by Patrick Appel

A reader writes:

Quoting Patrick:
Why not tie a carbon tax to temperature?
There won't be a carbon tax. There won't be cap and trade either. There also won't be any real reform of banking regulation, or any other critical piece of legislation that goes against the interests of any powerful industry. What we just witnessed in the health care reform debate is the canary in the coal mine for addressing the real problems in our country. With the ongoing need to get 60 Senators to approve of any legislation it is far too easy for industry to peel off the one vote they need to shut down reform.

Sure, the health care reform bill that's likely to pass at this point has many potentially positive things, but nothing in that bill has any negative consequence for the private health insurance industry.

Ultimately the bill as passed will be a boon to them with huge subsidies and a mandate pumping billions of dollars into the health insurance industry. The controls put on them are minimal and are unlikely to diminish their profit margins. We are papering over the problems with tax dollars, and leaving the industry to operate as it has.

So there isn't going to be change. There isn't going to be any real reform. There will be a minor tweaking of the status quo because that's what the moneyed interests want. I hope to be proven wrong but I'm REALLY doubtful.

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