Friday, July 31, 2009

Godfather of the Corn Ethanol Lobby

We evaluate our poster children by their votes for unconstitutional spending and regulations over time. I’ve been criticized by some for putting only Dems on the posters, so far. I’m just getting started and logically, to my mind, we should begin with the worst offenders –and demonstrably, Dems are generally worse offenders than Repubs. My first Repub, Arlen Specter, converted to Dem –he was right on the line as the worst of the self-serving Repubs who are very close to the least worst Dems.

Our new boy on the poster, Sen Charles Grassley of Iowa, doesn’t have the worst overall record of Repubs or Dems but he has, by virtual of his longevity in Congress, reached a position where he has been able to influence enactment of some of the most damaging legislation to our freedoms and well-being. The ethanol disaster is one and now, Obama’s plan to take over healthcare has Grassley in position to enable Obama’s power grab. He’s working on a “compromise” that he says won’t concede the entire health care system of the USA to the State –just a part of what is left in the free market. Government already controls about half of healthcare through Medicare and other federal programs. Where is THAT in the US Constitution? Who benefits from a FedGov command of health care for each and every one of us commoners? Note that all of the plans offered so far by the Obama regime exempts royalty --federal officials and Congress-- from the restrictions and regulations.

Since 1989 healthcare special interest lobbyists have paid $300 million to the professional politicians. In the last few years Finance Chairman Max Baucus got $3.8 mil and Grassely, the senior Repub on the committee got $2.5 mil. Big stakes, big bribes. Baucus is in his 6th term and Grassley in his 5th 6-year term. Have you seen the NASCAR drivers with all the decals on their clothes, cars, etc. showing who their sponsors are? Well, I think the professional politicians should have to display the logos of all of the companies and groups that pay them. It would help taxpayer/voters to understand why they do what they do for certain interests.
Ethanol made from sugar is a viable product –Brazil has proven that it can be produced efficiently without subsidies and without hurting the food supply. But our politicians mandate that our ethanol be made from corn even though it creates more smog than gasoline. It is so corrosive that it can’t be delivered through pipelines. Cars get fewer miles per gallon when gas has to be mixed --by law-- with ethanol. So, why don’t we just import ethanol from Brazil? Because Sen. Grassley and his friends put a 54 cents a gallon tariff on it so their friendly corn farmers and ethanol producers don’t have competition. Why don’t the American sugar producers make ethanol then. Because they have their own Congress-critters taking care of them with supports and protections, so why work?
Grassley is known as The Godfather of the Corn Ethanol Lobby. He even threatened to hold up confirmation of Obama’s choice to be U.S. ambassador to Brazil because he feared the guy personally favored ending a U.S. tariff on ethanol imports.
Like our other poster boys and girls, Grassley, now 75, never had a real job in the real economy –he went into the Iowa House of Representatives in 1959. He graduated college in 1956. His bio says he was an assembly line worker and farmer in the 3-year interim. Then followed a stint in the US House followed by the US Senate since 1980. And this experience qualifies him to be a major influence in determining how our agriculture, energy and healthcare sectors of the US economy should be run? I don’t think so. If we had term limits, say 3 or 4 terms in the House and 1 or 2 (max!) terms in the Senate then in that turnover we might have some experienced business or professional people with actual real life experience in the various sectors of our economy.
As Paul Johnson the great historian has concluded in his history of the US, the professional politician was the “scourge of the 20th century.” And now they are even worse in the 21st century as is being made clear by the major problems we face as a nation demonstrably caused by these self-serving career politicians. All that we’ve achieved through our freedom with individual responsibility under a Constitution that guaranteed our rights is being destroyed by the monster we know as FedGov. There are no more checks and balances and that must change if we are to again be a free and prosperous nation. Term limits on Congress would go a long way towards regaining control by the people through elected reps who might truly “serve” the people and not themselves as the professional pols do.

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