Sticking it to the “fly over” states … well, maybe not this year.

Excerpted from IBD, “Potholes Ahead En Route To Welfare State”, Barone,  March 27, 2009

Pres. Obama continues to insist that America cannot enjoy real prosperity again without higher taxes on high earners, a government health insurance program, a cap-and-trade program that amounts to a tax on energy and the effective abolition of secret ballots in unionization elections.

Even though there are large Democratic majorities in both houses of Congress, roadblocks have started to appear.

One has been set up by the Senate Budget Committee. Chairman Kent Conrad of North Dakota, who … has apparently decided that cap-and-trade is off the table for this year.

Cap-and-trade would impose higher costs on coal-fired electric power plants. In states where most electricity is produced from coal, this would mean higher utility bills for consumers and industrial users.

So, Democrats from coal states like North Dakota see energy issues differently from Democrats from coal-free states like California.

There are 25 Democratic senators from states that get 60% or more of their electricity from coal (in North Dakota, the figure is 93%). To get 50 Senate votes on a budget with cap and trade, 17 of those Senators have to discard their regional interests and vote for cap and trade..

So you can see why he was ready to ditch cap-and-trade, which, in any case, addresses a problem — climate change — whose purported evil effects are decades away.

Ditching cap-and-trade, however, may set up another roadblock, since the money the government was going to take out of the private-sector economy was slated for Obama’s middle-class tax cut.

This could get interesting.

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