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Carbon Tariffs, Union Organizing and Geithner's Toxic Plan

Daily Update

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Carbon Tariffs, Union Organizing and Geithner's Toxic Plan

The House Ways and Means Committee holds a hearing on the impact of global warming on international trade.

Senator Arlen Specter (R-PA) announces that he will vote against the union-backed “Employee Free Choice Act,” likely dooming the legislation.

Money managers debate Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner’s “toxic asset” bailout plan. 

For more top stories listen to the LibertyWeek podcast.

1. ENVIRONMENT 

The House Ways and Means Committee holds a hearing on the impact of global warming on international trade.

CEI Expert Available to Comment: Adjunct Analyst Fran Smith on where our current policies are leading

“[The move toward protectionism] may already have begun. Just as the World Bank is reporting on increased trade protectionism in the world, U.S. Energy Secretary Steven Chu has come out in favor of using carbon tariffs as a ‘weapon’ against countries that aren’t reducing their carbon emissions. He seems not to have noticed that Chinese officials have already warned that carbon tariffs imposed on developing countries would be a ‘disaster’ and perhaps start a trade war.” 

 

2. CONGRESS

Senator Arlen Specter (R-PA) announces that he will vote against the union-backed “Employee Free Choice Act,” likely dooming the legislation.

CEI Expert Available to Comment: Editorial Director Ivan Osorio on what EFCA would have meant to the U.S. economy

“If EFCA were to be enacted, its economic impact would be widespread and severe. It would impose enormous costs on American companies at a time when they can ill afford them. Multiple studies show lower productivity and profitability in unionized businesses relative to non-union ones. Incentives matter – unionized employees are rarely recognized for extraordinary individual achievement, which kills motivation. In the current global recession, for congressional leaders to pile such a massive economic weight onto our already struggling economy would be sheer folly.” 

 

3. BUSINESS

Money managers debate Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner’s “toxic asset” bailout plan.

CEI Expert Available to Comment: Special Projects Counsel Hans Bader on how economists from across the political spectrum are reacting to the plan: 

“People who have actually read the fine print of the Administration’s trillion-dollar toxic asset buy-up program don’t like it. One calls it ‘pure plunder.’ Both liberals like Nobel Laureate Paul Krugman, and conservatives like Chris Stirewalt, sum up the program as ‘Heads I win, Tails the Taxpayers Lose.’ Others argue it provides ‘public subsidies’ for hedge funds that don’t need them, and for ‘zombie banks’ that ought to be shut down to cut the taxpayers’ losses. Even Harvard business law professor Lucian Bebchuk, who once advocated buying up toxic assets, now says that taxpayers may end up being fleeced by the toxic asset program, and that it would have been better and cheaper to let AIG go bankrupt rather than spending $170 billion bailing it out.”

 

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