Monday, August 01, 2005

The WSJ on the twin pork projects

President Bush is expected to sign the transportation and energy bills very soon. God help us.

Don't miss this excellent Wall Street Journal op-ed that names names, places and amounts. It isn't afraid to criticize Republicans as well as Democrats, including Bush for never once exercising his veto powers. Both "plans" are so pork-laden that they must flabbergast even Robert Byrd and Ted Stevens. Bridges to nowhere, millions to extend a single paved path, and billions given away to all facets of the energy industry.

House Speaker Hastert promotes the fallacy that government spending creates jobs. But only at the expense of jobs elsewhere, Dennis -- read your Bastiat!

The WSJ's perspective is somber and unfortunately too accurate:
We can also say this for the bill: It doesn't pick energy winners or losers. Everyone who produces so much as a kilowatt hour is a winner in this subsidy-fest of tax credits and new federal mandates. There's $550 million for forest biomass, $100 million for hydroelectric production, and $1.8 billion for "clean coal." There are subsidies for wind, solar, nuclear and (despite $60 oil) even for oil and gas.

Most egregious is the gigantic transfer of wealth from car drivers to Midwest corn farmers (and Archer-Daniels-Midland) via a new 7.5-billion-gallon-a-year ethanol mandate, which will raise gas prices by as much as a dime a gallon on the East and West coasts. Oh, and don't forget the $15 billion (a 155% increase) in federal home heating subsidies, $100 million for "fuel cell" school buses, and $6 million for a government program to encourage people to ride their bikes--presumably along Mr. Oberstar's newly paved trail.
If ethanol is supposedly cheaper, then how come its increased use will make gasoline more expensive on the coasts? That's because the ethanol lobbyists only tout ethanol's cheaper wholesale price (which is by virtue of heavy federal subsidies) and refuse to take all costs into account. One significant cost is establishing supply lines to deliver it, which the ethanol industry likes to forget when comparing it to gasoline. "Big oil" already created its supply lines years ago; it's already factored into the price you pay at the pump.

Read the rest of the article to see just how despicable a "national energy plan" really is. I can't help but sigh along with the writers:
It's too much to hope that Mr. Bush will target one of these fiascoes with his first veto; any chance of a highway veto vanished when Mr. Hastert scheduled the bill immediately after Cafta. At least the Members are leaving town for August; too bad they plan to come back.


Blogger T. F. Stern said...

"At least the Members are leaving town for August; too bad they plan to come back".

One of my thougths too.

Monday, August 01, 2005 8:42:00 AM  

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