Sunday, January 01, 2012

Happy New Years!

UPDATE: below

Enjoy! The fact that the corn ethanol subsidy just expired (after a mere 33 years) is a sign 2012 will be better than last year, I hope.

Except for Barack Obama; the WaPo's Jennifer Rubin calls 2011 the President's "annus horribilis." Still, our Chief Executive managed to golf at least 32 times last year; a full 90 trips to the links during his term. Which won't reverse lefty derision of George W. Bush as the golfing President.


Editorial in the January 2nd Washington Post:
There may not have been a party in Times Square to celebrate, but two of the most wasteful subsidies ever to clutter the Internal Revenue Code went out with the old year. Congress declined to renew either the 45-cent-per-gallon tax credit for corn-based ethanol or the 54-cent-per-gallon tariff on imported ethanol, so both expired Dec. 31.

Taxpayers will no longer have shell out roughly $6 billion per year for a program that badly distorted the global grain market, artificially raised the cost of agricultural land and did almost nothing to curb greenhouse gas emissions. A federal law requiring the use of 36 billion gallons of ethanol for fuel by 2022 still props up the industry, but the tax credit’s expiration is a victory for common sense just the same.

Meanwhile, a lesser-known but equally dubious energy tax break also expired when the year ended Saturday: the credit that gave electric-car owners up to $1,000 to defray the cost of installing a 220-volt charging device in their homes -- or up to $30,000 to install one in a commercial location. As a means of reducing carbon emissions, electric cars and plug-in hybrid electrics are no more cost-effective than ethanol. What’s more, only upper-income consumers can afford to buy an electric vehicle (EV); so the charger subsidy is a giveaway to the well-to-do.

The same goes for the $7,500 tax credit that the government offers purchasers of electric vehicles, a subsidy that, alas, did not expire at year’s end. The Obama administration says that the credit helps build a market for EVs, which helps create jobs. Given the price of eligible models, like the $100,000 Fisker Karma, that rationale sounds an awful lot like trickle-down economics.

Backers of the charger tax credit may lobby Congress to renew it when lawmakers tackle the payroll tax extension issue again in the new year. We hope that Congress says no. Not only is it a case study in upward income redistribution, it also would represent a deepening of the taxpayers’ commitment to what looks increasingly like an industry not ready for prime time.


OBloodyHell said...

Hey, if he's golfing, it means he's not personally pushing liberal agenda points.

I want him to go down to south america to golf whenever it's not in season here.

OBloodyHell said...

>>> the corn ethanol subsidy just expired


KitWistar said...

THANK YOU, Carl, for your astonishingly detailed response for which I owe you my further thoughts. Forthcoming this week.
(I want to clarify that although I asked with all honesty, it was from a "what if" angle. While I don't love everything that happens here, I DO believe in America. )

I recently heard Penn Jillette's rant: "Atheist's Scorecard"? Its delightfully skewering and informative.Yet, he made a erroneous reference to Mark Twain & his "Letters from the Earth", implying that Twain used texts therein in his lecture circuits. LftE was specifically published 50 years posthumously because of its inflammatory content, so I suspect Twain actually used very little of it in public.

@Carl--re: Today's NOfP headline: to how many of us are you wishing HNY? Or are you wishing us many to follow? (just a little grammatical tease ..)
With corn ethanol subsidy gone, OBH, your idea for wool is too funny--such jokes to have with that one: knitting, scratching, itchy & of course (naturally) "Baa Baa Black Sheep"...

OBloodyHell said...

Kit, you DO know the history of Wool and Mohair price supports? I realize some may not, it's kind of a political in-joke... I knew Carl would get it.

Let's just say the disappearance of corn ethanol subsidies is anything but likely to be permanent, if the history of W&MPS is any indication.

KitWistar said...

@OBH--Yup. Beginning with the Agricultural Adjustment Act of 1938 right on through the re-authorized marketing assistance loans and loan def. payments for W&Mh crop years 2008-12. I still think it is really quite funny...who even wears mohair anymore?

OBloodyHell said...

>> who even wears mohair anymore?

Duh... People with momoney for owning moherds. While the rest of us have less money for... nothing.