idea That Just Won’t Die: The Right Federal Program Can Solve Any Human Problem.” Key quote:

Take a some of our very brightest thinkers. Send them to some top Ivy League or equivalent schools to get the very best educations. Then turn them loose into the policy arena, full of moral righteousness and energy and a burning passion to fix the world. And what will emerge? Remarkably, in every case you can find, what will emerge will be the exact same thing: a proposal for some new government “program” and spending that supposedly will fix whatever problem the particular guru may focus on at the moment.

That particular post focused on federal job training programs. Federal job training programs are perhaps the very best illustration of the fallacy that some new federal program and spending could possibly be the solution to a human problem at hand, since by now there are around 50 of them, all of which continue to fail utterly. Yet despite that incredible track record, every time a government official or policy wonk looks at an issue of job lay-offs or high unemployment, the proposed solution is always another federal job training program. The failure of the previous 50 or so of them is never mentioned. That would just be too impolite. Nor does anyone ever suggest cutting back, much less eliminating any of the 50 failures. That’s just not how this game is played. Instead, one more program is added, and this one is really, really going to work this time. . . .

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On The "Cost" Of The Green New Deal

A few weeks ago on February 7 and 8, I had a couple of posts (here and here) commenting on the so-called Green New Deal, which had just been dropped on Congress by the team of Socialist it-girl Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and long-time Massachusetts Congressman and now Senator Edward Markey. In those posts, I did not attempt to put any “cost” figures on these proposals, but rather offered this general reaction:

In short, in the aggregate, this would be the total takeover of all economic activity in the United States.

According to the FAQ released along with the GND resolution, at least the following Democratic candidates for President support the GND: Elizabeth Warren, Cory Booker, Kamala Harris, Jeff Merkeley, Julian Castro, Kirsten Gillibrand, Bernie Sanders, Tulsi Gabbard, and Jay Inslee.

In the interim, a few intrepid souls have gone where I had not, and have put some fairly specific cost estimates on the socialists’ proposals. Most notably, there is something called the American Action Forum, headed by Douglas Holtz-Eakin. On February 25, AAF came out with a Research Report titled “The Green New Deal: Scope, Scale, and Implications,” with Holtz-Eakin as the lead author. Holtz-Eakin is not nobody in this game, having headed the CBO for about three years (2003-05) during the George W. Bush administration. If there’s anybody who ought to be able to put credible cost figures on proposals for new government programs, it would be a former head of CBO. The fact that CBO is a non-partisan operation would also seem to give an added level of credibility to the conclusions of its former leaders.

After introducing their Report with a series of qualifiers (e.g., many of the changes “are impossible to quantify at this point”), the AAF guys nonetheless forge ahead with the exercise to at least put some broad ranges on the potential costs. In the aggregate the sums of the lows and highs of their ranges come to about $51 trillion to $93 trillion over the course of the 10 year span of the GND. The $93 trillion figure is the one most frequently attributed to the Report in subsequent press accounts.

$93 trillion compares to total U.S. GDP currently running at about $20 trillion per year. In other words, if you think that Holtz-Eakin and AAF are right, or even close to right, then they are saying that the GND will “cost” close to half of the entire U.S. GDP over the next decade or so. . . .

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