Gov Palin: ‘The ‘Cap And Tax’ Dead End.’

Soon to be former Governor Palin’s column on cap and trade is in many ways emblematic of her public persona: firmly held free-market/conservative positions, a quasi-folksy style that appeals to some and annoys others, and the ability to make liberals froth about that woman in ways that would impress a Taliban illegal combatant.  Which is probably directly related to her PAC raising an additional 200K after her resignation speech (H/T: Hot Air Headlines): it should be interesting to see how much she brings in when she starts actively stumping for GOP candidates in 2010*.

Moving back to the article, it is itself fairly familiar, to those following the attempts of the Democrats to inflict cap-and-trade on America without having to take responsibility for it afterward.  It takes the reasonable note that, in a situation where we need to put more into the economy, cap-and-trade will take out more from it: more jobs lost, more regulations imposed, more costs to do business:

Job losses are so certain under this new cap-and-tax plan that it includes a provision accommodating newly unemployed workers from the resulting dried-up energy sector, to the tune of $4.2 billion over eight years. So much for creating jobs.

In addition to immediately increasing unemployment in the energy sector, even more American jobs will be threatened by the rising cost of doing business under the cap-and-tax plan. For example, the cost of farming will certainly increase, driving down farm incomes while driving up grocery prices. The costs of manufacturing, warehousing and transportation will also increase.

The ironic beauty in this plan? Soon, even the most ardent liberal will understand supply-side economics.

I sort of doubt that last sentence, actually – ‘supply-side economics’ is of Reagan, and the Left still distrusts all that was of Reagan (although we’ve taught them to hide it well).  But if passed, cap-and-trade will certainly encourage wavering Republicans, moderates, independents, and the more reasonable liberals to start contemplating their personal interests when deciding who to vote for.  As the Governor notes, this is all being condensed into a simple question: do we use our own energy resources for our own purposes, or do we rely on other countries to generate energy for us (with all the complications that result)?  Her answer:

Can America produce more of its own energy through strategic investments that protect the environment, revive our economy and secure our nation?

Yes, we can. Just not with Barack Obama’s energy cap-and-tax plan.

And that last sentence was almost certainly written with malice aforethought.

Moe Lane

*I know that people are speculating on a third-party run; I’m not one of them. The practical impossibilities of replacing the Republican party with something else right at this moment are fairly obvious, and they should be more obvious to an Alaskan elected official with experience in third-party dynamics. Besides: while the Governor may have her problems with the Republican establishment, said establishment has never openly gone after her kids.

Crossposted to RedState.


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  • Skip says:

    I don’t think she’s going to pull a third party candidacy, simply because she understands that the effect of such a candidacy would most likely be to ensure Democratic victories for the next 8-12 years. But I do think that things are fairly ripe for one, so someone may do it.

    “successful” third parties have to come, somewhat, from the center, peeling off portions of the two main parties. The Republican party started this way, using the issue of abolition to peel off a good chunk of the Democrats. And for the first time in my life, I think there is an issue that could peel off a good chunk of them, and that’s the whole fiscal irresponsibility issue. Could I envision a third party, running on basically socially moderate, fiscally responsible positions? Not one that’s, say, pro-choice or pro-gay marriage, but a party that doesn’t take a position on them? You bet I could.

    But I don’t expect Palin to try to do this. Instead I expect her to try to become the de-facto leader of this wing inside the Republican party, and try to take over the party from the inside. Because that’s an easier task. Although one that won’t bring lots of Democrats over, because until, oh, about 90% of Senate Republicans and 20% of House Republicans are gone the party has no believability as a party of any fiscal restraint at all.

    So given the choice between the long shot, with a huge payoff if you win, but huge downsides if you don’t, versus the much shorter odds, where the downsides aren’t as great if you don’t win, a prudent person would choose the latter.

  • Brad S says:

    Whenever anyone generally associated with the Right gets into “third-party” talk (historically, not just now), I have to ask two questions:

    1. Do you think modern conservatism is profitable in and of itself?
    2. What is it about the words Republican and GOP that make you cringe?

    These are questions that can apply both to Peggy Noonan and the average HotAir commenter alike.

  • Skip says:

    I’m not sure what you mean by ‘profitable’. If you mean by that ‘viable as a platform for a party’ the answer is ‘it depends’. The modern GOP in recent years has been composed of fiscal and social conservative wings, with most candidates running from somewhere in the middle of the Venn diagram. And this certainly works, as long as it lasts. But while GWB ran from the center of the Venn Diagram, he acted as someone very fiscally irresponsible. Under normal circumstances this would have resulted in a one-term presidency, but with the war on, and the Democrats complete abrogation of responsibility, we ended up with him for two terms.

    This led to folks on the other fringe of the Venn diagram to be grumpy, and rightfully so, because the compact had been broken. As a consequence of this we saw the disastrous campaigns in the 2008 election cycle, and we’ve seen contempt from those on the Right, in leadership positions, for cultural conservatives. See, for example, the Huckabee and Palin treatment by coastal Republicans.

    As for what is it about Republican and GOP that makes me cringe, is that it’s self-evident that the only thing most of them stand for is whatever it takes to get re-elected, giving them the most TV time. The GOP had all the momentum in the world in 1994, and in only a few short years has squandered it to the point where it may not have any sort of mandate for change for decades. that makes me cringe.

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