Thursday, April 24, 2008

Deroy Murdock on Federal Ethanol Program on National Review Online

Congress should abolish federal ethanol subsidies, mandates, and the 54-cent-per-gallon tariff on imports — including Brazil's cheaper, cleaner, sugar-based ethanol. If scientists can develop ethanol that neither starves people nor rapes the Earth, splendid. However, this enterprise must not rest upon morally repugnant, ecologically counterproductive, economically devastating, government-ordered distortions.

It's time for emergency legislation to repeal ethanol-market meddling. The federal program began as a sop to U.S. grain growers — arguably the most pampered and endlessly entitled people this side of the Saudi royal family. It has grown into a cancer on global food markets. Still, U.S. farmers won't surrender quietly. Since they are hooked on handouts, let's offer them one more: In exchange for accepting a two-year federal tax holiday on any income they earn, every actual, tractor-driving corn/biofuel farmer simply would walk away and let Congress relegate state-sponsored ethanol to the Unintended Consequences Hall of Fame. Compared to the global chaos that ethanol is fueling, this is a tolerable, one-time investment to pry these farmers' and their Washington enablers' hands off of our necks.

No comments: