Okay, so the long, long, long dead B-L-W bill got propped up and dragged around for a few days. [Tagline: B-L-W may be dead, but it's the life of the party!] But I think the debate was quite useful for two reasons:
- The opponents of (even modest) action played and overplayed their cards. Now we know that the health and well-being of future generations is of no interest in them. Now we know what their primary arguments will be. This is the opportunity for progressives and moderates and hopefully President Obama to design a better messaging strategy — and to get pro cap and trade businesses to weigh in.
- The many flaws in the bill (other than the fact it wouldn’t actually save the climate) were exposed: not enough money returned to taxpayers, too much money given away to too many groups, too complicated, your flaw here — I’d very much like to hear your ideas for how the bill could be simplified and improved.
I will be offering my recommendations for what a better bill would look like later this month. Clearly the bill should be designed to achieve more reductions and to be easier to explain and defend.
After all, the original Weekend at Bernie’s was kind of fun and made money. But did anybody actually see (and enjoy) Weekend at Bernie’s II? We don’t want a lame remake next year.