The Corner

Just one more thing on ethanol

I’ve been linked by some conservative bloggers on this topic, and I’ve gotten a lot of emails that blame liberals for ethanol. I have to say, that’s not exactly right. The Left is partly to blame just because they labor under the illusion that state planning can bring about better economic results. If ethanol is bad, then they might say we’re just not subsidizing the right thing.

But today, liberal environmentalists are not the ones pushing ethanol. It’s Agribusiness, all the way. Most reputable liberals believe ethanol to be a big joke — an enormous corporate welfare subsidy with no real benefits and many downsides.

On many issues, Conservatives have more in common with ideological liberals than we do with the business interests that come to Washington looking for a handout. Our goal should be to persuade the Left — to use clear failures we agree on, like ethanol — to demonstrate that Big Business will always come to Washington for handouts until Washington stops giving them altogether. Each new handout is the next ethanol, the next sugar — and once you’ve started giving a handout, it never ends.