Sunday, July 05, 2009

Other countries tried it but turned back - Global warming, spending and taxes

New Zealand and Australia saw the costs far overshadow the far-distant benefits and turned around. So the US is charging down the deadend they abandoned. Mark Steyn: Global warming is so last century -
No, I mean that most of the developed world has already gone down the paved road of good intentions and is now frantically trying to pedal up out of it. New Zealand was one of the few Western nations to sign on to Kyoto and then attempt to abide by it – until New Zealanders realized they could only do so by destroying their economy. They introduced a Dem-style cap-and-trade regime – and last year they suspended it. In Australia, the Labor Government postponed implementation of its emissions-reduction program until 2011, and the Aussie Senate may scuttle it entirely. The Obama administration has gotten to the climate-change hop just as the glitter ball's stopped whirling, and the band's packing up its instruments.
And even Thomas Friedman says it's a lousy approach. But then he turns incoherent:
Back at The New York Times, Thomas Friedman agreed the bill "stinks" and says "it's a mess" and he "detests" it, but nevertheless says we need to pass it because his "gut" tells him to. Maybe his gut's really telling him The New York Times canteen's daily specials have been adversely affected by the company's collapsing share price. Who knows? At any rate, for reasons not entirely obvious from his prose style, the eminent columnist believes himself to have a special influence on the youth of today and so directed the grand finale of his gut's analysis to them especially: "Attention, all young Americans," he proclaimed. "You want to make a difference? Then get out of Facebook and into somebody's face."
And on taxing and spending also:
In 2007, government spending in Europe averaged 46.2 percent of GDP; in America it was 37.4 percent, of which 20 percent was federal. A mere two years later, federal spending is up to 28.5 percent, so, even if state and local spending stand still, we're at 46 percent: the European average. But, as Randall Hoven points out, the real story is that we're at 46 percent and climbing, while the Continentals are at 46 percent and heading down. In 1993, government spending averaged 52.2 percent in Europe, and 70.9 percent in Sweden. The Swedes have reduced government spending (as a fraction of GDP) by almost a third in the past 15 years. Their corporate tax rates are lower than ours. And that's before Obama's raised them. Last week, the doughnut chain Tim Hortons, which operates on both sides of the border but is incorporated in the state of Delaware, announced that it was reorganizing itself as a Canadian corporation to take advantage of Canadian tax rates.
"To take advantage of Canadian tax rates"? What kind of cockamamie phrase is that? And who'd have thought any columnist south of the border would ever have cause to type it?

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