Is cap-and-trade a lump of coal for Democrats?

July 10, 2009

The wonderful Jennifer Rubin of the Contentions blog opines thusly:

By December we will see how attractive a massive energy tax would be. (Talk about a lump of coal in your stocking.) But Boxer is smart to shove this off to the side. Democrats who cast a hard vote in the House and are now being pummeled by conservatives, business and taxpayer groups, and potential opponents (as are the Republican Eight who are in the dog house with the base). Those who supported cap-and-trade despite warnings about job losses and the adverse impact on the already struggling economy (especially in energy-producing states) are finding little support for having placed a pet issue on the liberal wish-list ahead of their constituents’ economic interests. Then the G-8 didn’t help matters either. And really, if the EPA’s own administrator says it will have no effect on climate, what’s the point of the whole exercise?

So this may turn out to be the worst of all worlds for the Democratic House leadership and the White House, who forced vulnerable members to walk the plank for nothing. Environmental groups will be furious if large Democratic majorities and a Democratic president can’t deliver. And yet those members who tried to deliver will be tagged by opponents in 2010 as disregarding bread-and-butter concerns during a recession.

My spin: And is it possible that by year end, there will be no passed and signed climate change bill, no healthcare bill (or merely a rump version) and no financial reform bill? And all Obama would have accomplished is an $800 bill stimulus bill that might well be perceived as a failure given double-digit unemployment?

One comment

We welcome comments that advance the story through relevant opinion, anecdotes, links and data. If you see a comment that you believe is irrelevant or inappropriate, you can flag it to our editors by using the report abuse links. Views expressed in the comments do not represent those of Reuters. For more information on our comment policy, see

James, you’re dead right on this and quite honestly the bond market knows it, which is one reason we’ve come back about 60bp from the 4 percent level on the 10 year note. The Obama agenda is dead. Let me repeat that: THE OBAMA AGENDA is dead. The best will be, as you said, some sort of half-assed rump bill. I search in vain for any other time in American history great dreams have crashed with such heart-stipping speed. Obama could still “redeem” himself, with, say, a payroll tax cut. Will he? No. It’s over.

Posted by Sidney | Report as abusive