Mitt Romney's Embrace of Ethanol Subsidies is Enough to Make Tim Pawlenty Look…Less Bad!


Hot Air reports on perennial presidential loser candidate Mitt Romney, the one-term governor of Massachusetts who pushed that state's disastrous health-care overhaul and yet is bandied about as a legit contender for the world's highest office. The flip-flopper's latest craven contortion? Embracing mega-subsidies for corn-based ethanol, which is something that everyone except corn growers are against. The subsidies have distorted agriculture worldwide, as corn gets diverted into ineffcient fuel and off people's tables, runs up prices for stable commodities, and even causes food stamps to get more expensive in the U.S. Ed Morrissey wraps it up thus:

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?

[Former Minnesota Gov. Tim] 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?

In other words, Romney's chief accomplishment to date in the 2012 run-up is to make Tim Pawlenty, among the least freedom-loving candidates possible, look slightly less totally freaking awful. Way to go, Mitt. At least your father had a rock-solid excuse when he famously flip-flopped on the Vietnam War back in 1968 when he was a leading candidate for the GOP presidential nod: Then-Michigan Gov. George Romney claimed that the Pentagon and diplomatic corps had brainwashed him. Which is more credible than anybody with a claim to fiscal sanity giving a thumbs up to ethanol subsidies (or subsidies for growing corn on the cob too).

Here's Reason.tv's documentary on not just the waste but the human misery produced by subsidies produced by such subsidies:

NEXT: Reason.tv: North Carolina Bans Rare Burgers! Nanny of the Month (May 2011)

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  1. I especially like Romney’s weaselly claim that he supported subsidies because the ethanol industry was still in its infancy and needed some temporary support, or somesuch.

    What a scum. If my only two choices were Romney and Obama, I might vote my religious bigotry instead of my racism.

    1. You are not alone. I will stay home. I will never vote for Obama and I have better things to do than waste my time voting for a third party. If the GOP nominates that idiot son bastard, they are dead to me.

      1. Why not throw away your vote on the LP stooge? 874 people can’t be wrong.

        1. If it’s WAR, fuck that shit. I’ll write in myself — a candidate I can trust.

          1. Yeah, I’d have a hard time voting for him, too.

    2. Mike Rogers of Michigan is pro ethanol, sending a billion dollars into the program, with 1plus million going to Michigan State University. Scott Romney, Mitts bro. sat on the board at MSU.

  2. Romney is an initiate of the Mysteries of Mithras?

  3. that looks like it might be cool!

  4. Send the message to Washington DC:
    Corn is what food eats, not what cars drink!

    1. Corn subsidies push agave farmers to burn their crops and plant corn instead. So also be sure to ask your congresspersons why they are taking away our precious tequila.

      1. “We need tequila subsidies!”

        1. The obvious solution. Politics is about subsidy, countersubsidy. Then countercountersubsidy followed by countercountercountersubsidy. I’d go on, but the comment field would be overwhelmed.

          1. I am an antidiscountersubisidianairan.

            1. It’s so hard to know where to begin.

        2. “But burning crops is good! It’s the way to stabilize the economy and feed America, right? Isn’t that what FDR taught us?”

          Dear me, I have too many responses for your comment Se?or Pro Libertate. But I’m going to go light the Weber instead and have a nice hamburger before North Carolina decides to annex Virginia to stop me.

          1. But I’m going to go light the Weber

            Euphemism is a wonderful thing, no?

          2. Politics is the art of the possible. So, since it is possible to convince many people to give their money to other people for dubious reasons, the government helps people steal money from others.

      2. Barley too.

        1. Interesting. So this could mean that ethanol subsidies are actually a neo-Prohibition movement in disguise. Destroy agave and barley. Use up the corn for fuel.

      3. I read this on cracked.com and i was so sad 🙁

  5. The Jr. Manchurian Candidate 🙂

  6. ADM applauds and appreciates Governor Romney’s devoted service to America.

    The check is in the mail.

  7. Politics is about subsidy, countersubsidy. Then countercountersubsidy followed by countercountercountersubsidy.

    This conjured up a vision of Spy vs Spy.

    1. Same thing.

  8. Ethanol IS corn likker; with poison in it, to keep innovative drinkers from getting any wrong ideas.

    1. I had a taste of some at an sugar cane refinery in brazil a few years back.
      bad decision

    2. In a truly free market economy, you’d have the option of running your car on a variety of substances, ranging from gasoline to bourbon. When out on the town, one could opt to buy a gallon of ethanol for entertainment purposes.

  9. Tim Pawlenty, among the least freedom-loving candidates possible

    Most of the positions you list at the linked page are standard issue for mainstream politicians. And the cosmo boner for gay marriage continues to perplex.

    1. Where does he stand on red-light cameras?

      1. In the intersection.

  10. The Romney 2012 Pander Tour is coming to a town near you. What handouts does your state want? Mittens will promise it.

  11. I think this is weird performance art…Romney is trying to see how few votes he can get.

    1. What amazes me is how much people have been acting like the nomination was his for the taking. He didn’t even make it halfway there last time, and his competition was a joke. He’s a lousy candidate, anyway you cut it. Good for him that he’s making sure that everyone fully understands how bad he really is.

      1. The only candidate worse than Romney is Gingrich. Have you ever met a single Gingrich supporter? I haven’t.

        1. Well, to be fair, I believe a number of us are conditionally Gingrich supporters. The condition being, of course, that he officially change his name to Newcular Titties.

          Otherwise, I agree with you.

        2. Don’t forget Rick Santorum.

      2. It will be at least 4 more election cycles before he overtakes Stassen. Speaking of Stassen, he is a more lively candidate then Paw-paw.

  12. http://www.realclearpolitics.c…..idies.html

    Palin came out today for ending all energy subsidies. Can Romney get some of the Palin hate he so richly deserves?

  13. Mitt Romney, the one-term governor of Massachusetts

    Does that mean he’s twice as good as me?

    1. Only if you are an idiot. Since it is you ananopussy, that kind of goes without saying. If only Mitt had resigned before he destroyed the Massachusetts healthcare system, he might have a shot at winning some votes.

      1. But I am an idiot. I am Sarah Palin. Idiocy runs in my family.

        1. Ye gods. The left sure loves the downtrodden, don’t they?

          1. You watch your phraseology!

    2. Wait! Pawlenty-Palin and the bumper stickers can read “PAW-PAL 2012!”

  14. He’s a lousy candidate, anyway you cut it.

    Which is why we want him on the ballot.

    1. I think there’s more than a little truth to that.

  15. “Providing $1 billion to fund programs that will help the renewable energy industry invest in new technologies, including $118 million into continued research of cellulosic ethanol at places like Michigan State University;” — Mike Rogers Congressman from Michigan and Mitt’s bud, supports the ethanol studies too!

  16. Speaking of alcohol and politicians, did anyone see P.J. O’Rourke’s column in the WSJ suggesting that politicians be required to drink three cocktails before giving a speech. Not enough to get plowed, just enough vino to release the veritas.

    His imagined Romney speech was something like, “I’m a technocrat, I solve problems, even if they don’t need it. Look at health care in Massachusetts. It was fine. I fixed it anyway. “

    1. Since Mitt wears the Holy Undershirt, I suspect three cocktails would put him under the table. Unless he’s secretly a Jack Mormon, of course.

      I disagree with P.J. on this one. A totally plowed Mitt would be far more entertaining than a slightly inebriated one, in an old-fashioned lampshade-on-the-head way.

  17. What’ll the free market think up next? The struggling tobacco farmers around where I live may soon be supplying our nation’s energy: tobacco is a good source of glycerin and ethanol.

  18. Oh that just cuts it. The GOP may actually flub this. We need a candidate for the GOP that’s actually significantly pro-freedom, but libertarians are going to have to face compromise; that’s just a fact. Thus I am forced to draft John as GOP nominee. Who’s with me?

    1. Only under the condition that MNG is his running mate.

  19. Anyone of the Republican candidates would be a better Pres then Obama who has done nothing to create new jobs , fix the economy , close gitmo, bring the troops home .. He has spent our money putting us in an even worse financial situation..plus he is a socialist and has more ppl now on welfare unemployement and food stamps then ever before in our history so we know he will get their votes ..

  20. MItt is the man except ethanol and he also believes in Global warming wonder if he believed in global cooling by the same very ppl 7 years ago..those two issues will kill him in the elction..although he is still far better then Obama ..in fact any candidate is ..Obama has dobne virtually nothing right since taking office with the exception of Bin Laden and the drone program..

Please to post comments

Comments are closed.