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Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Al Gore comes clean about his political opportunism

Al Gore admitted yesterday that he advocated and voted for ethanol subsidies because it was good for Tennessee and good for his race for the presidency when he campaigned in the Iowa caucuses. IBD reminds us of what government subsidies, pushed for by Al Gore, have wrought.
Gore's vote drove food prices higher, trashed the environment, and drew American capital into inefficient energy sources over efficient ones. This should be an object lesson in the importance of not trusting politicians on the environment.

Start with what it is — a tax credit for special interests that has cost U.S. taxpayers $16 billion. And costs are rising. The centrally planned ethanol mandate has risen from 7.5 billion gallons by 2012 to 35 billion by 2022. In the last year alone, it's cost $7 billion.

From the tax credit, refiners make a profit on blended ethanol even when it costs more than gasoline, an unfair price distortion.

No wonder refiners told farmers they could buy all the corn they could grow — Uncle Sam was picking up the tab. Today, 41% of all corn grown in America goes to ethanol — not to the dinner table.

Among the unintended consequences, farmland that had been efficiently planted with multiple crops ended up as monolithic cornfields, using 1,700 gallons of water to make a gallon of ethanol. Food prices surged as the government's ethanol monster got fed.

As corn exports fell, inflation soared abroad. In Mexico, riots broke out over rising tortilla prices. Inflation hurts the poor most.
But hey, it helped Gore win Iowa so what's the harm?

The irony is that ethanol is not better for either the environment or our energy needs.
Then there was the product itself, ethanol, a fuel that's been around since the days of Henry Ford. It burns 30% less efficiently than other forms of energy, such as oil, clean coal, shale and natural gas. As IBD wrote earlier this month, ethanol "has never made much sense economically or environmentally." Gore confirms this.
So will we continue to have these tax credits and ethanol policies that make no sense unless you're a corn farmer or a potential presidential nominee.


Pat Patterson said...

This confession seems utterly out of place coming from Sen Gore. If he had shown this much backbone during his presidential campaign and denounced Clinton he would now be writing his presidential memoirs. Not having to appear in bankruptcy court and hiding out from teenage girls with subpoenas.

Bachbone said...

Had investigative journalists done their job and the MSM not been an arm of the DNC, ethanol would never have gotten off the (farmers') ground. Even Popular Mechanics debunked it years ago. But some politicians, such as Michigan's outgoing Gov. Jennifer Granholm, a Democrat, are still touting it as the one part, along with solar and wind, of her state's green rejuvenation.

A slap to the head with a 2 X 4 hasn't worked for her. Maybe a slap with a 2 X 12 will?

MarkD said...

Let's not forget the little fiasco with MTBE and the poisoned wells...

There is no harm from the airport scanners.

Some people are slow learners.

So Cal Jim said...

Rule of Thumb: If a Democrat or progressive of any stripe says something is good for the country/economy/environment/-insert cause du jour here - , then believe the opposite.

tfhr said...

The ends always justify the means for ethically compromised liberals like Al Gore. The smartest man on earth and Nobel Peace Prize winner, Al Gore, inventor of the inter-webs, determined all by himself, that Buddhist monks would have the financial means to donate thousands of dollars to his presidential campaign. Gore also solicitated campaign funds from federal government offices. That is a a felony that carries a three year prison sentence. Remember his marvelously self-exonerating phrase, "no controlling legal authority"?

Al Gore is a dishonest man, a felon, in fact. Tipper knows that on a personal level and we all know that he violated Section 607 of Title 18 of the U.S. Criminal Code which clearly states there is to be no solicitation of campaign funds in federal government offices. Nevertheless, there are still plenty of lefties out there that keep coming back for more. When will they learn?

Tacitus Voltaire said...

i hope you've enjoyed your 15 minute hate for the day. here is an article about things that adults think about:

How Germany got it right on the economy

It may be turkey week in America, but it's goose month in Germany. In many restaurants, you can get goose in your salad and goose in your soup to go with your goose entrée. Diners fairly honk their way through November.

But then, Germans have something to honk about. Germany's economy is the strongest in the world. Its trade balance - the value of its exports over its imports - is second only to China's, which is all the more remarkable since Germany is home to just 82 million people. Its 7.5 percent unemployment rate - two percentage points below ours - is lower than at any time since right after reunification. Growth is robust, and real wages are rising.

It's quite a turnabout for an economy that American and British bankers and economists derided for years as the sick man of Europe. German banks, they insisted, were too cautious and locally focused, while the German economy needed to slim down its manufacturing sector and beef up finance.

Wisely, the Germans declined the advice. Manufacturing still accounts for nearly a quarter of the German economy; it is just 11 percent of the British and U.S. economies (one reason the United States and Britain are struggling to boost their exports). Nor have German firms been slashing wages and off-shoring - the American way of keeping competitive - to maintain profits.

So Cal Jim said...

TV, why don't you try sticking to the subject of this thread which, if you care to look, is that human crap sandwich, Al Gore, and his politically expedient lies. But feel free to weigh in on Germany's economy when it becomes a relevant topic.

tfhr said...

So Cal Jim,

TV cannot stay on topic or he would have to deal with the simple fact that the lead proponents of the political ideology he holds closest to his heart, the one that defines who he is and what he stands for, are liars and con men. Al Gore is a fraud. Carbon credits anyone?

When your position is indefensible, as TV has found, the best bet is to switch topics, as TV has attempted. It shows weakness, a decided lack of character and an apparent inability to understand that attempting to hijack a thread is rude to the blog host.

TV, if you cannot fight a good fight, at least show some manners as you go down in flames.

Pat Patterson said...

No, TV is on to something as he seems to be arguing that the safety net be frozen and capital freed up for investment. Except I doubt if he realized that is the model that the Germans are using. Well, except for the fact that German banks were heavily involved with the financial meltdown in Iceland and have billions in junk debt to Ireland, Greece, Spain and Italy. Tha couple with an steady decline, since August, means the Germans may start feeling the pain again after discovering their unpopular propping up of the Eurozone will cost them billions more Euros. But I do like TV's admission that Keynsian stimulus packages don't work.

Tacitus Voltaire said...

he seems to be arguing that the safety net be frozen and capital freed up for investment

since germany has one of the most comprehensive safety nets, and this article is about the continued economic robustness of germany, ah... no

But I do like TV's admission that Keynsian stimulus packages don't work.

when the article says exactly the opposite

When the downturn hit Germany in late 2008, manufacturing firms' business declined the most, but subsidies from a government program called kurzarbeit allowed firms to keep their workers part time rather than lay them off. "Fifteen to 20 percent of our workers were on kurzarbeit," Klaas Hubner, a former member of the German parliament and owner of the mittelstand company that includes AWS Achslagerwerk, told me. By keeping their skilled workers, companies like Hubner's were able to rev up production quickly when China's stimulus boosted the market for their products in 2009.

i do like it, though, pat, that you admit that a highly socialized economy like germany's is inherently better equipped to provide a better and more robust business environment. i'm glad you agree that so far from damaging the german economy, the social safety net there frees companies up to concentrate on production and profits

tfhr said...


On Germany: "...a highly socialized economy like germany's is inherently better equipped to provide a better and more robust business environment."

Germany had a real go at a highly socialized economy back in the Thirties too. Socialism with a kinder, gentler face, eh? Arbeit mach ward of the state.

But then there is the habit TV has of railing against corporate welfare in the US while lauding it's "virtues" in Germany:

"...the social safety net there frees companies up to concentrate on production and profits"

Tax payer Euros going to underwrite the cost of health care for labor and in the process, the corporate bottom line. TV, do you see some inconsistency in your position?

How about a free market solution?