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Last January we wrote a piece called “In Praise of Krysten Sinema.”
It was written in a generous bi-partisan spirit. The senior Senator from Arizona had stood up to a massive, expensive, intrusive spending bill. She had done so under relentless attack. These attacks even became personal as she was accosted in a bathroom at ASU by progressive activists and even had a wedding she attended disrupted by activists. By showing better judgment and courage, we felt she deserved the praise.
Now, in the interest of fairness and a generous spirit, we must condemn her.
After the capitulation of Senator Joe Manchin, Sinema, who holds the “maverick seat” in Arizona, folded like a cheap lawn chair.
She is no maverick. She is a progressive Democrat.
A maverick in this context means a leader who stands independent of party and acts in the interests of constituents.
The so-called Inflation Reduction Act is just a slightly smaller version of Build Back Better which she previously rejected. This suggests that the original objections she may have had were not based on principle rather she was just concerned about the size of the original proposal.
However, what is being proposed is massive compared to most previous legislation.
Moreover, it has some really nasty features: higher taxes on the middle class, corporate welfare for green energy industries, higher corporate taxes which will simply be passed on to the public, creates a gigantic army of IRA agents to harry and harass citizens, price controls on drugs, all financed by higher deficit spending.
Even Barack Obama had enough common sense to know you don’t raise taxes in a recession. But Sinema seems to endorse a key provision of Modern Monetary Theory, to wit, you fight inflation by raising taxes. Since the government itself is the source of inflation, this leaves the taxpayer in the untenable situation of either paying higher hidden taxes via currency debasement or higher direct taxes back to the government. Either way, they take the money your earned and spend it on things the government wants, rather than the things you want.
Price controls on drugs will have the same result as price controls on New York apartments. It will stifle investment and innovation, creating chronic shortages and eventually even higher prices.
Moreover, she buys into some of the critical mistakes of the Green New Deal.
Advocates desire to “transition” from fossil fuels to what they contend are “clean and sustainable” energy sources. This is all based on the theory of global warming, which itself is unproven. And even if there is a relationship, it is far less costly to adapt to higher temperatures than attempt to control the temperature of the earth 100 years from now.
Such top-down policies will not succeed given the following variables. It does not control the tilt of the earth, the amount and strength of solar radiation, or volcanic activity both above the surface of the land, and below the sea. Then there are sea currents and all kinds of other natural variables. The earth’s climate is always changing for reasons we cannot control and in many cases, do not understand.
Finally, we cannot control even man’s activities, let those of the universe. While we are cutting back on coal and oil, China and India are burning more. How will our sacrifices and destruction of our economy do anything constructive, based upon the progressive theory of global warming, when countries with much greater populations than ours are still putting CO2 in the atmosphere?
Senator Sinema, what is your answer? Are you willing to destroy our standard of living to make a meaningless gesture? Do you see what electricity prices are in Europe?
Starting with that base assumption of a relationship between CO2 and warming, Senator Sinema how much of a reduction in temperature are we going to get with the bill and when? Please specify what we are getting for our money. If that is the reason for this monstrosity, we are entitled to an answer. We know the cost is over $700 billion, can we know the benefit?
If it is for the “environment”, why do we need to hire so many IRS agents? Are they going to be installing solar panels? No, they are going to be looting the American people.
This is bait and switch. Bait with a vague undefined promise of helping “the environment” while switching to price controls on drugs, higher taxes, corporate welfare, higher deficits, and a vast addition to the ranks of IRA agents.
We have gone through energy transitions before. The question is whether it is a voluntary transition or a forced transition. A good example of a voluntary transition was the transition from whale oil for interior lighting to kerosene. John D. Rockefeller was perhaps the greatest savior of the whales ever. It occurred gradually, required no government money or subsidy, and was embraced by consumers.
Any energy choice should pass the test of the marketplace where voluntary transactions between mutually consenting parties, each seeking their own best interests, are concluded.
What she is backing is a forced transition, using taxes as weapons and subsidies as incentives, to force consumers to make choices they do not wish to make. The evidence for this statement is verified by the policy. A natural transition of energy sources does not require government intervention. It happens because consumers desire it and entrepreneurs desire to profit by satisfying that demand. Choices and competition are present to direct economic decisions and minimize waste to the correct mix of alternatives. If consumers want less expensive and cleaner energy, they will choose it because it is in their best interests. It does not require a centralized government, command, and control approach that likely will make political decisions largely based on pleasing special interests that contribute to campaigns.
This is not a bill that supports the public’s best interests, rather it supports special interests, i.e. the green industrial complex. And quite alarmingly, this group of interests is largely Chinese communist. They are not reliable partners that have our best interests at heart.
The Biden/Sinema energy transition is a top-down, centrally planned debacle wherein our existing energy infrastructure is being destroyed while the new infrastructure is yet to come on line. This is causing a huge spike in energy prices, contributing greatly to inflationary pressures, and leaving the West, particularly Europe, in the tender hands of Vladimir Putin. This is just stupid geopolitical thinking.
For oil and gas, we leave ourselves vulnerable to Putin. For the rare earth minerals and production capacity for solar and wind, we leave ourselves in the hands of the Chinese Communists.
This bill is bad for the economy, bad for the environment, and bad for our geostrategic interests. We can and should produce all the energy and minerals we can by ourselves.
Senator, you will soon be up for re-election and we will not forget it was your cowardice and bad judgment which unleashed this travesty upon us.
Yes, we know your party is pushing it and you are not completely to blame. But you knew you were the pivotal vote, and it would not move forward without you. So, in that sense, the full responsibility does fall on you. And, you failed us.