An Open Letter to Santa

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Environment, Macroeconomics

Dear Santa:

I am so relieved that it appears you have averted bankruptcy (readers, see previous post).  Perhaps instead of making a bunch of toy requests, I thought you might be able to wield some of your media relations budget this week toward a few items involving metal buyers and producers.

But first and foremost, I would like to thank you for the early holiday gift of not having the US commit to any carbon emissions reductions unilaterally or without the full backing of the US Congress. You see Santa, we all act with good intentions, wanting to help the Earth and keeping the air clean for your transport fleet but the reality is that the whole notion of carbon cap and trade is problematic. First, our friends in Europe have shown us that their system doesn’t even reduce emissions. And if those rules don’t actually reduce emissions, then why do it in the first place? I think I know the answer to that one to raise taxes. But that’s such a silly thing to do when an economy remains tepid and so many people do not have jobs. Second, any unilateral commitment made on the part of the US without other large carbon emitters also joining in, would have a devastating impact on US producers that would ultimately hurt all buyers in the form of much higher prices.

So thank you Santa for that early gift. Here is an additional list of requests:

  1. Please do what you can to see if China can readjust their currency rates as soon as possible.  With fewer imports, we may all have a chance to reduce our trade deficit but more important, level the global playing field
  2. I’d also ask you to do what you can to help the US Congress reduce its urge to tax businesses and more important, arbitrarily tax different types of businesses (e.g. taxing medical device companies to help pay for health care reform)
  3. Well, now that we are talking about taxes in regard to a health care bill, we ask that you suggest to Congress that they spread the pain of tax increases more equitably and our first suggestion would be a little tort reform please!
  4. Last, if we are going to enact a “jobs bill here in the US (which many believe does nothing to help the economy) please just make it 100% stimulus and not a bunch of social welfare programs that fail to actually stimulate new job creation (after all, the research is pretty clear that lengthier unemployment benefits increase unemployment!). Santa, please ask the Senate to not introduce a $154b “jobs bill passed by the House if it includes  $79b of social programs (fully). Santa, how can a bill be called a “jobs bill if 51% of it doesn’t go toward jobs???

Sorry for the rant Santa but some of this legislation will have a chilling effect on our overall economy. Anything you can do would be most appreciated.

–Lisa Reisman

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