By Rob Roper
Vermont Democratic Congressman Peter Welch has been an advocate of doing away with ethanol subsidies for a while. As the program’s serious failures mount, Welch is gaining some allies, and there is actually a possibility that the subsidies will be phased out. Here’s what he recently had to say on the subject:
We’ve now had more than a decade of experience with [ethanol subsidies], and it had the best of intentions. But it has turned out to be a well-intended flop.
It actually doesn’t cut down on greenhouse gas emissions, it expands them. It’s had a significant impact on overplanting in fragile areas of the corn belt. It has had significant impacts on small engines. And it’s also had a significant impact on feed prices … and there is a lot of evidence it has increased the cost of food. (Source: Red State)
What a refreshing admission from a politician. Our meddling actually made matters worse in pretty much every respect, and we should just stop.
Now, if only Welch and his colleagues would come to similar revelations regarding their actions in, say, healthcare reform, where government intervention (very well intentioned) has led to higher insurance costs, longer wait times to access care and an opioid crisis. Or in regard to their “help” with access to higher education, which has caused the price of a college degree to explode while the value of those degrees, in many cases, has declined. Or government’s approach to welfare, which has destroyed the black family in America and is now corroding other demographic groups.
The list is almost endless. But ethanol policy is a start.