Sunday, October 26, 2008

Bailout News

I just read where the $810 Billion taxpayer bailout may now be used for something else than its intended purpose. Does this surprise anyone? When I was asked by Bob Caylor of the News Sentinel my views on the Bailout, I said it was a bad idea. I gave several reasons for it.

A major reason was that there is a finite amount of capital in the world. When the U.S. Treasury borrows money, it consumes a portion of the finite capital. The result can be increased interest rates (demand for limited capital). The world, because sub-prime mortgage backed securities were sold worldwide, is under immense capital pressure. The Congress has decided it knows best where to use that limited capital and chose it to be the mortgage industry.

Now those who may be the recipient of the bailout (taxpayer’s money) may use it to pay dividends, increase salaries, buy other banks or sit on it, building up their reserves. In a roundabout way Congress has directly competed with your needs for borrowed funds. It has decided your needs are secondary to the markets. 535 members of the Senate and House have decided they know better and have the bet the ranch they are right and the American people are wrong.

It is a coin toss. How many would bet the future of this country on a coin toss? Would it not have been more prudent to let millions of entities make individual decisions on where to use the money? If half were wrong would that be worse than if the Congress is wrong? If half were wrong, then half would be right and we would be better off than if Congress proves to be wrong.

The News Sentinel endorsed Souder, even though he voted for the Bailout. The Editorial Staff wrote:

"On this particular issue, our sympathies are more with Pence than Souder. There were other options to consider, including some good, conservative, free-market steps. This “cure” might turn out to be worse than the disease. But Souder is famous for studying the minute details on every side of complicated issues, and he might turn out to be right on this one."

This sounds like a coin toss to me, not very conservative at all.

But Editorial Staff also wrote:

"But this is not a one-issue election. Strong, clear thinking is needed on energy policy, national security and a host of other issues. The thing to keep in mind is that both Souder and Pence bring a coherent, conservative perspective to issues."

Energy is a very important topic. I brought it up in 2002. Who knows more about energy, a mechanical engineer who worked in the nuclear field for ten years, 3 years in the US Navy in a 1200 psi steam propulsion plant, one year in space power, and two publications dealing with high level radioactive waste or two politicians with a background in political science?

Souder backs Nuclear power. This is the second most expensive form of generating electricity there is. In fact with the cost reduction in solar cells and undefined cost of storing radioactive waste for thousands of years, it could easily be the most costly now. There has not been ANY spent nuclear fuel assemblies removed from commercial nuclear reactor. Every radioactive fuel assembly is still stored on site, either in a 40 foot deep pool of water or dry storage. Dry storage casks hold up to about 32 fuel assemblies (10% of a reactor core load or about 1% of 40 years worth of fuel assemblies). These temporary dry storage casks have a 40 year life and cost over half a million dollars each! After 40 years, you have to take them back to the spent fuel pool, lower them into 40 feet of water, remove the fuel assemblies, transfer them to a new cask, purge the cask of air and water, weld the lid on and move the cask to a new location. The old cask is now highly radioactive and must be buried.

We hear a lot about clean coal technology. Is it available now, no? There is still development that needs to be done. Processes have to be identified, equipment needs to be designed, permits have to be obtained, feasibility tests done and a decision to retrofit or build new plants with this technology. Why are we even exploring this alternative?

A recent coal commercial said coal was 1/3 the cost of other sources. This is correct it is cheaper than natural gas, nuclear and solar power. However, it is not cheaper than wind power! Wind power has more potential energy than all the coal in the world! It does not pollute, it does not leave big holes, does not cause black lung disease or trap and kill minors.

I wonder if Souder knows the difference between a therm, kilowatt and Btu?

Again, I ask you who is more qualified to determine our future energy policy, an engineer or political science major?

Finally, there is the last paragraph of the endorsement;

"Also running is Libertarian William Larsen. Sometimes, he makes more sense than anybody; alas, he will be a distant third."

Alas -
used to express unhappiness, pity, or concern


Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home

NBC-33 Debate poll results from 2002