From energy and spending, to climate and debate – silencing all dissenting voices is essential
You’ve got to admire the full frontal audacity of New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, New York City Mayor Bill De Blasio, and their union and pressure group comrades in arms. Their hypocrisy, fraud and tyranny are boundless, especially on fiscal, energy and climate change issues.
Amid the seventh year of a “New York is open for business” advertising campaign that has spent $354 million thus far, they are presiding over tax and regulatory regimes, mountains of debt, intransigent public sector unions, anti-nuclear, anti-fossil fuel energy policies that are anything but business friendly – and press conferences that promise more of the same for state businesses, taxpayers and pensioners.
As Wall Street Journal columnist William McGurn notes, Cuomo and his fellow warriors against Trump and Republicans will do almost anything – “except address the root problem by lowering their taxes and spending. Because to do so would require taking on the public unions that drive much of state spending and debt, and are the key constituency of the 21st-century Democratic Party.”
Across the river in New Jersey, unions resist any reforms to their payrolls or pensions just as fiercely. The NJ pension system is already $90-billion short of what it needs to pay future benefits, says the Manhattan Institute. The state will collect some $35 billion in 2018 taxes, but any new revenue will go to pension payouts and spending on new government programs. Connecticut is in the same boat.
Meanwhile, electricity prices continue to climb: In New York 18.8 cents per kilowatt-hour for families, 15.0 cents for the businesses the state is so eager to attract, and 6.2 cents for its few industries. In Jersey, 14.7, 11.4 and 9.6 cents, respectively. In Connecticut, a whopping 21.3, 16.8 and 13.5 cents per kWh!
On the Left Coast, similarly exorbitant electricity rates pummel California businesses, families, factories, farms, hospitals and schools – while neighborhoods confront monstrous mudslides, resulting from winter rains in the wake of fiery hillside-denuding conflagrations. The fires and floods have destroyed nearly 9,000 homes, killed over 60 people, and devastated entire forests and neighborhoods.
Golden State forests have 129 million dead trees, and enough dry brush to fill LA Memorial Coliseum several times. But state regulators, environmentalists and judges make it impossible to remove any. It’s more “natural,” “sustainable” and “climate-friendly” to have it erupt in 1,400 to 2,200 degree F infernos.
Compare those fiscal and environmental train wrecks to results thus far of the deregulation, tax reduction, pro-fossil fuel policies of President Trump and congressional Republicans: new jobs, higher wages, nice bonuses, a coming repatriation of trillions of now overseas dollars to fuel new investment and innovation, the lowest black unemployment since recordkeeping began, and the DJIA stock market reaching a record high of 25,575 January 11, following a record 92 closing highs since President Trump was elected.
Compare that to Nobel Prize-winning Blue economist Paul Krugman’s dire prediction after the election: the markets will crash and “never” recover, amid a long “global recession.” Meanwhile, multi-multi-millionaire Nancy Pelosi belittled the $1,000 bonuses as “crumbs.” Tell that to families bringing in $25,000 to $50,000 a year. The House Minority Leader is completely out of touch with average families.
The Democrats need bogeymen, scapegoats, distractions – to deflect attention away from this lunacy. That’s the best way to explain the Cuomo and De Blasio press stunts this past week.
Rather than confronting public sector unions and rabid greens – or supporting onshore and offshore drilling and fracking that would create jobs and improve economies in poor counties far from Albany and Manhattan, generate tax revenues, and reduce electricity prices – the gov railed against the new $10,000 cap on how much of their state and local taxes “the rich” NY residents can deduct on their federal forms.
Mr. Cuomo proposes to transform personal income taxes into corporate payroll taxes, or even charitable deductions! California is trying the same ploy. Friendly IRS auditors will be busy shutting that down.
Meanwhile, Mayor De Blasio went on a rant against fossil fuels – announcing that the city is suing five major oil companies for billions of dollars in “climate damages,” and insisting that the Big Apple must divest its police, teacher and other public pensions from any and all fossil fuel stocks.
Energy stocks are leading the latest US stock market rally, fossil fuels will continue providing 75-80% of US and global energy for decades to come, resurgent economies overseas are booming thanks to coal, oil and natural gas, and forecasters are predicting $80-per-barrel oil in 2018, as demand surges. So Liberal Logic says it’s time to divest from fossil fuels – and maybe switch to ideologically sympatico holdings, like subsidized wind turbines or booming economies like Argentina, Venezuela and North Korea.
Greenhouse gas emissions produced disasters like Superstorm Sandy, De Blasio railed. “I remember those days. I remember how desperate it was, how much fear and confusion there was. This tragedy was wrought by the actions of fossil fuel companies.” Now New York needs $20 billion “to build resilience against rising seas, more powerful storms and hotter temperatures.”
Nice try, Mr. Mayor. But blaming sub-hurricane-strength Sandy for the actions and incompetence of city and state officials won’t cut it. As environmental consultant Pat Moffitt and I explained in great detail in a three-part series (here, here and here) several months after the storm pounded the NYC area, fossil fuels and GHGs had zero to do with the damages – any more than they did for Harvey, Irma or other storms.
They likewise played no role in California’s wildfires and mudslides, despite Governor Jerry Brown’s scapegoating insistence that GHG emissions are responsible for that too. It’s all self-serving fraud.
Fuel oil and natural gas got millions of New Yorkers and New Englanders through the recent record cold snap, while wind turbines froze up, solar panels went AWOL, and Al Gore blamed the cold on global warming! But who are we to argue with Hizzoner da Mare about fossil fuels, dangerous manmade climate change, Sandy or divestment? He might sic his RICO attack dogs on us again.
Indeed, such prosecutions are part and parcel of the new leftist-fascist world order, under which partisans, politicians and professors shut down debate, impose uniform thinking, decree corporate policy, and even punish intolerable contrarian views with physical violence when those views threaten their “safe spaces.”
It’s not yet as dicey as getting into a Moscow elevator. But one climate doomsayer wants to ship climate chaos skeptics to a Kerguelen Island gulag off Antarctica, where he probably assumes they could watch the entire continent melt – from GHG emissions, if not from the volcanoes and magma beneath its ice.
Antifa leftist-fascists have learned well from their predecessors and contemporaries, but are now employing their technological prowess as well. Google and Facebook use clever algorithms to steer searches and help liberal news and views reach audiences, while conservative perspectives get shunted to the “back pages.” Google now displays “fact checks” next to Daily Caller and other conservative views, though not with liberal leaning stories; Snopes says its fake news, but others say it’s absolutely true.
Twitter allegedly uses “shadow banning” algorithms to make users think their tweets have been posted, when in fact they’ve been sent to cyber oblivion. And talk show host Dennis Prager is suing YouTube for using “restricted mode filtering” to keep PragerU educational videos from reaching audiences. The LA Times and other liberal papers won’t even publish letters to the editor challenging climate alarmism.
Former Colorado Democratic Governor Richard Lamm would instantly recognize these tyrannical tactics. In 2005, Mr. Lamm said they were integral parts of an eight-step program to “destroy America.” (This audio of the talk on YouTube must have escaped their censors.)
The future of our free speech and other democratic safeguards and institutions is at stake. So is the future of sound, evidence-based science, on climate and other topics – and of reliable, affordable energy.
Blue State officials, unions and activists may be delighted with how their agenda is “progressing.” The rest of the United States … and world … are not so happy.
Paul Driessen is senior policy analyst for the Committee For A Constructive Tomorrow (www.CFACT.org), and author of articles, reports and books on public policy.