Planet Gore

The Problem with Cash-for-Caulkers

Tim Carney writes in today’s Washington Examiner:

The Obama administration appointee who would run a proposed subsidy program dubbed “Cash for Caulkers” has intimate ties to a company that has lobbied for the bill and would profit from it.

Al Gore acolyte Cathy Zoi, the Energy Department official in charge of energy efficiency, has testified in favor of the caulkers bill, which the House passed last week. She would administer it if it became law and is married to an executive at a window company that has pushed for this legislation. Zoi, formerly chief executive officer of the Gore-initiated Alliance for Climate Protection, also owns stock options in Serious Windows.

The massive lobbying army backing the caulkers bill, and the conflicts of interest bubbling up behind the scenes, is one more hole in President Obama’s sinking claims of being a good-government reformer and a scourge of the special interests.

To portray himself as a reformer, Obama typically frames policy debates as questions of “whose side” you’re on: the American people’s side, or the side of Wall Street, the lobbyists or the special interests. This handily excuses Obama from defending his policies on the substance, while painting critics as corrupt stooges.

In real life, though, most legislative debates pit one company or industry against another. But on the rare occasions that all the special interests are actually unanimous — when Big Business of all stripes breaks bread with Big Labor to feast on the wealth of the hapless taxpayer — Obama is invariably on the side of the Big Guys against the future generations who will foot the bill. This was true in the Wall Street bailout, the Detroit bailout, the stimulus and Cash for Clunkers.

The rest here.

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