Weatherdem's Weblog

Bridging climate science, citizens, and policy

Update To Obama’s Bad EPA-Ozone Decision

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President Obama has become the epitome of a primary negative for Democrats: he’s too concerned with being called nasty names and not concerned enough with enacting good policies.  Policies such as the recently killed ozone regulation, which is painful on many fronts as more people weigh in on the latest capitulation.

Enter Paul Krugman, a person who won the Nobel Prize in economics (perhaps someone Obama might want to listen to…):

Let’s talk about the economics. Because the ozone decision is definitely a mistake on that front.

As some of us keep trying to point out, the United States is in a liquidity trap: private spending is inadequate to achieve full employment, and with short-term interest rates close to zero, conventional monetary policy is exhausted.

What might this have to do with ozone regulations?

And now you can see why tighter ozone regulation would actually have created jobs: it would have forced firms to spend on upgrading or replacing equipment, helping to boost demand. Yes, it would have cost money — but that’s the point! And with corporations sitting on lots of idle cash, the money spent would not, to any significant extent, come at the expense of other investment.

U.S. corporations are sitting on Trillions of dollars they got for basically nothing from sources like the Treasury.  Do you want to know why too many Americans don’t have jobs, and of those Americans that do have jobs don’t make any more in real terms than they did in 1970?  Because of those Trillions of dollars sitting on the economic sideline.  Money that doesn’t move through the economy means the economy falters, then fails.  That’s what today’s Republican Teabaggers want for America: a failed economy so the black President also fails.

It’s too bad President Obama is more worried about being called bad names by those Teabaggers.  There are good jobs that could have been created by implementing and enforcing ozone regulations.  Instead, no Americans will get new jobs, money will stay out of the economy, Americans’ health will continue to be worse than it should, and President Obama will still get called bad names!  Bad politics, all around.  Better Democrats, please.


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