Following California Over the Edge

Healthcare isn’t the only area where progressive California offers us a preview of our Obamunist future. The Land of Fruits and Nuts also shows us where his energy policies will lead:

While promoting his new cap-and-trade energy tax bill, which passed the U.S. House last week, President Obama revealed in a White House address on Monday his model for the nation’s economy — California. “In the late 1970s, the state of California enacted tougher energy-efficiency policies,” Obama said, noting that the state and its residents use less energy today per capita than the national average. “Think about that,” he said, “California producing jobs, their economy keeping pace with the rest of the country and yet they’ve been able to maintain their energy usage in a much lower level than the rest of the country.”

Obama might want to rethink his choice of a model state because it is easy to understand how California has curbed its energy use. Between 2000 and 2007, before the current recession, the state shed nearly 21 percent of its manufacturing jobs, driving down its industrial electrical consumption by 21 percent. California’s industrial users pay electric rates twice as high as their Midwestern counterparts — which helps explain why so much heavy industry has fled the state. In addition to alienating its industry, California has also curbed energy use through exorbitant residential electric rates (50 percent higher than the national average) and massive net out-migration. Between 2005 and 2007, 2.14 million Californians moved to other states, while only 1.44 million people from elsewhere moved to the Golden State, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. Don’t be surprised when the 2010 Census finds even more people leaving to escape California’s 11.5 percent unemployment. And, as jobs and residents fled California, its tax revenues have declined, while its politicians went on a spending binge, creating a severe budget crisis.

If Cap and Tax makes it through the Senate, Comrade Obama will sign it triumphantly, imposing California-style eco-insanity on the entire nation.

It will work a little differently on the national level. Instead of jobs leaving the state, they will leave the country. The Heritage Foundation forecasts 1.15 million jobs lost per year if the Dems push it through.

On the positive side, there will be more jobs in China, India, and Mexico. Since these countries can’t afford the luxury of making environmentalism a priority, the result will be more pollution than if the jobs had stayed here — defeating the supposed purpose of the entire bill. But if the real purpose is to put millions of Americans out of work, increasing their dependence on Big Government, Cap and Tax ought to succeed spectacularly.

On a tip from Gregory of Yardale. Cross-posted at Moonbattery.

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