Paul Krugman: When and why did the Republican Party become the party of pollution?

Paul Krugman: “So it’s the same old story. But why, exactly, does it always play this way? Of course, polluters will defend their right to pollute, but why can they count on Republican support? When and why did the Republican Party become the party of pollution?”

One of the better comments from the NYT, and a NYT Pick:

George H. Blackford

Michigan 8 hours ago

When it comes to global warming Republicans argue 1) there is no such thing as global warming, 2) even though there is global warming it’s not our fault, and 3) if the government will just get out of the way free markets will solve the problem. In dealing with the problem of preserving our natural resources they insist that the actions of free individuals in unregulated free of government intervention will solve all problems.

Republicans advocated deregulating our financial system, facilitated the concentration of monopoly power into the hands too-big-to-fail institutions, guided our trade policies into continuing trade deficits and the outsourcing of manufacturing jobs, failed to enforce laws against fraud and unfair labor practices, and imposed a tax structure that is incapable of maintaining the public infrastructure and social-insurance system from which we all benefit so much—the same people whose policies drove the world’s financial system to the brink of destruction. And they are now blaming “entitlement programs” for the economic catastrophe their policies have created as they block any attempt to deal with the problems we face today.

Given this record, it is difficult to see why anyone would take Republicans seriously, and yet they now control Congress. We’ve hit the bottom of the barrel, but given the attitude of the electorate, in 2016 the bottom could fall out of the barrel. I fear this is not going to end well.


Why isn’t a Carbon Tax on the Table?

Eduardo Porto: “If a carbon tax were to be imposed next year, starting at $25 and rising by 5 percent a year, the Energy Information Administration estimates, carbon dioxide emissions from American power plants would fall to only 419 million tons by 2040, about one-fifth of where they are today. Total carbon dioxide emissions from energy in the United States would fall to 3.6 billion tons — 1.8 billion tons less than today. By providing a monetary incentive, economists say, such a tax would offer by far the most effective way to encourage business and individuals to reduce their use of fossil fuels and invest in alternatives.”   NYT 11/18/14 Economy