In contrast to what many believe, I do not support political parties. I support and vehemently defend policies that make sense, and attack those that don’t.

In case you did not know that, I am going to surprise you with a blast of Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney who is pandering to the Iowa farmers with a message “I Support the Subsidy of Ethanol“.

On his first trip back to the nation’s first voting state as a soon-to-be declared presidential candidate, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney reaffirmed his support for federal ethanol subsidies — an always important campaign issue in Iowa that figures to take on an even more central role in the divided GOP field.

“I support the subsidy of ethanol,” Romney told a potential voter after an event here was cut short by a fire alarm. “I believe ethanol is an important part of our energy solution in this country.”

Support for ethanol subsidies has long been considered a political necessity for candidates who want to succeed in the Iowa caucuses, but former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty tested that maxim on Monday during his official campaign announcement here.

“The truth about federal energy subsidies, including federal subsidies for ethanol, is that they have to be phased out,” Pawlenty said. “We need to do it gradually. We need to do it fairly. But we need to do it.”

Pawlenty was widely praised in fiscally conservative circles for taking a stance against the subsidies, which cost taxpayers about $5 billion in 2010, while former House Speaker Newt Gingrich has been singled out for criticism by influential conservative media outlets, including the Wall Street Journal editorial board, for his vocal support of subsidized ethanol.

Romney supported ethanol subsidies during his unsuccessful 2008 presidential run, in which he largely banked on winning the Iowa caucuses but finished a disappointing second to former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee.

Political Pandering

Dave, a friend of mine, sent me the above article and said “what a whore”.

By the way, Dave is a Republican. He voted for McCain in the last election (I wrote in Ron Paul). We need more Republicans like Dave willing to voice their criticism because that is the only way we are going to get change.

Here’s the deal. Either Romney is a whore or he is ignorant. He could be both. Romney may be far better than Obama, but that is beside the point.

The point is ethanol from corn makes no sense. Ethanol from corn costs energy to produce and is only viable because of government subsidies. Ethanol from sugar cane makes sense, but the US has tariffs on Brazilian ethanol in order to support inefficient, energy wasting ethanol from corn.

Remove Tariffs, Legalize Hemp

Want to lower gas prices? Then remove tariffs on ethanol.

If you want biofuels, then legalize hemp.

Hemp needs no fertilizer, its fiber is softer than cotton, its seeds high in oil content, and it grows on poor soil.

Those are admirable properties. Does that make hemp viable for biofuels? I suspect so, but to be truthful, I just don’t know. 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 whoring Iowa voters on the same big government subsidy side as president Obama.

Mike “Mish” Shedlock
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