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Saturday, December 12, 2009

Point Counter Point Weekly Addresses

There's good news this week from the weekly addresses. That is that neither had anything to do with health care reform. The president's address focused on jobs and the financial reform package that just passed out of the House.

The president has been feeling some economic momentum ever since the November jobs numbers came out and they hit a negative of 11,000. The administration, and many others, feel that the economy crossed a major hurdle with that number and the president said so.

He focused most of the address on the financial reforms that just passed the House. The president blamed, again, most of the financial crisis on the bankers and their complicated financial schemes and risky investments. He blamed not only a lack of regulations but a lack of enforcement.

The president feels that his reform package will end all that, and the centerpiece of that package is the new Consumer Financial Protection Agency, a new regulator. It's very dubious that any of this will do anything but make it more complicated, more full of paperwork, and more confusing. We already have a plethora of regulators and regulations. None of that stopped the crisis because the regulators and regulations never keep up with financial innovation. All this would do is give more bureaucrats more power.

Congresswoman Marsha Blackburn delivered the Republican response. Blackburn delivered her response on the issue of climate change. She railed on cap and trade which she called a massive tax increase on "American families". She went after the recent EPA ruling that classified CO2 as a dangerous emission. Finally, she railed against Democrats for moving forward in Copenhagen despite the scandal regarding the emails that showed scientists willfully hiding data that went against their theses.

Blackburn said that if Obama has his way in Copenhagen then world leaders would force upon Americans all sorts of new regulations that will increase our energy costs exponentially. Meanwhile, Republicans are arriving in Copenhagen this week for their own counter protest.

Blackburn says that Republican favor an "all of the above approach". This is all standard talking points on this issue from Republicans. I don't think that anything substantive will come of Copenhagen. I don't think that any substantive cap and trade bill will pass. That leaves the EPA as the only way for Obama to impose some sort of regulation to force a new kind of economy.

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