Romney: Hey, I like ethanol subsidies!

posted at 11:25 am on May 28, 2011 by Ed Morrissey

What takes more courage in this Tea Party, deficit-hawk atmosphere among Republicans — opposing ethanol subsidies in Iowa, or professing support for federal price interventions?  Mitt Romney clearly believes it’s the latter:

It was an odd setting for a policy pronouncement, but on the sidewalk outside the Historical Building here, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney embraced ethanol subsidies. It came just days after and blocks from where his rival for the Republican presidential nomination, Tim Pawlentysaid the subsidies should be phased out.

“I support the subsidy of ethanol,” he told an Iowa voter. “I believe ethanol is an important part of our energy solution for this country.” Iowa leads the nation in the production of corn, a main source of  ethanol.

Really?  Ethanol may be “an important part of our energy solution,” but that would only be true if ethanol could compete without price supports.  Ethanol is hardly an emerging technology that needs federal support for R&D.  It’s a mature technology, and federal subsidies exist solely to artificially lower its price at the pump to make it competitive with gasoline.

Furthermore, the use of food to feed gas tanks is one of the worst ideas we’ve had in green energy.  The IMF made that point almost three years ago, declaring that the destruction of corn for ethanol had exacerbated food crises and also contributed to worldwide water shortages.  A year later, the Congressional Budget Office blamed federally-subsidized ethanol production for hiking food prices.  They estimated that the US would issue nearly $1 billion in extra food stamps in 2009 because of the inflationary pressure caused by its subsidization of ethanol production.

Not only are we paying a hidden price at the pump for these subsidies to make ethanol look better as a solution, we’re paying more at the grocery store and more in entitlement spending to boot.  Hey, what’s not to like for a conservative?

Pawlenty went to Iowa and told the truth — that the federal government’s subsidies of ethanol were bad policy that we can no longer afford.  Romney went to Iowa and pandered for big-government solutions in a market that should either be standing on its own two feet by now or putting resources into other solutions instead.  Which candidate showed political courage?

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Pawlenty 1, Romney 0.

Buy Danish on May 28, 2011 at 2:59 PM

As much as it pains me to say it, Danish is right. Mitt Romney didn’t win that round.

As for Palin, she better clarify her positions on ethanol.

Conservative Samizdat on May 28, 2011 at 6:31 PM

Mitt Romney embraced ethanol subsidies

I thought Mormons were opposed to ethanol.

Emperor Norton on May 28, 2011 at 6:31 PM

When we have do depend on corn of all things to keep this country moving sends me one clear message: We’re f—ed.

Dr. ZhivBlago on May 28, 2011 at 6:34 PM

CS,

Have you heard anything?

Gohawgs on May 28, 2011 at 6:35 PM

I thought Mormons were opposed to ethanol.

Emperor Norton on May 28, 2011 at 6:31 PM

Just caffeinated ethanol.

davidk on May 28, 2011 at 6:36 PM

Yes petunia, unlike you and my info to you, I read Lucy’s husband’s link and looked at your vid link. That’s how I knew they were the same material…

Gohawgs on May 28, 2011 at 4:24 PM

My link was to You tube not Huffington. Are you saying Palin didn’t say that and Huffington edited it?

It is a clip of a speech where she happily panders to Iowans on ethanol…

My only point was that it is going to be very hard to find anyone who has not pandered to Iowa on ethanol.

Even Pawlenty’s stand against is very new. He proudly doubled his state’s required amount of ethanol in gas. Just like two years ago.

No clean hands on this subject.

petunia on May 28, 2011 at 6:45 PM

Not to mention that sheet wrecks gas engines

It will slowly destroy our means of travel which most likely is the goal

Sonosam on May 28, 2011 at 6:49 PM

petunia on May 28, 2011 at 6:45 PM

not to concerned with SPs direction with energy

Sonosam on May 28, 2011 at 6:52 PM

petunia,

I said that your link was apparently a vid of the speech that huffpo used as a basis for their article, not that they were one in the same…

Palin also included this, as Mutnodjmet posted…

“We need to level the playing field and eliminate mandates, subsidies, tariffs and price supports that focus exclusively on corn-based ethanol and prevent the development of market-based solutions which would provide us with better options for our fuel needs.”

Mutnodjmet on May 28, 2011 at 4:07 PM

As McCain’s VP, she wasn’t running the campaign. His apparent move in ’06 to “support” ethanol while not “supporting” subsidies probably had a lot to do with the content of her speech that day.

I’ve linked T-Paw’s 2005 signing of the doubling of the mandated use of ethanol in gasoline in Minnesota beginning in 2013 on this thread as well as on the T-Paw thread about his now wanting to phase out the ethanol subsidies.

I’ll wait and see what happens in Iowa if Palin decides to run, since those statements from ’08 are all that I’ve been able to find of her concerning ethanol…

Gohawgs on May 28, 2011 at 7:00 PM

Say good bye Mitt!

capejasmine on May 28, 2011 at 7:11 PM

I’m waiting for Petunia to post a link indicating that Sarah Palin was responsible for Hitler invading Poland.

It’s sad to see someone so consumed by hate.

bw222 on May 28, 2011 at 7:16 PM

“Obama gonna buy mah cornstalk?”

Don L on May 28, 2011 at 7:40 PM

Just caffeinated ethanol.

davidk on May 28, 2011 at 6:36 PM

ROFL.

CS,

Have you heard anything?

Gohawgs on May 28, 2011 at 6:35 P

Nope. Still job hunting. :(

Conservative Samizdat on May 28, 2011 at 7:44 PM

Nope. Still job hunting. :(

Conservative Samizdat on May 28, 2011 at 7:44 PM

I’ll keep my eyes open…

Gohawgs on May 28, 2011 at 8:09 PM

As for Palin, she better clarify her positions on ethanol.

Conservative Samizdat on May 28, 2011 at 6:31 PM

Why? Would you switch to her if she’s against?

promachus on May 28, 2011 at 8:10 PM

Romney has enough sense to understand that of foreign currency flowing in to pay for the $6+ per bushel of corn that we produce — and export — is about the only thing keeping us afloat right now. Oh yea, and it seems that too many on our side can’t add 2+2 and come up with 4. Since the US is the largest exporter of corn (and grain) in the world the higher prices (that we receive) for this export are helping to keep us from crashing/burning economically. I may give Romney a 2d look if he continues to display this sort of insight. DD

Darvin Dowdy on May 28, 2011 at 9:04 PM

Darvin Dowdy on May 28, 2011 at 9:04 PM

Corn used for ethanol is not human food crop corn. If you want more exports of that sort of corn, then ethanol subsidies must end.

As it is the corn used for ethanol has pushed US corn reserves to the lowest point since 1937, and that means less than 2 weeks of supply if anything happens… say a New Madrid Fault Zone series of quakes. Then you can start looking at starvation in the US.

ajacksonian on May 28, 2011 at 9:16 PM

Ethanol is an important part of our energy solution for problem in this country.

IMHO …

RedPepper on May 28, 2011 at 9:51 PM

Political expediency thy name is Romney.

Mormon Doc on May 28, 2011 at 10:44 PM

Romney supports ethanol subsidies. He just lost any chance of my ever voting for him, right there.

I already felt he was squishy on Obamacare due to his continued support of the abortion called Romney Care. And other Romney pronouncements have made me think he’s just John McCain all over again, a damn RINO.

I’m now embarassed to say that I voted for Romney in my state’s 2008 presidential primary.

Pawlenty had some guts to say last week in Iowa(!) that he was against ethanol subsidies. It’s about damn time that we elect a president who tells the American people what we need to hear, not what we want to hear.

CatchAll on May 28, 2011 at 10:48 PM

The establishment republicans are as arrogant as the demonrat liberals. They can ram anything down the throats of Americans because they are superior to those who have elected them. Romney just commited political suicide. It was only a matter of time.

volsense on May 28, 2011 at 11:23 PM

I’ve been a supporter of Romney, but I don’t like this.

flataffect on May 29, 2011 at 12:29 AM

I’ll keep my eyes open…

Gohawgs on May 28, 2011 at 8:09 PM

Thanks. I really appreciate it.

Conservative Samizdat on May 29, 2011 at 12:34 AM

The other thing I’m seeing here is that often when everyone is lying and seeing no alternative, and one person says the truth, everyone else will star saying, oh yeah, I see that too; but in the Republican field that is not happening.

They really don’t want to tell the truth. When someone does, they just think: “Sucker! Here’s my chance to get ahead of him.”

It’s not just Mitt. The others weren’t saying: “You know, T-Paw told the truth. Me too.”

David Blue on May 29, 2011 at 1:31 AM

Wasn’t Mitten’s one main qualification that he was some sort of financial/economic wizard???

So much for that campaign Captain Pander McFlipflop.

LtBarnwell02 on May 29, 2011 at 1:56 AM

Romney went to Iowa and pandered for big-government solutions in a market that should either be standing on its own two feet by now or putting resources into other solutions instead.

Why would any conservative vote for this RINO? He’s hopeless.

disa on May 29, 2011 at 6:48 AM

Please, God, do not let him be our nominee next year.

Cylor on May 29, 2011 at 8:47 AM

How is he the front runner again?

I’m sorry but if he’s the nominee, I’m going third party. I’m refuse to vote for an Obama clone. Not a huge fan of T-Paw either, but at least he gets it.

Be angry at me if you want.

xax on May 29, 2011 at 9:15 AM

Update:

Pawlenty 2, Romney -2.

Buy Danish on May 28, 2011 at 2:59 PM

Jaibones on May 29, 2011 at 9:29 AM

Be angry at me if you want.

xax on May 29, 2011 at 9:15 AM

Not angry, just sad. The only GOP potential nominee who is just as bad as Obama is Huntsman.

Jaibones on May 29, 2011 at 9:31 AM

I guess we will see which wins in Iowa: truth or pander.

Count to 10 on May 29, 2011 at 9:51 AM

Just for the record, what does Romney actually disagree with Obama on?

Count to 10 on May 29, 2011 at 9:54 AM

Count to 10: “Just for the record, what does Romney actually disagree with Obama on?”

Who should be President.

David Blue on May 29, 2011 at 10:21 AM

It’s sad to see someone so consumed by hate.

bw222 on May 28, 2011 at 7:16 PM

Yes it is.

csdeven on May 29, 2011 at 10:27 AM

FU MR!

Levinite on May 29, 2011 at 10:52 AM

I haven’t commented on this… but I keep seeing this thread and the anger wells greater each visit… Mitt has NO IDEA what this country needs in terms of either financial or energy policy.

He’s a spineless politician and I pray he flames out early in the process. I’ve stated repeatedly that Mitt does nothing that isn’t caluclated (including choreographing his trips to the bathroom), but I hoped under the hood he held some real principles.

At one time I believed Mitt could be a passable (at best) nominee, but this ethanol stupidity seals the deal… he must be defeated.

mankai on May 29, 2011 at 11:17 AM

Romney-care; Agrees with Obama on no Bin-Laden death picture; Agrees with all Democrats on ethanol subsidies. Why is this guy even running?

MaiDee on May 29, 2011 at 12:10 PM

When we have do depend on corn of all things to keep this country moving sends me one clear message: We’re f—ed.

Dr. ZhivBlago on May 28, 2011 at 6:34 PM

Apparently nobody remembers a ding-dang-dong thing about what happened to the Irish when they relied so heavily on a single crop, and they didn’t rely on their spuds for transportation.

If we get the corn equivalent of their potato blight, America will fall. Period. It would be a sledgehammer to both knees at once.

Uncle Sams Nephew on May 29, 2011 at 12:35 PM

Romney is just selling out to gain the Iowa vote on ethanol. The more he presents his positions, the more he exposes he is a two-faced scumbag that will say and do anything to get a vote with absolute no inclination towards the best intersts of the American people.

volsense on May 29, 2011 at 1:18 PM

volsense on May 29, 2011 at 1:18 PM

What he/she (Ellen) said.

mankai on May 29, 2011 at 1:27 PM

I have been a big Romney supporter in the past and was still seriously looking at him. No longer. I won’t be supporting any candidate who supports ethanol subsidies including Palin etc. This is a drop dead issue for me. It goes to the very character and principles of a candidate. I’m actually looking at Pawlenty seriously for the first time.

Goodale on May 29, 2011 at 2:10 PM

Romney is just selling out to gain the Iowa vote on ethanol. The more he presents his positions, the more he exposes he is a two-faced scumbag that will say and do anything to get a vote with absolute no inclination towards the best intersts of the American people.

volsense on May 29, 2011 at 1:18 PM

This goes back to his 1994 Senate run, where he tried to dodge the Reagan legacy in a state that voted for the Gipper for President.

ebrown2 on May 29, 2011 at 2:23 PM

Another nail in the coffin for Romney.

sadatoni on May 29, 2011 at 4:58 PM

Neither -

The practical solution that Palin will back is to phase
out the subsidies over time.

Amjean on May 29, 2011 at 6:16 PM

Has Palin weighed in on ethanol subsidies?

davidk on May 28, 2011 at 11:40 AM

Yes, she publicly embraced them when running for VP.

itsnotaboutme on May 28, 2011 at 11:46 AM
I don’t recall if she did or not, however, much of the policy on the 2008 campaign was McCain’s platform, not hers.
Currently I am only interested in HER positions,not his.

Amjean on May 29, 2011 at 6:20 PM

No they don’t. They redistribute jobs from one industry to another. Only the private sector creates jobs.

Ponz on May 28, 2011 at 11:56 AM

I am actually involved in agriculture and I’m telling you they provide jobs… farmers are buying machinery and such, land rents are way up, so the farm towns are getting money spend there. Farmers and people in support industries are even building houses.

If you stop that cold turkey… it would be a disaster.

Why do we subsidize tobacco? Because if we didn’t many farmers would lose a main rotation crop and the machinery companies would lose money and small farm towns would be effected…

Our agriculture is built on government subsidies. Like it or not.

The philosophy is that farming is so risky and so expensive that one bad year and we could lose the ability to grow our own food. It is supposed to keep prices even, year to year.

But in the case of corn the call for more ethanol has seriously effected the price of everything!

Land prices have sky rocketed in Washington State… our family trust is considering selling because this might be the top of a bubble. But one never can tell… like gold. Is it a bubble? Or would we be sorry when the price doubles five years from now?

One way to burst that bubble would be to suddenly stop corn subsidies. It might be really bad.

Why chance ending subsidies now when things are so bad?

If we do that, we need to phase out.

petunia on May 28, 2011 at 12:21 PM
So you have a vegetable garden!/sarc

I agree with you; a slow phase out with new programs put in place to help farmers during a drought, etc. Not a continuous subsidy program.

Amjean on May 29, 2011 at 6:27 PM

What if she comes out for subsidies? Does she get the same name calling?

Not likely.

petunia on May 28, 2011 at 1:29 PM

Oh yes she will! Her supporters researched her record; that is why we are supporters. Anyone with a brain knows that these subsidies are bad policy. In previous years
the politicians sold us a bill of goods. Thanks to the internet we can have almost instant access to truth if we aren’t too lazy to reach for it. Palin’s supporters are
conservative; unless she has a darn good reason to support
subsidies, she will have to take a lot of heat if she supports it.

Amjean on May 29, 2011 at 6:31 PM

Palin pushes Ethanol in Iowa

Palin is no conservative.

rickyricardo on May 28, 2011 at 1:41 PM
Listen, Ricky, even Lucy knows that the VP candidate
extolls the campaign platform of the presidential candidate.

Amjean on May 29, 2011 at 6:43 PM

Petunia, have you ever worked for someone else? Played a sport that had a coach?

Gohawgs on May 28, 2011 at 2:29 PM
Petunia was always the last one picked in gym class sports because she was always whining, “it’s not fair”. Noone
wanted her on their team.

Amjean on May 29, 2011 at 6:50 PM

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iolgiIvfV-0

Did you watch? Apparently not.

petunia on May 28, 2011 at 4:13 PM

As always a million excuses for Palin… why we can never hold her to the same standard as others… she is just a victim of her circumstances, done in by an old man, yet strong enough to be President.

Yes, I was bad at sports… no excuses. I was just bad. See that is taking responsiblity, not blaming it on others.

petunia on May 29, 2011 at 7:04 PM

As always, a million excuses for moving the goalposts…why you can never hold her to the same standard as others…

Gohawgs on May 29, 2011 at 7:19 PM

As always, a million excuses for moving the goalposts…why you can never hold her to the same standard as others…

Gohawgs on May 29, 2011 at 7:19 PM

Petunia must be the child of an eel and a lawyer…she’s the slipperiest little b!tch I’ve ever seen on HA. Not even crrazy6 was this evasive.

Uncle Sams Nephew on May 29, 2011 at 11:06 PM

Petunia must be the child of an eel and a lawyer…she’s the slipperiest little b!tch I’ve ever seen on HA – Uncle Sams Nephew

Now that’s funny right there.

Both eels and amboo-lance chasin’ lawyers are bottom feeders. When I was a kid, anytime I wanted to catch eels, all I had to do was row my skiff up to the sewage plant outfall on an outgoin’ tide.

CatchAll on May 29, 2011 at 11:22 PM

One of the misteries of the universe is why Republicans keep promoting RINOs. Romney is a RINO, Perry is a RINO…

percysunshine on May 30, 2011 at 8:58 AM

Ethanol is the least of our problems.
After watching “Food, Inc.” I’m sick about the entire ‘world’ of CORN.

bridgetown on May 30, 2011 at 9:07 AM

ironic talk…..from a bunch of American consumers who have had subsidized food, energy and clothing for 60 years, and now have an entitlement attitude toward it.

Americans have had food energy and cheap clothes upwards of 20% under world markets ………a 2 trillion welfare.

Econ 101 …..subsidies encourage production…..that is the purpose of a subsidy……Welfare encourages stagnation, and or allows money to flow to IPads or Flat screens.

Maybe Rommney actually understands Econ 101—-Ethanol adds only 5 cents to a box of corn flakes and yet buffered the gas hikes by 50 cents. Ethanol repays the treas on a 3-1 basis (Urbanchuk). Ethanol infrastructure didnt cost the
fed a dime–built by farmers themselves. The 400,000 jobs are always a plus.

The corn grown for ethanol is the same corn grown for food—no diff.

The main push on commodity prices is QE1, QE2 and rocketing demand from China, India and SE Asia growing economy—

Maybe Rommney doesnt get all his info from some mis-informed bloggers….whose followers seem to have an Obama messiah complex.

sbark on May 30, 2011 at 9:14 AM

Any one who supports corn ethonal is a liar or a politician. I will ask folks on this blog to support any reason to support corn ethonal. And why.

TomLawler on May 30, 2011 at 10:22 AM

TomLawler on May 30, 2011 at 10:22 AM

What I do know is if we get government subsidies out of the way and end needless regulation, the free market will find a way.

Get Rid of Big Government

Republican candidates ought to be supporting free market, small government policies. Instead, it is very disheartening to see Romney pandering to Iowa voters on the same big government subsidy side as president Obama.

http://finance.townhall.com/columnists/mikeshedlock/2011/05/30/romneycare_for_farmers/page/2

davidk on May 30, 2011 at 10:39 AM

This is one reason our primaries should not depend upon states going first, politicians spend time in one state, over supportive of bad policies. Too many Senators and Representatives vote with consideration to Iowa and New Hampshire.

amazingmets on May 30, 2011 at 10:45 AM

Now that’s funny right there.

CatchAll on May 29, 2011 at 11:22 PM

Why?

csdeven on May 30, 2011 at 12:24 PM

Good for Pawlenty.

el gordo on May 30, 2011 at 1:20 PM

I notice from the photo that the corn Mitt is holding must be popcorn. Why else the safety glasses? Of course, any belief in ethanol for fuel must derive from the “global warming” myth; or that holding corn in your had requires safety protection. So, with the myth of the mysteriously missing golden tablets, the belief in AGW, and the fear for corn safety, I will never vote for him – even if he is the only R candidate. However, although that may give us 4 more years of the Obamanation, it will also give a powerful and viable third party.

Old Country Boy on May 30, 2011 at 4:55 PM

sbark – the main driver of high commodity (petroleum) prices is our inability to drill on our own soil on in our own territorial waters. I realize that oil is flungible, but what we have here and are not allowed to capture just makes it worse. I think your second econ101 statement with reference may be a questionable statement with reference like all the AGW references. Look at the source of your reference’s funding.

By the way, back when JC (carter not Christ) was president, the feds set the price for gas (methane) and required the intrastate gas be delivered to the North and East at government prices. The guys drilling for gas did not even have heating in their hooches. In addition, If you tried to buy a pipeline fitting forging from Pennsylvania, the price was tripled and you had to wait for it. The price controls were only in effect for what we sold to you, not the other way around. It looks like the current president BO (for smell), also not Christ except in his own mind, is trying to do the same thing. Oklahoma only used 85% of their gas/gasoline allocation sans Christmas lights. The remaining 15% was given to Florida, so they could have Christmas lights for the tourists. Do you wonder about the abject hatred by the South and North Central for the rest of you liberal totalitarian states? You have been screwing us forever.

Old Country Boy on May 30, 2011 at 5:10 PM

Hey Newt! Pull up a chair! -Newt Gingrich.

shick on May 31, 2011 at 10:33 AM

That was supposed to be.

“Hey Mitt! Pull up a chair! -Newt Gingrich.

shick on May 31, 2011 at 10:34 AM

As much as it pains me to say it, Danish is right. Mitt Romney didn’t win that round.

As for Palin, she better clarify her positions on ethanol.

Conservative Samizdat on May 28, 2011 at 6:31 PM

I’m revising my score.

Tim Pawlenty has flip flopped on this issue. Mitt Romney, didn’t flip flop but remained consistent in his support for federal subsidized ethanol.

As much as I don’t like ethanol subsidies and I’m not thrilled with Mitt Romney’s support of it, he’s at least being consistent on the issue. Tim Pawlenty isn’t.

Conservative Samizdat on June 1, 2011 at 1:48 AM

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