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Vilsack's Candor: The Agriculture Secretary moves on ethanol.

03/13/2011

Democracy and Power 103:  Government money

In general, the art of government consists in taking as much money as possible from one party of the citizens to give to the other. – Voltaire (1764)

  Vilsack's Candor The Agriculture Secretary moves on ethanol.

 

  Tom Vilsack, the Secretary of Agriculture, is a former governor of Iowa.  Hence, he has long been involved with the ethanol boondoggle.  Amazingly, the Wall Street Journal has discerned a glimmer of hope that Vilsack appreciates the public's growing discontent with the ethanol swindle.

First, Vilsack makes an oblique admission to the ethanol scam, which Republicans and Democrats have subsidized since 1970 along with mandated use and protective tariffs:

"I recognize and appreciate that we'll have to rethink our position on virtually everything we do in terms of where resources are spent," Mr. Vilsack said. "My concern about the tax credit is that we create a cliff rather than a glide path off of that tax credit."

Yes, Voltaire was correct.  Mandates, tariffs and subsidies have created a privileged class, the corn industry, at the expense of higher commodity prices for all Americans and nearly everyone in the world.  Of course, Vilsack is most concerned about the corn industry, and offers a trade off, as The Wall Street Journal quotes Vilsack's solultion:

The "third way, a better way" he floated as an option was to phase out the production tax credit and tariff over time. In return, a bargain might include new "incentives [that] are time limited" for flex-fuel vehicles and the special pumps filling stations need to install to sell higher ethanol-gasoline concentrations like E85.

Flex-fuel vehicles to sell higher ethanol-gasoline coincides exactly with the ethanol industry’s next scheme against America and is consistent with Obama’s green energy insanity.  Remember, even Al Gore admits to the ethanol boondoggle.

Voltaire observed the discontent between the States-General and the absolute rule of kings of the 18th Century.  Alas, political power, deceit and manipulation continues a pace in 21st Century America.