Realism from the President

Not everything President Obama has done is bad!

Obama Halts EPA Regulation On Smog Standards

Julie Pace and Dina Cappiello 09/ 2/11 09:32 PM ET   AP

WASHINGTON — In a dramatic reversal, President Barack Obama on Friday scrubbed a clean-air regulation that aimed to reduce health-threatening smog, yielding to bitterly protesting businesses and congressional Republicans who complained the rule would kill jobs in America’s ailing economy.

Withdrawal of the proposed regulation marked the latest in a string of retreats by the president in the face of GOP opposition, and it drew quick criticism from liberals. Environmentalists, a key Obama constituency, accused him of caving to corporate polluters, and the American Lung Association threatened to restart the legal action it had begun against rules proposed by President George W. Bush.

The White House has been under heavy pressure from GOP lawmakers and major industries, which have slammed the stricter standard as an unnecessary jobs killer. The Environmental Protection Agency, whose scientific advisers favored the tighter limits, had predicted the proposed change would cost up to $90 billion a year, making it one of the most expensive environmental regulations ever imposed in the U.S.

More at the link.  Contrast that with former Vice President — and, thankfully, never President — Al Gore:


The Dirtiest Fuel on the Planet


August 31, 2011 : 5:38 PM

The leaders of the top environmental groups in the country, the Republican Governor of Nebraska, and millions of people around the country — including hundreds of people who have bravely participated in civil disobedience at the White House — all agree on one thing: President Obama should block a planned pipeline from the tar sands of Alberta to the Gulf of Mexico.

The tar sands are the dirtiest source of fuel on the planet. As I wrote in Our Choice two years ago, gasoline made from the tar sands gives a Toyota Prius the same impact on climate as a Hummer using gasoline made from oil. This pipeline would be an enormous mistake. The answer to our climate, energy and economic challenges does not lie in burning more dirty fossil fuels — instead, we must continue to press for much more rapid development of renewable energy and energy efficient technologies and cuts in the pollution that causes global warming.

I would be absolutely thrilled if we had an existing, or close to development, source of non-polluting fuel. I would also be absolutely thrilled if we had warp drive starships, transporters, unlimited wealth and prosperity, freedom from poverty and want and the elimination of Islam as a belief on our planet.

But reality intrudes. I’d be willing to bet a case of Mountain Dew that President Obama really didn’t want to withdraw the proposed regulations, and, were we living in a time of economic prosperity and reasonably full employment, he wouldn’t have done so; he’d (probably) have judged the costs of the regulations to be bearable and worthwhile.  Instead, with unemployment stubbornly holding above 9% and businesses being extremely cautious about making the new investments to create jobs, President Obama has given jobs, and not costing businesses an additional $90 billion a year for something which does not improve productivity, a greater value than the (supposed) reduction in smog these regulations would have forced.

Our former Vice President and Nobel laureate?¹ He’d rather throw away a source of petroleum and the thousands of jobs that the pipeline project would create, all for the (supposed) gain of reducing CO2 emissions.

And the difference between the two? Both are Democrats [shudder!] and both are liberals [double shudder!], but one has actual responsibility for the economic well-being of this country, while the other, despite once asking for that responsibility, does not. Our former Vice President can advocate any silly thing he wishes, because, in the end, he is not actually responsible for anything.

Maybe, just maybe, had Theresa LaPore not so poorly designed the infamous “butterfly ballot” in Palm Beach County, Mr Gore would have been elected as our 43rd President, and actually been given the kind of responsibility he sought. But, having listened to and even read our former Vice President’s words, I’m persuaded that this country just barely avoided a very serious mistake by retiring Mr Gore from public office.
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¹ – Rather humorously, on his own website’s biography page, Mr Gore tells us that he “was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in 1976, 1978, 1980 and 1982 and the U.S. Senate in 1984 and 1990. He was inaugurated as the forty-fifth Vice President of the United States on January 20, 1993, and served eight years. During the Administration, Gore was a central member of President Clinton’s economic team. He served as President of the Senate, a Cabinet member, a member of the National Security Council and as the leader of a wide range of Administration initiatives,” as well as noting the books he wrote, the current positions he holds, and his Nobel Peace Prize, but wrote nary a word about being the 2000 Democratic Presidential nominee. :)

14 Comments

  1. Maybe, just maybe, had Theresa LaPore not so poorly designed the infamous “butterfly ballot” in Palm Beach County, Mr Gore would have been elected as our 43rd President, and actually been given the kind of responsibility he sought.

    Now now now, Dana. As Perry has told us many times, that had nothing to do with Gore losing Florida. It was that hyper-partisan secretary of state Katherine Harris and the “activist” US Supreme Court that put George W. Bush in office in 2000! Not to mention that “voter suppression” of African-Americans across the state!

  2. Here’s a funny:

    http://krugman.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/09/03/broken-windows-ozone-and-jobs/

    September 3, 2011, 10:07 am

    By Paul Krugman

    Broken Windows, Ozone, and Jobs
    I’ve actually been avoiding thinking about the latest Obama cave-in, on ozone regulation; these repeated retreats are getting painful to watch. For what it’s worth, I think it’s bad politics. The Obama political people seem to think that their route to victory is to avoid doing anything that the GOP might attack — but the GOP will call Obama a socialist job-killer no matter what they do. Meanwhile, they just keep reinforcing the perception of mush from the wimp, of a president who doesn’t stand for anything.

    Whatever. Let’s talk about the economics. Because the ozone decision is definitely a mistake on that front.

    As some of us keep trying to point out, the United States is in a liquidity trap: private spending is inadequate to achieve full employment, and with short-term interest rates close to zero, conventional monetary policy is exhausted.

    This puts us in a world of topsy-turvy, in which many of the usual rules of economics cease to hold. Thrift leads to lower investment; wage cuts reduce employment; even higher productivity can be a bad thing. And the broken windows fallacy ceases to be a fallacy: something that forces firms to replace capital, even if that something seemingly makes them poorer, can stimulate spending and raise employment. Indeed, in the absence of effective policy, that’s how recovery eventually happens: as Keynes put it, a slump goes on until “the shortage of capital through use, decay and obsolescence” gets firms spending again to replace their plant and equipment.

    And now you can see why tighter ozone regulation would actually have created jobs: it would have forced firms to spend on upgrading or replacing equipment, helping to boost demand. Yes, it would have cost money — but that’s the point! And with corporations sitting on lots of idle cash, the money spent would not, to any significant extent, come at the expense of other investment.

    More broadly, if you’re going to do environmental investments — things that are worth doing even in flush times — it’s hard to think of a better time to do them than when the resources needed to make those investments would otherwise have been idle.

    So, a lousy decision all around. Are you surprised?

  3. “Even the broken window fallacy ceases to be a fallacy.” And the stupid Leftists swear by this man’s economic intelligence? He has none. He’s just a Socialist sycophant; nothing more. A fake, a fraud, a phony.

  4. “…, but the GOP will call Obama a socialist job-killer no matter what they do.”

    Well Krugman certainly is right about that, as he usually is on most economic issues.

    He is right on this too:

    “More broadly, if you’re going to do environmental investments — things that are worth doing even in flush times — it’s hard to think of a better time to do them than when the resources needed to make those investments would otherwise have been idle.

    So, a lousy decision all around. Are you surprised?”

    No, I am not surprised, but I am disappointed!

  5. John Hitchcock says:
    3 September 2011 at 18:59

    Krugman the “economist” knows as much about economics as Perry knows about owning a bunch of restaurants.

    Krugman is my favorite Liberal crybaby. He lets his ideology get in the way of his alleged profession. Economics “should” be a relatively stable science given it’s a combination of psychology, mathmatics, and probablity. Psychology part should be stable in knowing how business minds operate, math gives you an answer and probability should be based on history. But the wild card is the politician and the politics. And we know this current actor in the white house turns to the training he only knows, or thinks he knows, Socialism and Redistribution. Throw that ideology in with the knowns, and here we are.

  6. Well, Perry, of course you’d support ever increasing spending to produce nothing! But, like Paul Krugman and Al Gore, you are actually responsible for nothing.

    President Obama is responsible for things, and while I’d bet he didn’t like having to take this decision, he really did have to weigh the benefits of the regulations against the costs they’d impose.

  7. “…President Obama has given jobs, and not costing businesses an additional $90 billion a year for something which does not improve productivity,
    a greater value than the (supposed) reduction in smog these regulations would have forced

    .” >danapico

    ++++++++++++++++

    That’s an interesting statement — you know this how? We’re talking about breathing ozone here. Your approach looks more ideology than rationale.

  8. He lets his ideology get in the way of his alleged profession.

    Apart from the teeny tiny minor fact that his track record for being right is excellent. But I’m sure you won’t let reality intrude on your whining.

    Krugman the “economist” knows as much about economics as Perry knows about owning a bunch of restaurants.

    Thank you for that Professional Babble, jh.

  9. Once again, you side with the corporate, big money, with the history of hurting humanity and our environment. Have you suspended all independent thought? How about your regard for human life?

    Honestly, I don’t know why I even come back here.

  10. Blu wrote:

    Once again, you side with the corporate, big money, with the history of hurting humanity and our environment. Have you suspended all independent thought? How about your regard for human life?

    Honestly, I don’t know why I even come back here.

    Because we let you have your say!

    But people possibly getting lung disease in the future might actually be a little less of an urgent problem than people going hungry today, because they have no jobs.

  11. BB wrote:

    That’s an interesting statement — you know this how? We’re talking about breathing ozone here. Your approach looks more ideology than rationale.

    While I can’t read the President’s mind, that appears to be the rationale; why else would he have taken the action he did?

  12. Gee, you mean those poor corporations’ executives might not get to have an executive jet? Ahhhwwwwww. It’s greed, nothing more. They don’t care about giving people jobs. Obama just wants their donations to his campaign. (cough cough cough) I’m borderline asthmatic, and I resent the hell out of that move. He’s a liar, Obama, and he is no better than Bush. They both are playing on the same team. It’s the plutocrats.

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