I'm going to keep this simple. There is a big con going on, and it is outrageous.
Tuesday night's "Memo" is using some information developed by Rolling Stone magazine, which did a good job on this cap-and-trade deceit.
Cap-and-trade, it's easy. The feds tell heavy industry what they can spew into the air. If a company goes over the emission amount, they must buy so-called carbon offsets from another company. So the companies that keep emissions low make money, and the companies that spew lots of gunk make less money. Of course, the gunk companies will pass their higher costs on to us, but hey, no program is perfect, right?
Now, less gunk in the air is good. A cleaner planet means better health for all of us. But already, India, China, Mexico and other countries have told President Obama they will not limit emissions. They don't really care about global warming. So even if we cap-and-trade all day long, the Earth will continue to be dirty.
But that's not the con. Here it comes. Some big corporations will make billions off this cap-and-trade deal. Let's take one vivid example.
Goldman Sachs is a goliath investment company that pays very little tax. In fact, last year in the teeth of the recession, Goldman made more than $2 billion in profit and, according to the Associated Press, paid its CEO Lloyd Blankfein about $43 million. Let me repeat: Old Lloyd made $43 million bucks in 2008. But Goldman Sachs paid zero in federal income tax. Let me repeat: Goldman made $2 billion and paid nothing in federal tax.
A quick aside: President Obama and the Democrats want to raise taxes on high-earning Americans to pay for health care. But Goldman-Sachs gets a pass.
Back to cap-and-trade. Goldman owns a 10 percent stake in the Chicago Climate Exchange, where the cap-and-trade deals will be made. On each deal a commission will be paid. Goldman Sachs stands to vacuum up money. Did I mention the company pays very little tax?
Also, Goldman employees gave President Obama's campaign close to $1 million. Did I mention that?
Ready for more? Guess who has also invested heavily in cap-and-trade? Hello, Al Gore. He's started a company named Generation Investment Management, which will also profit big time if the cap-and-trade deal becomes law. Since Al Gore launched his global warming crusade, his net worth has increased 5,000 percent to more than $100 million, according to Investors Business Daily. As they say on Wall Street, Mr. Gore is hot. Pardon the pun.
So let's recap. Global warming is bad, but cap-and-trade will not affect it much because China and India will continue to pollute. Big corporations like Goldman Sachs and big guys like Al Gore could make many millions of dollars off cap-and-trade, while the regular folks will pay more for just about everything.
That definitely sounds like change — change Mr. Gore and Goldman Sachs can believe in.
And that's "The Memo."
Pinheads & Patriots
The State Farm Insurance company did a nice thing on Monday. It donated $5,000 to the Boys & Girls Clubs of America for every home run hit in the All-Star Home Run Competition, won by Milwaukee Brewer first baseman Prince Fielder. In the end, $665,000 will go to the kids, so State Farm is patriotic.
On the pinhead front, we don't need no bleepin' bathing suits. 232 skinny-dippers set a Guinness World Record for naked swimming at a resort north of Phoenix, Arizona. Since it's about 115 degrees in Phoenix, clothing can be optional, but it might be wise to pick your spots.
By the way, working out long before skinny-dipping might be a plan, if you know what I mean. As for the dippers, you decide if they are pinheads.