More expensive electric bills.
With gun-control momentarily off the table and amnesty headed for choppy waters in the House, it’s time to seize the day and get rolling on another top liberal priority that falls way, way down the list for everyone else in America of stuff the government should be worried about right now. Go take a look at Pew’s poll from January, flagged by Douthat himself, of America’s wishlist for policy action. What’s in the bottom five? What’s the absolute rock bottom?
That would be dealing with
global warming sorry, global climate change…the title was altered when people stopped buying Al Gore’s “the planet’s got a fever and the only prescription is more Nanny state!” schtick a few years ago. So, as the left is so apt to do, they changed the language to an all-encompassing, nebulous phrase that covers not only rising temperatures but cooling temperatures as well. That way, whether the thermometer goes up or down, the left can yell “Climate change” and attempt to force more regulations on us.
Obama himself said in 2008 that his policies will make energy prices “skyrocket.” And, with skyrocketing energy prices your utility bill will go up but other things will happen, too:
- Energy production will be limited. This will lead not only to expensive rates (see the laws of supply and demand), but to brown outs and the rationing of energy. Especially during extreme cold and extreme hot weather. Expect those brownouts in California to become the norm everywhere. That’ll be fun in northern Wisconsin in the middle of January or Arizona about the end of July.
- The prices of everything will also skyrocket. It costs businesses money to run their stores, ship their products, manufacture their goods. Increased energy prices means all of that gets more expensive and that cost will get passed along to the consumer. On top of it, businesses that are teetering on the edge of financial ruin will either collapse or have to lay off many employees.
- Consumer spending will stall. See the point above. When consumers have to spend more on the basic necessities — food, utilities — they will cut back in other areas. When consumers lose their job because their employer can’t afford to pay them a salary and keep the lights on, they’ll lose not only their discretionary spending but the ability to pay for the necessities as well.
- The already struggling economy will stall and we will see another recession, if not an outright depression. You can only do so much to screw up an economy before the shit hits the fan, so to speak, and Obama’s cap-and-trade plan just might be the straw that breaks the camel’s back.
And, of course, the cap-and-trade program will bring along something else that will assist in crippling the economy: another massive entitlement program. Why, you ask? Because Obama, and the left, know that skyrocketing energy costs mean there are a lot of people — both lower and middle income — who won’t be able to afford a 100% (or more) increase in their energy bills.
Like Obamacare and immigration, we’ll get politicians speaking passionately about how we have to help the poor make ends meet, how it isn’t fair that people have to choose between paying for groceries and keeping the lights on, how senior citizens and small children and cute puppies are freezing to death because of those greedy energy companies, etc. The solution will, of course, be some sort of credit or program or subsidy that will help offset the cost of the expensive programs Democrats themselves forced on the people (something they won’t mention while they opine about helping the impoverished citizens). This means more taxes, more regulation, more spending as the government hires staff to sign people up for the energy subsidies. It’s a progressive statist’s dream, which is why Obama’s so eager to get it done now.