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Heartand’s Steve Stanek is keeping his eye on the ethanol subsidy that was stuffed into the bill extending the Bush tax rates. Here’s an excerpt from his op-ed titled “Action on Ethanol Will Tell Us if Congress Is Serious about Deficit Reduction”:
We could learn soon – possibly as soon as Monday – if federal lawmakers who say they are serious about fiscal responsibility mean it.
A vote to extend the 2001 and 2003 tax cuts could happen Monday, and the wheeling and dealing to win the necessary votes includes agreements to continue multi-billion-dollar boondoggles. One of the worst would be continuing subsidies to the ethanol industry. …
The government this year has spent $6 billion to subsidize the blending of ethanol into gasoline – that works out to about 45 cents a gallon – and also slaps a 54-cents a gallon tax on ethanol produced outside the country, where producers usually use sugar or other crops to make ethanol less expensively and more efficiently. That tax on foreign-produced ethanol helps enable our domestic producers to continue producing ethanol as inefficiently as they like.
Get fully briefed on this outrage by reading the whole thing.