One Congressman Stands Up For Sanity
Ed Schafer, US Secretary of Agriculture, seems to think we need to bail out the ethanol industry:
Agriculture Secretary Ed Schafer’s statement on Oct. 17 that the U.S. Department of Agriculture could provide ethanol companies that got into trouble by speculating on corn with up to $25 million per company in refinancing has caused a firestorm of criticism among ethanol critics who say he is favoring one segment of agriculture and might waste taxpayer money.
According to a report on Agweb.com, Schafer said at the World Food Prize symposium in Des Moines, Iowa, “There’s going to have to be some credit applied to companies to buy some lower-priced corn to blend with their higher-priced corn. This is important public policy for the country because corn-based ethanol is a stepping stone to energy independence through cellulosic ethanol. We’re going to continue to support it as much as we can. We have the responsibility to make sure we cement in the infrastructure of rural America and ethanol production has increased the economic opportunities, the jobs and the building of rural America.”
One can’t claim that these companies are “too big to fail” or that their failure will endanger our entire economy. One can’t claim, with any sense of honesty, that the ethanol experiment has really done much positive for America. In reality, one can’t say a good word about this mess.
Which just proves, once again, that government is more than willing to engage in theft of tax dollars and redistribution to industry in order to satisfy the politically-correct goal of the day. And nobody will stand up to them… Scratch that– nearly nobody:
Ethanol plants may be the next beneficiary of a federal bailout and Mesa congressman Jeff Flake is among those opposed to that idea.
Flake, a fiscal conservative, panned the plan Wednesday saying federal promotion of ethanol production is the problem. “The federal government’s ethanol policies have driven up the price of corn,” said Flake. “But rather than reforming the policies that have caused a spike in corn prices, the federal government wants to bail out ethanol producers who speculated on the price of corn. Only the U.S. Department of Agriculture could dream up a policy like this.”
Flake said tax breaks and credits for ethanol producers should be repealed. “The high price of corn has had a ripple effect over our entire economy. Instead of trying to bail out every industry hurt by it, the federal government needs to take a serious look at reforming our ethanol policies,” said the East Valley Republican.
I’m never one to look to Congress to solve my problems; nor do I think that elections are likely to improve our collective lot. But it’s good to see someone who wishes to stand athwart the tide, and I can’t say I’d mind seeing a few more like him.