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: