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Iowa GOP Losing Interest In Subsidies

The long-standing “sacred cow” of Iowa politics may not be sacred anymore.

From The Iowa Republican:

A recent survey of likely Republican caucus goers shows that support of federal subsidies for the ethanol industry has waned significantly in recent years. The poll, which was commissioned by TheIowaRepublican.com, finds that Iowa Republicans view a candidate who supports ending federal ethanol subsidies more favorably than a candidate who doesn’t.

The survey asked, “Some of the candidates have proposed to end federal subsidies for ethanol. Do you have a very positive, somewhat positive, somewhat negative, or very negative reaction to candidates taking this position?” Forty-seven percent responded by answering very or somewhat positive. Only 24 percent of respondents said that they had a negative reaction to a candidate who is campaigning against ethanol subsidies.

This is quite a change from previous Presidential election years.

Paul Abrams at The Huffington Post doesn’t appear to have gotten the memo:

In the circus masquerading as the Republican Iowa caucus, there has been nary a word about ethanol subsidies, a major issue for Iowans.

But, where do these budget-cutting, waste-fraud-abuse claiming, shrinking-government demanding, laissez-faire extolling candidates stand on ethanol subsidies? The subsidies have been around a long, long time.

Consider the implication of this change in Iowa: The biggest obstacle to cutting government spending has been the “public trough” effect- the notion that voters would resist cutting excessive spending immediately beneficial to themselves. This effect has been particularly strong in Iowa, where ethanol subsidies were considered so sacred that every Presidential candidate had to publicly favor them or throw away any chance of success in that state.

We all know the left counts on this lack of self-deprivation as a safeguard against serious budget cuts. If Abrams’ comments are any indication, the prospect of Iowans adopting some measure of self-discipline with regard to federal taxpayer dollars terrifies the left.

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