“Yes, how many years can some people exist
“Before they’re allowed to be free?
“Yes, how many times can a man turn his head
“Pretending he just doesn’t see?
“The answer my friend is blowin’ in the wind
“The answer is blowin’ in the wind.”
Bob Dylan, “Blowin’ in the Wind”
One of the biggest wastes in Washington spending is painfully obvious. It is simply blowing in the wind.
It is wind power energy.
The problem is not wind power. The problem is government paying for wind power. Barack Obama loves paying for wind power, and for that reason alone, the program could be opposed and anyone who opposed it would be right.
Unfortunately, wind-based energy right now is one of the biggest exercises in corporate welfare we have today. Thanks to what are known as Wind Production Tax Credits, corporations are paid by the federal government to produce wind energy. They then in turn pay utilities to take their wind-generated energy.
In a normal market, the utility companies pay for the energy they purchase from energy generators. With wind-based energy, thanks to production tax credits, the producers pay the utilities to take their energy and still make a profit!
One of the biggest supporters of wind power and the production tax credit has been Sen. Charles Grassley, Iowa Republican. Grassley long argued that wind was an infant industry and needed help to get established. Grassley said, “I’d say we’re going to have to do it for at least another five years, maybe for 10 years. Sometime we’re going to reach that point where it’s competitive [with other forms of energy]. I think the argument for any tax credit is to make the new source of energy economically competitive.”
Charles Grassley said that in 2002. Eleven years later, wind is not profitable without government subsidies and cannot compete with other forms of energy.
Currently, Congress is considering something that it calls “tax extenders.” Both houses of Congress are reviewing tax credits offered to businesses to decide which credits are made permanent, extended or stripped away.
In 2012, the Wind Production Tax Credit was extended, and it cost American taxpayers $12 billion. To put that in perspective, the Navy could buy another Ford-class aircraft carrier for $12 billion.
If the Wind Production Tax Credit is extended for five years, as is now being discussed, it would cost the American taxpayer an additional $18 billion.
When the Tea Party came into existence in 2009, one of the driving issues was the insane spending from the Obama regime. Spending has raced out of control for five years now. Much of the spending is nothing more than corporate welfare. It is crony socialism.
Eighteen billion dollars in the greater scheme of things is not the largest item in the budget but it is pure waste. It is the government picking a winner that the market would otherwise declare to be a loser.
This is one issue the Tea Party needs to unite on and demand Congress stop this wasteful spending.