- The Washington Times - Wednesday, February 13, 2013

It’s a pricey policy landscape. According to National Taxpayers Union Foundation’s line-by-line analysis of President Obama’s most expensive State of the Union address yet: his 40 proposals weighed in at $83.4 billion worth of quantifiable agenda items. But wait. That could balloon to $100.4 billion, depending on how Mr. Obama deals with the looming sequester March 1.

From a historic perspective, President Clinton’s 1999 State of the Union still represents the largest agenda ever proposed, at $327 billion in increased spending the watchdog group says. Meanwhile, the researchers also have determined the costliest single agenda item among Mr. Obama’s proposals this time around. That would be “combating climate change,” otherwise known as cap-and-trade, priced at $282.4 billion.

THE BIG WIND

Climate alarmists, Al Gore in particular, likely rejoiced when President Obama dwelled on global warming and violent weather events during the aforementioned address, which drew about 30 million viewers, according to initial Nielsen numbers. Informed observers were cool to Mr. Obama’s predictions.

“The president offered up nothing more than the usual incorrect global warming platitudes during his speech. The president could not have been more wrong in claiming ‘extreme weather’ was ‘now more frequent and intense’ and he failed to note that global temperatures have not increased in 16 years,” says Marc Morano, publisher of Climate Depot, a news site focused on the follies of global warming.

“The one part of the president’s speech that concerns me most is he would pursue global warming actions by executive actions. There is no role laid out for Congress, or for the courts for that matter,” observes James L. Johnston, senior fellow in economic policy at the Heartland Institute. “The agenda is an 80 percent reduction in energy consumption by 2111 and a 40 percent reduction by 2030. Those goals cannot be achieved without serious reduction in the standard of living in the United States and the rest of the world. Be afraid. Be very afraid.”

RADIO RON PAUL

Former presidential hopeful and straight-talking libertarian hero Ron Paul makes his national radio debut in mid-March. His broadcast offering is “Ron Paul’s America,” a twice-daily syndicated commentary plus a weekly podcast, packaged by the Beverly Hills, Calif.-based Courtside Entertainment Group, which also counts Laura Ingraham and Bill O’Reilly in its stable.

Mr. Paul wins praise for developing “a significant and loyal following” from Norm Pattiz, founder of Courtside and uber-radio syndicator Westwood One.

It’s all proof that the former Texas lawmaker, age 77, is not done yet.

“I am very excited to take the message of freedom to more people than ever, especially now when our country needs it so much,” Mr. Paul says. “Radio and podcasting are a much more powerful means of communication than speaking on the floor of Congress.”

CHENEY’S COUNSEL

“If you’re not prepared to have critics and be the subject of criticism, you’re in the wrong line of work. If you want to be loved, go be a movie star. If I had to do it over again, I’d do it in a minute.”

— Former vice president Dick Cheney, on the nature of his long career in public service and in wartime, as told to film director R.J. Cutler in the upcoming Showtime documentary, “The World According to Dick Cheney.”

TRUMPALISCIOUS

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