Gov. Daniels on Cap and Trade: Impoverishment, Imperialism

That’s Gov. Mitch Daniels of Indiana, the state with the most manufacturing-intensive economy in the nation.

We read with interest and admiration today’s op-ed in the Wall Street Journal by Gov. Daniels, the two-term Republican governor and former OMB director, “Indiana Says ‘No Thanks’ to Cap and Trade.” Admiration because the Governor isn’t letting the activist/politician/media machine browbeat him into endorsing a fundamental reordering of the economy that will impoverish Indiana’s citizens.

The largest scientific and economic questions are being addressed by others, so I will confine myself to reporting about how all this looks from the receiving end of the taxes, restrictions and mandates Congress is now proposing.

Quite simply, it looks like imperialism. This bill would impose enormous taxes and restrictions on free commerce by wealthy but faltering powers — California, Massachusetts and New York — seeking to exploit politically weaker colonies in order to prop up their own decaying economies. Because proceeds from their new taxes, levied mostly on us, will be spent on their social programs while negatively impacting our economy, we Hoosiers decline to submit meekly.

The Waxman-Markey legislation would more than double electricity bills in Indiana. Years of reform in taxation, regulation and infrastructure-building would be largely erased at a stroke. In recent years, Indiana has led the nation in capturing international investment, repatriating dollars spent on foreign goods or oil and employing Americans with them. Waxman-Markey seems designed to reverse that flow. “Closed: Gone to China” signs would cover Indiana’s stores and factories.

With so many political, cultural and economic forces allied to create a new, not-quite-market-based economy, it’s great to see an elected official call cap-and-trade a terrible idea that will do real harm to people.

And for what, asks Daniels.

No honest estimate pretends to suggest that a U.S. cap-and-trade regime will move the world’s thermometer by so much as a tenth of a degree a half century from now. My fellow citizens are being ordered to accept impoverishment for a policy that won’t save a single polar bear.

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  • Peter Molinaro says:

    NAM has members who support climate change legislation and believe it is a problem that must be solved. Do you mean to imply that some NAM members are imperialists? We happen to believe that human activity is contributing to climate change and responsible action must be taken. We also happen to believe that the cost will be manageable if the bill is done right. The cost of inaction is potentially astronomical as is the cost of delay if we ultimately find we have to take drastic action due to our failure to act in time. NAM is contributing very little to this debate, and is losing membership over its position. It’s not a good practice to condemn your own members by implication.

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