Tag Archives: subsidies

GOP Candidates Continue to Toss Money Down Cornhole

Gilligan-s-Island-Mr-and-Mrs-Howell-classic-television-revisited-3727152-435-326The really big difference between Republican and Democrat handout recipients is their ability to be sympathetically photogenic. When pressed, the average Democrat welfare recipient can hide the flat–screen TV, stash the cellphone in a drawer and refrain from cigarette smoking. And it’s not too much trouble to pretend to fill out the job application or limp convincingly to prove the bad back disability claim as long as photographers and media are around.

The Republican dependency class is another genus entirely. Empathy generating photo shoots and news coverage for these check–cashers is simply a non–starter. Hiding the Rolex, wheeling the executive jet inside the hangar, displacing the butler from the servant’s quarters and convincing the first wife to pretend to supervise the caterer is just too difficult to organize.

If Democrat welfare beneficiaries can avoid arrest, making jihad videos and Judge Judy the money continues to arrive completely free of social disapproval.

Not so for GOP crony capitalists. These leeches fight a two front war: Prevent competition and confuse conservatives. They are loud and proud “job creators,” economic mainstays and incubators of breakthrough technology! All the favored crony industry requires for total success is billions of taxpayer dollars in perpetuity while the people who supply the tax dollars maintain a discrete and respectful silence.

And Republican officeholders must pretend the conservative market principles they espouse in campaign commercials somehow don’t apply to this particular crony.

A disappointing number of 2016 GOP presidential candidates recently did just that in Iowa during the quadrennial Pour Money Down the Cornhole Festival otherwise known as the Iowa Ag Summit.

There Republican presidential candidates worship the ethanol subsidy and praise ethanol entrepreneurs for their selfless addiction to subsidies and environmental fairy tales.

The Renewable Fuel Standards law requires all gasoline refined in the US be 10 percent ethanol. Ethanol is the wonder product, made from corn, which makes gasoline more costly while reducing miles per gallon and increasing wear on internal combustion engines.

Diluting perfectly efficient gas with ethanol is like forcing mom to add sawdust to her cake recipe to protect our valuable flour stockpile. Sure the additional roughage keeps dad regular, but wear and tear on teeth and the occasional oven fire — not to mention that Home Depot flavor — doesn’t come close to compensating for the missing wheat.

The same is true for ethanol, all at a cost to taxpayers of $6 billion a year in handouts.

Somehow those facts didn’t make it into the spiel GOP mega contributor and summit sponsor Bruce Rastetter made.

Ethanol supporters would have one believe that before the bill was passed requiring refineries to dilute your gasoline, corn grew wild in Iowa and no one was even aware there was a use for the weed, other than the occasional frontier corn fritter. And even after wise agronomists in Washington started throwing money at corn farmers the fuel market was controlled by sinister forces that prevented innovation.

Just like the whale oil cartel prevented widespread drilling for oil until the early 60’s.

As columnist Paul Driessen wrote Rastetter’s pitch to the assembled candidates was pointed and effective: Failure to support ethanol handouts in Iowa means no victory in the 2016 caucus and no chance for the GOP nomination.

Naturally Big Government Republicans didn’t require much in the way of pressure to crumble. Jeb Bush said corny gasoline reduces the demand for imported oil. Mike Huckabee said it’s a way for the nation to “fuel itself.” (No pun intended.) And Lindsay Graham solemnly stated “Every gallon of ethanol … is one less gallon you have to buy from people who hate your guts,” which makes you wonder when Obama started pumping gas.

Rick Santorum, trying to get someone to pay attention, thought the RFS means something besides oil and natural gas “are allowed into [the energy] stream.” And Scott Walker was a profile in cowardice as he abandoned his 2006 call for an end to ethanol subsidies.

Rick Perry split the difference and wanted to end federal ethanol subsidies, but said that individual states could choose to be a foster parent for corn, which is at least a Constitutionally valid stance and would exempt most states that don’t grow corn and corn lobbyists.

The only candidates claiming to be conservative supporters of market competition and having the courage to tell Iowa voters the subsidy spigot should be turned off were Ted Cruz, Rand Paul and Marco Rubio — although Rubio did refer to corn as “maize.”

There’s an old song about moonshiners called “White Lightening” with a refrain that goes “Mighty, mighty pleasin’ my pappy’s corn squeezin’s.” Until Republicans can stop “pleasin’” crony capitalists with subsidies at the expense of the public, taxpayers will continue to be subject to regular “squeezin.”

White House adviser: Obama and Senate powerless against TEA Partiers .. or something

The White House is now admitting that it is powerless against the TEA party freshmen in the House of Representatives. David Plouffe, a senior Obama adviser said “We’re not going to make progress on the deficit, on things we can do right now for jobs, on tax cuts, unless those 30 or 40 Tea Party members of the Republican House stop being the focal point of our discussion”.

So unless the Conservative freshmen quit leading, the Obama administration and Democrat Senate can’t get anything done. Controlling half of Congress and the White House isn’t enough, without a mandate – Obama is impotent.

By Plouffe’s admission, the White House is now realizing what almost 200 million Americans already know – Obama is unable to lead and Harry Reid is nothing more than a do-nothing obstructionist. Now, they are trying to spin the news as some in Congress are stepping-up to fill the void left by an ineffective President and Senate. Elections do have consequences Mr. Plouffe.

This  “blame the TEA partiers” kerfluffle is over the latest in an almost three year string of continuing resolutions (CR) being used to fund the government until the Democrat-led Senate passes a budget – if Harry Reid’s band of do-nothings ever passes a budget.

At just over a trillion dollars, this CR left the House with $3.7 Billion to fund FEMA for disasters which was offset by $200 million in cuts to alternative energy subsidies – one of Obama’s so-called loopholes.

Plouffe also used the “stop playing politics” line now becoming tired rhetoric from the current administration. He said that the House version of the bill would cost jobs. How? By cutting the gifts to green energy companies?  Solyndra anyone?

While Plouffe and Reid are complaining that the TEA partiers are holding the government hostage, so far the House freshmen are the only ones driving responsible funding bills. The GOP-led House is the only body to pass a budget.

After the bill was voted down in the Senate, leader Harry Reid offered a substitute that re-instated the tax payer subsidies and grants to alternative energy companies. While a procedural vote is scheduled for Monday, the bill is expected to suffer a quick death as it does not offer any offsets to the increased spending that it requires.

Whining seems to be the modus operandii of the Obama administration lately:

  • Complaining that the top 1% don’t pay enough in taxes (they pay 38% of all income taxes)
  • Whining to the Congressional Black Caucus that they are whining (this is probably accurate)
  • Complaining that Conservatives are getting too much attention (more than twice the number of Americans identify as Conservative vs. Liberal Mr. President)
  • Crying that the TEA Party freshmen won’t let him spend as much as he wants (elections have consequences)

The President may want to listen to his own speeches. In his most recent address to the Congressional Black Caucus he told them to “quit complaining, quit crying..” – it is often best to take your own advice if you want others to follow Mr. President.