CEI Blasts Big-Government Era State of Union Message

Washington DC, January 28 –”President Clinton’s State of the Union message makes it clear that the era of big government is not over,” said CEI President Fred L. Smith, Jr.

Significantly, Clinton proposed the first steps – a $6 billion energy R&D and tax incentive package – to begin implementing the Kyoto climate change treaty, which has not been ratified by, or even submitted to, the Senate. “Clinton seeks to bribe American companies into jumping on the Kyoto bandwagon,” said Smith. There are two big lies in the global warming debate, and the White House is peddling both. One is that prophesies of catastrophic global warming are scientific fact. “Super accurate satellite records, spanning nearly twenty years, show no global warming; and the modest warming that may occur over the next century would likely boost agricultural output and produce milder weather,” noted Smith.

The other big lie is that federally-directed R&D can magically transform Kyoto’s energy-suppression mandates into a free lunch or even a net plus for the economy. “The Clinton R&D proposals – energy-efficient appliances, solar panels, hybrid cars, and the like – are nothing more than a phony, all gain, no pain energy diet,” said Smith. Federally-sponsored energy R&D, from Synfuels to electric cars, has been a spectacular history of boondoggle and failure. “The climate treaty is a grand pretext for reviving centralized economic planning. The subsidies are obviously an effort to co-opt consumer and business opposition to the treaty,” said Smith.

In all, Clinton proposed some 50 new programs, including a major Medicare expansion (to get more Americans hooked on federal assistance), $12.4 billion for 100,000 elementary and secondary school teachers (to payoff teachers unions and the educational bureaucracy), $21 billion for child care subsidies (to bias the tax code against families with stay-at-home moms), $18 billion for the IMF (to bailout the next overseas basket-case economy), bogus campaign “reform” (television networks would have to provide “free” air time for politicians – an unfunded private-sector mandate), a health-care “bill of rights” (more unfunded private-sector mandates), and vague plans for using budget surpluses to “save” (but not privatize) Social Security.

Clinton’s proposals total billions in new spending. “That money doesn’t grow on trees – it will come out of the hides of the very people Clinton seeks to seduce with his feel-good programs. Clinton still wants us to believe that Washington can, and should, play Santa Claus,” said Smith.

CEI is a non-profit, non-partisan research and advocacy institute dedicated to the principles of free markets and limited government. For more information or to obtain a copy of the study, contact Emily McGee at 202-331-1010.