'Brainstorming' for Biden


In October 1986, former President Jimmy Carter and President Ronald Reagan have a good time the dedication of the Carter Presidential Library in Atlanta.


Ken Hawkins/Zuma Press

It’s smart for Americans to keep up low expectations for presidential management on condition that

Joe Biden

served as a senator through the Carter and Reagan administrations after which in some way concluded that the higher financial insurance policies had been

Jimmy Carter’s


Americans had been so emphatic in reaching the other conclusion that they made

Ronald Reagan

the winner in 44 states when he defeated Mr. Carter in 1980 and in 49 states when he defeated Mr. Carter’s former Vice President

Walter Mondale

in 1984. As the sting of these defeats has lessened with time, Mr. Carter should now be proud to see Mr. Biden pursuing one of many signature insurance policies of the Carter period: responding to meager provides of gasoline by launching political assaults on power corporations. Let’s hope that Mr. Biden doesn’t do something as silly because the so-called “windfall profits” tax Mr. Carter signed into regulation in 1980 to attempt to plunder oil revenues.

These days, together with castigating enterprise for incomes income on a commodity made scarce by federal insurance policies, the present White House has additionally thought of varied gimmicks to handle the politics of excessive costs. The “brainstorming” on the White House continues, in accordance with Jeff Stein and Tyler Pager. They report for the Washington Post:

Senior White House aides have in latest days explored new concepts for responding to excessive fuel costs and appeared once more at some that they’d beforehand discarded, determined to point out that the administration is making an attempt to handle voter frustration about rising prices on the pump.

Biden officers are taking a second take a look at whether or not the federal authorities might ship rebate playing cards out to thousands and thousands of American drivers to assist them pay at fuel stations — an concept they examined months in the past earlier than ruling it out. Aides had discovered that shortages within the U.S. chip trade would make it arduous to provide sufficient rebate playing cards, two folks conversant in the matter stated. White House officers additionally concern there can be no method to stop shoppers from utilizing them for purchases apart from gasoline, in accordance with one other individual conversant in the discussions. Even if the administration embraces the proposal, it might most likely require congressional approval and face lengthy odds amongst lawmakers cautious of spending more cash.

Probably? Does this imply that the White House is unclear on whether or not Congress has a job in federal appropriations? The Posties report that Team Biden is pondering nonetheless extra interventions into power markets:

Biden aides have additionally appeared in latest days at invoking the Defense Production Act to maneuver diesel and different refined merchandise ought to localized shortages materialize, two folks conversant in the matter stated. Diesel costs have risen markedly, posing a significant risk to the nation’s trucking and transport industries, though specialists say shortages seem to stay unlikely for now.

Experts ought to be saying that the plain reply is to cease discouraging power manufacturing. For instance, the president might inform the person he appointed to run the Securities and Exchange Commission to knock it off with the local weather politics. This week Republicans on the Senate Banking Committee requested data on a pending regulation from SEC Chairman

Gary Gensler

and in so doing they properly defined why he ought to drop the entire misguided challenge:

We are writing to request data concerning the Securities and Exchange Commission’s… proposed rule on “The Enhancement and Standardization of Climate-Related Disclosures for Investors”… which might require publicly-traded corporations to collect and report world warming information, nearly none of which is materials to a enterprise’s funds. This sweeping, near 500-page proposed rule is pointless and inappropriate, exceeds the SEC’s mission and experience, will hurt shoppers, staff, and your complete U.S. financial system at a time when power costs are skyrocketing, and hijacks the democratic course of in figuring out U.S. local weather coverage.

It is neither crucial nor acceptable for the SEC to promulgate securities laws to handle world warming. Federal securities legal guidelines already require publicly-traded corporations to make in depth disclosures concerning their companies, properties, authorized proceedings, and danger components. These disclosures should embrace any materials local weather change data and will not be deceptive underneath the circumstances. In different phrases, to the extent local weather change may have a cloth influence in any of those areas, corporations are already legally required to reveal this data.

While some traders and advocates for extra world warming disclosure declare this data can be helpful for funding functions, non-material disclosures are extremely unlikely to have any impact on funding selections. Rather, local weather activists with out a fiduciary responsibility to an organization and its shareholders need this data to help of their efforts to impose their coverage preferences on publicly-traded corporations (and the nation at massive) after having did not enact these adjustments by means of the legislative course of. Activists will then use this data to run political stress campaigns towards corporations to the detriment of shareholders. This activism is coincidentally aided by some Wall Street asset managers, who declare to be appearing on behalf of retail traders. However, it is very important be aware that a few of these companies’ enterprise fashions depend on growing and promoting new climate-oriented funding merchandise with greater charges underneath the guise of “doing good for the climate” although such merchandise will do little, if something, to scale back mixture world greenhouse fuel emissions.

Steven Lofchie at Fried Frank observes:

Even if the SEC declines to reply to the Republican Senators on this request for data, the letter ought to be seen solely as a primary step. If Republicans achieve management of the House or Senate within the subsequent election, they’ll make enforceable calls for for data. Separately, ought to the SEC go ahead, it’s seemingly that litigation will observe.

Either means, the method could reveal how the SEC performs its cost-benefit analyses. That can be good.


Speaking of Low Expectations
The Journal’s Alex Harring and Chip Cutter report:

More than 60% of CEOs anticipate a recession of their geographic area within the subsequent 12 to 18 months, in accordance with a survey of 750 CEOs and different C-suite executives launched Friday by the Conference Board, a enterprise analysis agency…

Higher power costs are a selected concern, some executives say, with rising transportation prices making it dearer to provide items.


Speaking of Biden, Carter and Reagan

It’s particularly odd that Mr. Biden got here to favor Carternomics over Reaganomics, and never simply because he was capable of observe the empirical outcomes up shut. Mr. Biden was greater than an observer. Not solely did he vote for the Reagan tax reforms in each 1981 and 1986, he even appeared to know the issues of the Carter financial agenda lengthy earlier than a lot of his fellow Democrats.

In April of 1977, Spencer Rich reported within the Washington Post:

Senate Democrats rallied behind President Carter yesterday and crushed a Republican plan for a everlasting revenue tax minimize, 59 to 40.

The modification to the tax invoice, sponsored by Sens. John C. Danforth (R-Mo.) and Jacob Ok. Javits (R-N.Y.), was seen by Republicans as their main different to Carter’s tax proposals…

The 5 Democrats who voted for the modification and towards the President had been Joe Biden Jr. (Del.), John A. Durkin (N.H.), Thomas J. McIntyre (N.H.), William Proxmire (Wis.) and Donald W. Reigle Jr. (Mich).


The Astounding Abuse of Taxpayers within the Covid Lockdown Era
Joe Mahr and Dan Petrella report for the Chicago Tribune:

Fraudsters stole greater than half the cash paid out by the state from a particular pandemic unemployment fund, pilfering practically $2 billion in federal cash that was supposed to assist out-of-work Illinoisans, in accordance with a state audit launched Thursday.

The audit presents the primary estimate for Illinois’ share of the mammoth fraud that swept the nation through the pandemic as states had been hit with a deluge of unemployment claims. The audit covers a lot of the interval this system was in use, from July 2020 by means of June 2021…

The audit could not cowl the total scope of pandemic-related fraud.

The state paid out an extra $3.8 billion underneath one other federally funded program that boosted declare checks by $600, initially, then $300. The audit didn’t provide a determine of fraud tied to that program.

On prime of that, the Tribune has reported on how thieves had been hijacking reliable claims to steer funds to the thieves’ accounts.

The audit additionally doesn’t handle the frustration of Illinoisans whose names or accounts had been improperly utilized by fraudsters. Victims of the fraud have reported maddening experiences with the unemployment company, significantly on the top of the pandemic: struggles to get somebody on the division to select up the telephone or return messages, and — after reporting fraud — getting the state to truly cease funds to the thieves, in what turned, in essence, slow-motion thefts.


James Freeman is the co-author of “The Cost: Trump, China and American Revival.”


Follow James Freeman on Twitter.

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