Budget Debates and the EU Emissions Trading System, Lying to Spend More

Posted by PITHOCRATES - July 3rd, 2011

Time to Scare the Old People

And the budget debate to raise the debt limit goes on.  The Republicans are trying to be responsible.  The Democrats are taking the opposing position.  And if the Democrats can’t get their way (more and more spending), they’ll cut programs that will kill grandma (see Debt-Limit Delay Would Jeopardize Social Security Payments by Richard Wolf, USA TODAY, posted 7/3/2011 on ABC News).

It shows that in August, the government could not afford to meet 44% of its obligations. Since the $134 billion deficit for that month couldn’t be covered with more borrowing, programs would have to be cut.

Wow.  The monthly deficit is $134 billion?  Ronald Reagan was mortgaging our kids’ future with his irresponsible deficit spending.  Remember how big his deficits were?  Approximately $200 billion.  Annually.  While the current deficit stands at $134 billion.  Monthly.

Back then with a Republican in the White House it was a spending problem.  Today with a Democrat in the White House it’s a revenue problem.  Reagan’s economic programs led to an economic explosion.  To which the Democrats point to those deficits and say, “Yeah, but at what cost?”  The same Democrats who have no problem with a deficit that is almost ten times greater than Reagan’s.  With no economic results to show for it.  And they want to borrow even more?  Unbelievable.  They make Ronald Reagan look like a penny-pinching tightwad by comparison.

If Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, unemployment benefits, payments to defense contractors and interest payments on Treasury bonds were exempt, that would be all the government could afford for the month. No money for troops or veterans. No tax refunds. No food stamps or welfare. No federal salaries or benefits.

Democrat politics 101.  Threaten to cut spending on the things that will scare people the most.  Police.  Fire fighters.  Soldiers.  Teachers.  And anything to do with old people.  Like Social Security and Medicare.  Because seniors make up the largest and most active political group in American politics.  Democrats are counting on their help.  To bitch and moan to Republicans.  And they’re filling their heads with horror stories about Republicans.  That they are not only going to cut off their Social Security checks.  But they’ll be coming by at night to their homes so they can kill them while they sleep.  Because they’re just that mean.

Interestingly, with a $3.5 trillion dollar annual budget (approximately) and a $1 trillion dollar annual deficit (remember they hated Reagan for his $200 billion annual deficits), that means that the government collects about $2.5 trillion dollars annually.  That’s just over $200 billion per month.  Cash.  Coming from us and going into the U.S. Treasury.  So if they don’t send out the Social Security checks, what, then, will they be spending that $200+ billion each month on?  I mean, $200+ billion will cover Social Security.  And then some.

The Bipartisan Policy Center studied Treasury Department receipts and spending for August 2009 and 2010 and found that the government likely would not have enough revenue to make the full $23 billion payment to Social Security recipients due Aug. 3…

The first major interest payment to creditors would be due Aug. 15 — $29 billion, more than the $22 billion due to arrive in revenue.

So the million dollar question is who are they going to pay?  Themselves?  Their pension plans?  Their health care plan?  Political cronies?  Ethanol subsidies?  The UN?  The World Bank?  Exactly who is going to get that $200+ billion if it’s not going to be our seniors and our debt holders?  Together that’s only $52 billion.  Leaving about $148 billion left over.  That’s still a lot of money.  If they don’t pay the seniors and the debt holders, they better itemize who they do pay.  Because this sounds more like political posturing than responsible governing.

Saving (and Owning) Greece

And speaking of responsible governing, that’s something we can’t do.  Speak about responsible governing.  Here.  Or in Europe (see Euro zone warns Greeks on sovereignty and privatization by Jan Strupczewski and Erik Kirschbaum posted 7/3/2011 on Reuters).

Euro zone finance ministers have approved a 12 billion euro ($17.4 billion) installment of Greece’s bailout, but signaled that the nation must expect significant losses of sovereignty and jobs.

The price to save Greece from themselves?  Just a loss of jobs.  And a loss of sovereignty.  The Euro zone finance ministers are making it clear.  If you can’t be responsible we’ll be responsible for you.  Other than the loss of sovereignty thing, it would be nice to see something like this happen in America.  Have someone step in and be responsible.  Because Washington sure isn’t.

Germany hopes this will eventually total around 30 billion Euros, with banks voluntarily buying new Greek bonds when old ones they hold mature, meaning Athens would not have to produce cash to repay its creditors immediately…

Those discussions continue, with the involvement of the private sector in the next package a must for several euro zone countries as voters grow increasingly opposed to shouldering the burden of bailing out Greece on their own.

The taxpayers in the Euro zone are a lot like American taxpayers.  They, too, don’t want to pay for irresponsible government spending.  Especially the irresponsible spending of other governments.  That’s why the austerity cuts are so important.  Without them Greece will never become solvent.  And they need that to get private investors to buy their bonds.  For the private sector will never buy bonds from an insolvent country.  And if they don’t that’s more for the non-Greek taxpayers.  Which just may not be politically doable.  Especially with other countries (Spain, Portugal, Ireland, etc.) in financial trouble.  To save them and the Euro they may have to find another source of revenue.  Other than their own taxpayers.

Emissions Trading System – Europeans Taxing non-Europeans

And they have.  Instead of being responsible, they’ll just tax non-Europeans to help with these European nations with budget problems (see U.S. Airlines Challenge European Emissions Rule by James Kanter posted 7/3/2011 on The New York Times).

Starting Jan. 1, the Union intends to expand its Emissions Trading System to cover emissions from most flights that touch down at, or take off from, European airports. That means airlines will have to buy some of their carbon permits from traders and E.U. governments…

But the plan has generated fierce opposition from airlines, many of them non-European. They say that Europe has no right to charge for emissions on some routes that are mostly outside European airspace.

What was that about loss of sovereignty?  Boy, these Europeans look like they want to rule the world. 

Let me see if I understand this.  The Americans flying into the European Union (EU) have to pay a tax to the EU even though the Americans don’t vote in the EU.  Pay a tax.  But have no representation in the government collecting the tax.  Humph.  Oh, by the way, Happy 4th of July.  The celebration of America’s independence from the British Empire due to their policies of taxing them without allowing them a voice in Parliament.

Carbon trading.   Big Government’s greatest scam.  Charging for engine exhaust.  Something that has no value.  And is produced by others.  Yet the European Union has taken title to it.  And placed an arbitrary value on it.  Now anyone flying into or out of European airspace has to pay an additional fee to cover the cost of their emissions.  Even if their emissions only emitted in European airspace for a tiny fraction of their flight.  All in the name of fighting global warming. 

The airlines also are expected to attack the cost of the system and the lack of guarantees that revenues will be used for climate protection.

Seeking to defuse the dispute, E.U. officials have emphasized that they will exempt incoming flights if other countries take “serious measures” to reduce emissions that would be considered equivalent by the Union. E.U. officials also have begun discussions with national governments on introducing rules requiring them to use the revenues from permits to tackle climate change…

What is clear is that by charging airlines for their carbon emissions, the European Union would do more than protect the climate. The system could be a source of revenue for countries, like Britain, with busy airports and ballooning budget deficits.

Looks like it’s more about the money than global warming.  So countries with irresponsible government spending can continue to spend irresponsibly.  That’s the thing with governments.  They always increase spending.  So it’s never a good idea to give them more money to spend.  Even if it’s for a noble purpose.  Because if they get this today, they’re just going to ask for more tomorrow.

Airlines complain that some of the money they will spend on carbon permits will end up subsidizing debt-laden governments.

“Countries like Britain have reserved the right to use the money how they see fit,” said Nancy Young, a vice president at the Air Transport Association of America. “Helping Europeans out of their fiscal hole is not the aviation industry’s job.”

So the smart thing would be to stop flying into the EU.  Hmmm.  I believe Norway is not a member state of the EU.  Perhaps they should think about expanding Oslo International Airport.  It can be the gateway to Europe.  The hub for all international flights to and from the EU.  Then the EU states can fly the last leg of these international flights.  And pay their silly and extralegal emissions tax to their hearts content.

Global warming is a crock.  It’s just way to raise revenue.  For cash-strapped countries who like to spend irresponsibly.  But that money will not go to fight global warming.  It’ll go into the general fund.  To help cover those budget shortfalls.  Just like all those lotto proceeds were going to go to the public schools in America.  And didn’t.

Buying Votes with Free Stuff

The U.S. has to raise their debt limit or it will be the end of the world.  The European Union needs their Emission Trading Scheme or it will be the end of the world.  Literally.  Or so they say.  But we know they just want the money.  To pay for their orgy of government spending.  Just like the Americans and their battle to raise the debt limit.  But there is a better way to solve their problems. 

What’s the problem?  Governments are spending more money than they have.  Solution?  Stop it!  Stop spending more money than you have!  You do this and you can balance your budgets.  You’ll be able to placate those pesky responsible Republicans.  Taxpayers are happy because they can keep more of their earnings.  And the rest of the world won’t be pissed at you for shaking them down to pay for your fiscal woes.  Everyone wins.  So why not do it?  Because if tax and spend liberals don’t spend they can’t buy votes.  By giving away lots of free stuff (tuition assistance, retirement assistance, health care assistance, etc.).  And, really now, why else would you vote for a liberal if it wasn’t for the free stuff? 

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