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Tags: Federal | Light | Bulb | Ban.China jobs | Tea Party | Millionaires Get Unemployment Benefits | Republican Jewish Coalition

Federal Light Bulb Ban Gives China Jobs

By    |   Sunday, 10 October 2010 01:57 PM EDT

Insider Report

Headlines (Scroll down for complete stories):
1. Federal Light Bulb Ban Creating Jobs in China
2. Tea Party to Battle GOP Senators in 2012
3. 3,000 Millionaires Get Unemployment Benefits
4. Republican Jewish Coalition Unveils Advocacy Campaign
5. Spitzer’s New CNN Show a Double-Barreled Flop
6. We Heard: Jeb Bush, Charles Gasparino, Sarah Palin

1. Federal Light Bulb Ban Creating Jobs in China

A federal law banning ordinary incandescent light bulbs has already had a negative effect on the American economy — GE has closed its last major bulb producing factory in the United States, creating job opportunities in China.

Legislation enacted in 2007 orders the phase-out of incandescent light bulbs beginning with the 100-watt bulb in 2012 and ending with the 40-watt light in 2014. These bulbs cannot meet efficiency requirements dictated by law.

Compact fluorescent lights (CFLs) are the least expensive alternative. But the manufacture of CFLs is “labor intensive and too expensive to be done at U.S. wage rates,” according to a report from The Heartland Institute, which estimates that domestically produced CFLs would be 50 percent more expensive than bulbs manufactured in China.

So instead of retrofitting its plant in Winchester, Va., to produce CFLs, GE closed the plant in September and laid off 200 workers.

CFLs are already being manufactured in China, and increasing American demand will no doubt create new jobs there.

As the Insider Report disclosed earlier, while CFLs use about 75 percent less energy than incandescent bulbs and last far longer, they cost significantly more, take longer to turn on, can flicker, and contain small amounts of highly toxic mercury, which creates problems for users when they break or need to be disposed of after they burn out.

“Environmental activists and their allies in Washington were either too ignorant of basic economics to see these job losses coming, or they were simply too callous to really care,” said Heartland Institute science director Jay Lehr.

“Either way, compact fluorescent light bulbs in the real world fail to live up to environmental promises, unnecessarily subject American households to toxic mercury, produce poor-quality light, and are sending American workers to the unemployment line.”

And Sam Kazman, general counsel for the Competitive Enterprise Institute, said: “If the new energy-saving technologies being pushed by government are really that good, then we don’t need government to mandate them. And if they are being mandated, that’s a sure sign that they’re not very good.”

Three Republican members of Congress — Joe Barton, Marsha Blackburn and Michael Burgess — have introduced a bill that would repeal the ban on the incandescent bulb.

The three said in an article on The Daily Caller: “The unanticipated consequence of the ’07 act — layoffs in the middle of a desperate recession — is what sometimes happens when politicians think they know better than consumers and workers.”

Editor's Note:

2. Tea Party to Battle GOP Senators in 2012

Tea party activists are working to defeat Democrats in the November elections, but they are already setting their sights on unseating several Republican senators in 2012.

The targets: senators who have supported big government and higher spending, including Olympia Snowe and Richard Lugar.

Sen. Snowe of Maine supported President Barack Obama’s stimulus bill and was the only Republican to vote for his healthcare reform bill in the Senate Finance Committee. Conservative businessman Scott D’Amboise, who ran for the House in 2006, has already announced plans to challenge Snowe in 2012, the Wall Street Journal reported.

In Indiana, Monica Boyer, president of Silent No More — a group that sympathizes with the tea party movement — says her group will begin searching for an opponent to Richard Lugar the day after the midterm elections.

“Tea party activists have put these and other incumbents on notice that the anti-establishment sentiment defining this year’s politics will not end on Election Day 2010,” according to the Journal.

The activists who oppose center-leaning Republicans have been emboldened by the primary victories of several tea party favorites who defeated mainstream Republicans, ousting Robert Bennett in Utah, Mike Castle in Delaware, and Lisa Murkowski in Alaska.

In response, the Journal reports, Republican legislators “are already taking steps to burnish their conservative credentials.”

Editor's Note:

3. 3,000 Millionaires Get Unemployment Benefits

With the economy plunging into recession in 2008, nearly 3,000 American millionaires collected jobless benefits that year, according to Internal Revenue Service data.

The IRS said 2,840 households reporting at least $1 million in income in 2008 collected a total of $18.6 million in unemployment benefits. Of those households, 806 had incomes over $2 million and 17 had incomes over $10 million.

“It’s a larger number than I would have expected, but people at any income level can lose their jobs,” Alan Viard, resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute, told Bloomberg.com.

In addition, 8,011 households reporting income between $500,000 and $1 million claimed jobless benefits totaling $52.8 million in 2008. No IRS numbers are available yet for 2009.

Unemployment benefits are insurance, so the program is not need-based and anyone who loses a job is entitled to compensation.

A year earlier, 2007, “so few millionaires collected jobless benefits that the IRS said it refused to publish the data for fear their identities could be detected in violation of confidentiality laws,” Bloomberg reported.

Overall, 9.5 million taxpayers received $43.7 billion in jobless benefits in 2008.

The federal government has helped pay unemployment benefits beyond the 26 weeks paid for by the states, but federal aid is scheduled to expire in November.

Editor's Note:

4. Republican Jewish Coalition Unveils Advocacy Campaign

The Republican Jewish Coalition (RJC) says it is spending “significantly more” than $1 million on a major issue advocacy campaign covering eight states.

The effort will include television ads in key markets, 56 full-page ads in 23 newspapers, 2 million pieces of direct mail, live issue advocacy phone calls, and a major grassroots mobilization, including literature drops and phone banking by RJC members.

The RJC will focus on both foreign and domestic policy issues. The first ads can now be seen on the RJC website. That page will be updated weekly as new ads are released.

The eight states are California, Florida, Illinois, Missouri, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Washington, and Nevada.

RJC Executive Director Matthew Brooks said: “Like all Americans, the Jewish community faces critical issues today, issues that will determine what kind of America and what kind of world our children and grandchildren will inherit from us.

“We want to educate the community about these issues and encourage the community to question the status quo, to examine the issues thoughtfully, and to make informed decisions.

“American Jews have the privilege and obligation to be active participants in our democratic process, and they should be knowledgeable participants as well. From the state of our economy, to the loss of jobs, to the exploding debt and deficit, to the prospect of a nuclear Iran, to U.S.-Israel relations and the peace process, the stakes have never been higher.”

The first ads include shots at three Democrats: California Sen. Barbara Boxer (“Barbara Boxer says she’s a friend to Israel. But real friends stand up when the chips are down.”), Pennsylvania Rep. Joe Sestak (“Joe Sestak: Wrong on Israel”), and Alexi Giannoulias, who is running for Barack Obama’s Senate seat in Illinois (“Alexi Giannoulias: A troubling pattern of funding anti-Israel groups”).

Editor's Note:

5. Spitzer’s New CNN Show a Double-Barreled Flop

Former New York Gov. Eliot Spitzer’s new prime-time news show on CNN has been hammered on two fronts, drawing scathing reviews and dismal ratings.

“Parker Spitzer,” which he co-hosts with conservative columnist Kathleen Parker, premiered at 8 p.m. Monday and attracted 454,000 viewers, about the same number that were watching recently fired Rick Sanchez while he was subbing and “turning in CNN’s worst 8 p.m. ratings in three years during that time slot,” Business Insider reported.

In the same time slot, Fox News Channel’s “The O’Reilly Factor” had about 3.1 million viewers on Monday evening, and MSNBC’s “Countdown with Keith Olbermann” had about 1.1 million.

Even Nancy Grace’s show on CNN sister network HLN beat Spitzer’s debut effort with 468,000 viewers, according to Nielsen.

The new show also failed to impress TV critics. The Baltimore Sun’s David Zurawik called the program “a load of obnoxious, self-important noise.”

Inside Cable News said the show “debuts with a colossal thud.”

And David Hinckley of the New York Daily News said the show is “unlikely to quicken viewer pulses, Spitzer’s likability numbers or CNN’s stagnant ratings.”

Democrat Spitzer resigned as governor in March 2008 in the wake of disclosures about his involvement with a prostitution ring.

Editor's Note:

5. We Heard …

THAT former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush will serve as a visiting fellow at Harvard University this fall.

Bush will spend the week of Nov. 15 at the John F. Kennedy School of Government’s Institute of Politics, the Boston Globe reported.

Fellows typically meet with student groups, lead discussions and participate in classes.

Institute of Politics Interim Director John C. Culver said in a statement: “Jeb Bush’s public service experience governing one of our nation's largest states will certainly be of interest to our students, faculty, and university community.”

THAT Fox Business Network Senior Correspondent Charles Gasparino has been named one of America’s 15 Most Important Economic Journalists by The Daily Beast website.

The site canvassed 100 “industry insiders and academics” to compile the list, and called Gasparino “the best business reporter on TV. A man of abrasive charm, he is often described as the ‘Rocky Balboa’ of Fox Business News.”

Gasparino’s latest book, “Bought and Paid For: The Unholy Alliance Between Barack Obama and Wall Street,” was published on Tuesday.

THAT Irish bookmakers have listed Mitt Romney and Sarah Palin as the favorites to win the Republican presidential nomination in 2012.

The bookmaking agency Paddy Power has Romney at 11-4 odds and Palin at 4-1 to garner the GOP nod. They are followed by Mike Huckabee at 6-1, Tim Pawlenty, John Boehner and John Thune at 8-1, and Newt Gingrich, Haley Barbour and Mitch Daniels at 12-1.

The longest shot is Laura Bush at 500-1.

But any Republican nominee would lose to President Obama, the bookmakers say — his odds of winning re-election are 8-11.

Editor's Note:

Editor's Notes:

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Insider ReportHeadlines (Scroll down for complete stories):1. Federal Light Bulb Ban Creating Jobs in China 2. Tea Party to Battle GOP Senators in 2012 3. 3,000 Millionaires Get Unemployment Benefits 4. Republican Jewish Coalition Unveils Advocacy Campaign 5. Spitzer s...
Federal,Light,Bulb,Ban.China jobs,Tea Party,Millionaires Get Unemployment Benefits,Republican Jewish Coalition,Jeb Bush,Charles Gasparino,Sarah Palin,Eliot Spitzer
Sunday, 10 October 2010 01:57 PM
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