When the left lambasts a government intervention into the economy and energy policy, you know the program has to be bad. From Kevin Drum:
Terrific. Let's see: (a) environmentally speaking, corn ethanol is a
pretty dodgy idea, (b) we're subsidizing it anyway to the tune of $3
billion per year, (c) farmers, as you'd expect, are responding to the
subsidies by reducing the amount of farmland used for food production,
(d) this is driving up the price of staple food worldwide, and (e)
we're going to toss another $10 billion in ag welfare to already-rich
corn farmers on top of all that. Jeebus. Can anyone think of any other
single policy that has as many simultaneous baneful effects? Are we
The only quibble I would have with this paragraph is to change environmentally "dodgy" to "provably disastrous in study after study." Corn ethanol subsidies and regulations raise gas prices, raise food prices,raise taxes, actually increase total energy use (since it takes more energy to make than it provides) and increases CO2 production. A lose-lose-lose-lose-lose.
Here is an interesting question: How much of the current government corn ethanol support and regulation would exist if Iowa has the last presidential primary, rather than the first (yeah, I know, its a caucus, whatever).