It’s the Fat Cats’ Fault

October 16. 2011

By Nolan Finley

Big Gov’t vs. Big Biz in 2012

It’s the Fat Cats’ Fault

Next year’s presidential election won’t be about personalities — it’ll be a battle between Big Government and Big Business.

And whoever controls the finger of blame will likely come out on top.

President Barack Obama is standing on Al Gore’s old “People versus the Powerful” platform to convince voters the economic mess he’s presided over for nearly three years is not his fault — the culprits are the “Fat Cats” (his words), the CEOs, Wall Street brokers and wealthy layabouts who’ve stolen the jobs and paychecks of the middle class.

And although voters thought last year that it was smaller government they wanted, Obama’s pitch is that what they really need is a larger, more potent government to stand between them and the robber barons.

He’s getting a boost from the small but noisy Occupy Wall Street movement, which his media allies are covering 24/7. They’re only too eager to help him turn the conversation away from the failings of government and toward the failings of business.

This new “mad as hell” crowd has an edge to it, and lets the media get back to a story line it loves — that there are two Americas, one for the privileged and one for everyone else, and the lines never cross.

Voters usually reject this sort of class warfare.

But in persistently hard times, it’s easy to blame those with more power and more money.

To counter, Republicans have to play, “Who Wants to be a Millionaire?”

The answer is “everyone.”

Americans have a primal quest for wealth. It’s what made us the most prosperous people on Earth, and the most innovative.

Business makes millionaires, government doesn’t — except for the politicians and their friends who abuse the public trust.

Obama is offering policies that destroy wealth. There are fewer millionaires today than when he took office.

Republicans succeed if they make Americans believe again that they can roll the dice and win.

When people stop believing in their opportunity to hit the jackpot, they turn to the security of the nanny state.

The challenge for the GOP will be to remind voters of the everyday incompetence and inefficiency of government, and that every dollar it squanders comes out of their pockets.

Making government larger and more powerful means even more wasted dollars.

Republicans also have to make a stronger case for free markets and private initiative.

Explain basic economics. Profits aren’t evil; they keep factory and office doors open. (We learned the hard way in Michigan what happens when profits disappear.)

A corporation that pays less in taxes has more to spend on jobs and salaries.

And “fair share” doesn’t mean anywhere near the 50 percent of wealth Obama hopes to confiscate.

Big Business has its flaws and its scoundrels.

But stack them up next to those of Big Government and business wins in a landslide.

Nolan Finley is editorial page editor of The News.

We could shut down the United States in terms of CO2 emissions for 100 years and …

2012 Voter’s Guide to the Climate Change Debate

From an article by Steve Milloy
The Washington Times, May 23, 2012

If you’re thinking of becoming a Republican presidential candidate – and who isn’t these days – you can plan on being pressed on the climate issue. In the wake of last week’s new report from a panel of the National Research Council (NRC) reiterating its old talking points on climate, The Washington Post editorialized that all (read “Republican”) candidates for political office should be quizzed about whether they agree with the “scientific consensus of America’s premier scientific advisory group.”

Although this threat is intended to intimidate Republicans who tend toward queasiness when confronted with environmental issues, the attack is easy to parry and then even to counterattack – that’s why Al Gore and his enviros duck debating so-called “climate skeptics.”

First, let’s dismiss a couple of faulty premises of The Post’s editorial.

While it is true that the NRC operates under the umbrella of the National Academy of Sciences, the NRC panel that authored the report has nothing to do with the prestigious individual scientists who make up the National Academy of Sciences membership. NRC panels are highly politicized and often stacked, and no climate skeptics were included in the panel that wrote last week’s report.

Next, science doesn’t work on a consensus basis. We don’t accept that the Earth revolves around the Sun because most scientists or a group of scientists have agreed to say so. Science is driven by data, not groupthink. In actuality, the NRC report is more an exercise in political science than climate science.

Skeptics don’t deny global warming or climate change. We think the atmosphere probably has warmed slightly and on an average basis over the past 200 years (for unknown reasons) and we recognize that climate is changing continually, albeit slowly. We don’t agree, however, that man-made emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2) and other greenhouse gases are having either detectable or predictable effects on climate – and we have at least two key means of establishing this point.

First, atmospheric CO2 concentrations have increased by about 8 percent or so since the mid-1990s. According to climate alarmists, this should have caused measurable global warming. But none has been observed, a fact that finally was admitted by climate alarmists in the wake of the Climategate scandal.

Next, if it were true that global temperature was so sensitive and dependent upon atmospheric CO2 levels, then climate models (essentially elaborate scientific formulas) could be constructed to predict accurately the temperature effects from changing CO2 levels. But not only do existing models not predict the future temperature, they can’t replicate the past when historical data is put through them.

But shouldn’t we err on the side of precaution and reduce emissions anyway? As the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency already has demonstrated and admitted, we could shut down the United States in terms of CO2 emissions for 100 years and we would make precious little difference in the atmospheric CO2 level – possibly on the order of 5 percent.

Given that an 8 percent increase in CO2 over the past 15 years has amounted to zero global warming, candidates would be on firm ground wondering whether it’s worth wrecking the economy over a 5 percent increase over 100 years.

Candidates should not fall for bogus distractions like melting polar ice, threatened polar bears, bad weather and the like. The Washington Post wants candidates to be quizzed on what they would do about “the rising seas, spreading deserts and intensifying storms that, absent a change in policy, loom on America’s horizon.”

Natural disasters, topographic changes and population booms and busts have always occurred and will continue to occur. None of these phenomena can be tied scientifically to man-made emissions of CO2. So they are simply irrelevant sideshow issues. Carbon dioxide should not be referred to as a “pollutant.” It is colorless, odorless and tasteless and is an essential nutrient for plants and, therefore, humans. Alarmists call it “carbon pollution”; the rest of us call it “life.”

One last science point is the Climategate scandal. Alarmists claim that numerous subsequent investigations of the matter by independent groups have failed to uncover wrongdoing or faulty science, but none of these whitewashes were truly independent or anything more than superficial. No input from skeptics, even those mentioned in the emails, was included.

None of this is difficult to learn and articulate. Yet ask almost any Republican politician about any of this, and the best you can hope for from them is an expression of concern about jobs and the fact that China and India aren’t cutting their emissions.

While those are true and valid points, they, too, are sideshow distractions. The central point of the science debate is whether man-made CO2 emissions are causing harm. There is no evidence that they are.

“What if you’re wrong about the science?” or, “Shouldn’t we err on the side of better-safe-than-sorry?” you may be asked. Of course, it’s the alarmists who need to be second-guessing themselves. They’ve been wrong repeatedly and never right since they started forecasting climate doom almost 25 years ago. Give them no quarter.

Steve Milloy publishes and is the author of “Green Hell: How Environmentalists Plan to Control Your Life and What You Can Do to Stop Them” (Regnery 2009).

© Copyright 2011 The Washington Times, LLC