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OpenMarket: February 2009

  • Soft Toilet Paper: Mankind's Doom?

    February 28, 2009
    The NRDC's Allen Hershkowitz says that "People just don't understand that softness equals ecological destruction." I had to chuckle after reading that last sentence (it is silly, is it not?). Forest area in the U.S. has remained almost unchanged over the last century. That doesn't sound like ecological destruction.
  • CEI at CPAC - Fred L. Smith, Jr.

    February 27, 2009
    CEI President Fred L. Smith, Jr. dropped by CPAC today to speak on a panel about government bailouts. He also made appearances on Radio Row at CPAC.
  • GDP drops sharply -- not a time to raise taxes

    February 27, 2009

    Yikes! In the last quarter 2008, according to the Commerce Department release today, U.S. GDP growth was minus 6.2 percent – far deeper than analysts expected.

    Sounds like some of the expectations for GDP in President Obama’s$3.6 trillion 2010 Budget may need to be revised if this negative growth persists. For 2009, the 2010 budget assumed a 1.2 percent growth in GDP; for 2010, 1.1 percent,...

  • An open auction for price clarity?

    February 27, 2009

    In today’s Financial Times, Gillian Tett addresses the opaqueness of determining the “price” of collateralized debt obligations backed by mortgage loans and suggests an approach to gain some sense of the value of those asset-backed securities.

    She points out that several banks have been sifting through the data on recovery rates after the CDOs had been liquidated. Tett notes:


  • Obama’s Corporate Environmental Income Tax

    February 27, 2009
    Tucked into the EPA budget proposal the Obama administration revealed yesterdays are plans to reinstate the Superfund taxes which expired in 1995 as a way to partially offset the $2.7 billion in increased spending at the EPA.  The administration estimates that the taxes will generate more than $1 billion per year. The original Superfund taxes were actually three different taxes, a petroleum tax of 9.7 cents per barrel, a tax on chemical feedstocks, and a so called Corporate Environmental Income Tax of 0.12% on corporate income in excess of $2 million.  Historically 39% percent of the revenue came from the petroleum tax, 18% from the chemical feedstock tax, and 43% from the Corporate Environmental Income Tax. Environmentalists like to tout that the Superfund taxes are an example of the “polluter pays” principle. However, the reality of the superfund program is that is supposed to clean...
  • Bottled Water Hypocrisy

    February 27, 2009
    Apparently, Mayor Newsom–one of the first lawmakers to condemn bottled water and bar government agencies from buying it–has a separate standard for himself! A partially empty case of bottled water was recently discovered in his car. Supposedly, the water belonged to his security detail. But a spokesman for the Mayor admitted: “The mayor will be the first to admit that he occasionally indulges in bottled water .. . It’s not something he’s proud of.” Good grief. If he thinks it so bad that others should be denied access, the least he could do is not indulge! It just to goes to show, bottled water is valued even by those who condemn it. I just wish they valued our freedom as much.
  • Myron Ebell on Obama's Green Energy Plan

    February 26, 2009
    [youtube: 283 234]
  • The Energy Tax Budget

    February 26, 2009
    "Not one dime," said President Obama in his address to Congress, referring to how much extra tax people earning under $250,000 a year will have to pay in his budget. Unfortunately, even if you don't have to pay extra tax, you will have to pay extra fees for your energy, which are passed on to the government via energy companies. That's the effect of the President's cap-and-trade scheme for carbon emissions, an important part of his new budget. Energy companies will have to pay the government for permits for each ton of carbon dioxide or equivalent they emit in the generation of power. They will pass on these costs to the consumer, as has happened everywhere a cap-and-trade scheme has been tried. The Administration will split the revenues between $15bn for alternative energy pork and about $52 billion per year...
  • Wayne Crews Considers the Cost of Regulation

    February 26, 2009
    From Removing burdensome regulations on businesses, both large and small, hasn’t figured much into the economic recovery program thus far. But alternatives to “porkulus†and “bailout to nowhere†do exist.
  • lolprez Strikes Again

    February 26, 2009
    lolprez and the "do-something-anything" Congress is at it again


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