Friday, November 30, 2007

McCain on Subsidies

Fire of Liberty

In my post Energy Independence, I pointed out that of all the serious candidates running for President, Senator McCain is a candidate who is brave enough to preach against farm subsidies, ethanol subsidies(even in Iowa) and other forms of corporate welfare. While McCain has strayed from Goldwater and Reagan with a lot of issues (like his support of campaign finance reform), the Senator seems to be in tune with such conservative paragons with his opposition to such subsidies. Here's a look at what Senator McCain had to say on subsidies at a November 5th conference on Bio Economy in Ames, Iowa:

Many Iowans have heard that I oppose federal subsidies for ethanol production. Some of you will have heard that I oppose a protective tariff against sugar-based ethanol imports from places like Brazil. Some of my opponents will describe my positions as opposition to American ethanol producers or, for some inexplicable reason, a personal dislike of Iowa. Neither is true, of course, and I appreciate the opportunity to set the record straight. But I have always believed before you can win someone's vote, you have to earn their respect. And I intend to earn your respect by being honest with you.

Yes, I oppose subsidies. Not just ethanol subsidies. Subsidies. And not just in Iowa either. I oppose them in my own state of Arizona. I am a proud of the conservative tradition that the government can sometimes best serve the interests of the American people by knowing when to stay out of their way. And I've always been reluctant to grow the size of government to do the business of the American people for them or to favor one industry over another or because one sector of our economy has better lobbyists than another.
. . .

I trust Americans, I trust markets and I oppose subsidies. . . . Yes, that means no ethanol subsidies. But it also means no rifle-shot tax breaks for big oil. It means no line items for hydrogen, no mandates for other renewable fuels, and no big-government debacles like the Dakotas Synfuels plant. It means ethanol entrepreneurs get a level playing field to make their case — and earn their profits.

I believe this approach allows Iowans their best opportunity to display to the world the ingenuity that has served Iowa through the years.

I just wished Romney, Thompson, and Rudy would also make such points out in corn country.

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