Wednesday, June 13, 2007

The Corrupt Congressional Democommies Come To Surface

The Democommies won their majority in Congress in part by cynically manipulating some very minor cases of corruption by Republican Congressmen, telling voters that they would "end the culture of corruption" in Washington. But of course, the real culture of corruption is the culture of big government. Corruption flourishes when government has the most favors (and punishments) to dispense.

And you've never seen corruption on the scale we're about to witness as Democommies begin to overhaul an enormous portion of the American economy, from imposing quasi-socialized medicine to constricting the supply of energy that powers all of the nation's economic activity.

That's the message of this article, which describes the various factions jockeying for the government subsidies about to be showered on those who traffic in the con game of "alternative energy"—with each participant also scrambling to avoid becoming a victim of the new regulatory regime.

"Congress Turns to Energy, and Lobbyists Arrive," Edmund L. Andrews, New York Times, June 12 With gasoline prices hovering near all-time highs, the Senate on Monday began debating a sprawling energy bill that has already kicked off an epic lobbying war by huge industries, some of them in conflict with one another: car companies, oil companies, electric utilities, coal producers, and corn farmers, to name a few….

Detroit’s automakers are lobbying hard against tough fuel economy standards, but they support increased production of ethanol and other alternative fuels.

But Charles W. Stenholm, a former Democratic representative from Texas, is lobbying on behalf of oil producers and cattle farmers against big subsidies for corn-based ethanol.

The Senate bill, as well as a similar measure in the House, would force automakers to increase the fuel economy of their cars and light trucks. It would require a huge expansion of alternative fuels for cars and trucks as well as electric power plants. And it is expected to offer as much as $25 billion in tax breaks over 10 years to promote those fuels….

[L]awmakers from both parties are drafting scores of proposed amendments, many of which would tilt the competitive advantage of one industry over another, and some would cost taxpayers billions of dollars….

The clash between rival industry agendas was apparent on Monday. Fifteen trade associations and companies from the food industry warned senators in a letter that heavy government subsidies for ethanol would push up prices for corn and other feed, and thus the cost of food.

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