Tag Archives: Douglas Holtz-Eakin

Palin Shocker: McCain Won’t Regulate Greenhouse Gas Emissions

Coal burning smokestacks emitting pollution

Coal burning smokestacks emitting pollution

Given Senator John McCain’s past Senate voting record AGAINST clean energy, it should come as no surprise to anyone that if he and Republican vice presidential running mate Sarah Palin are elected on November 4th, a McCain-Palin administration does not plan to regulate greenhouse emissions in an effort to reduce global warming.

Voters who care about either global warming or clean energy have only one choice — and it isn’t McCain-Palin.

It’s time to stop trying to guess whether the latest McCain campaign gaffe revision on global warming means the Arizonan has walked away from his previous support for mandatory government control of greenhouse gases. He has.

That should have been clear from McCain’s repeated rejection of the word “mandatory” to describe his program, his choice of a global warming denier for vice president, and his failure to even mention global warming during his acceptance speech. Most recently, his chief economic adviser Douglas Holtz-Eakin said on Sunday that McCain does not agree with the Supreme Court decision that labels carbon dioxide a pollutant and requiring EPA to regulate it. He labels Obama’s decision to obey the Supreme Court decision “a draconian regulatory approach.”

Now the McCain campaign has decided to eliminate the ambiguity entirely in the desperate and erratic final days of his campaign. In her big greenwashing energy speech at an Ohio solar energy company, Palin was as blunt as possible in her prepared (and delivered) remarks:

And we will control greenhouse gas emissions by giving American businesses new incentives and new rewards to seek, instead of just giving them new taxes to pay and new orders that they must follow — “so says government”.

GOP vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin delivers energy policy speech

GOP vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin delivers energy policy speech

The final three words were ones she added, but the prepared text alone leaves no room for doubt. A McCain-Palin administration will not be issuing new orders that businesses must follow to control greenhouse gas emissions. It will use a voluntary or incentive-based approach, one that has never worked in any country to restrain emissions growth.

McCain and his campaign have made a concerted effort to reassure conservatives he’s not going to take strong action on climate, while hoping that moderates would be fooled just like some Bush voters were in 2000 ignore all this talk, which itself is a core campaign strategy of doubletalk (see “Memo to media: McCain doubletalks to woo conservatives and independents at the same time“).

The Palin speech was the last piece of the puzzle. For one last time, let’s consider the increasingly sorry history of the McCain campaign on climate and clean energy:

Remember, it was Bush’s Vice President, Dick Cheney, who called Bush’s promised to regulate utility carbon emissions “a mistake” in March 2001, and Cheney is probably the main reason Bush walked away from his commitment.

So perhaps we should start listening to McCain’s VP choice, as well as McCain himself, and all of his advisers, on climate and clean energy issues.

If you care about global warming, the gravest preventable threat to the health and well-being of all Americans, and if you care about clean energy, the greatest potential source of new jobs and new industries in the coming decades, then you must vote Obama-Biden.

Palin Shocker: McCain Won’t Regulate Greenhouse Gas Emissions

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McCain’s Senior Economic Policy Adviser Admits McCain Health Care Tax Credits NOT Better For Employees!!

Douglas Holtz-Eakin

Douglas Holtz-Eakin, senior economic policy adviser to the McCain campaign

Finally, what we have always known has been confirmed by Republican presidential candidate John McCain’s senior economic policy adviser Douglas Holtz-Eakin; that the health care ‘tax credit’ proposed by the McCain campaign is meaningless.  The $5,000 credit would NOT help employees purchase their own health care coverage because the expensive coverage most of them can barely afford to pay for NOW is still better than ANYTHING “they could get with the credit” says Holtz-Eakin.  Also, under the McCain plan the annual value of your health insurance coverage provided by your employer would be taxed by the government as additional income!!  Under a McCain administration, that would be a tax INCREASE on hard-working, middle class Americans already struggling each month to pay their portion of the health insurance offered by their employers.

Another admission from the McCain campaign that their health care plan is nothing more than a bunch of right-wing platitudes thrown together without any real serious thought as to how to solve the health care crisis. From CNN:

Changing the tax treatment wouldn’t hurt the employer-sponsored system and would allow more of the uninsured to buy their own coverage, [the McCain campaign says]. Also, his advisers say a McCain administration would keep an eye on the credit to make sure it didn’t lag behind the cost of coverage, while also working to lower the rate of medical inflation. 

Younger, healthier workers likely wouldn’t abandon their company-sponsored plans, said Douglas Holtz-Eakin, McCain’s senior economic policy adviser.

“Why would they leave?” said Holtz-Eakin. “What they are getting from their employer is way better than what they could get with the credit.”

Got that?

The entire premise of McCain’s health care plan is that people can do better on the free market. That’s why you get a tax credit. That’s why you would be able to buy insurance across state lines. The market supposedly makes health insurance cheaper, makes your health insurance company offer better coverage, and makes buying the insurance you need easier. And things like tying health insurance to employment are anti-free market, which is why the McCain plan taxes employer health benefits to encourage people to get insurance on the individual, free-er market.

Of course, tying health care to employment is the way we’ve done things in America for generations, and it turns out it’s also pretty popular. (Not to mention that insurance companies have to cover you through an employer health care plan, while they can deny you for pre-existing conditions on the individual market.) And so, in the face of political pressure, you have Douglas Holtz-Eakin admitting the truth.

Faced with the fact that destroying our employer-based health care system isn’t exactly a priority for most Americans, he argues that the McCain plan wouldn’t actually destroy the employer-based system. Why? Because the tax credit McCain is offering wouldn’t buy a decent health care plan, even for the young and healthy!

Let’s unpack this a little bit more. According to Holtz-Eakin, John McCain doesn’t actually want to dismantle the employer-based health care system. But, McCain’s plan would tax any health benefits you’d get through work. So, if Holtz-Eakin is right in saying you’d get better coverage through work than you’d get with the tax credit on the individual market (and he probably is), and if he’s right in saying most workers won’t drop their employer-based insurance for the individual market because they’re getting a better deal at work, then John McCain is simply proposing a tax on your current health care benefits without giving you anything in return. That’s the worst kind of tax increase.

Shorter Douglas Holtz-Eakin: John McCain’s health care plan won’t destroy the employer-based insurance system because McCain’s plan doesn’t work.

Remember John McCain: Less jobs, more war? Well now it’s John McCain: More tax, less benefits.

(also posted at the NOW! blog)

John McCain’s senior economic policy adviser Douglas Holtz-Eakin