Barack Obama

Obama's Ridiculous To-Do List

What's scarier, that the administration would pretend that these are serious proposals or that the president might actually believe they are?


President Barack Obama has compiled a handy to-do list for Congress that, "if acted upon quickly, will create jobs and help restore middle class security," according to the White House's blog. And it's about time. This is most certainly not, as cynics might suggest, another transparent political scheme. After all, these initiatives, the White House claims, enjoy bipartisan support—which, I gather, is meant to impress you, even if it's not exactly true.

Regrettably, the sentiment of the to-do list does garner bipartisan support and illustrates how cheap populism leads to bad policy and why Washington shouldn't be in the business of "creating jobs" in the first place.

Obama says passing his to-do list would help create "an economy built to last—one that creates the jobs of the future and makes things the rest of the world buys—not one built on outsourcing, loopholes, and risky financial deals." History tells us that when government "creates" an economy, it won't be much of an economy to speak of—but here's the new plan:

"Reward American Jobs, Not Outsourcing." Hey, let's play on the genuine frustration of struggling Americans. Most politicians will latch on to this protectionist notion to some extent. But need it really be repeated that outsourcing, by generating more productivity, creates more wealth and more jobs? On this point, most economists actually agree.

But even if you believe "outsourcing" is a job killer, does anyone believe the notion that "passing legislation that gives companies a new 20 percent tax credit for the cost of moving their operations" will make a dent on employment? Liberals frequently argue that high corporate taxes aren't chasing companies abroad, yet a one-time tax break on moving expenses is now a cornerstone of "an economy built to last"?

To do: "Create Jobs By Investing In Affordable Clean Energy." It is difficult to calculate just how many subsidies and breaks are already "invested" in unproductive clean-energy projects—many of them supported by Republicans. Whether it be morally fulfilling or good for the environment, an expansion of "the 30 percent tax credit to investments in clean energy manufacturing" could cost jobs, not create them. As one Spanish study found, 2.2 conventional jobs are destroyed for every job created in the alternative energy industry. "Investing" in inefficient energy is no way to economic growth.

There are other feel-good to-dos on the list: "Invest in a New Hire Tax Credit For Small Business," wherein Washington jump-starts new hiring by giving "a 10 percent income tax credit for firms that create new jobs or increase wages in 2012." Losing money? Give a raise; get a tax break.

Then there is the admirable "Put Returning Veterans to Work Using Skills Developed in the Military." (Hey, Republicans, why do you hate veterans?)

Also to do: "Cut Red Tape So Responsible Homeowners Can Refinance"—wherein Congress passes legislation to cut red tape in the mortgage market, allowing "responsible" homeowners to refinance at today's lower rates. Guess what? Banks already allow responsible homeowners to refinance, and there are tons of government programs designed to help homeowners. Is it good for the economy? That's another story.

But according to White House press secretary Jay Carney, the function of the to-do list is that it ensures that come election time, Republicans will have to explain to their constituents "what they did while they were in Washington these last two years. Did they just say no?"

Correct answer: I didn't say "no" enough.

The problem is that so-called fiscal conservatives say "yes" too often to populist notions masquerading as policy. With the state of the economy, what's scarier, that the administration would pretend that these are serious proposals or that the president might actually believe they are?

David Harsanyi is a columnist and senior reporter at Human Events. Follow him on Twitter @davidharsanyi.


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  1. Put Returning Veterans to Work Using Skills Developed in the Military

    Killing people?

    1. …Skills Developed in the Military.
      I learned the finer points of goldbricking (Wrights was dead on with his “screwdriver and clipboard” anecdote) and that is very important to always have at least one soldier away on sick call during inspections so that all the contraband can be shoved into his locker and every problem may be safely blamed on him in his absence. I can has jerb now?

    2. pandering at its worst. Programs for veterans already exists; in addition, a good many returning veterans are just that – returning. To their jobs on post or on base.

    3. I’ve already got my destitute veteran panhandling sign picked out, “Will Analyze for food.”

    4. No worries. Many of them will be sent back to the Crips, Bloods and Latin Kings who sent them in to the military for advanced training in the first place.

    5. Killing people?

      Pretty much.

      “Honor our commitment to returning veterans by creating a Veterans Job Corps to help Afghanistan and Iraq veterans get jobs as cops, firefighters, and serving their communities.”

      More SWAT! Community organizers!

      Uh, soldiers know how to win firefights, not fight fires. I hope that’s unintentional.

    6. “Killing people?”

      Oh, yeah. I killed lots and lots of people durring my military career. As an electronics tech. But you knew that, I’m sure.

  2. LOL

    Odds that fiscal conservatives are even listening to Obama at this point, after 3 1/2 years of BS? 1:10,000

    Odds that the President believes that these are serious proposals? 1:100,000

    Nothing to be concerned about, really, as I see it.

    1. The one thing Obama does believe in: Obama

      1. He believes in Obama. That doesn’t mean he believes whatever Obama says, in the service of the almighty Obama.

        1. So if Obama were actually a muslim, he’d be akin to Allah in his own mind?

    2. Odds that Obama believes this will get him re-elected: 1=1

    3. Odds that fiscal conservatives are even listening to Obama at this point, after 3 1/2 years of BS? 1:10,000

      Actually it’s 1:2. The one that’s still listening went crazy, and the other one moved to New Zealand.

  3. What’s scarier, that the administration would pretend that these are serious proposals or that the president might actually believe they are?


  4. What were the chances that our President’s plan wouldn’t be panned by an outlet with the reputation of Reason? Has he ever produced an economic or foreign policy plan that you guys didn’t “think” was ridiculous?

    1. No. It’s all been pretty ridculous. Is it our fault the guy is a marxist moron?

      1. How many years did you edit the Harvard Law Review?

        1. So he misspelled “ridiculous”. Give Top Men a break.

          1. There’s no “i” in TEAM (politics)! However there are two in ridiculous 🙁

        2. Oh man! A STUDENT newsletter!

          Nice appeal to authority though; should just have said “How many years were YOU president!?”

          1. “How many NOBEL PEACE PRIZES have you won while still bombing the shit out of people, hmm? HMM???”

            1. That is a pretty remarkable achievement. Bombing a half dozen countries, targeted assassinations of your own citizens and snagging a peace prize? How many can claim that on their C.V.?

        3. “How many years did you edit the Harvard Law Review?”

          I wasn’t eligible for an affirmative action slot a Harvard. Also, I have been actually working at real job as a chemist since my graduation from a State University so I could afford to pay back my student loans. However, if the President wished to challenge me to an I.Q. test I would be more than happy to hand him his ass.

        4. How many years did you edit the Harvard Law Review?

          Really? That’s what you got? “How many years did you edit the Harvard Law Review?” That’s your devastating counterargument? It’s pretty good, I admit.

          I hear that once you’ve edited the Harvard Law Review, they give you a special certificate that says you’re a genius and there’s no point disagreeing with you. You don’t get one of those for merely writing for the Harvard Law Review, no. You actually have to select the papers yourself. It’s a job reserved for the most special of snowflakes, and it confers upon you technocratic superpowers.

          It can hardly be said often enough that there is no better preparation for designing and running the world’s largest economy (making sure that prices are what they’re supposed to be, that people are all employed and working toward a bright future, etc.) than editing the Harvard Law Review.

        5. I am actually a current editor of a law review at at top tier school. Can I have a job as a President please?

          Seriously, this is about the dumbest thing anyone has ever typed, ever. Obama can accurately QA a professional article per some bullshit Bluebook standards? Gee, that sure makes him more qualified to opine on all matters political and economic!

          1. Obama was EiC for the Harvard Law Review, in fact he was their first black one ever. You’re an editor, Guestus; maybe you can answer this one for me?

            How was it that Obama never clerked after graduation? I mean, you figure that every Justice on the Supreme Court would have given their eyeteeth to have had such a groundbreaking young man clerk for them. Wouldn’t he’d have had to outright refuse to clerk for any of them? And, despite doing that, UChicago gives him a 2 year fellowship immediately after graduation to not do much other than write a book and lecture in Con Law. As well as run his voter registration group and work at Davis, Miner.

            Speaking of the lecturing, did he ever publish anything? Or do lecturers normally not have a publishing requirement, unlike most law school profs? Or was being a State Senator enough on its own to keep the job?

            What a weird legal career.

            1. Well, clearly because he was the most awesomest awesome evah! One does not need to clerk, publish, or do any of the other normal things when one is simply the chosen one, sent to lecture us all on the Chicago Way. Don’t you get it? The Supreme Court should never, ever overturn the legislature’s laws! It’s in the constitution ‘n stuff.

              1. I should also add, on a serious note, the Supreme Court clerkships, in general (of which I will never get), are one of the last bastions of true meritocracy. Despite some of the jusitce’s fealty to affirmative action, the fact that Obama happened to be half black wouldn’t have meant shit. One can be on Law Review and not get really good grades.

        6. How many years did you edit the Harvard Law Review?

          Kneel before your betters, plebian.

      2. A couple of years from now when we are discussing Romney’s big government failures, hypocrisy, and hackery I’m sure you will find Reason teh awesome!

        1. True. [sigh]

          After 50 years of elections I wish, just once, I could have a PotUS candidate to vote for.

          1. 2008 was a terrible year for a proactive vote, but this year ain’t looking so bad, actually. I’m almost inspired to actually volunteer (but I probably won’t due to the fact that I’m lazy and misanthropic).

    2. he has yet to produce a single economic plan, in particular, that everyone outside of his inner circle and designated dogwashers making the media rounds saw as ridiculous.

      Consider his last two budget proposals. Not a single Dem voting in favor of either. None.

      1. It’s hard to vote for them with the teabagging Republicans gumming up the works.

        1. Nice straw man. Zero Dems supported either budget. And, if memory serves, the party controls the Senate but this is a budget we’re talking about, something that chamber refuses to consider.

          So what’s Obama’s excuse for the first two years, when Dems ran everything and there was no such thing as the tea party? We had stimulus; that’s worked out well.

          1. They control only the Senate… now. Dem’s had both houses for two years even a supermajority in the Senate and he didn’t get a budget passed. I see your straw man and raise you an empty suit.

        2. Orly?

        3. You really suck at trolling.

        4. Is there just ONE among you fucking apparatchiks that does not incessantly engage in logical fallacies during political discourse? One among you that can defend your views without resorting to straw man arguments, reductio ad absurdums and red herrings?

          This study from Emory may explain some of your behavior, mustard:
          Political Partisans Addicted To Irrational Defense Of Their Tribes

    3. Is it really the president’s job to come up with “economic plans” in the first place?

      1. Well, no. But he could promote the repeal of some laws and/or the restructuring of taxes in order to facilitate growth.

    4. Has he ever produced an economic or foreign policy plan that you guys didn’t “think” was ridiculous?

      Wait, he’s produced a plan? I call bullshit.

      1. “There seems to be no plan because it’s all plan”

        — C.S. Louis

        1. How do you quote C.S. Lewis without being able to spell his name correctly? Also, Obama is God apparently.

          1. Mustard clearly meant Louis CK.

        2. “–C.S. Louis”

          What. A. Fucking. Dunce.

    5. Musturd is right. These are serious proposals with the very best of intentions.

  5. What a weird, weird administration this is. Reflects the increasing distance between the average voter and any semblance of common sense, I suppose.

    1. Politics is weird. And creepy.

    2. I strongly suspect there hasn’t been a time in U.S. history when the average citizen, or average voter, has known less about what is going on.

      When America was started, we had the highest, or 2nd highest, newspaper readership rate in world history.

      Now? Half the electorate doesn’t get beyond the TV news for the news.

      I mean, George W. Bush? Really? The ex-alcoholic, cheerleader, drive four companies into the ground, probably could barely handle managing a Grocery Store by himself, that George W. Bush?

      ‘But the news said I would want to have a beer with him!’ (PRO-TIP: George Bush is an ex-alcoholic, and no longer drank beer).

      1. Yeah, the Harvard Business School just hands out those Master of Business Administration degrees.

        PRO-TIP: when calling people stupid on the internet it is best to actually know WTF you are talking about.

        1. Harvard, back in the late 1960s, did hand out MBAs to sons of major political figures like candy, actually. Legacy got people into Harvard.

          Do you know much about MBAs nowadays? The Harvard MBA program is the 2 year party between the 30+ hour days they expect you to do (for 30K/yr) as an analyst at a major Wall St. firm and the trader or sales/trader position you will get after.

      2. Majorities are teh stoopid when they vote for the guy I don’t like. They r teh smart when they vote for the guy I do like.

        I think Jefferson probably had it right when he said:

        The man who reads nothing at all is better educated than the man who reads nothing but newspapers.

        Failing to lap from the toilet bowl of the old print media is hardly an indication of ignorance. Voting for total pieces of shit because they promise to give you things is what makes the minority of Americans who actually vote idiots. Something tells me this woman never voted for George W. Bush. I wonder if she takes a newspaper?

        1. I was using George W. Bush as an example, but I hardly think he’s the only poor or mediocre President in the last 50 years.

          This is like the Gilded Age, in the sense that there hasn’t been a decent President in so long it’s tough to make a reasonable comparison.

          Grant, Hayes, Arthur, Harrison, McKinley.

          I do like Cleveland, somewhat, but it was a bad time.

          Jefferson was a firm believer in both a) education, and b) lying in newspapers to get his political advantage.

          His quotes on the value of reading newspapers must stem from his own knowledge of the lies he’d injected into them. See: James T. Callendar.

          But, he knew the value of education, and the only way (back then) to keep up with current events (that’s what you do once you have an education) was to read the newspaper.

          You didn’t come close to addressing my main argument, which was that, compared to any time in American history, the American people are less informed about the world around them. The internet makes it possible for them to know, but only 5-10% use it, extensively, for their news.

          1. So, following your logic here, in the 18th century, reading newspapers filled with lies planted there by politicians made one an educated person?

            I’m not sure whether or not Americans are any more or less informed now than they were in some mystical Good Old Days. That’s a hard thing to gauge, and your barometer of an informed populace seems to be the extent to which they agree with you politically. When your argument is that people are stupid for failing to see things your way, it’s pretty difficult to refute.

            I don’t know where you pulled your figures for the percentage of people that get their news from the internet (well, actually, I have a suspicion), but it seems dramatically low compared to these:



  6. I didn’t RTFL, but trust that it includes “Solve Our Highway Infrastructure Problems by Mandating the Star Trek Transporter”.

    1. Headline says “ridiculous”, not “awesome”.

      1. Can’t they be both?

        1. Fair enough.

        2. I think awesome requires a level of genius or creativity that this WH is not up to.

          1. “AwFUL”, then.

    2. If Obama managed to invent a Star Trek-type transporter, I still wouldn’t vote for him.

      1. The guy has not even practiced the profession he was trained in. What makes you think that futuristic engineering is something he can grasp?

        1. Well, I mean, there are people that thinks he has a basic understanding of economics. I think that’s a further stretch than him inventing the transporter, so…

  7. President Barack Obama has compiled a handy to-do list for Congress that, “if acted upon quickly, will create jobs and help restore middle class security,” according to the White House’s blog.

    And it’s taken him 3.5 years to compile it and decide to take action on it? How long will it take for him to take action if the Iranians start selling their oil for gold to India?

    1. We should be grateful that it takes him so long to get things done, and that congress has been in partisan deadlock the past 4 years. Just imagine what he would have done if he could actually get any of his policies put in place. Things could be much worse than they are today.

      1. My point was that he doesn’t really have a serious plan. It’s just a political gimmick.

        If Iran did start selling oil for gold, it wouldn’t take him more than 5 minutes to order the bombings to start and begin implementing an invasion plan that they drew up years ago.

        1. Yeah. He’d implement War Plan Crimson.

    2. How long will it take for him to take action if the Iranians start selling their oil for gold to India?

      I think you’ve unwittingly highlighted a benefit for voting for Obama: He doesn’t get much shit done.

      1. Gridlock is a wonderful thing.

        1. It may actually be our only hope left.

          1. I seriously don’t know if Romney and a R controlled Congress would be any worse than Obama and a D controlled Congress.

            In practice there really isn’t that much difference.

            1. In practice there really isn’t that much difference.

              There really isn’t.

              If only it took 3/4 of congress to get -any- law passed…

              1. I’m firmly of the opinion that the FF should have set that at 9/10ths.

          2. We’re so far gone that even gridlock won’t save us.

            Gridlock gets you continuing resolutions. Continuing resolutions get you trillion dollar deficits. Trillion dollar deficits get you broke.

            1. Without an incentive to eliminate shitty legislation and regulation, there is no hope.

              That was supposed to be the duty of the Judicial branch, but that ship has sailed.

            2. That’s the saddest thing I’ve read in quite a while.

              1. Dean has a way of doing that shit.

            3. In theory, if you could muster the will to not increase the debt ceiling, you could either crash the government, force a budget debate, or create a Constitutional crisis.

            4. For a while now I’ve been of the opinion that this whole experiment called the US of A is far enough down the road to collapse that there is absolutely nothing that can be done to stop its demise. It is now a foregone conclusion. So instead of working within the system, a la Ron Paul, to try and fix things, we should be trying to elect whichever candidate will crash this monstrosity the quickest and help them implement their policies.

              Our only hope is that something can be rebuilt from the ruins that resembles liberty, though that itself is still not likely.

  8. And how is that relevant?

    Obama’s ignorance of constitutional law is only surpassed by his ignorance of economics.

    1. Above should have been in relply to mustard comment about Harvard Law review.

      1. That comment was so retarded, it deserves as many disjointed replies as possibile.

    2. He is not unique in his ignorance of economics.

      “The first lesson of economics is scarcity: There is never enough of anything to satisfy all those who want it. The first lesson of politics is to disregard the first lesson of economics.”
      -Thomas Sowell

  9. The never-ending populist mewling has made it clear to me that this administration does not have a anything resembling a coherent strategy for governing. Getting elected OTOH, that they are good at.

    I thought we had the perfect campaigner in Bill Clinton. But he did pause to govern occasionally. BHO has not stopped giving stump speeches since his campaign for the senate.

    1. With the cost of running a campaign roughly doubling every four years, but the maximum allowable donation not changing, it takes twice as many donations (and thus fundraisers) to raise enough money to run a campaign.
      Being president is one long fundraiser.

      1. So we have a case of donor inflation.

        1. The campaign is expanding to meet the needs of an expanding campaign.

  10. Clown sure clings to his Green Monster energy trope, to the point where I really think he drinks the Kool-Aid there.

    No expedient political reason right now exists to embrace that suck. But there Clown he is, praying at Windmill Temple every chance he gets.

    1. The green boondoggle has proven to be well-suited to recycling tax money into political donations.

      1. I don’t know if the scratch is worth it in lost votes in the long run, which after all is the ‘real’ money for politiclowns.

  11. Current Drudge Report headline:

    Florida nabs white supremacists planning ‘race war’…

    Trying to spark a race war, eh? I wonder if the guy was working for NBC.

    1. I’m sure the idea came from the FBI

  12. I might open a can of worms with this, but…

    “Cut Red Tape So Responsible Homeowners Can Refinance”

    …doesn’t actual “responsible home ownership” require establishment via means that best reduce the possibility of ever needing to refinance?

    1. the red tape has been added by his administration. you cannot simultaneously increase the regulatory burden and tighten guidelines while reducing regulation and relaxing guidelines. you really do have to choose one or the other.

    2. Why? Can’t a responsible homeowner buy at a price they can afford at the then-prevailing interest rate and still make a rational economic decision to save money when rates go down? Banks don’t actually want you to hold the same mortgage for all 30 years, nor is it in your best economic interests to do so.

      1. Notice I said needing, not wanting. For some reason I don’t suspect the red tape cutting that Obama has in mind is aimed at those simply seeking a better deal because interest rates are down.

        1. True that.

  13. To do:
    1) Pass a law to make everyone happy.

    See, it’s easy!
    Vote for Boyle, son of toil…..

  14. Protectianism works both ways, if American politicians want to prevent doing business with outsiders, the outsiders will return the favour. Sadly its never the politicians that have to suffer the stupidity of their decisions.

    1. Funny how when politicians enact an embargo on another country, as in preventing their people from doing business with outsiders, it is an act of war.
      But when they do it at home it is supposed to stimulate the economy.

      Go figure.

  15. David wrote:

    > It is difficult to calculate just how many subsidies and breaks are already “invested” in unproductive clean-energy projects


    How about some facts. From the US Department of Energy’s Energy Information Agency.…..ation.html

    Looking at the last column, total levelized cost, and sorting by cost (not including, obviously, any proposed new subsidies):

    Natural Gas – Advanced Combined Cycle : 63.1
    Natural Gas – Conventional Combined Cycle : 66.1
    Natural Gas – Advanced CC with CCS : 89.3
    Conventional Coal: 94.8
    Wind: 97.0

    Notice that wind beats nuclear, “clean” coal, solar, geothermal, et cetera, and only loses to coal by a small margin.

    Texas, darn it all, is #1 in wind power generation capacity.

    The wind belt is here (80m wind map)…..11-med.png

    1. Yeah, like I thought.

      All you “green energy” haters clam up when presented with the facts.

      1. I’ll reply…

        Did you read the kabuki dance they went through to come up with a swag at what it will cost to produce a new source of energy production in 2016?

        How about calculating in the cost of the extra production required for the 66% of the time when wind doesn’t produce? Or the cost of getting wind power to where people are?

        The double-speak around what they’re doing with incentives and subsidies made my head hurt.

      2. …as represented in the National Energy Modeling System (NEMS) as configured for the Annual Energy Outlook 2011 (AEO2011) reference case.

        I would be interested in seeing the specifics of this model and reference case. Particularly since the provided summary of “levelized cost” in the context of the paper makes no mention of direct and indirect subsidies, incentives or loan guarantees in the calculation.

        It’s also worth mentioning that the US Department of Energy is an executive department, analyzing the effects of executive branch policies. Surely a guy who argued a couple of days ago that CRAs should be nationalized because they currently get paid by the companies whose securities they rate could see the potential conflict of interest there.

        Focusing on wind also conveniently avoids the 2+ billion dollars worth of losses incurred to American taxpayers in the last 2 years as a result of loan guarantees and direct investment into solar energy companies that have gone bankrupt as the production costs of competing products from overseas fall. Evergreen, SpectraWatt, Solyndra, Solar Trust, et al.

        Unfortunately, all you “green energy” lovers have never let facts get in the way of your enthusiasm.

        1. All of the assumptions are presented here:

          And they do include subsidies.

          1. The only mention in those assumptions that I could find of subsidies was the following:

            A subsidy is offered by the Department of Agriculture’s Commodity Credit Corporation for the production of biodiesel.

            Because solar technologies are more expensive than other utility grid-connected technologies, early penetration will be driven by broader economic decisions such as the desire to become familiar with a new technology, environmental considerations, and the availability of limited Federal subsidies.

            For wind to penetrate as a fuel saver, its total capital and fixed operations and maintenance costs minus applicable subsidies must be less than the variable operating costs, including fuel, of the existing (non-wind) capacity.

            Nothing related to the actual models or calculations of current or future subsidies used as it relates to the cost of a power generating facility over its lifecycle.

            The data in the first report you cited is prefaced by the following:

            The availability of various incentives including state or federal tax credits can also impact the calculation of levelized cost. The values shown in the tables below do not incorporate any such incentives.

            Which should help make a more accurate comparison. But then there is this utterly arbitrary 3% surcharge on greenhouse gas-producing technologies we discussed elsewhere.

          2. Point being, this model is fairly complex and may not accurately capture all variables. It’s a speculative projection of costs 4 years into the future, and at least partially weighted in favor of “green” energy technologies. Take it for what it is.

    2. And here is your problem right here…

      “in the AEO2011 reference case a 3-percentage point increase in the cost of capital is added when evaluating investments in greenhouse gas (GHG) intensive technologies like coal-fired power and coal-to-liquids (CTL) plants without carbon control and sequestration (CCS). While the 3-percentage point adjustment is somewhat arbitrary, in levelized cost terms its impact is similar to that of a $15 per metric ton of carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions fee when investing in a new coal plant without CCS, similar to the costs used in simulations that utilities and regulators have used in their resource planning. The adjustment should not be seen as an increase in the actual cost of financing, but rather as representing the implicit hurdle being added to GHG-intensive projects to account for the possibility they may eventually have to purchase allowances or invest in other GHG emission-reducing projects that offset their emissions. As a result, the levelized capital costs of coal-fired plants without CCS are higher than would otherwise be expected.”

      So they build in an expectation that some form of carbon tax will eventially applied to Fossil fuel sources just to make the renewables look better.

      They also utterly neglect to include the cost of energy storage or backup generation needed to suppliment wind and solar even though using either as a primary source of generation would require one or the other.

      1. As for your first quote, did you miss the part where this is

        > similar to the costs used in simulations that utilities and regulators have used in their resource planning.


        As for energy storage or backup, they do account for that, it is in a column called “capacity factor.”

        So, 0 for 2.

        1. Regardless of whether the utilities are anticipating getting hit with fees in the future and building those costs into their cost models, doesn’t change the fact that it is an artificial cost RIGHT NOW, and consequently is a distortion of present conditions. It’d be kinda like comparing overall tax burdens of two countries, assuming that one country was going to raise its marginal rates by 10%. Sure, that *might* happen, but until it does, you’re making a bogus comparison.

          1. If there’s anyone to blame for the 15$/ton carbon tax, it’s Senator Inhofe and Bjorn Lumberg.

            Inhofe had his little snit-fit counter-hearing after Al Gore, Jr. spoke before Congress after winning the Oscar for An Inconvenient Truth.

            He brought forward Danish economist Bjorn Lumberg, who thinks dealing with global warming is not in the top 10 or 15 different things we could be doing.

            However, he did say that if we wanted to deal with it, a per-ton carbon tax was the way to go, and he gave the range 2-15 dollars per ton.

            1. You realize, of course, that addresses absolutely nothing that I wrote?

  16. 1 – Using gov’t statistics to prove anything belies a certain stupidity at the outset.

    2 – The DoE’s prognostication on matters economic is near worthless.

    3 – In an economy where the gov’t has skewed true costs via regulation, tax code, subsidies and myriad other malfeasances, to even think that actual “costs” could be calculated shows a dire, almost uncurable lack of economic understanding.

    4 – Fucking Retarded Troll is fucking retarded.

    1. 1. You have some better numbers than the EIA, cough then up, shorty. You don’t, because they are the best published numbers that exist.

      2. There’s little to no prognostication involved. Costs involved in running a coal plant aren’t fluctuating like your diaphragm.

      3. The costs present include the direct subsidies. You don’t calculate the cost of a burger based and then calculate what it would cost in a world without the USDA meat inspectors.

      4. You are small, you have nothing. No facts, no support for any of your assertions, just blind fucking hatred for people who are right when you are wrong.

      1. 1 – There is no such thing as “better numbers.” What they are claiming to calculate can not be calculated, and to believe it can is the same as believing that the “unemployment number” or any such contrived “fact” has any bearing on reality. The only number that would have any application to the true cost of energy production could only be found in an unhampered free market. That number would then be called the “price.”

        2 – Mr. Language Man, the word “prognosticate” means to predict the future. The chart is from 2016. By definition, they were prognosticating. You shouldn’t wear your retardation as a badge of honor, it just makes it easier for the rest of us.

        3 – If you want to know the actual cost of any product, including a burger, you absolutely have to include the cost of the USDA meat inspector. Thank you for making my point via your complete lack of understanding of economics. That is the primary criticism of gov’t intervention into the economy, that the true costs of things become absolutely unknowable, hence economic decisions can no longer be accurately made. Then you end up where we currently are as a global economy.

        4 – My hatred for Fucking Retarded Trolls is entered into with eyes wide open and illuminated by a clarity of thought a muddled mind such as yours is not capable of comprehending… one of the saddest parts of arguing with Trolls is that they aren’t capable of realizing and feeling the appropriate shame that occurs upon being PWND!

        1. 1. You claimed the numbers were bogus, but can’t come up with any numbers that aren’t bogus. Fail.

          2. Future costs, outside of what is fashionably called black swan events, are fairly predictable. You have no source or backup for the claim they aren’t.

          3. It’s the real world. Live in it or, much better, get off.

          4. You still have nothing in the way of backup. You still pretend you have a leg to stand on. Your hate is a disease. I don’t hate you, I feel bad for you. You are trapped by your own idealism in a fantasy land of purist principles which will not ever exist, has not ever existed, and can not ever exist. Enjoy the smoke from your pipe dreams.

          1. 1 – There are no better numbers. It’s thinking that the numbers reflect reality that’s the problem. That’s living in a fantasy land, my friend.

            2 – Black Swan events like the many recessions that have been predicted by many Austrian economists? The inflation that has happened in every country with a central bank? Like Bernanke predicting the stability of prices in the housing market 6 months before the crash predicted by thinking economists rather than political hacks and partisan shills?

            3 – In the real world, the cost of regulations and bureauracracies are very real. Ignoring them doesn’t make them go away. But their reality does hinder and affect the REAL economy and the REAL level of wealth in a society.

            4 – I am not trying to counter your fraudulent statistics with my own, I am calling bullshit on the enterprise of coming up with such statistics and pretending that they mean anything. And with a tear in my eye, I’ll admit I don’t hate you either. This is just my hyper-aggresive online persona where I get to behave much differently than I do in person. I thought the H&R thread mandated that one must be an ass to anyone with whom he disagrees.

          2. And Josh, I’ll give you just a little friendly advice on the nature of critical thought and argumentation… something you might use in the future to avoid looking the fool you continually make yourself in this forum:

            When your argument is built as the proverbial “house of cards,” your opponent need not destroy the house by starting at the top and refuting each “card.” He or she can just as easily flick out that card on the bottom upon which the entire, flimsy enterprise rests and be done with it.

            1. You have asserted that the EIA numbers are bullshit. You are free to do so. But that carries no weight, so whether my house is cards or steel, it has no effect.

              A citation carries some weight.

              You are foot loose and citation free.

              1. This will be my last comment on this post, I’ve expended enough time here, and I’m sure we’ll disagree time and time again in threads to come. But here’s what I’m saying in a nutshell. The sheer hubris it takes to believe that you can compile statistics on a sector of this global economy with the billions of actors and hundreds of thousands of organizations and untold and even many unknowable factors is a joke.

                Trying to get that information and being at all accurate on the scale of a single business is difficult. I am not attacking the specifics of the citation, I am pointing out the general idea that such information cannot be cataloged and anyone deluded enough to believe so is a crank or a misinformed buffoon. Anyone who has collected information for even a small experiment in a lab can attest to this fact. I suggest you familiarize yourself with the incredibly astute writings of F.A. Hayek as it pertains to information theory. I don’t have the time to explain it to you.

              2. Once again you fall back on your default argument: the appeal to authority fallacy.

                Since we must argue by proxy via studies by varying third parties, here is one out of about 3 million links you could find with a quick Google search to a study by a right-leaning think tank on the comparative costs of renewable vs. traditional energy generation:


                There. Do I win now? Well of course not, because you will disregard that data or write it off for the same reasons that we reject your Energy Department projections on the impact of Energy Department policies 4 years into the future: You don’t trust the source.

                So now what do we do? Well, you can go on placing your full and complete trust in the purely and exclusively altruistic motivations of the government. And we can continue not doing so. But here’s the irony: if your numbers are right, there would be no rational basis for venture capitalists and utilities to reject “green energy” projects in favor of traditional ones, and the best vehicle to advance their adoption would be the market that you so revile and distrust. Capitalists may be evil, but they’re not stupid. If they can pay less money and collect more revenue they will certainly do so. If you can convince reality to conform to your data, you’ll find you have no greater friend than the free market libertarian.

                1. Excuse me, but your source and my source agree. Your source even CITES my source. So, no, you do not win, unless you were already on my side.

                  In the section: “COST COMPARISON: CONVENTIONAL SOURCES VERSUS RENEWABLES” there is this:

                  “In June 2011, the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI), an independent science and research organization, released a report on technology innovation in electricity generation.[…] EPRI found that burning natural gas was, by far, the cheapest way to generate electricity, and it predicted that gas would continue to provide the lowest-cost option through 2025.

                  “In 2015, generating a megawatt-hour of electricity with natural gas will cost between $49 and $79, according to EPRI estimates. That same quantity of energy produced from onshore wind will cost between $75 and $138, […] By 2025, very little will have changed, EPRI says: gas-fired electricity production will have gone down a few dollars, to between $47 and $74 per megawatt-hour, leaving it comfortably ahead of onshore wind generation, down only marginally as well, to a range of $73 to $134 per megawatt-hour.

                  “The latest cost estimates from the EIA are similar to those made by EPRI. By 2016, the EIA expects that electricity from onshore wind turbines will cost $97 per megawatt-hour. That’s about 50 percent more than the same amount of electricity generated by natural gas, which the EIA estimates will cost $63.”

                  1. Did you bother to read the conclusion reached based on the information presented, which, it is worth noting, makes the case that wind generated electricity is about 60% more expensive than nat gas? Or scroll down about 2 more paragraphs to the section RENEWABLE ENERGY’S ADDITIONAL COSTS which discusses the cost to taxpayers and consumers of the various subsidies, incentives and loan guarantees bestowed upon “green” energy? HINT: if you thought that study made the case that “green energy”, and wind-generated electricity in particular, were as-productive or more-productive than conventional methods, which was the statement that prompted your original posting, you read it wrong.

                2. Further, there was no “appeal to authority” fallacy presented. The author of the above article made a claim about the value of green energy projects. I presented data (not a claim) from one source, that refuted the original author’s claim.

                  If I had simple said “My pal at the EIA says Wind is cheaper than pretty much anything other than natural gas” you would have a point.

                  But I didn’t, so you don’t.

                  1. The author actually made a claim about the productive value of subsidies and tax breaks that have been “invested” in unproductive clean-energy projects.

                    (Quote: It is difficult to calculate just how many subsidies and breaks are already “invested” in unproductive clean-energy projects)

                    You responded by linking to a projection of future costs by the Energy Department, which may or may not have taken into account certain subsidies, costs and incentives provided by the government and included a 3% weighting in favor of “green” energies, speculating that in 2016 the cost to build and operate a wind power generating facility over a 30-year lifecycle would be marginally cheaper than 2 conventional power-generating technologies (coal and nuclear), while being appreciably more expensive than another (nat gas), and showing that current solar technologies might possibly be the most expensive way to generate electricity yet conceived by mankind.

                    You appealed to an authority (the EIA), making a projection about costs (not subsidies and tax breaks), to refute a statement about productive value. Call it whatever you want, it’s still not a good argument.

  17. Just recently the CBO reported that that if laws remain unchanged the federal budget deficit for this year will be $1.1 trillion ( That number is in addition to total debt over $15 Trillion and projections that by 2021 federal debt will be over $20 trillion (

    But by all means, let’s just add more tax credits and stimulus spending for green initiatives.

  18. He still has not promised that every little girl in America will get a pony for
    her birthday, but I guess that is next.

      1. Good example. Because discussing the practical implications of a philosophical position, taking an idea to its logical conclusion, is totally the same as making political promises completely divorced from reality. Maybe if you’d try the former for once in your life instead of frantically masturbating to the latter we wouldn’t have to have these retarded discussions with you. Examined Life indeed.

        1. I can only gather that you don’t see any humor in the following paragraph. I think it addresses your concerns sufficiently, and you are free to disagree:

          “Now, everyone close your eyes and try to imagine a private, profit-making rights-enforcement organization which does not resemble the mafia, a street gang, those pesky fire-fighters/arsonists/looters who used to provide such “services” in old New York and Tokyo, medieval tax-farmers, or a Lendu militia. (In general, if thoughts of the Eastern Congo intrude, I suggest waving them away with the invisible hand and repeating ‘that’s anarcho-capitalism’ several times.) Nothing’s happening but a buzzing noise, right?”

    1. Pony schmony!
      It will be unicorns all the way down …

  19. You are right man that is kinda crazy dude.

  20. “what they did while they were in Washington these last two years. Did they just say no?”

  21. Yeah. Right. I think I’m gonna have to go against whatever is in the report Josh is clinging on to.

    If anything, based on life experiences. Call it skepticism, cynicism or whatever.

    We base these calculations on so many “ifs” and assumptions they’re rendered meaningless in the long-run. Too many factors, known or not, come into play.

    They’ll be adjusting these numbers as we move along I’m sure.

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