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KJP

The Republican Party

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When you look at a lot of the EPA's recent rollbacks, especially outside the carbon-regulation sphere, they're not going back to the pre-EPA days, they're going back to the pre-Obama days.  The GOP simply stands against the progressive presumption that regulation should be a one-way ratchet: ever tighter.

 

With respect to the CFPB, as to how its deregulation increases freedom, that's easy--the financial institution is given freedom from the regulation, and the consumer has the same right to walk away from a bad deal that they always had, so their freedom is not lessened.  With respect to whether people will actually feel that increases their quality of life, I actually tend to agree, though I share some of Mulvaney's concerns about the CFPB's structure.  I actually think this is one where the Republican establishment (of which Mulvaney is a member in good standing, despite his occasional tea-party rhetoric) underestimates both the anger and the associated regulatory appetite of its own base.  But in terms of what they stand for, they certainly stand for reducing the regulatory reach of the federal government--even if it costs them popularity or even elections.

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When you look at a lot of the EPA's recent rollbacks, especially outside the carbon-regulation sphere, they're not going back to the pre-EPA days, they're going back to the pre-Obama days.  The GOP simply stands against the progressive presumption that regulation should be a one-way ratchet: ever tighter.

 

With respect to the CFPB, as to how its deregulation increases freedom, that's easy--the financial institution is given freedom from the regulation, and the consumer has the same right to walk away from a bad deal that they always had, so their freedom is not lessened.  With respect to whether people will actually feel that increases their quality of life, I actually tend to agree, though I share some of Mulvaney's concerns about the CFPB's structure.  I actually think this is one where the Republican establishment (of which Mulvaney is a member in good standing, despite his occasional tea-party rhetoric) underestimates both the anger and the associated regulatory appetite of its own base.  But in terms of what they stand for, they certainly stand for reducing the regulatory reach of the federal government--even if it costs them popularity or even elections.

 

environmental regulation - why was growth of regulation welcome up to a certain point?  I guess the question is - Why now?  Why didn't we decide in 1977 that we had enough regulation and continue to allow paint manufacturers to use lead in residential paint.  I mean - removing lead created an undue burden on business.

 

So when an unregulated financial institution goes belly-up are we going to let them fail or bail them out again?

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I think the answer to that is obvious enough.  The low-hanging fruit were the first to be picked.  Later regulations tended to aim at smaller and smaller risks at higher and higher costs.  Everyone has a breaking point.  I'll bet even you do, somewhere, even if it hasn't been reached yet.  It is literally impossible to eliminate every single environmental risk, and it is only a subset of those that can be addressed at an any given cost (with the question of whether that cost is acceptable or not of course being a political judgment call).  Democrats tend to be more cost-tolerant.  Republicans tend to be more risk-tolerant.

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I think the answer to that is obvious enough.  The low-hanging fruit were the first to be picked.  Later regulations tended to aim at smaller and smaller risks at higher and higher costs.  Everyone has a breaking point.  I'll bet even you do, somewhere, even if it hasn't been reached yet.  It is literally impossible to eliminate every single environmental risk, and it is only a subset of those that can be addressed at an any given cost (with the question of whether that cost is acceptable or not of course being a political judgment call).  Democrats tend to be more cost-tolerant.  Republicans tend to be more risk-tolerant.

 

Doesn't our knowledge of toxins and pollutants increase every year.  Again, in 1977 someone could've made the same argument that the risk of lead paint isn't worth the additional costs.  Or removing lead from gasoline, etc.  Tobacco companies and politicians (including Mike Pence) wouldn't even admit a link between smoking and cancer existed until the 1990s. 

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Even Donald Trump, the most statist Republican president by disposition in modern memory, has significantly scaled back the aggression of the federal regulatory state against the private sector--most notably including at the EPA and CFPB

 

Yes, regulations in the financial and banking industries were so good before and consumers absolutely didn't get hammered unjustly in 2008.  Nope.


Very Stable Genius

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it's cute that GOPers still pretend to be about family values and deficits.  but for that matter can anyone please tell me what the current GOP stands for?  I mean this in all seriousness.

 

The GOP certainly stands for lower taxes.  Obviously those of us who once stood for lower deficits don't have a home in either party now.  If the Democrats could credibly promise that tax increases would be used to lower deficits rather than expand the entitlement state, I'd consider switching back.

 

The GOP stands for the right to life.  Not a guarantee of material well-being, but a right to at least a shot.

 

The GOP stands for reducing the regulatory reach of the central state.  Even Donald Trump, the most statist Republican president by disposition in modern memory, has significantly scaled back the aggression of the federal regulatory state against the private sector--most notably including at the EPA and CFPB, but also at Education and Energy.  In this, GOP unified control of Washington is actually delivering a genuine limitation of government.  Of course, since many of these actions are solely executive (barring the measures repealed via the CRA), a future Democratic president could reimpose many of them--but that's something that's fair game for the political process.

 

The GOP stands for judicial philosophy anchored in rules rather than emotions ("empathy").

 

That said, the list of what the GOP stands for is clearly shorter than what it stands against.  That is where its real appeal lies for much of its base.  The GOP is generally actually not that fazed by the old progressive epithet that it's the "party of no."  The GOP basically holds forth KJP and his ilk (who casually consider <a href="https://www.urbanohio.com/forum/index.php/topic,2170.msg894940.html#msg894940">mass depopulation, including by human agency, as healthy for the planet</a>), and says "do you want your life micromanaged by that guy?  No?  OK, vote for us."

 

Every single one of these things needs a huge * next to them. 

 

We've seen who the real tax cuts are for.  Meanwhile, they're screwing all of our futures.

 

Except for single moms, gays, black people selling cigarettes on the street, neo-Nazi protesters...

 

The anti-regulation stance has literally nothing to do with improving the economy.  It was booming for years before Trump was there, and that was with all the regulations in place that they've since gotten rid of.  The idea that regulation was destroying the economy is supremely ironic when it was the very lack of regulation that was a huge factor in the Great Recession.  How many consumer protections have been removed, again?  Now, Republicans expect to keep selling this narrative. That we can have clean air, water and land with no environmental protections, that coal will survive if only there weren't so many gosh-darn regulations, that ignoring climate change will make it go away, etc. etc.  Republicans are first class bullsh*t artists whose primary stance is lining their own pockets by removing any and all restrictions from doing so. 

 

We already know that empathy and compassion are totally useless on the Right.  Yes, the "law and order" party that is currently totally fine defending pedophiles, money launderers, traitors, wife beaters, violating constitutional rights such as voting... I see no indication that the Right cares about the law. 

 

Maybe some of these things were true at one time, but certainly not in many years.

 

I also don't think KJP was advocating genocide that you seem to believe.  I read it more that if you guys just want to shrug your shoulders and pretend like there's nothing we can do about climate change is only going to make extreme measures more likely down the line.  What those might include, I don't know, but it's going to be a little pain now, or a whole lot more later.  The choices will only get harder over time.  Then again, I guess this is where that lack of empathy comes back in.  If you can't even feel empathy for your common man in 2018, you're not going to feel anything for your children's children. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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So when an unregulated financial institution goes belly-up are we going to let them fail or bail them out again?

 

I realize I responded on the environmental regulation front and not on this one earlier.  I think that is an extremely interesting question.  I've really been trying to guess what Trump would do here.  You can't take his statements at face value, of course.  That goes without saying.  You have to get to his id, as well as the more honed instincts of those around him.  I really don't know.  His presidency has been more establishmentarian than many predicted (whether those predictions to the contrary were hopes or fears).  The bank bailout in 2008-2009 had a lot of bipartisan support and a lot of bipartisan opposition.  Trump does not fear chaos.  The threat that refusing to bail out the banks and letting the failures ripple out through the system would unleash chaos would not faze him as much as it fazed many more establishment figures.  But his financial team is dyed-in-the-wool Wall Street henchmen.

 

If another financial bubble bursts and he did draw a line in the sand, and said no, these chips will fall where they will, even if they take down Citi and JPMorgan Chase ... would Bernie Sanders lock arms with him?  Would Elizabeth Warren?

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I think the answer to that is obvious enough.  The low-hanging fruit were the first to be picked.  Later regulations tended to aim at smaller and smaller risks at higher and higher costs.  Everyone has a breaking point.  I'll bet even you do, somewhere, even if it hasn't been reached yet.  It is literally impossible to eliminate every single environmental risk, and it is only a subset of those that can be addressed at an any given cost (with the question of whether that cost is acceptable or not of course being a political judgment call).  Democrats tend to be more cost-tolerant.  Republicans tend to be more risk-tolerant.

 

Doesn't our knowledge of toxins and pollutants increase every year.  Again, in 1977 someone could've made the same argument that the risk of lead paint isn't worth the additional costs.  Or removing lead from gasoline, etc.  Tobacco companies and politicians (including Mike Pence) wouldn't even admit a link between smoking and cancer existed until the 1990s. 

 

And these politicians only need to visit Cleveland, Detroit, Buffalo, etc to see how private industry acted as stewards of their own pollutants.  Any member who votes against environmental regulations should be supplied drinking water from brown fields if they trust industry to self-police.

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So when an unregulated financial institution goes belly-up are we going to let them fail or bail them out again?

 

I realize I responded on the environmental regulation front and not on this one earlier.  I think that is an extremely interesting question.  I've really been trying to guess what Trump would do here.  You can't take his statements at face value, of course.  That goes without saying.  You have to get to his id, as well as the more honed instincts of those around him.  I really don't know.  His presidency has been more establishmentarian than many predicted (whether those predictions to the contrary were hopes or fears).  The bank bailout in 2008-2009 had a lot of bipartisan support and a lot of bipartisan opposition.  Trump does not fear chaos.  The threat that refusing to bail out the banks and letting the failures ripple out through the system would unleash chaos would not faze him as much as it fazed many more establishment figures.  But his financial team is dyed-in-the-wool Wall Street henchmen.

 

If another financial bubble bursts and he did draw a line in the sand, and said no, these chips will fall where they will, even if they take down Citi and JPMorgan Chase ... would Bernie Sanders lock arms with him?  Would Elizabeth Warren?

 

Thanks for the reply.  I guess what I was getting at here is that GOP has been all about deregulation but when banks were in trouble they supported bailing them out.  Thus doesn't seem like a small government policy.  If banks expect a bail out, they should have rules and regulations.  We both know if there's another collapse we will socialize the losses again.

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So when an unregulated financial institution goes belly-up are we going to let them fail or bail them out again?

 

 

 

Doesn't our knowledge of toxins and pollutants increase every year.  Again, in 1977 someone could've made the same argument that the risk of lead paint isn't worth the additional costs.  Or removing lead from gasoline, etc.  Tobacco companies and politicians (including Mike Pence) wouldn't even admit a link between smoking and cancer existed until the 1990s. 

 

And these politicians only need to visit Cleveland, Detroit, Buffalo, etc to see how private industry acted as stewards of their own pollutants.  Any member who votes against environmental regulations should be supplied drinking water from brown fields if they trust industry to self-police.

 

Also it's not just private sector who is polluting, federal regs have pressured local governments to clean up their act. This has provided significant benefits to our quality of life.

 

City of Akron, Ohio, Agrees to Improve Sewer System to Resolve Clean Water Act Violations

https://www.justice.gov/opa/pr/city-akron-ohio-agrees-improve-sewer-system-resolve-clean-water-act-violations

 

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So when an unregulated financial institution goes belly-up are we going to let them fail or bail them out again?

 

 

 

Doesn't our knowledge of toxins and pollutants increase every year.  Again, in 1977 someone could've made the same argument that the risk of lead paint isn't worth the additional costs.  Or removing lead from gasoline, etc.  Tobacco companies and politicians (including Mike Pence) wouldn't even admit a link between smoking and cancer existed until the 1990s. 

 

And these politicians only need to visit Cleveland, Detroit, Buffalo, etc to see how private industry acted as stewards of their own pollutants.  Any member who votes against environmental regulations should be supplied drinking water from brown fields if they trust industry to self-police.

 

Also it's not just private sector who is polluting, federal regs have pressured local governments to clean up their act. This has provided significant benefits to our quality of life.

 

City of Akron, Ohio, Agrees to Improve Sewer System to Resolve Clean Water Act Violations

https://www.justice.gov/opa/pr/city-akron-ohio-agrees-improve-sewer-system-resolve-clean-water-act-violations

 

Columbus recently completed a billion-dollar project to eliminate sewage overflows into the Scioto for the same reason.  Along with the dam removals and new parks they've been doing, water quality has significantly improved, the riverfront odors have disappeared and water recreation has increased. 

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So when an unregulated financial institution goes belly-up are we going to let them fail or bail them out again?

 

I realize I responded on the environmental regulation front and not on this one earlier.  I think that is an extremely interesting question.  I've really been trying to guess what Trump would do here.  You can't take his statements at face value, of course.  That goes without saying.  You have to get to his id, as well as the more honed instincts of those around him.  I really don't know.  His presidency has been more establishmentarian than many predicted (whether those predictions to the contrary were hopes or fears).  The bank bailout in 2008-2009 had a lot of bipartisan support and a lot of bipartisan opposition.  Trump does not fear chaos.  The threat that refusing to bail out the banks and letting the failures ripple out through the system would unleash chaos would not faze him as much as it fazed many more establishment figures.  But his financial team is dyed-in-the-wool Wall Street henchmen.

 

If another financial bubble bursts and he did draw a line in the sand, and said no, these chips will fall where they will, even if they take down Citi and JPMorgan Chase ... would Bernie Sanders lock arms with him?  Would Elizabeth Warren?

 

Thanks for the reply.  I guess what I was getting at here is that GOP has been all about deregulation but when banks were in trouble they supported bailing them out.

 

So have the Democrats.  Glass-Steagall was repealed under President Clinton.  The bank bailout was a coalition-splitting vote on both sides (it's been so long since we've had anything but a party-line vote that we've practically forgotten that other kinds used to exist).

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^ very true.  "pro business" elements exist on both sides.  however, i don't know if there are any elements in the GOP interested in regulation at all. 

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The Politico article itself says that the RCP average still has Republicans trailing on the generic ballot, D+7.  The Politico/Morning Consult poll showing R+1 is, IIRC, one of the polls that goes into that average.  So Politico (the news outlet) in that story was reporting on both its own poll and on the average that the poll is one data point within (the political media can be shamelessly self-referential ... here is our poll, and here is our news about some newsworthy polls).

 

The spread of the polls can be legitimately interesting, though.  If the generic ballot is D+7 with a range of D+6 to D+8, that says something very different than if the generic ballot is D+7 with a range of R+20 to D+34 (exaggerating, of course, but you get the point).

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^ this is a nationwide poll, it does not say what is going to happen in an individual district. Plus, it often takes a few weeks for the results of the poll to start resonating more in nationwide matchups.

 

Also, remember these polls do not mean much beyond a D+15 or R+15 sentiment. Remember for much of the last few elections the Dems had an advantage on the generic ballot too and it really did not get them anywhere.

 

What I think this says is that there may not be the wave election that was predicted last year, but it does not mean the GOP wont lose seats even if they have an advantage in the generic poll.

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Also, remember these polls do not mean much beyond a D+15 or R+15 sentiment. Remember for much of the last few elections the Dems had an advantage on the generic ballot too and it really did not get them anywhere.

 

You might be thinking about party ID, for which Dems usually have an advantage and it doesn't mean much. Dems haven't had a substantial lead in these generic ballot polls in a decade.

 

The GOP has gained in the past couple weeks, I would blame it on the shutdown debacle, but Dems were up high enough before that they are still in very good shape for this coming November. Look at these old generic congressional ballots from the past several elections, they each turned out to be reasonaly accurate within about a percent. (You have to look at the second line, the first line is the actual election results while "RCP Average" is the poll.)

 

2010, poll consistent with GOP shellacking

 

2012, poll consistent with no change in control of congress

 

2014, poll consistent with GOP victory

 

2016, poll shows a tiny dem lead, slightly off from actual results

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I know I should be over it, but the speed at which the organized conservative movement became the ideological home of Marion Le Pen, Seb Gorka, Nigel Farage, Dinesh D'Souza and their ilk remains shocking to me.


"Life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you respond." -- Coach Lou Holtz

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I am pretty much cut from the same exact cloth as Michael Steele in terms of where I stand as a Conservative. I heard Ian's speech in real time and was almost shaking with anger. This is the bigoted Petri Dish that Populism and Trumpism incubate.

 

https://www.realclearpolitics.com/video/2018/02/24/michael_steele_vs_cpacs_matt_schlapp_on_comment_he_was_picked_rnc_chair_because_he_was_black.html

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https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2018/03/boycott-the-gop/550907/

 

The Republican Party, as an institution, has become a danger to the rule of law and the integrity of our democracy. The problem is not just Donald Trump; it’s the larger political apparatus that made a conscious decision to enable him. In a two-party system, nonpartisanship works only if both parties are consistent democratic actors. If one of them is not predictably so, the space for nonpartisans evaporates. We’re thus driven to believe that the best hope of defending the country from Trump’s Republican enablers, and of saving the Republican Party from itself, is to do as Toren Beasley did: vote mindlessly and mechanically against Republicans at every opportunity, until the party either rights itself or implodes (very preferably the former).

Very Stable Genius

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I’m Glad I Got Booed at CPAC

By MONA CHARENFEB. 25, 2018

 

https://www.nytimes.com/2018/02/25/opinion/im-glad-i-got-booed-at-cpac.html?smid=tw-share

 

Mona Charen is one of the good ones.  She still writes fairly frequently for NR (or her columns elsewhere get republished there with permission).  I've never been to CPAC, but it's fallen a long way.  The DC conservative powwow that I have been to in the past was considerably more intellectual: The Federalist Society Lawyers Convention.  I hope that one hasn't been similarly corrupted by Trumpist ethno-nationalism and willful blindness to Trump's own character flaws.

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When you look at a lot of the EPA's recent rollbacks, especially outside the carbon-regulation sphere, they're not going back to the pre-EPA days, they're going back to the pre-Obama days.  The GOP simply stands against the progressive presumption that regulation should be a one-way ratchet: ever tighter.

 

Why do Republicans act like Democrats like regulations for the sake of regulations? Regulations are put in place when the free market fails us. This is how we balance the needs of the people with the needs of corporations to make money. Regulations placed on private companies are almost always a response to a specific bad thing that private companies have done.

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Regulations are put in place when the free market fails us.

 

We actually agree on that to a large extent; we just disagree on how quick we should be to judge the free market a failure.

 

This is how we balance the needs of the people with the needs of corporations to make money. Regulations placed on private companies are almost always a response to a specific bad thing that private companies have done.

 

Exactly.  Regulation is therefore a form of collective punishment and should be viewed with a similarly jaundiced eye to any other kind of collective punishment.

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Collective punishment for corporations, collective benefit for citizens. Corporate are "punished" and not allowed to pollute the water and air, citizens benefit from drinking cleaner water and breathing cleaner air. Regulations and protections are two sides of the same coin.

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And the air and water were already clean in 2008.  As I said above, most of the regulatory rollbacks we're talking about here don't involve going back to the days when the EPA didn't exist and you couldn't see the mountains from Los Angeles because of the smog.  We're talking only about the high-water marks of regulatory overzealousness reached under the Obama administration.  Substantively, the Trump EPA won't look all that different from the [bill] Clinton EPA.

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^ So you're saying that environmental regulations that were put in place nearly 5 decades ago are still sufficient for today?

 

While it may appear that "the air and water were already clean in 2008" and therefore it's Mission Accomplished, no more regulations needed, I'm sure a lot of scientists would disagree with you. (Putting aside the fact that there are places in America that do not have clean water today.) As science gets better over time, we learn more about how even tiny amounts of certain pollutants can have major health impacts. So regulations need to evolve. As corporations change their manufacturing processes and start polluting the environment in different ways, new regulations will need to be introduced to respond to that.

 

I don't quite understand why you think that environment regulations should be frozen in time...

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We quite often see regulations protecting the very same large, powerful and corrupt entities that made those regulations appear necessary in the first place.

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And the air and water were already clean in 2008.  As I said above, most of the regulatory rollbacks we're talking about here don't involve going back to the days when the EPA didn't exist and you couldn't see the mountains from Los Angeles because of the smog.  We're talking only about the high-water marks of regulatory overzealousness reached under the Obama administration.  Substantively, the Trump EPA won't look all that different from the [bill] Clinton EPA.

 

Speaking strictly EPA, I think I agree with you.

 

However, the Trump Administration has been overt in using other agencies to roll back environmental regulations and policies. I am a "drill baby drill" Conservative, but I thought removing Bears' Ears designation was merely to spite Obama - as Utah is not an oil hotbed that needs to be tapped. The Department of the Interior was engaged to do a rollback in that situation.

 

I tend to lean liberal re: the environment, but I think your Clinton characterization is probably correct

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^ So you're saying that environmental regulations that were put in place nearly 5 decades ago are still sufficient for today?

 

For the most part, yes.  Though I should say four decades ago; the EPA didn't exist five decades ago.

 

While it may appear that "the air and water were already clean in 2008" and therefore it's Mission Accomplished, no more regulations needed, I'm sure a lot of scientists would disagree with you. (Putting aside the fact that there are places in America that do not have clean water today.) As science gets better over time, we learn more about how even tiny amounts of certain pollutants can have major health impacts. So regulations need to evolve. As corporations change their manufacturing processes and start polluting the environment in different ways, new regulations will need to be introduced to respond to that.

 

Because by and large, that's not how it works.  It has very little to do with advancing science and more to do with increasing risk aversion, even at the cost of economic dynamism and fundamental liberty.  The law of diminishing returns has not suddenly been scientifically discovered to have been a fiction for the last twenty or thirty years.  Ever-tighter environmental regulations (and regulations in most other fields) increasingly cost more and more and help fewer and fewer people.

 

At what point do you say enough is enough, if there is no actual endpoint, just a constant ability to repeat that the regulations of yesteryear didn't go far enough, no matter how far they actually went?  Is there some objective standard?  Is that standard a literal zero-marginal-gain standard with total price insensitivity, i.e., a trillion-dollar regulation that statistically saves 1 person-year of life is worth it?

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And the air and water were already clean in 2008.  As I said above, most of the regulatory rollbacks we're talking about here don't involve going back to the days when the EPA didn't exist and you couldn't see the mountains from Los Angeles because of the smog.  We're talking only about the high-water marks of regulatory overzealousness reached under the Obama administration.  Substantively, the Trump EPA won't look all that different from the [bill] Clinton EPA.

 

Speaking strictly EPA, I think I agree with you.

 

However, the Trump Administration has been overt in using other agencies to roll back environmental regulations and policies. I am a "drill baby drill" Conservative, but I thought removing Bears' Ears designation was merely to spite Obama - as Utah is not an oil hotbed that needs to be tapped. The Department of the Interior was engaged to do a rollback in that situation.

 

I tend to lean liberal re: the environment, but I think your Clinton characterization is probably correct

 

Residents of states east of the Mississippi or west of the Sierra Nevadas can have a difficult time with just how serious federal land use laws are in Western states, because the sheer quantity of the land of those states that is under direct federal ownership is so vastly different.  We're not used to the federal government being a major landowner here.  Utah and Nevada, by contrast, are overwhelmingly owned by the federal government.  There was a lot of federal-state interplay in that decision (both the original Obama one and the one undoing it) that was independent of the interests of any natural resource company that might have wanted access to that land.  It was bigger than that.  (The worst example, though, might be in one of the bluest states in the Union ... Hawai'i.  Federal land ownership there dramatically affects the private real estate market.)

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^ So you're saying that environmental regulations that were put in place nearly 5 decades ago are still sufficient for today?

 

For the most part, yes.  Though I should say four decades ago; the EPA didn't exist five decades ago.

 

Well, the organization started in 1970, so 48 years ago, although not all of the relevant regulations are quite that old.

 

At what point do you say enough is enough, if there is no actual endpoint, just a constant ability to repeat that the regulations of yesteryear didn't go far enough, no matter how far they actually went?  Is there some objective standard?  Is that standard a literal zero-marginal-gain standard with total price insensitivity, i.e., a trillion-dollar regulation that statistically saves 1 person-year of life is worth it?

 

A quick Google search brought up this study which claims that air pollution in the United States causes 200,000 early deaths per year, and that 52,000 of those can be traced to emissions from power plants. Now, I don't really want to get into a deep debate about that particular study because I don't want to derail this thread more than I already have. But hypothetically, let's assume that the study is accurate, and that there is some new regulation that can be put into place that might cost $1 trillion to implement but could prevent 1,000 of those early deaths per year. Of course, we know that when we say a regulation would "cost" $1 trillion to implement, it's not actually coming out of the profits of the corporations that build and operate power plants. Those companies will just raise their rates and pass the cost on to consumers. So each American household might see their electricity bill go up by $1 per year (or 9¢ per electricity bill), but in the end, 1,000 early deaths are prevented. I would say that's worth the cost.

 

Now, in your hypothetical case where we have to spend $1 trillion and only one early death is only delayed by one year (one person-year of life is saved, as you put it), I would say no, that's not worth the cost.

 

Where do we draw the line? Obviously that is up for debate. But, I would say, the fact that life expectancy in the US is flat while it's rising in other countries is a good sign that we need to be doing more to improve the average citizen's health and reduce the number of deaths from pollutants.

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The state of Lake Erie is proof positive that in some instances the clean water act hasn’t gone far enough. Check out the fish consumption advisories. We still have a long way to go.

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Residents of states east of the Mississippi and not west of the Sierra Nevadas can have a difficult time with just how serious federal land use laws are in Western states, because the sheer quantity of the land of those states that is under direct federal ownership is so vastly different.  We're not used to the federal government being a major landowner here.  Utah and Nevada, by contrast, are overwhelmingly owned by the federal government.  There was a lot of federal-state interplay in that decision (both the original Obama one and the one undoing it) that was independent of the interests of any natural resource company that might have wanted access to that land.  It was bigger than that.  (The worst example, though, might be in one of the bluest states in the Union ... Hawai'i.  Federal land ownership there dramatically affects the private real estate market.)

 

States rights... that's why Trump did it.

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Now, I don't really want to get into a deep debate about that particular study because I don't want to derail this thread more than I already have. But hypothetically, let's assume that the study is accurate, and that there is some new regulation that can be put into place that might cost $1 trillion to implement but could prevent 1,000 of those early deaths per year. Of course, we know that when we say a regulation would "cost" $1 trillion to implement, it's not actually coming out of the profits of the corporations that build and operate power plants. Those companies will just raise their rates and pass the cost on to consumers. So each American household might see their electricity bill go up by $1 per year (or 9¢ per electricity bill), but in the end, 1,000 early deaths are prevented. I would say that's worth the cost.

 

Check your math.  A trillion dollars divided by 320 million Americans is not $1 per year per person, let alone per utility account.  Of course, we're playing with hypothetical numbers here anyway.  But the real numbers are not so hypothetical, and people have their breaking point.  Why do you think school levies fail so often when they're "just" asking for maybe the "price of a pizza" or "two coffees" each month?  At some point, people have been so frequently bureaucratically bludgeoned that they in some sense just curl into a defensive crouch and say "no, no, no, no."  They don't have the patience for multi-page debates with opposing viewpoints like this, particularly when they've gotten to the point when the opposing viewpoint is just an ever-increasing list of demands at bureaucratic gunpoint.  They just want the constant dunning to stop.  And the Party of No is there to answer them.

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Check your math.  A trillion dollars divided by 320 million Americans is not $1 per year per person, let alone per utility account.  Of course, we're playing with hypothetical numbers here anyway.  But the real numbers are not so hypothetical, and people have their breaking point.  Why do you think school levies fail so often when they're "just" asking for maybe the "price of a pizza" or "two coffees" each month?

 

In the hypothetical scenario I just laid out, I was not claiming that the power industry would spend a trillion dollars in a single year, but would be something like a 8 to 10 year rollout. There are currently 126 million households in America, so assuming each household saw their bill increase by $1 year year, that would raise over a trillion dollars which the power industry could spend on making the modifications mandated by this hypothetical new law. That's not even close to "two cups of coffee a month" .. we're talking about 9¢ per month.

 

At some point, people have been so frequently bureaucratically bludgeoned that they in some sense just curl into a defensive crouch and say "no, no, no, no."

 

Right... at some point people turn off their brains and let the anti-government, anti-regulation fervor take over.

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Check your math.  A trillion dollars divided by 320 million Americans is not $1 per year per person, let alone per utility account.  Of course, we're playing with hypothetical numbers here anyway.  But the real numbers are not so hypothetical, and people have their breaking point.  Why do you think school levies fail so often when they're "just" asking for maybe the "price of a pizza" or "two coffees" each month?

 

In the hypothetical scenario I just laid out, I was not claiming that the power industry would spend a trillion dollars in a single year, but would be something like a 8 to 10 year rollout. There are currently 126 million households in America, so assuming each household saw their bill increase by $1 year year, that would raise over a trillion dollars which the power industry could spend on making the modifications mandated by this hypothetical new law. That's not even close to "two cups of coffee a month" .. we're talking about 9¢ per month.

 

126M x $1/yr x 10 years = $1.26 billion aggregate over 10 years, not $1 trillion.  $1 trillion over 10 years from 126M households would be about $794/yr.  Many of those households will be making less than $30,000/yr.  If you insist on subsidizing those, you'll just be increasing the burden on others.

 

At some point, people have been so frequently bureaucratically bludgeoned that they in some sense just curl into a defensive crouch and say "no, no, no, no."

 

Right... at some point people turn off their brains and let the anti-government, anti-regulation fervor take over.

 

No more than the gun-grabbers, environmental zealots, and other avatars of the unrestrained regulatory state have turned off their brains and let their pro-government, pro-regulation fervor take over.  It's the inverse of the "do something!" impulse.

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My bad, mental math fail -- substitute $1 billion for $1 trillion in my original post. The number was purely hypothetical. My point is, there is a line that must be drawn somewhere. We both agree that some new regulation that costs enormous sums of money to prevent 1 death is not a good idea. And that regulation that saves tens of thousands of lives is probably a good idea. But where the line is drawn between those two extremes is something that can and should be debated and should change over time, not be set in stone. The EPA did not have everything figured out in the GWB administration and to claim that any new EPA regulation enacted during the Obama administration is unnecessary, is incorrect.

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But I'm not claiming that.  The statements "most of the actions the Pruitt EPA is undoing are Obama-era actions" and "most Obama-era EPA actions are being undone by the Pruitt EPA" are not the same.

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That’s true. I tried to find a specific list of Obama era regulations which are now being repealed and couldn’t find any such thing from a reasonably credible source.

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