- The Washington Times - Friday, April 3, 2009

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

You can tell a lot about people’s priorities from how they spend their money. What does it say that the Obama administration has cash not only for the banking and auto industries but also for a scheme to fix global warming? It says there is more political hay to be made from saving union jobs and extending welfare than there is catering to a fringe special interest.

The Sierra Club is giving all its attention to the bankers and automakers, even as the Democrats continue to ride in their cars to the ball. One would think that the imminent danger supposedly posed by carbon emissions would warrant an immediate cash infusion instead of taking a back seat to more temporal issues.

After all the angst about how we have ignored the environment for too long, we should have expected an atmospheric bailout, followed by a hubcap-and-trade policy to save the auto industry. If we can create jobs by taxing the energy companies into green power, why can we not save the United Auto Workers by taxing the auto industry into green transportation?

Government regulations have led to the downfall of two of our biggest giants: the auto industry and the financial sector. It was not greed that took down Wall Street, it was the Community Reinvestment Act. Cap and trade will eventually bring down another giant, and we will all be looking to Uncle Sam for one of our basic needs: electricity.

Capitalism may indeed breed greed, but greed must still submit to competition. Competition begets quality and value, two attributes we want in cars, health care and energy. Before we outlaw wealth and greed, just remember that the average poor person has a car, a home and a cell phone. The only difference is that the average rich person has two of each.

BRAD SMITH

Rock Hill, S.C.

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