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There’s more. The government keeps raising the amount of renewable fuel to be used each year, even though U.S. gasoline consumption has been flat. The only way to achieve that goal is to put more ethanol in each gallon of gas, so the EPA has proposed raising the “blend wall” from 10 percent ethanol in our gasoline to 15 percent.

Car manufacturers, though, are complaining that “E15” is too rich for older car engines and could ruin them, which the government seems to deny.

Last week, the Obama administration relented on both health care and ethanol. On Thursday, the president postponed the insurance mandate for a year. On Friday, the EPA proposed its first-ever cut in the ethanol requirement, from the mandated 18 billion gallons to about 15 billion, and to keep the cellulosic biofuel requirement between 8 million and 30 million gallons. Of course, both are only temporary fixes.

If all of this sounds a lot like the government’s effort to impose Obamacare, that’s because it is. Some politicians and bureaucrats have a vision they want to impose on the rest of us — for our own good. Just because their system is impractical, costly and doesn’t work — or may even cause us harm — is not a sufficient reason from them not to impose that vision, and penalize us if we don’t submit.

Merrill Matthews is a resident scholar with the Dallas-based Institute for Policy Innovation.