tea party

Searching For EPA’s Poison Pill

For the third time this year, Republicans in Congress seem to be angling for a government shutdown.  Not only will there be disagreements on funding levels, but the House will insist on attaching riders to appropriations bills preventing agencies from doing various things.  I realize that this may come as a shock, but the House …


The Great Light Bulb War and the Modern GOP

Saving the 100 watt bulb seems to be a high priority for the House GOP.  This issue is revealing about the political dynamics now at work on larger issues like the debt ceiling.  Economically, the light bulb ban is a win for consumers: CFLs have a higher initial cost but more than pay for themselves …


Conservatives and climate change

Dan notes, in a recent post, the ways in which potential Republican presidential candidates are backwards-pedaling on whatever statements they might once have made supporting action to address climate change.  (Climate change is apparently the new former mistriss — we’ve all flirted in the past with things we now regret.)  Former Congressman Bob Inglis (R-S.C.) spoke at UCLA …


Why Economists Are Right and the Tea Party is Wrong About Government

The idea that the government should protect public goods and regulate externalities is just common sense.As I said earlier, economists tend to be fairly hard-nosed in applying these arguments, and they tend to favor cap-and-trade or pollution taxes more than conventional regulation. They also tend (in the view of some of us) to undervalue economic benefits and shortchange long-term human interests. But it would be hard to find a reputable economist, for example, who thinks we should do nothing about climate change, although there’s plenty of disagreement about how much we should do and how quickly.


New million-dollar donation from out-of-state oil company helps the attack on California’s climate change law

According to a story in today’s Los Angeles Times, a new $1 million cash infusion from Kansas-based oil company Koch Industries –the second-largest private company in the U.S. — is buoying the campaign in favor of Proposition 23, which would block implementation of California’s landmark law to limit greenhouse gas emissions.  The company is owned by …