Who would have every thought that Massachusetts of all places would rescue the nation from the folly of nationalized health care? As I have written before, the major initiatives of the Obama administration have nothing to do with the problems they purport to address. Cap-and-trade has nothing to do with global warming. It has to do with increasing the power of the government. I have not seen one scientific report that finds that the CO2 emissions that will be reduced under cap-and-trade will have any significant effect on the earth's temperature. Moreover, even if it did, there is considerable debate over whether CO2 is even related to changes in global temperatures. What cap-and-trade does, however, is that it allows the government to pick winners and losers, dramatically increases the tax burden, raises costs to businesses and creates a gigantic slush fund for the government to reward its supporters. Thus, cap-and-trade, under the guise of saving the planet, is simply a way to increase government's power. As bad as health care "reform" is, cap-and-trade is actually worse. The financial "reform" package has nothing to do with the problems that got the nation into financial crisis. There is not a word on reforming Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. There is not a word on asset bubbles. Rather it gives the government a chance to regulate hedge funds which had nothing to do with the crisis. It gives the government more power to regulate banks by limiting their size and creating an anti-bank consumer "protection" agency. Again this legislation just increases the power of the government. As to health care - the second worse piece of legislation in my lifetime (cap and trade is first), it does not reform health care. It does nothing to address costs - with medicare and medicaid spiraling into financial crisis what sane person thinks that the government can control costs? Rather it again simply increases the power of the government. At least for now this folly is dead thanks to 52 percent of the voters in Massachusetts. But the republic is not out of danger. The administration may attempt to backdoor many of the provisions of health care under a different guise. It will try to impose cap and trade via the EPA and it has decided to declare war on the investment bankers and commercial bankers in an effort to divert attention from its agenda to take over all aspects of what was once the freest economy on the planet.
Harold A. Black is professor emeritus in the Department of Finance, University of Tennessee, Knoxville having retired after 24 years of service. He has served on the faculties of American University, Howard University, the University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill and the University of Florida. His government service includes the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency and as a Board Member of the National Credit Union Administration. He also has served on the boards of directors Home Savings of America and its parent company, H. F. Ahmanson & Co., Irwindale, California prior to its merger with Washington Mutual Savings Bank, on the board of New Century Financial Corporation, Irvine, California, then the nation’s largest real estate investment trust and as director and later chairman of the Nashville Branch of the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta. He writes an occasional article for the Knoxville News-Sentinel at http://www.knoxnews.com/staff/dr-harold-black/. His web page is haroldablackphd.com