Friday, November 14, 2008

Jennifer Granholm: Big Three Woes Not Their Fault

Gov. Jennifer Granholm on the real reason the Big Three need help from the U.S. taxpayer:

"The reason why the autos are in this challenge is because of the meltdown in the financial market," said Michigan Gov. Jennifer Granholm. "They were on a restructuring path -- yes, they were challenged -- but this has utterly kicked them in the gut and is strangling them because they can't borrow money."

Me: Hmmm ...something is missing here. Can't quite place my finger on it. I think it rhymes with "shmunions."

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Economist: 'Bradley Effect' Could Doom Obama

This, from the VoxEU site: "Should Barack Obama worry about the Bradley effect? The much-discussed effect refers to observed discrepancies between voter opinion polls and election outcomes, in which African-American candidates receive a smaller vote share than would be predicted using opinion polls. In this column, I study US congressional and gubernatorial contests from 1998 to 2006 – black candidates on average receive a 2-3% lower share of the two-party vote than non-black candidates with similar numbers in the polls. If an effect of a similar size would appear in the current presidential race, then it would lower Obama’s probability of winning from 85% to 53%."

Monday, November 3, 2008

Obama and Coal: Send Americans 'Price Signals' on Energy

It could have been a classic presidential debate moment, John McCain turning to Barack Obama and saying, "Isn't it true that you want Americans to pay higher energy prices?" Right in the middle of an economic downturn, that's the last thing most of us want to do. But that is exactly what Obama wants us to do.

Here is what Obama told Iowa public television last year (courtesy of Little Green Footballs): "I think it is important to send some price signals to change behavior. It's not going to be painless. Power plants are going to have to adjust how they generate power. They will pass on those costs to consumers.... A lot of us who can afford it are going to pay more for a unit of electricity; over time the electricity bill goes back down as technology catches back up."

Me: See, Obama's little-discussed cap-and-trade plan would raise costs on businesses for using energy, like the entire coal industry—and they would then pass on those costs to you and me. Those "price signals" effectively are $100 billion a year in energy taxes, which would wipe out Obama's middle-class tax cut/credit.