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Good news: Dems admit ethanol mandate failed – Bad news: Trump promised to save it

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During the 2016 GOP presidential primaries, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) took a political gamble leading up to the Iowa caucus when he called for major changes to the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) program, including a call to end ethanol subsidies. Meanwhile, Donald Trump praised ethanol and called for raising the standard in an attempt to curry enough political favor in the Big Corn state to beat Cruz. Despite the reality that most of the corn used in ethanol production came from Iowa, Cruz beat Trump.

Created as a means to combat so-called climate change, the RFS required that ever-increasing amounts of ethanol be blended into gasoline. And despite documented evidence of ethanol’s damage to consumers and the environment, the RFS became little more than another taxpayer-subsidized, crony-capitalist, corporate-welfare program where the federal government picks the winners (Big Corn) and the losers (everyone else).

In a sort of good news/bad news announcement last week, key Democrats behind the biofuel push contained in the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 announced that they had “made a mistake” with the ethanol mandate, and they introduced new legislation to fix it.

“The law hasn’t worked out as we intended,” said former California Congressman and Chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee Henry Waxman. Following a joint call with reporters, Waxman joined current members of Congress, Rep. Peter Welch (D-VT) and Sen Tom Udall (D-NM), to introduce legislation that will phase out corn-based ethanol. Speaking for the group, Welch said:

“We’ve now had more than a decade of experience with it, 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.”

So, that’s the good news. The bad news is that Trump promised to protect corn-based ethanol and he, along with a host of ethanol-loving Republicans from red state producers of corn, wants the RFS to stay.

It was just a few months ago that Trump caved to Big Corn when he overruled an effort by EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt to make major modifications to the RFS following heavy resistance from a gang of Midwestern Senators led by Chuck Grassley. And with his reelection campaign officially launched, Trump will be in campaign mode for the rest of his first term as he prepares for Iowa in 2020.

Trump promised in 2016 to protect ethanol mandates, a promise that he’s already bragged about keeping. And even though he’s demonstrated a propensity to break his promises when politically convenient, it’s very likely that Trump will continue to keep his ethanol promise to Iowa.

Not because it’s good for America, but because it’s good for his campaign.

Originally posted on The Strident Conservative.


David Leach is the owner of The Strident Conservative. His daily radio commentary is nationally syndicated with Salem Radio Network and can be heard on stations across America.

Follow the Strident Conservative on Twitter and Facebook. Subscribe to receive podcasts of radio commentaries: iTunes | Stitcher | Tune In | RSS

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5 Comments

5 Comments

  1. Matthew Frihart

    March 12, 2018 at 9:44 am

    I gotta say on this one, trump is wrong. Hopefully he’ll get more info and come around.

  2. Dogood

    March 12, 2018 at 10:12 am

    This is one promise I hope Trump doesn’t keep, but I’m afraid he will. Yet he’s deregulating as much as he can via executive actions.

  3. Larry Folds

    March 12, 2018 at 11:10 am

    Trump is only a little better than a democrat president. He has totally blown up the gun rights people in favor of gun control, not common sense control, just plain gun control. He has signaled the anti-gun lobby to go after the NRA and us, the gun owners. He told Feinstein to put her dream list of guns to ban and Marco Rubio is helping her. Cornyn is showing his anti-gun colors by depriving 18-21 year olds of their rights, may as well take their voting rights away if we can’t trust them to carry a gun even to go hunting. Roberts of KS is showing his anti-gun colors and on and on it goes all because Trump call them the cover to do it. FL and IL has already banned whole groups from purchasing weapons to defend themselves. Trump is a traitor and I will not support him in the future. Yeah, he made nice with the NRA but his dog whistle has already blown and now he tries to distance himself so he can have his cake and eat it too.

  4. Steve in Missouri

    March 12, 2018 at 1:43 pm

    The corn or grain alcohol mandate not likely to be overcome. Going by these enormous ethanol factories in corn growing areas on roads and highways, they are enormous buildings and grain storage bins on the plains. I had gone by them in Kansas, but they are all over in the corn growing areas, they have turned farm communities into factory, industrial centers. I’m sure it will be enormously difficult to change now that it’s been instituted on a widespread scale.
    Definitely politics, and electoral college politics are involved. Thousands, if not millions of jobs are involved.
    International fuel alcohol programs are widespread as well. I think Brazil has an enormous sugar cane industry, nearly 600 million tons of sugar cane, much of it converted to ethanol to supply vehicle fuel, while biomass is used to produce electricity.
    Even with that, due to sugar being produced from the sugar cane and being more cost effective than alcohol, Brazil has at times imported ethanol for vehicle fuel from the US.

    • Charlie Peters

      April 9, 2018 at 1:24 pm

      Ethanol Waiver for Clean Air & Clean Water

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Opinions

Donald Trump and Ivanka introduce Common Core for college

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Donald Trump and Ivanka introduce Common Core for college

Using the high cost of a college education as cover, Donald Trump and senior advisor/daughter Ivanka released the Proposals to Reform the Higher Education Act. As is always the case whenever Washington uses the word “reform,” the result will be bigger government, more spending, and less liberty.

“We need to modernize our higher education system to make it affordable, flexible, and more outcome oriented so that all Americans, young and old, can learn the skills they need to secure and retain good-paying jobs,” Ivanka stated in a call with reporters.

Sounds noble, doesn’t it? Did you notice the absence of words like “personal accountability” and “free markets” and the use the pronoun “we” to describe the federal government? Nancy Pelosi would be so proud.

In reality, Daddy’s little girl is promoting the equivalent of Common Core for colleges where government money will only be doled out to those who “make the grade” — pardon the pun — as established by the government.

It makes sense when you think about it. Common Core fails to prepare students for college, and college fails to prepare students for the real world. Merging the two was inevitable.

In his overview of the proposal, Trump bragged about how he has “reversed regulatory initiatives that increased the cost of college, fueled skyrocketing student debt levels, and hampered innovation.” Ironic because he concluded by renewing his commitment to reform higher education “through legislation and regulatory reform.”

While including a mixed bag of good/bad principles, every “problem” came with a several big-government solutions.

“Congress should expand… Congress should reform… Congress should require…”

A few of the most troubling suggestions are: focusing on “student outcomes,” increasing “institutional accountability,” supporting “returning citizens,” and simplifying “student aid.”

While harmless-sounding on the surface, “student outcomes” and “institutional accountability” are buzzwords right out of the Common Core playbook.

Supporting “returning citizens,” aka criminals released from prison, sounds great. How else will the drug traffickers and gun felons released early from prison, thanks to Ivanka’s and Van Jones’ prisoner reform legislation, go to college?

Simplifying “student aid” sounds like a good idea until you get to the part where Trump proposes the expansion of student loan forgiveness. I guess borrowing money you never have repay is pretty simple. And as a man with numerous bankruptcies to his credit, it’s no surprise that he supports defacto bankruptcy on school loans.

Never having to repay taxpayer-funded student loans has always been a key part of Ivanka’s agenda. In Sept. 2018, she supported a bill proposed by Rep. Rodney Davis (R-IL) that would allow companies to cover student-loan payments as a tax-free benefit, the same way they are allowed to pay for college tuition reimbursement or for health insurance.

You may be thinking, “Doesn’t that mean the loan gets paid?” Yes and no. The loan is repaid, but as a tax-free benefit the employee pays no taxes on the money and the employer is able to reduce compensation costs. In the end, the cost of the student loan is shifted to the taxpayer.

Neal McCluskey, director of the CATO Institute’s Center for Educational Freedom blames the high cost of college on government handouts and tax breaks. And he believes that creating more giveaway programs will only make the situation worse.

In response to Davis’ bill, McCluskey stated that the government should get out of the education-financing business. “The root problem in American higher education is government subsidies, especially to students in the forms of federal grants, loans, and tax credits,” McCluskey said. “They enable colleges to raise their prices, often at rates well in excess of inflation, and students to demand lots of things that have little, if anything, to do with learning.”

McCluskey is right, but I have a feeling that Ivanka is about to chalk up another victory for her socialist feminist agenda by working “across the aisle” to make Common Core for college a reality … with Daddy’s blessing.

Free college at government taxpayer expense is in Bernie Sanders’ platform, but it looks like Trump will beat him to it.

Originally posted on StridentConservative.com.

 


David Leach is the owner of The Strident Conservative. His daily radio commentary is distributed by the Salem Radio Network and is heard on stations across America.

Follow the Strident Conservative on Twitter and Facebook.

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Economy

Thomas Sowell makes a clear point about Medicare-for-All

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Thomas Sowell makes a clear point about Medicare-for-All

How was the left able to take heat away from their Medicare-for-All proposal, and more specifically the estimated $32 trillion price tag over a decade? They tripled down with the Green New Deal, which some estimate would cost upwards near $100 trillion.

So, the price tag of the Democrats’ desired replacement for utterly failing Obamacare is to take current government control over healthcare and put it on a regiment of steroids and methamphetamine. When you’re going through Hell, keep going, I suppose.

But all of this could be alleviated if voters and politicians took a moment to think about the prospects of Medicare-for-All logically. Let’s erase, for a moment, the Utopian notion that taxing rich people extreme amounts will give us enough money to make healthcare free for everyone while also improving the quality. That’s the goal, right? Cheaper, better healthcare is what most people want. Conservatives believe it’s best to pull government administration out of the equation and put it all on a competitive capitalist model that has worked for nearly every other industry for over a century. Hyper-leftists want to add more government control.

Conservative commentator Thomas Sowell has some thoughts on the matter. One in particular can be wrapped up into an eloquent quote that should be ideological checkmate allowing us to win the healthcare debate.

“It is amazing that people who think we cannot afford to pay for doctors, hospitals, and medication somehow think that we can afford to pay for doctors, hospitals, medication and a government bureaucracy to administer it.”

Of course, our version of checkmate requires common sense, logic, and basic math skills. These attributes aren’t as readily present on the left, therefore they might hear this logic and still think single-payer makes sense.

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Conservatism

Rewarding terrorism: Why are we encouraging mass murder with more liberty control?

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Rewarding terrorism Why are we encouraging mass murder with more liberty control

Does it ever occur to the Left that depriving the people of the ability to defend themselves is exactly what the terrorists want?

Solving any type of problem begins with the proper determination of the cause of the problem. Mistakenly ascribing the wrong cause only serves to make the situation far worse because the wrong solutions are then applied.

The cause of the recent phenomena of mass murder attacks is a perverse desire for fame. This is why the miscreant in the recent tragedy in New Zealand posted a ‘manifesto’ and live streamed his horrific and cowardly actions. [Please note that we are not using his name or image]. This is also why he came out in favour of liberty [gun] control.

Rewarding behavior results in more of that behavior

Consider that the reprobates who perpetrate these attacks desperately want to make a name for themselves. Most people in this world want to do something positive to achieve fame. Some compete in athletic events, cure disease or work to solve societal problems. However, there are those who don’t have the ability or time to do this, so they decide to gain this by infamy instead. They choose to become infamous, shooting their way into the history books, with others helping them along the way by playing right into their hands with the notoriety by depriving others of their liberty.

They look at what mass murderers have done to achieve what they desperately crave. One way is to play into the hands of the Left looking to deprive the people of their right of self-defense. What better way to become infamous than to be the cause of a protracted battle over this fundamental human right?

Getting the reward of more media coverage by the cause of liberty [gun] control

The reprobate in the New Zealand attack made the entirely obvious point that many everyday items – including ordinary flour – can serve as explosives. As well as the fact that fuel mixtures can also be used for explosive or incendiary attacks, something the liberty grabber left doesn’t seem to understand is that these are also ‘weapons of war’. Alternatively there are other ordinary objects that can serve as weapons of mass murder ranging from blunt force, or edge weapons to vehicular attacks. He explicitly stated that he used firearms to attract more attention and have it be the cause of more leftist restrictions on freedom.

Even though they never discerned motive for the Las Vegas mass murder, court documents alluded to the idea that the reprobate in that crime had gun control as his cause celebre. Now in the case of the New Zealand attack, the miscreant was explicit about this in his rantings.

I chose firearms for the affect (sic) it would have on social discourse, the extra media coverage they would provide and the affect it could have on the politics of United states (sic) and thereby the political situation of the world. The US is torn into many factions by its second amendment, along state, social, cultural and, most importantly, racial lines.

[Our emphasis]
Note the words ‘the extra media coverage they would provide’ in reference to the use of firearms. It wasn’t just that he wanted the ‘media coverage’ from live streaming this horror with writing all over his weapons or posting a long screed where he claimed to be an ‘eco-fascist’ admiring Communist China. He wanted to have this abject horror show to be the cause of excessive media coverage resulting in the deprivation of everyone’s commonsense human and civil rights.

Most of these mass murderers don’t expect to survive these attacks, but they want to ‘live on’ in infamy by any means possible. Having the media cover their horrific crimes through their perennial hobbyhorse of gun confiscation means plenty of airtime trying to make the case for these freedom-ending measures.

Leftists don’t seem to understand that their much vaunted restrictions on liberty actually make it easier for these miscreants to carry out their horrific crimes. Most of these take place in ‘gun free’ zones because the victims cannot defend themselves, making everyone an easy target and upping the body count. Despite the denial of reality of the liberty grabbers, there have also been many cases of someone on the scene halting an attack, usually with a gun. Not to mention that these crimes are always stopped when armed authority arrives.

Should we encourage further attacks by giving the terrorists exactly what they want?

Studies have shown that the extensive coverage of these horrific crimes inspires further attacks. Thus, many have chosen to not publicize the crimes of these miscreants, granting them the infamy they crave. Shouldn’t we also apply the same rule to the policy agendas openly advocated by these reprobates?

Does it make any sense to punish the innocent for the horrific acts of a criminal? Punishments that encourage and even facilitate future attacks? Criminals and terrorists will always find ways to kill or get the weaponry to do so, as attacks in places of severe restrictions on Liberty prove this to be the case. In point of fact, these restrictions only serve to help these miscreants commit their crimes, does it make any sense to continue the practice?

The Takeaway

Mass murdering terrorists crave publicity for their horrific acts of cowardice. They also seek to change society by these acts. Knuckling under and playing along with what they want only serves to encourage further attacks. The innocent having the means to defend themselves is the practical and philosophical response to terror, no matter if it runs counter to the desires of the liberty grabber left.

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