Editorial Exegesis

Leftist climate policy in a nutshell
"It is remarkable that when the scientific consensus on global warming is at its weakest state in years, President Barack Obama has decided to make the issue a new focus of his troubled presidency -- and, indeed, that he intends to use the issue as the launching pad for a radical extension of federal power even more significant than his health-care takeover. ... [T]he president announced that, on behalf of 'all of humankind,' he is in effect directing the EPA to take over the American economy. New power plants will be subject to emissions controls, and existing plants will have to be retrofitted to comply with new standards. New restrictions on heavy trucks will affect the movement of freight and goods across the country. New subsidies will be handed down for politically connected energy firms, and federal lands will be set aside for their use. New federal impositions will affect the construction of factories, commercial buildings, and private homes. The president says that this is all enabled by the 'overwhelming judgment of science.' ... Every economic activity involving energy or transportation -- which is to say, every economic activity -- will be affected by the president's global-warming program. ... Most significant, the president telegraphed his intention to torpedo the Keystone XL pipeline project, which has long been ready to go but has been snarled up by politics. ... Rather than develop what we already have, the Obama administration is threatening to hamstring our most likely source of economic growth and new jobs for the coming generation in the hopes that fads such as solar power will pay off. That is not justified by science, by economics, or by sensible policy analysis. What it is, in fact, is an attempt by a foundering administration to change the subject from scandal to sunshine." --National Review
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"[I]n truth Mr. Obama's target is all forms of carbon energy. Natural gas is next. The higher costs will ripple through the energy chain, which is precisely Mr. Obama's goal. Only by artificially raising the cost of carbon energy can he make even heavily subsidized 'renewables' competitive. In general every $1 billion spent complying with an EPA rule threatens 16,000 jobs and cuts GDP by $1.2 billion -- and the agency is now writing scores of multibillion-dollar rules. Keep in mind that last month the Administration quietly raised the 'social cost' of carbon by 60% in a regulatory filing related to microwave ovens. That means the EPA can jack up costs by 59.99% and still justify them by claiming the higher benefits. ... The Americans who will be harmed will have to console themselves with 99 weeks of jobless benefits, food stamps and ObamaCare." --The Wall Street Journal
"I think a simpler, fairer immigration system that allows more legal immigration would be good for the country and more humane for those who are currently standing in line to get into this country. I'm not opposed to the idea that a robust legal immigration plan can be a net gain to our economy and our people. I think the majority of those here illegally are here to make a better life for themselves and I'm sympathetic to that, though not totally forgiving. But if such a reform is to allow those who have broken the law coming here to be rewarded for those actions, it should at the very least, offer some assurances that it might actually solve the illegal immigration problem in something close to satisfactory fashion. That seems like a pretty low bar for a bill whose raison d'etre is supposed to be solving the illegal immigration problem." --blogger Mary Katharine Ham
"Republicans might want to consider the fact that the real threat of a 'death spiral' comes from alienating one's core constituency. A constituency that has made it clear any bill in which border security isn't the top priority is a deal-breaker. That would be genuine border security, not the so-called triggers and/or the aforementioned flexibility that render it completely impotent. Republicans might want to consider something else as well. Virtually all of the progressive agenda is based on the politics of incrementalism. That means this bill represents a point of departure, not the 'last time' endgame its supporters in both parties claim it to be. As soon as the ink is dry on any comprehensive reform package, Democrats will be right back to work, attempting to 'modify' the more 'onerous' and 'inhumane' aspects of the bill." --columnist Arnold Ahlert
"In 2012, the Treasury collected $2.4 trillion in taxes, more than $20,000 per household. Sounds like a lot, and it is. But it wasn't enough. The federal government spent $3.5 trillion. 'Lord, the money we do spend on government,' Will Rogers once quipped. 'And it's not one bit better than the government we got for one-third the money 20 years ago.' More than 80 years after he said that, the problem has only worsened. Too much drag makes it impossible for an airplane to fly. The same is true for economies. Lawmakers need to get serious about taming the debt, not take bows for fleeting improvements." --former Heritage president Ed Feulner

Editor's Note
The Supreme Court struck down the Defense of Marriage Act this morning. DOMA was passed by a bipartisan Congress and signed by Democrat President Bill Clinton in order to protect states from having to recognize the decisions made by other states on marriage. Justice Anthony Kennedy, however, wrote, "DOMA is unconstitutional as a deprivation of the equal liberty of persons that is protected by the Fifth Amendment."
We'll have more on this issue in Friday's Digest, so stay tuned.
"But how is this legal plunder to be identified? Quite simply. See if the law takes from some persons what belongs to them, and gives it to other persons to whom it does not belong. See if the law benefits one citizen at the expense of another by doing what the citizen himself cannot do without committing a crime." --French economist Frederic Bastiat (1801-1850)
"The wise and correct course to follow in taxation is not to destroy those who have already secured success, but to create conditions under which everyone will have a better chance to be successful." --President Calvin Coolidge (1873-1933)


Amateurs: Built the Ark

Professionals: Built the Titanic