Monday, January 5, 2009

Obama's Pick of Tom Vilsack for Agriculture Secretary Grim News for Nation

Obama hasn't shown a lot of wisdom in his cabinet choices so far, and is evidenced in relationship to ethanol, as he picked ethanol subsidy proponent Tom Vilsack, former Iowa governor, to lead the Department of Agriculture.

The conflict of interest is too obvious to have to comment on, in that Iowa has been the largest recipient of taxpayer dollars, receiving the largest portion of the over $25 billion wasted on ethanol subsidies so far.

Not only that, but Vilsack is even more radical in pushing for larger subsidies for the failing biofuel strategy.

It's hard to understand how Obama on one side of his mouth asks for a cap on subsidies for wealthy farmers, citing the excessive power the special interest group wields, and then on the other side of his mouth places someone like Vilsack in charge of the Department of Agriculture. It's a grim, complete disaster.

"The president-elect’s own history is difficult to square with his recent farm-reform talk. Obama ardently backed ethanol subsidies while in the Senate — his home state of Illinois trails only Iowa in corn production — and one of his closest confidants, former Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle, is as responsible as any politician for the explosion in these subsidies."

Not only does corn-based ethanol require more inputs than other crops, but the usual unintended consequences have emerged, and as usual hurt the little people the most, as processed food prices soared in response to the artificial propping up of the prices of corn, driven only by Federal subsidies.

It looks like a lot more pain will have to be inflicted on people before politicians and environmentalist admit the failure of this venture, which was instigated by the unholy agreement between the two.

Now that the obvious results of the disaster are becoming known, green groups are trying to distance themselves from the debacle, as they're made to look like the fools they are.

All of us are still waiting to see where the reform promised by Obama is going to implemented. So far it's business as usual in Washington. And in the case of ethanol, it's an increasing disaster no one is willing to admit to and just drop off the subsidy list.

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