The race for the presidency has been characterized as a fight between outsiders. When lightly examined through this persistent meme, it doesn’t pass the smell test. My own personal conclusion is that this is actually a race between the outsider versus the ultimate insider, and as much as Trump supporters hate to admit it, he is that ultimate insider. One of the latest things he’s done that brought me to this conclusion is his endorsement of ethanol subsidies. His supporters make light of this issue saying proudly, “in the grand scheme of problems facing this nation this is a nothing issue.” Just because you say something enough times doesn’t make it so because those pesky facts tend to get in the way. The facts? This is and has been a major issue in this country. The effects of this subsidy and others like it have been studied and written about by the who’s who of small government thinkers. Everyone from Thomas Sowell in ‘Basic Economics‘, Henry Hazlitt in ‘Economics in One Lesson‘, to Mark Levin in ‘Plunder and Deceit‘ have thoroughly explored this subject. This body of work also includes a flurry of white papers and studies a mile long.
Doug Bandow, Former Special Assistant to Ronald Raegan, wrote in an analysis of this debate about subsidies writing:“Ethanol subsidies began in 1978 and used to include a high tariff and benefit from generous tax credits, both of which expired at the end of 2011. However, the Renewable Fuel Standard, which requires blending ethanol with gasoline, operates as a huge industry subsidy. Robert Bryce of the Manhattan Institute figured the requirement cost drivers more than $10 billion since 2007.”
He also stated: “Three decades ago the Agriculture Department admitted that ethanol could not survive “without massive new government assistance,” which “cannot be justified on economic grounds.” What other justification could there be for an ethanol dole?”
Along with sugar subsidies, Ethanol is the main driver of price distortions that we see today; From the food, we buy to the vehicles we drive and a whole myriad of capital misallocation seen throughout our marketplace.The price distortions have been estimated to raise food prices by as mush as 8% to 10%. Like the sugar subsidy in places like Florida, it is coveted by a wealthy few and only serves to separate us from our true buying power. Subsidies for ethanol isn’t a conservative agenda. Ethanol exists for the government, it was created for corporations and it was created by the insiders to enrich the elite. It’s been proven again and again to raise food prices. This isn’t a small issue and it is absolutely antithetical to everything conservatism stands for. The supporters of this make the weak and intellectually dishonest argument that the rigged ethanol sector is a part of a dynamic and robust energy strategy and that the other side doesn’t play fair, when In actuality, this boondoggle is the equivalent of the government forcing you to buy a product on the front end while you subsidize it on the back end.
I understand these simple facts escape most Trump supporters but they are facts none the less. The “get even mentality” of that cohort is probably already launching dispersions in the comment section at this point anyway. In a sense, these people remind me of Ron Paul supporters of the last cycle but at least his supporters had some sort of intellectual leg to stand on. We all understand that Trump supporters don’t really care if he’s a conservative or not. They could care less that he’s immoral for that matter as well. They call us purist and say conservatism is dead. We must abandon it for a new conservatism.
Conservative radio host Mark Levin made a fantastic point on his radio show quoting the timeless writings of Eric Hoffer who wrote in his book ‘The True Believer.’
“It is the true believers ability to shut his eyes and stop his ears to facts that do not deserve to be either seen or heard which is the source of his unequaled fortitude and constancy he cannot be frightened by danger nor disheartened by obstacle nor baffled by contradictions because he denies their existence.”
I’ve been an activist in Republican politics for a few years now. I’ve been in the fight for smaller government ever since I was troubled by the actions of this administration while serving in the military. I’m no summer soldier. I’ve been in this fight for the restoration of this constitution both physically and in the political arena for some time now. I’ve learned a few things along the way. One thing I’ve learned is that there is no knight that’s going to storm in on a white horse to save this republic. The only savior we can rely on is our lord Jesus Christ. The change we are looking for will only come through individuals animated by a strong personal conviction to change the systems operating in our own communities. I also learned government isn’t a business. It doesn’t operate by the basic fundamentals of an enterprise found in the free market. It’s a misguided analogy that’s always irked me. The government is force, pure and simple and because a government is force and not a business, it is imperative we elect individuals willing to live within the constraints of our republic. That’s not to say a businessman can’t run or lead a country effectively. What makes a good leader at their foundation is a strong moral compass. At the end of the day, Trump just doesn’t have it. Electing individuals unmoored from a strong moral code is a key reason we’re so unhinged as a nation to begin with.
The last thing this country needs is to send another wheeler-dealer insider to Washington. An unflinching resolve for liberty with a desire for the maximum absence of coercion and faith in the individual are the building blocks that make our country great. There aren’t too many candidates who possess that but I assure you, Trump surely doesn’t either.