Choices in government
Our lives are built on the choices we make. The same is true of our government.
Some politicians question whether we can afford the Infrastructure Investment Act, and the Build Back Better Act. Of course, we can. It’s just a matter of the choices we make.
The Infrastructure Act has been approved by the Senate and includes repair, and upgrades to roads, railroads, the power grid, broadband expansion, cybersecurity protection and more. The Build Back Better Act builds on that, creating an economy for the future, proposing development of clean energy, investment in small business and working families, lowering drug prices, and among other things, making sure the wealthy and corporations pay their fair share.
While questioning the cost of this, Congress made the choice to add $25 billion more to the National Defense Authorization Act than President Biden proposed. There is an existing tax giveaway bill that sends jobs and profits overseas. A group of Democrats recently introduced the No Tax Breaks for Outsourcing Act (S.714). This would level the playing field for American workers and small businesses by making sure multinational corporations pay the same tax rate on profits earned abroad as they do in the United States.
Whatever you think of these choices, the point is there are many, and we need to let our representatives know what we would choose. The federal government has a great website, Congress.gov. It has many tools and tutorials that everyone can use to follow legislation, and give feedback.
Climate action, carbon pricing and the budget reconciliation
If you want to substantially reduce the amount of CO2 pollution, the root cause of global warming, here’s how.
Make it more costly to use fossil fuels. Create a federal fee for the amount/tons of CO2 produced when fossil fuels are burned. Excessive atmospheric CO2 is responsible for the rapid global warming and the resulting climate change.
Charge the fossil fuel companies fees on their products; coal, oil, or natural gas, as they enter the U.S. economy.
Every year, increase the fee for the amount/tons of CO2 pollution. Will the fossil fuel companies raise their prices? Most likely. This will persuade businesses to transition to cleaner cheaper energy sources.
From those fees collected, on a monthly basis, rebate all the fees back to the American people. Over 60% of the households/individuals will receive rebates adequate to cover any cost increases due to the fossil fuel price increases. Yes, there will be some administrative costs, but those are covered by the fees.
This is a revenue-neutral solution that will significantly reduce our carbon (CO2) pollution. Studies show, and most economists agree, that this is the fastest way to slow the increasing global temperature.
Ever hear of a carbon fee and dividend program? This is it.
To be able to implement this solution, it needs to have a “start.” That “start” is pricing carbon.
Contact your elected officials to ensure that pricing carbon is included in the budget reconciliation.
Each week a bright yellow graphic and headline blares the most recent Carson City Health and Human Services COVID-19 deaths and vaccinated numbers for the Quad County area.
Sadly, there is little or no context of what these numbers mean. For example, let’s consider herd immunity. Harvard’s Coronavirus Resource Center defines this as “… when enough people become immune to a disease to make its spread unlikely. As a result, the entire community is protected, even those who are not themselves immune. Herd immunity is usually achieved through vaccination, but it can also occur through natural infection.”
It is generally accepted that COVID-19 herd immunity is reached around 67%, but the Delta variant may drive this number above 80%.
Did you know that by using the most recent CCHHS numbers one can extrapolate that Carson City is currently over 78% of the eligible population for herd immunity? Simply take the number of fully vaccinated folks (32,393), add the fully recovered (6,899) and divide by the total population over 12 years old (49,989). Isn’t this the end goal for our population to become protected from COVID-19?
Yet, this information is not discussed or headlined by CCHHS or any other public official. One may wonder why? Are the good folks at CCHHS too busy? Or would this information encourage the un-vaccinated to skip “getting the jab”? I’m sure that inquisitive minds would like to know why this is never talked about or headlined.
Climate issues are life issues
Wednesday's paper was interesting: A great column by Carol Edmund on COVID realities above Lynn Muzzy entertaining us with one of his usual "discussions" of issues using incendiary, and sometimes incorrect, language:
"Fossil fuels are relatively inexpensive,” he says. That's true, but only because fossil fuel companies have been subsidized by us, the taxpayers, for many years. They also aren't the ones paying to fight the increasingly intense wildfires caused by the 30-year drought caused by the burning of fossil fuels (mainly). They also aren't paying to replace homes, bridges, trees, roads, and vehicles being destroyed by those wildfires (or hurricanes or tornadoes). It's we, the taxpayers, who are generally paying 75% of those costs; and it is in the billions every year.
Our planet is getting hotter and hotter. He says, "Liberal climate alarmists have weaponized climate change.” This is not a liberal/conservative issue. This is a life issue. We must stop putting carbon dioxide pollution into the atmosphere where it traps the heat and thus warms the earth.
I believe the federal government (Rep. Amodei, Sens. Cortez Masto and Rosen and President Biden) must put a tax on carbon pollution entering the atmosphere, and I want them to give that money back to American households. Our lives will change as we transition away from fossil fuels to sustainable energy. More people will choose to live closer to where they work, work from home when possible, carpool or use mass transit. We'll make other changes as the price of carbon polluting fossil fuels increases, but these can be life-giving changes.
Correctly pricing carbon to reflect its true cost to society will provide an economic boost, create jobs and maintain The U.S.’s competitive edge in a rapidly developing renewable energy economy. Nevada will benefit especially since we have massive solar, wind and geothermal resources.
I encourage you to visit https://citizensclimatelobby.org/ and meet hundreds of thousands of us doing all we can to create a more livable planet for our kids and grandkids.
Keep dark money out of politics
Regardless of your political persuasion, we should all be concerned about “dark money” in political spending.
What is dark money? Dark money refers to funds raised for the purpose of influencing elections by nonprofit organizations or Super PACs not required to disclose the identities of their donors.
Groups aligned with Democratic or Republican parties accounted for $3 in every $10 of dark money in 2020 elections (topping $1 billion). Although Democrats also use dark money sources to win elections, Democrats are pushing to close loopholes allowing dark money to continue influencing elections. H.R. 1, For the Peoples Act, would require any group spending more than $10,000 on political ads to disclose all donors who gave more than $10,000.
As a nonpartisan, independent and nonprofit, OpenSecrets is a research group tracking money in U.S. politics and its impact on elections and public policy. OpenSecrets’ mission is to track the flow of money in American politics and provide the data and analysis to strengthen democracy. OpenSecrets has a nonbiased rating from the website allsides.com.
What can we do to support the transparency necessary for accountability to ensure a healthy democracy? In addition to using nonbiased sources such as OpenSecrets to see what organizations are using dark money to finance political candidates or issues, you can also contact your congressional representative in Washington, D.C. and let them know you support H.R. 1 For the Peoples Act.
Allow opt-out of mail bill
I sent this email to the city on Sept. 26. I realize directors are busy but the practice of sending paper copies of water bills when an email copy was also sent is costing Carson City hundreds of thousands a year. The labor, paper, envelope, ink, and computer time could cost up to a $1 a bill.
I pay my water bill automatically by a credit card with an email receipt. I also receive a mailed copy with a return envelope which is a waste of money. Please stop sending the mail copy.
Simon best candidate
Regarding “Amodei still considering run for governor,” U.S. Rep. Mark Amodei had little good to say about the current field of candidates vying for the Republican nomination for governor. Too bad ace reporter Ray Hagar left off his list perhaps the best organized and well-funded candidate, Dr. Fred Simon, who has gotten off to a strong start.
Simon is the only one who seems to have grasped the challenges Nevadans have been dealing with under complete Democrat political control. He should interview Simon and get back to us with his thoughts.