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Posted at 11:25 AM ET, 11/22/2010

The next big GOP intra-party war: Ethanol subsidies?

By Greg Sargent

Is there a new intra-GOP war brewing -- a sequel to the Tea Party's big victory in the battle over earmarks?

Fresh off a big victory over the GOP establishment on earmarks, conservative GOP senators are opening up a new front in the battle on government spending that could be similar to the earmarks standoff: They are calling on Congress to let billions in ethanol subsidies expire.

Senators Jim DeMint and Tom Coburn, two leading conservative Senators who have pushed the GOP to be serious about its anti-spending rhetoric, told me they are calling on fellow Republicans to urge Congress to allow ethanol subsidies to expire -- something that could put other leading GOP Senators in an awkward spot and subject them (in theory) to the wrath of the anti-government-spending Tea Party if they don't go along.

As conservative writer Timothy Carney argued the other day, the question of whether to let the ethanol subsidies expire is the perfect test of whether the GOP is serious about its anti-spending rhetoric, since some senators -- such as Orrin Hatch and Chuck Grassley -- have supported them in the past.

With billions in ethanol subsidies set to expire this year, including a 45-cent-a-gallon tax credit for ethanol blenders that heaped nearly $5 billion on to the deficit last year, it appears senators DeMint and Coburn are dead serious about pressing the point.

DeMint, who bucked the GOP establishment by successfully rounding up enough support for an earmarks ban, said in a statement emailed my way:

"Government mandates and tax subsidies for ethanol have led to decreased gas mileage, adversely effected the environment and increased food prices. Washington must stop picking winners and losers in the market, and instead allow Americans to make choices for themselves."

"We need to let the ethanol subsidies expire and we need energy developed based on market forces," Senator Coburn added in an interview with me. He said Senators who are not willing to let them expire are "just protecting a parochial interest ahead of the national interest."

Coburn added that a failure to let the subsidies expire would show that Republicans were not heeding the message their electoral victory sent about reining in spending -- precisely what Tea Partyers argued about earmarks.

"What we need to quit doing is digging the hole deeper," Coburn said. "I thought a lot of Americans said that on November 2nd. There shouldn't be anything that's sacrosanct."

This offers Dems an opening to exacerbate GOP divisions, and creates the prospect of an unusual alliance between conservative Republicans and green groups who are urging Dems to get serious about nixing the subsidies. As Steve Benen noted the other day, pushing for an expiration of the subsidies "could be a carefully-applied wedge, driving divisions between the party's activists and the party's corporate benefactors."

It's hard to know right now whether the ethanol subsidies issue has any chance of gaining the traction the battle over earmarks did. It will depend on how hard DeMint pushes the issue, and also on whether it catches fire among Tea Partyers and right wing bloggers, as the earmarks fight did. But this is definitely one that bears watching.

By Greg Sargent  | November 22, 2010; 11:25 AM ET
Categories:  2010 elections, Senate Dems, Senate Republicans, Tea Party  
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Comments

Kill ethanol subsidies. Waste of money, inflates corn prices, does nothing for the environment.

The money would be better spent on sending everybody in America a solar panel.

Posted by: Kevin_Willis | November 22, 2010 11:28 AM | Report abuse

Yes, kill the ethanol subsidies. The whole project is too expensive and the money can be more efficiently used in other alternative energy projects.


But more important, what does JOHNNY PISTOLE think ???

Posted by: RedDogs | November 22, 2010 11:32 AM | Report abuse

Good God. Someone has to do away with that environmentally destructive boondoggle. If it's the Tea Party, more power to 'em.

Posted by: klautsack | November 22, 2010 11:34 AM | Report abuse

I thought they already got rid of the ethanol subsidies.

Anyway, it is clear that ethanol is not a good source of alternative energy.


Alternative Energy has to be carefully watched for its 1) Costs and 2) Actual energy efficiency.


There have been studies which have found that ethanol takes up to 85% of the energy in a gallon - to produce a gallon. So the energy yield is only 15%.

That is separate from the costs of ethanol.

Anyway, this is not an argument against alernative energy - it is focused on ethanol which really is not working out too well. Ironically, the Brazilians may have a better product with sugar-can based ethanol - on both the Cost and Energy efficiency standards.

Posted by: RedDogs | November 22, 2010 11:38 AM | Report abuse

Kill ethanol subsidies? Absolutely! I'd rather see that money spent on algae oil R & D, and other renewables that do not displace food production.

Posted by: suekzoo1 | November 22, 2010 11:41 AM | Report abuse

Kill ethanol subsidies!

Posted by: sbj3 | November 22, 2010 11:48 AM | Report abuse

So if the tea is successful is it still a bunch of chumps and rubes?


In the House, Frank Lucas is likely going to chair the House Agriculture Committee. He's a big ethanol guy from Oklahoma.

Posted by: NoVAHockey | November 22, 2010 11:53 AM | Report abuse

What's the issue? Don;t subsidies distort the market? Therefore proper Republican doctrine should eliminate them.

PS: That applies to farms, as well.

Posted by: AMviennaVA | November 22, 2010 11:54 AM | Report abuse

Kill ethanol subsidies!

Kill corn & soy subsidies!

Posted by: Ethan2010 | November 22, 2010 11:54 AM | Report abuse

This is what I call "Change We Can Believe In".

It would have been interesting to have seen the politics if Obama had (seriously) proposed something like this in his first budget back in 2009.

Posted by: jnc4p | November 22, 2010 12:03 PM | Report abuse

@suekzoo: "Kill ethanol subsidies? Absolutely! I'd rather see that money spent on algae oil R & D, and other renewables that do not displace food production."

Is there a single one of us here that wants to defend the subsidies? It seems like we're all against the government buying votes from big agribusiness with tax payer dollars.

Posted by: Kevin_Willis | November 22, 2010 12:09 PM | Report abuse

Greg, I can tell that no Repubs on the Hill will speak to you because you aren't a journalist.

Anyway, I'll fill you in as you don't have access. The House will not put the subsidies into the next annual budget bill. End of story.

Posted by: illogicbuster | November 22, 2010 12:10 PM | Report abuse

Sounds like bipartisan support to me!

Posted by: Michigoose | November 22, 2010 12:12 PM | Report abuse

The subsidies are DOA in the House. Greg, babbling about the Senate is wrong target.

Posted by: illogicbuster | November 22, 2010 12:13 PM | Report abuse

Would not mind ethanol subsidy as much if it were for non-food crops - remember "switchgrass?"

Posted by: mark_in_austin | November 22, 2010 12:13 PM | Report abuse

The possible repeal of DADT will be a disaster for America's military forces. Not an immediate disaster but long term and here's why:

Homosexuals are attracted to organizations of single-sex orientation, naturally. The military is a huge plum that homosexuals deem ripe for picking because of Obama and his 'crats' temporary stranglehold on power. They want it badly!

Look at the history of similar situations.

Womens professional sports always become dominated by lesbians. It's a natural.

The Catholic priesthood became dominated by homosexuals when the Church went soft and it nearly ruined the Church.

Homosexuals attack the BOY SCOUTS routinely because the SCOUTS will not let homosexuals supervise SCOUT troops. The SCOUTS learned the lesson of the Church well.

America's, military forces will slowly become homosexual enclaves as more and more homosexuals enlist and the military environment becomes more homosexually oriented. At the same time, fewer and fewer normal men will want to enlist or reenlist into an environment that treats homosexuals like "sacred cows".

Eventually, America's armed forces will be dominated by homosexuals. It's almost a sure thing. It has happened before and it will happen again.

Those that refuse to learn from history are doomed to repeat it.

Deja vu, all over again.

Posted by: battleground51 | November 22, 2010 12:14 PM | Report abuse

So if the tea is successful is it still a bunch of chumps and rubes?


_________________________


Exactly it is highly inappropriate to refer to those who are politically active in this way.

And for someone who is writing for the Washington Post to do that, it is wrong.


COMMENTS - a great deal of energy has been expended in discussion on this board concerning the comments policy - how can Greg ask for restraint from his posters, when Greg engages this way ???


It amounts to "ad hominem" attacks against his own readers.


.

Posted by: RedDogs | November 22, 2010 12:18 PM | Report abuse

I'm way liberal and way for letting the subsidies for Ethanol lapse. Corn is food, not fuel. No sense raping the environment for Ethanol any more than petroleum.

Posted by: wd1214 | November 22, 2010 12:18 PM | Report abuse

jnc4p - Yeah, maybe the Republicans would have supported him on that.

Posted by: klautsack | November 22, 2010 12:19 PM | Report abuse

Battleground

You have some interesting points there.


Do you know of any other organizations "dominated" by lesbians - I want to show up.

Posted by: RedDogs | November 22, 2010 12:22 PM | Report abuse

battleground51 - I'm with you 100% on this. As we all know, before women were allowed to vote, only gay people voted because it was a single-sex activity. How else did we elect people with such gay-sounding names as "Grover", "Ulysses" or "Teddy".

Posted by: klautsack | November 22, 2010 12:23 PM | Report abuse

@kevin: "Is there a single one of us here that wants to defend the subsidies? It seems like we're all against the government buying votes from big agribusiness with tax payer dollars."

I think we have achieved bipartisanship!

Posted by: suekzoo1 | November 22, 2010 12:26 PM | Report abuse

battleground, your parody is spot-on! Congratulations!

Posted by: Michigoose | November 22, 2010 12:27 PM | Report abuse

illogic buster seems to think that if something is "DOA in the House" it cannot be an issue worthy of discussion and the position held by DeMint and Coburn and possibly the Tea Party is not worthy of reporting.

Interesting "logic."

Posted by: Greg Sargent | November 22, 2010 12:27 PM | Report abuse

@kevin: "Is there a single one of us here that wants to defend the subsidies? It seems like we're all against the government buying votes from big agribusiness with tax payer dollars. "

Hey! Bipartisanship!! :o)

Posted by: suekzoo1 | November 22, 2010 12:28 PM | Report abuse

mark in austin: "Would not mind ethanol subsidy as much if it were for non-food crops - remember "switchgrass?"

It makes more sense to me to subsidize industrial hemp.

Posted by: suekzoo1 | November 22, 2010 12:33 PM | Report abuse

illogic buster said:

Anyway, I'll fill you in as you don't have access. The House will not put the subsidies into the next annual budget bill. End of story.

-----

This is so cute and so totally wrong. The House can legislate all day long and on Senator can put the brakes on the whole initiative. Just ask Nancy Pelosi. House bill after House bill dies in the Senate. The House, for being much more democratic than the Senate, actually has very little power.

Posted by: wd1214 | November 22, 2010 12:36 PM | Report abuse

Seems to me a huge opportunity to, as Greg pointed out, drive a wedge between Republicans and their corporate benefactors. If market distortion is the issue (and I agree that it is) then wouldn't oil and gas industry subsidies be on the chopping bloc as well? Dems should absolutely push this line as it has the potential to split the GOP and we might get rid of some bad subsidies in the process.

Posted by: jbossch | November 22, 2010 12:40 PM | Report abuse

@Greg: I think it's a great discussion. Whether DOA in the house or not (and never say never; lots of powerful interests have their hands in the government's corn coffers).

It's fascinating because there is so little that mid-to-far left and mid-to-far right agree on, but this seems to be something that I, Ethan, suekzoo, sbj3, and others can agree on in near unanimity, without waffling or qualification. That alone makes the subject profoundly noteworthy. It may lead to splits in the GOP, but there seems little doubt that the majority of the base and the Tea Party folks think it's time to end the majority of agricultural subsidies. And not just ethanol subsidies, although that's certainly a start. Frankly, all subsidies should end for any farm with over a million in gross income. And an end to any payments for not farming land.

Posted by: Kevin_Willis | November 22, 2010 12:42 PM | Report abuse

And an end to subsidies for energy production that (1) doesn't need them (oil, coal, gas) and (2)contributes to pollution, global warming and/or ecosystem destruction. . .

Posted by: Michigoose | November 22, 2010 12:47 PM | Report abuse

While we're hacking at Big Corn, how about Big Sugar? Most notably the high tariffs on sugar-based ethanol. That would actually diversify our energy base, adding in Brazil and other sugar producing nations.

BB

Posted by: FairlingtonBlade | November 22, 2010 12:50 PM | Report abuse

@kevin: "Frankly, all subsidies should end for any farm with over a million in gross income. And an end to any payments for not farming land. "

Okay! Yes! More agreement. Although $1mm gross seems a little low to me. And yeah, no farming, no payment. Period.

And honestly, Kevin, I don't know anyone of my political persuasion who supports ethanol subsidies. Not. One.

Posted by: suekzoo1 | November 22, 2010 12:51 PM | Report abuse

@michigoose: "And an end to subsidies for energy production that (1) doesn't need them (oil, coal, gas)"

But what about all those small business mom-and-pop coal mining or oil refining operations? ;)

Posted by: Kevin_Willis | November 22, 2010 12:52 PM | Report abuse

I have to tell all you Obama people that Obama wants to keep the subsidies


so, you can all change your opinion now

Posted by: RedDogs | November 22, 2010 12:55 PM | Report abuse

Battleground, was this a post about teh gays? No? Take the homophobia somewhere else.

Posted by: cao091402 | November 22, 2010 12:55 PM | Report abuse

@Kevin--oh, yeah, the little corner business ones! OK, they can have their subsidies, but only the mom&pop ones! :-)

Posted by: Michigoose | November 22, 2010 12:56 PM | Report abuse

It looks like the bipartisanship re ethanol subsidies could go much further. I agree with KW on this:

Frankly, all subsidies should end for any farm with over a million in gross income. And an end to any payments for not farming land.

Posted by: Kevin_Willis | November 22, 2010 12:42 PM |

And I agree with this:

And an end to subsidies for energy production that (1) doesn't need them (oil, coal, gas) and (2)contributes to pollution, global warming and/or ecosystem destruction. . .

Posted by: Michigoose | November 22, 2010 12:47 PM

Does anyone here disagree with either of these proposals?

Posted by: pragmaticagain | November 22, 2010 12:56 PM | Report abuse

Obama wants to keep the subsidies in place - and appease Big Corn


The liberals are confused about their own agenda.


.

Posted by: RedDogs | November 22, 2010 1:00 PM | Report abuse

Yeah, go ahead and kill them.

And maybe look at killing farm subsidies in general while you are at it.

Of course, many of the most vociferous Tea Baggers, the ones that really hate government, receive a lot of money in farm subsidies:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/donald-carr/will-farm-subsidies-be-th_b_564724.html?view=print

Not to mention David Jungerman, remember him? He is the "Producers or Parasites" tea bagger hypocrite. He makes me laugh.

http://www.washingtonmonthly.com/archives/individual/2010_06/024420.php

Posted by: HansSolo | November 22, 2010 1:00 PM | Report abuse

kevin: But what about all those small business mom-and-pop coal mining or oil refining operations? ;)"

No subsidies to businesses in third world countries! lol

Posted by: suekzoo1 | November 22, 2010 1:01 PM | Report abuse

Seems "Politico" has declared Sharon Angles' campaign to depants Filthy Harry Reid was "hopelessy incompetent". So, for a "hopelessly incompetent" campaign, Angle did very well, indeed. I guess Grungy Harry ran one of his most desperately hard campaigns.

So, Rotten Harry had to run his very best and craftiest campaign, ever, to beat a total incompetent.

What does that say about Dirty Harry Reid now??

The old shyster ought to resign in utter disgrace. But since he has no honor, fat chance of that.

Posted by: battleground51 | November 22, 2010 1:06 PM | Report abuse

Michigoose: And an end to subsidies for energy production that (1) doesn't need them (oil, coal, gas) and (2)contributes to pollution, global warming and/or ecosystem destruction. . .


Yes. Yes. Get rid of all the corporate welfare: oil, corn, ethanol. And, while we are at it, how about those tax credits for shipping jobs over seas that the Republicans keep protecting.

Important post, Greg. I think it really shows what a strange position the Republican are finding themselves in.

Posted by: michiganmaine | November 22, 2010 1:07 PM | Report abuse

It will be interesting to see how fast and how far Coburn and Demint run from this if the President embraces it.

Posted by: pragmaticagain | November 22, 2010 1:09 PM | Report abuse

We have two winners in this thread:

@suekzoo: "It makes more sense to me to subsidize industrial hemp."

Though you probably wouldn't even need to subsidize it for it to become a major cash crop, just legalize it.

@FB: "While we're hacking at Big Corn, how about Big Sugar? Most notably the high tariffs on sugar-based ethanol. That would actually diversify our energy base, adding in Brazil and other sugar producing nations."

I've been banging this drum for years. Caribbean countries are big producers and the potential for ethanol from sugar cane to remake the country of Haiti is enormous. Unfortunately, Haitians are very skeptical of sugar cane due to the long history of humanitarian issues and abuses that came with the industry. Another issue to watch with sugar cane from Brazil is deforestation of the rainforest (http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/8262381.stm).

But I agree with all of this.

Also end tax breaks and subsidies -- and ramp up oversight -- for any factory farms that abuse their livestock. The kind of cr@p we subsidize with our taxpayer dollars is insane. We are all paying our hard-earned tax dollars for fast-food that is killing us, making us obese, and driving up the cost of health care.

Posted by: Ethan2010 | November 22, 2010 1:11 PM | Report abuse

Ethan

I am glad to see the Obama Trolls are agreeing to break with Obama on some issues.

It is a step forward from the mindless following of their leader.


.

Posted by: RedDogs | November 22, 2010 1:19 PM | Report abuse

OT, huge insider trading investigation picking up steam:

The move by the FBI follows an article by The Wall Street Journal describing an insider-trading investigation that is expected to encompass consultants, investment bankers, hedge-fund and mutual-fund traders. The investigation is said by people close to the situation to eclipse in size and magnitude past insider-trading probes.

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704243904575630693960704872.html

Posted by: Ethan2010 | November 22, 2010 1:25 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: Greg Sargent" illogic buster seems to think that if something is "DOA in the House" it cannot be an issue worthy of discussion.
------------------------------------
You can certainly discuss it but, to no productive end. But, then again that is what libs do best. Right Greg?

Posted by: illogicbuster | November 22, 2010 1:32 PM | Report abuse

@pragmatic: "Does anyone here disagree with either of these proposals?"

Not I. I think we're all pretty much on the same page, here.

@Ethan: "Though you probably wouldn't even need to subsidize it for it to become a major cash crop, just legalize it."

Yup. It's crazy that growing marijuana is illegal, much less its non-psychoactive, industrially versatile brother. I suppose folks could hide some real pot plants among the non-psychoactive hemp?

Instead of subsidizing farmers, how about we don't make it illegal to grow easy to grow, versatile, highly useful crops? That is an ingredient in all sorts of things you can buy in the US, presumably most of the supply coming from foreign countries that don't outlaw plants because they look like some other plant.

Although I've long been for legalizing marijuana. Sell it like cigarettes, paste on a warning label, dealers have to pay license fees and get expected, and the end product is taxed at 1000%. And is used to pay for the healthcare of orphans and cuddly kittens.

Posted by: Kevin_Willis | November 22, 2010 1:34 PM | Report abuse

battlground is quite the bitter teatardlican.

Angle lost, ace. Move along.

Posted by: Observer691 | November 22, 2010 2:03 PM | Report abuse

Ethanol subsidies rate right down there with watching paint dry on the boredom meter.

Speaking of boredom, Adam Serwer has a new post here. Sraight from the Democrats' official talking points memo.

Posted by: battleground51 | November 22, 2010 2:04 PM | Report abuse

Actually, it's a good thing that Smelly Harry Reid won over Sharon Angle. Angle was not a good choice for Republicans even though she is way better than Reid.

Now Republicans will have the three stooges of liberal, tragic comedy back to kick around again.

Obama-Pelosi-Reid, the gifts that will keep on giving.......to Republicans.

Now, what else is happening??


PS: what is "teh gays"???

Posted by: battleground51 | November 22, 2010 2:14 PM | Report abuse

This current bunch of Repugnants will not be satisfied until they return us back in time to the dark ages! They care nothing for progress and progression.

When will the Dems act like grownups and be responsible and let these irresponsible tax cuts for the rich Expire, as that will only add to the deficit, and, with the expiration of these tax cuts, more revenue will be generated into the economy, the rich and wealthy will begin to pay their fairshare and not leave the tax burden to the middle class and working poor.

For a so-called enlightened country like the U.S., to have such a discriminating ban on gays is disgraceful. As a country we are bigger than than and better than that -- or should be. What made America great was her openess and compassion for others, with the advent of the Rush Limbaughs, we lost a lot of that. We have to get it back!

Posted by: wdsoulplane | November 22, 2010 2:18 PM | Report abuse

Sugar should be next.

Posted by: jckdoors | November 22, 2010 2:20 PM | Report abuse

I'm in agreement with (seemingly) everyone else...we should definately kill ethanol subsidies.

We would be much better served if that money was used on wind/solar/grid investments.

Posted by: TheBBQChickenMadness | November 22, 2010 2:27 PM | Report abuse

The Federal subsidy for the tobacco industry in 2009 was over $200 million. Let's see if Mr Boehner argues for repeal of that type of welfare.

Posted by: DurableGood | November 22, 2010 2:34 PM | Report abuse

100% agree with the post that said the money would be better spent buying everyone in the nation a solar panel. In fact, if we just put up a no interest loan program payable over 10 years for purchase of solar panels or a wind turbine we would create hundreds of thousands of new jobs, wean the country off a reliance on fossil fuel generated electricity, and clean the air while reducing global warming all in one shot. And if it is a loan program the cost would be very minimal overall.

Posted by: John1263 | November 22, 2010 2:40 PM | Report abuse

Aww, come on... first they tried to pass it off in Louisiana, next came an attemped swap for the 2cent bulk rum tax from the Virgins, then the 'deals' headed west and now here we go again?

Posted by: lesliekorshak | November 22, 2010 2:41 PM | Report abuse

@DurableGood: "The Federal subsidy for the tobacco industry in 2009 was over $200 million."

Awesome. Hopefully, someone will argue to end that kind of corporate welfare. And if not Boehner, then who?

Posted by: Kevin_Willis | November 22, 2010 2:49 PM | Report abuse

RedDog said:
Ethan

I am glad to see the Obama Trolls are agreeing to break with Obama on some issues.

It is a step forward from the mindless following of their leader.
-------------------------------------------
Yes, RedDog Turd, I am sure you find this incomprehensible, because your puppet-masters have told you otherwise, but we liberals have no problem disagreeing with our leaders when they are wrong. We do it all the time!

Now, to be fair, Obama tried to end these subsidies in last year's budget, but the corpratist Democrats like Blanche Lincoln (another Dem who doesn't mindlessly listen to her puppet masters) blocked him.

So, RedDoggy-doo-on-my-shoe, your premise that Obama backs these subsidies is wrong on its face. I am sure Glenn Beck or Rush Limbaugh have informed you otherwise, but let's face it, these are the people who thought you were so stupid that you would believe Obama spent $200 million a day to travel to India. So, who is mindless doggy??

Posted by: winks_lbj | November 22, 2010 2:51 PM | Report abuse

RedDog said:
Ethan

I am glad to see the Obama Trolls are agreeing to break with Obama on some issues.

It is a step forward from the mindless following of their leader.
-------------------------------------------
Yes, RedDog Turd, I am sure you find this incomprehensible, because your puppet-masters have told you otherwise, but we liberals have no problem disagreeing with our leaders when they are wrong. We do it all the time!

Now, to be fair, Obama tried to end these subsidies in last year's budget, but the corpratist Democrats like Blanche Lincoln (another Dem who doesn't mindlessly listen to her puppet masters) blocked him.

So, RedDoggy-doo-on-my-shoe, your premise that Obama backs these subsidies is wrong on its face. I am sure Glenn Beck or Rush Limbaugh have informed you otherwise, but let's face it, these are the people who thought you were so stupid that you would believe Obama spent $200 million a day to travel to India. So, who is mindless doggy??

Posted by: winks_lbj | November 22, 2010 2:52 PM | Report abuse

End them now! With all the Fed $ help,
the iowa corn farmers formed co-ops to make and sell this stuff. They failed, many into bankrupt status. The political response, allow 15% ethanol instead of just 10% (15% may damage any car more than two years old). This won't fix it. Stop the insanity. Every grocery item increased in price because of this idiot law. The price of peanut oil went at retail from $15 for 5 gal too $50. Since corn oil and corn sweetners go into almost everything, everything went up. The stuff creates gases more dangerous to humans the burning gasoline, you can't put it in a pipeline, so you can't integrate it into the overall fuel system. A stupid idea to save the corn farmer, and it didn't even do that. Not one more taxpayer dollar should go to this program.

Posted by: texian1 | November 22, 2010 3:03 PM | Report abuse

This is a NO BRAINER! Even Al Gore is sorry he endorsed Corn Ethanol! Kill these subsidies now. If you havne't noticed, all Corn product prices are rising at an alarming rate.

Posted by: priley8104 | November 22, 2010 3:05 PM | Report abuse

All, my take on the left's new claim that GOP is out to "sabotage" the economy:

http://voices.washingtonpost.com/plum-line/2010/11/flashback_gop_accused_dems_of.html

Posted by: Greg Sargent | November 22, 2010 3:10 PM | Report abuse

battlground is quite the bitter teatardlican.

Angle lost, ace. Move along.

___________________________________________
Battle is a
C*
U*
N*
T*

I bet he gets on his knees and prays to a huge black trouser snake every night, which is why he seems to know so much about homosexuality.

Posted by: winks_lbj | November 22, 2010 3:11 PM | Report abuse

Stop the ethanol subsidies as well as all the other agricultural handouts! Let the market work. This from someone who agrees with the dems most of the time.

Posted by: lecat | November 22, 2010 3:16 PM | Report abuse

Funny how the tone has changed. No more do we hear everything about America is wrong. The system is so broken, the only cure for America now is socialism. Where's the talk about profits being evil. Where's the closed door meetings leaving the people out of knowing what the people we elected are doing. Imagine that, the Republicans doing the work of the people and not any social justice agenda. We haven't heard a word about forcing anything down our throats and claiming it's for the people. Where were the wars in the Democrat party before health care was forced down our throats. Where were the wars in the Democrat party, concerning representation of the people and not being tone deaf. The Democrats allowed the left wing of the party to bully them and didn't allow for there to be any wars, just Obama left wing social justice agenda. There were no wars in the Democrat party, just lock step behind Pelosi and Reid.

Posted by: houstonian | November 22, 2010 3:59 PM | Report abuse

The subsidies, including those for rent, food, transportation, and fuel, should be allowed to end.

And also, to enable those that potentially could lose the farm, repeal the death tax, so the ones that want to continue farming/ranching can do so after the parents pass on. Otherwise, the death taxes will be so high that they will need further subsidies to make a living.

Posted by: papamckie | November 22, 2010 4:07 PM | Report abuse

Interestingly I don't see any comments on the adverse effect that ethanol has on small engines. It damages their plastic tubes etc. I have a small boat. In todays economy I find it irresponsible that politicians will sell out their constituents for the ethanol industry. There isn't much doubt who they support. Moreover, they hurt the environment.

Posted by: Fergie303 | November 22, 2010 4:07 PM | Report abuse

"The possible repeal of DADT will be a disaster for America's military forces. Not an immediate disaster but long term and here's why:

Homosexuals are attracted to organizations of single-sex orientation, naturally. The military is a huge plum that homosexuals deem ripe for picking because of Obama and his 'crats' temporary stranglehold on power. They want it badly!

Look at the history of similar situations.

Womens professional sports always become dominated by lesbians. It's a natural.

The Catholic priesthood became dominated by homosexuals when the Church went soft and it nearly ruined the Church.

Homosexuals attack the BOY SCOUTS routinely because the SCOUTS will not let homosexuals supervise SCOUT troops. The SCOUTS learned the lesson of the Church well.

America's, military forces will slowly become homosexual enclaves as more and more homosexuals enlist and the military environment becomes more homosexually oriented. At the same time, fewer and fewer normal men will want to enlist or reenlist into an environment that treats homosexuals like "sacred cows".

Eventually, America's armed forces will be dominated by homosexuals. It's almost a sure thing. It has happened before and it will happen again.

Those that refuse to learn from history are doomed to repeat it.

Deja vu, all over again.

Posted by: battleground51 "

Yeah, but how do homosexuals feel about ethanol subsidies?

Posted by: thrh | November 22, 2010 4:39 PM | Report abuse

I knew Greg Sargent would be back on the DADT repeal again and he is.

He just can't leave it alone.

He likes it about as much as I don't.

Posted by: battleground51 | November 22, 2010 4:55 PM | Report abuse

This is a true test indeed. Those who invested in ethanol plants were fully aware of the sunset provisions of current law with respect to federal subsidies. They now have plenty of time to prepare.

And, while we're at it, farm subsidies are but another example of market meddling, as is government grants to economically disadvantaged students (they should be loans instead), most of our foreign aid, NPR and giving buyers of electric cars a whopping $7,500 in tax credits. Get rid of it all, followed by vacating the vast network of WWII-style military facilities we have amassed worldwide.

Our grandchildren will be confronted with a world unwilling to lend us money. Politicians from that day will provide examples of our reckless spending - including what I am suggesting above. Their estimation of us will surely be pretty negative. What a legacy to leave.

Posted by: jspearmvnu | November 22, 2010 5:02 PM | Report abuse

$5 Billion, Earmarks -- these are still pennies in the grand scheme of the Federal Budget.

Time for the GOP to get really serious about balancing the budget-- end the pork in the Defense Budget. That's where the real money is spent.

Posted by: mm14 | November 22, 2010 5:25 PM | Report abuse

The world's gone crazy win teabaggers start making sense. I hope environmentalists and deficit hawks (add Tea Party) win this battle. No more unwarranted subsidies.

Posted by: fbutler1 | November 22, 2010 5:35 PM | Report abuse

Absolutely kill ethanol subsidies. Sugar cane ethanol is cheaper and better for the environment. It will also have the a good consequence in improving USA relations with Brazil.

Posted by: skliebmann | November 22, 2010 6:07 PM | Report abuse

When is there going to be an intra-GOP war over the wars? The nation-building exercises going on in Iraq and Afghanistan are anathema to a small segment of paleo conservatives, but seem to be tolerated by the mainstream GOP (and for that matter by the Democrats).

Posted by: chucka1 | November 22, 2010 8:12 PM | Report abuse

What about the $2.7B in oil subsidizes? Its not even a startup industry. If the GOP wants to get rid of waste, start with repealing subsidizes to an industry that has reported record profits over the last decade.

As for ethanol, I really could care less, though I think it was a good experiment to see what we were capable of as far as producing our own biofuels. I think the experiment is complete. If it can't compete then take the money and invest it in other technologies (except oil of course).

Oh, and while we are at it, stop paying farmers not to grow crops. Let them make corn for ethanol exclusively. There is something perverse when a nation pays its farmers to idle fields.

Posted by: Fate1 | November 22, 2010 8:50 PM | Report abuse

"Absolutely kill ethanol subsidies. Sugar cane ethanol is cheaper and better for the environment. It will also have the a good consequence in improving USA relations with Brazil."
Posted by: skliebmann

I agree in theory but Brazil just does not produce that much for export. If they exported ALL the ethanol that they export only to California, then that would meet California's ethanol needs, but Brazil would be crazy to export all of its ethanol designated for export to only one market. And of course this does not help the rest of the US. This is why corn was considered a possible alternative, and an alternative America could itself produce. Its sad the experiment has not proven an economic case. It did prove we could quickly ramp up ethanol production though, something like quadrupling it in only one year.

I think it might be a mistake to simply cut all subsidizes and kill the industry. Lets keep some in place, where they make sense, or reduce them slowly, and at the same time end the oil subsidizes, which I dare anyone to defend.

Posted by: Fate1 | November 22, 2010 9:07 PM | Report abuse

Interesting points, fate. Glad to see you here. Brazil does export sugar-ethanol now. Petroleum is fungible, so I wouldn't be surprised if the same would be true if we started importing it. Which would lead to more deforestation. And more climate change (luddites can check out now). Perhaps we should just import more rum. We're going to need it.

BB

Posted by: FairlingtonBlade | November 22, 2010 9:18 PM | Report abuse

"Interestingly I don't see any comments on the adverse effect that ethanol has on small engines. It damages their plastic tubes etc. I have a small boat. ..."
Posted by: Fergie303

The reason gasoline can have up to 10% ethanol is that 10% is the limit engine companies will cover their warranties. If your boat engine does not allow 10% ethanol then you need to find another fuel source. If it does allow it and it ate the plastic parts, your covered under the warranty. And note that if it were not for this engine warranty issue, gasoline could and would have a lot more ethanol in it.

Posted by: Fate1 | November 22, 2010 9:19 PM | Report abuse

**KILL the Billions and Billions of Dollars in Tax Subsidies to Big OIL & GAS!! These are some of the Wealthiest most Successful companies in history and We the Tax Payers are Paying for the Billions in Subsidies!! It's Ridiculous. At least Ethanol means Less drilling for oil and less pollution!

Posted by: HopeForAmerica | November 23, 2010 6:56 AM | Report abuse

Ok, a few facts to get straight first. The .45 cent($5 Billion) blender credit goes to Oil industry and the Oil industry received $312 billion in subsides in the past year from the US gov. But Corn Ethanol is not good for America anymore. Ethanol needs to be made from non-food sugar crops like "Energy Beets" that can be made cheaper than cane ethanol in Brazil. And we can grow them anywhere in the US. All we need is engines to be tuned to burn pure ethanol and not gasoline. Better fuel mileage than Flex Fuel(e85) and gasoline. 10%+ better. Remember "Energy Beets" non-food, grows anywhere and cheap to make.

Posted by: jeanne_alan | November 23, 2010 3:31 PM | Report abuse

Ok, a few facts to get straight first. The .45 cent($5 Billion) blender credit goes to Oil industry and the Oil industry received $312 billion in subsides in the past year from the US gov. But Corn Ethanol is not good for America anymore. Ethanol needs to be made from non-food sugar crops like "Energy Beets" that can be made cheaper than cane ethanol in Brazil. And we can grow them anywhere in the US. All we need is engines to be tuned to burn pure ethanol and not gasoline. Better fuel mileage than Flex Fuel(e85) and gasoline. 10%+ better. Remember "Energy Beets" non-food, grows anywhere and cheap to make.

Posted by: jeanne_alan | November 23, 2010 3:32 PM | Report abuse

Demint could care less about conditions back home. The unemployed and farmers in his home state are suffering and all he can do is go for cut backs.

http://jimdemints-southcarolina.blogspot.com

Posted by: joel27 | November 23, 2010 3:41 PM | Report abuse


As long as the Tea Party doesn't touch Social Security or Health Care, I like where DeMint and Coburn are coming from.

If they even think about borrowing from Social Security until its broke, or repealing HCR, they will lose my support completely.

And to answer one blogger's question if we still think Tea Baggers are psycho, yes, some are, some aren't, let's just don't go extreme on us, and we'll all be cool.

Posted by: lindalovejones | November 23, 2010 5:05 PM | Report abuse

I do wish people would attempt to check their facts before attempting to push their reality onto others.

It is simply not true that the health-care bill was shoved down the throats of everyone, and that everyone opposed it. Some did, but as a democracy, I and many other voted for Obama precisely because he promised to help fix the health care mess, and he delivered. Not as much as I had hoped for, but given the messy democracy we live in, more than I expected.

The point is, that a majority of people supported wholeheartedly that attempt to reform the health care mess. That the polls show the public split right down the middle right now (47%-47%) is attributable to the lies of the right (death panels?) than any substantive problem.

As far as subsidies go, the ethanol subsidies are hopefully just the beginning of the end for the endless and mindless number of distortions in the market our tax system propagates.

There are few things more pathetic than people who own homes with bumper stickers saying things like 'Foreclose on the suckers', or 'No more bailouts for mortgage', or 'Whose home do you want me to pay for?'

All of them are sucking the tit of the taxpayers to pay a huge part of their mortgage and are hypocrites of the worst sort. I say end the mortgage rate deduction and free the home market from massive government intervention.

Subsidies are bad.

Posted by: reussere | November 23, 2010 5:12 PM | Report abuse

I'm a liberal, and for once I agree with DeMint. Ethanol is nothing but a wealth transfer program to farmers, and it isn't even means-tested.

Ethanol also damaged car engines and small engines, such as mower and trimmer engines. It degrades plastic components and cause gasoline to decay and degrade.

Posted by: Garak | November 23, 2010 6:47 PM | Report abuse

I'm a liberal, and for once I agree with DeMint. Ethanol is nothing but a wealth transfer program to farmers, and it isn't even means-tested.

Ethanol also damaged car engines and small engines, such as mower and trimmer engines. It degrades plastic components and cause gasoline to decay and degrade.

And don't forget: farmers are the single biggest employers of undocumented workers.

Posted by: Garak | November 23, 2010 6:48 PM | Report abuse

Wow! Kill ethanol subsidies? Looks like the red states will get fed some tea through a slingshot.

Posted by: ecoexpert | November 23, 2010 7:48 PM | Report abuse

We're conservatives who hate waste, right?? So why stop with ethanol? What about farm subsidies and tobacco subsidies and the hedge fund 15% tax rate subsidy? Does the Tea Party know about that?

Posted by: fmjk | November 23, 2010 10:15 PM | Report abuse

We're conservatives who hate waste, right?? So why stop with ethanol? What about farm subsidies and tobacco subsidies and the hedge fund 15% tax rate subsidy? Does the Tea Party know about that?

Posted by: fmjk | November 23, 2010 10:16 PM | Report abuse

We're conservatives who hate waste, right?? So why stop with ethanol? What about farm subsidies and tobacco subsidies and the hedge fund 15% tax rate subsidy? Does the Tea Party know about that?

Posted by: fmjk | November 23, 2010 10:17 PM | Report abuse

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