Obama’s new budget is a bad joke

February 13, 2012

Just as we expected it would be.

Phillip A Klein takes a look at it and compares it to Obama’s promises on entering office. Here’s his takeway:

Obama spent most of last year lecturing the country on how he supported a so-called “balanced approach” on deficit reduction. Time and again, he said he was ready to make real changes to Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security if only Republicans were willing to budge on the revenue side. He repeated this in a lot of speeches and insisted that behind the scenes he was really, really, ready to cut a deal with the GOP during the debt limit talks. But he never presented a tangible plan that could be scored by the CBO and evaluated next to Rep. Paul Ryan’s plan to reform entitlements and put the nation on a sustainable fiscal course. He had his chance with this budget. Instead, Obama decided to forgo tough choices so he could attack Republicans during an election year.

Bear that in mind: we have a president far more interested in his own electoral fate than the fate of the nation.

Meanwhile, James Pethokoukis accuses Obama of doubling-down on class warfare in this budget:

Here’s pretty much all you need to know about Obamanomics: In 2011, the Obama White House suggested raising the top dividend tax rate to 20 percent from 15 percent. Keeping the dividend rate at a relatively low level, the White House said, “reduces the tax bias against equity investment and promotes a more efficient allocation of capital.” Makes sense, right? Basic economics.

Yet in his brand-new, 2013 budget, Obama calls for taxing dividends as ordinary income, essentially raising the top rate all the way to 39.6 percent. And then when you tack on the 3.8 percentage point Obamacare surtax — and an additional 1.2 percentage point itemized deduction phase-out for high-end taxpayers — the rate rises to 44.6 percent.

So apparently Obama is now in favor of a greater bias against equity investment (and in favor of debt) and promoting less efficient allocation of capital. And this helps create an economy “built to last” in some way?

Of course, it doesn’t. Not at all. More like “built to fail.” Then again, Obama’s new budget isn’t about economic growth or cutting debt or creating a “built to last” economy. The Obama campaign is built around the idea of reducing inequality. So in his budget, Obama takes the populist whip to the wealthy and to business…

And to people who depend on dividends for their retirement, whether directly or through pension funds. Including the middle class.

Why does Barack Obama hate retired people?

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)

Dear Sanctimonious Greens: your beloved electric cars harm Gaea!!

February 13, 2012

Your goddess will be angry with you…

According to a recent study by researchers at UT-Knoxville, electric cars have a greater pollution impact than comparable (and evil, EVIL, EVIL!!) gasoline-powered vehicles:

“An implicit assumption has been that air quality and health impacts are lower for electric vehicles than for conventional vehicles,” [Chris] Cherry said. “Our findings challenge that by comparing what is emitted by vehicle use to what people are actually exposed to. Prior studies have only examined environmental impacts by comparing emission factors or greenhouse gas emissions.”

Particulate matter includes acids, organic chemicals, metals, and soil or dust particles. It is also generated through the combustion of fossil fuels.

For electric vehicles, combustion emissions occur where electricity is generated rather than where the vehicle is used. In China, 85 percent of electricity production is from fossil fuels, about 90 percent of that is from coal. The authors discovered that the power generated in China to operate electric vehicles emit fine particles at a much higher rate than gasoline vehicles. However, because the emissions related to the electric vehicles often come from power plants located away from population centers, people breathe in the emissions a lower rate than they do emissions from conventional vehicles.

Still, the rate isn’t low enough to level the playing field between the vehicles. In terms of air pollution impacts, electric cars are more harmful to public health per kilometer traveled in China than conventional vehicles.

(Emphasis added)

The key is that the electricity needed to charge the batteries of those virtuous electric vehicles has to be first generated somewhere; in China, the vast majority comes from plants using fossil fuels. The effect is simply to transfer the generation of pollutants from where the vehicle is used to where its power is created.

Bear in mind, this study was conducted in China, which relies overwhelmingly on coal. While the US generates far less of its electricity from coal, it’s still significant — about 46%. (See Table 1.1) And China’s pollution controls are notoriously weak, so coal-fired plants in the US probably generate far fewer pollutants than their Chinese counterparts. Still, coal is a dirty fuel source, one of the great demons in the Cult of Anthropogenic Global Warming, and air pollution does not respect national boundaries.

Preening Greens charging their Volts and Leafs and Priuses and oh-so Smart ED cars should perhaps remember that their virtue comes at the cost of (environmental) sin.

RELATED: It’s similar to that other fetish object of the Green cult — wind power. The wind is so unreliable a source that, to make sure the power grid stays up, backup coal, gas, and even nuclear plants have to be kept running on standby for those times when the wind stops or blows too fast. Kind of defeats the purpose, no? Unless that purpose is just to make oneself feel good, or profit from government subsidy… or both.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


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