Senate votes to dump ethanol subsidies … and Harry, too

Harry Reid, after symbolically thumbing his nose at budget hawk Tom Coburn earlier this week, scheduled a vote Thursday on ending $6 billion in subsidies for ethanol. When the ag dust settled, it passed 73-27, with both Harry and Sen. Dean Heller voting for the repeal.

The measure ends the direct 45-cent-a-gallon subsidy for refiners who blend ethanol with gasoline and the 54-cent-a-gallon tariff on imported ethanol, primarily from Brazil. But they failed to repeal the mandate requiring ethanol be blended with fuel, even though it is a futile gesture that accomplishes nothing.

The Wall Street Journal has a good editorial on this but you’ll have to pay for it. Our guys did not get a heads up on the vote.

Reid used the opportunity to grandstand, of course, on his earlier bashing of Big Oil’s tax breaks. “With Republicans endorsing our position that we can cut the deficit by cutting spending that occurs through the tax code, I hope they will join Democrats in eliminating taxpayer giveaways to big oil companies that are raking in record profits,” Reid said.

But this was on the same day that he argued for rolling out the pork barrel by increasing spending for the spendthrift Economic Development Administration, which spills more between the lip and the cup than most major corporations get to drink.

Now, we’ll give Harry his due as soon as he votes to end tax breaks and subsidies for all his “green” campaign contributors, including that Chinese wind turbine partnership.

While we hold our breath and turn green, I should mention Mitt Romney is town today raising money. I hear it is $1,000 a pop, but since that is nowhere near my financial neighborhood it is a distant rumble.

I did manage to gig one of Mitt’s unabashed supporters the other day and tell him to give his candidate what-for over his continued nod to anthropogenic-caused global warming or climate change or whatever it is called this week.

While he is town, I hope someone hands him a copy of today’s Investor’s Business Daily, which has an editorial giving Romney a huge horse laugh over that stance.

Apparently Al Gore blogged about Romney’s comments at the Monday debate in New Hampshire: “Good for Mitt Romney. While other Republicans are running from the truth, he is sticking to his guns in the face of the anti-science wing of the Republican Party.”

Anti-science? Even if the earth is warming, shutting down all human industry would merely reduce warming by a couple of hundredths of a degree a century from now.

Didn’t the Democrats pick the last Republican presidential candidate, too?

8 comments on “Senate votes to dump ethanol subsidies … and Harry, too

  1. Mike C. says:

    In other potentially good fiscal news (alas, also behind the WSJ subscriber wall), the AARP (!!) “is dropping its longstanding opposition to cutting Social Security benefits, a move that could rock Washington’s debate over how to revamp the nation’s entitlement programs.”

    Just two small steps in a long journey but two I thought I might never see. If I’m asleep please don’t wake me up.

  2. Thomas Mitchell says:

    Yes, I saw that on the front page. At first I thought they were talking about ObamaCare, but, alas … it is an indication that a cold slap of reality is waking up some people.

  3. Steve says:

    Seems the country is waking up, might have something to do with the unemployment benefit “extensions” not renewing, think? Life gets hard people pay attention.

  4. Steve says:

    You can buy songs for 99 cents each. An idea for newspapers, allow access per article. One time payment. Several bits of info come from that, what the readers will pay to read (write more of that) where your readers come from and to a degree who your readers are. Once the price structure is detirmined then set it where the market will bear and make it tempting to get a sub if readers discover they are buying enough individual stories. I am suprised newspapers havent though of this yet.

  5. Thomas Mitchell says:

    I’ve suggested similar schemes and many others, but no one is willing to take the chance, because failure is fatal to careers. Muddling along allows survival for a little longer.

  6. Steve says:

    Figures, corps are afraid of any change. Took the music industry forever to discover a sales chanel that works in this new tech world. Kodak held on to film until it almost killed them. This way of thinking will kill off the week ones and make the smart ones stronger. I think you will like the agility of Battle Born Media.

  7. There's another column posted on Ely's site today, if you can find it.

  8. Steve says:

    No picture, good collumn though. No name? Sherm better fix that!

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