Saturday, June 18, 2011

Senator Ron Johnson votes with the Kochs (and the rest of us too!)

Wisconsin Senator Ron Johnson was the only Midwestern (OK, is not the Midwest, is it?) senator to vote against ethanol subsidies this week.  He actually did it twice (first the Coburn then the Feinstein version).

Good news for taxpayers, right?  Why should they have to support major agribusiness.  Perhaps RoJo was just doing the bidding of the Koch brother.  As Howard Gleckman of the Tax Policy Center reports:
Even the powerful Koch brothers, who have bankrolled many GOP candidates and whose firms benefit from the subsidies, endorsed repeal.
For Wisconsin Democrats, the Kochs have come to embody everything that they believe is wrong in the world.  In this case, that's too bad since the ethanol subsidy is a bad deal both for taxpayers and for the global poor.  As Gleckman points out:
The subsidy itself is one of the least defensible in the tax code and it benefits a handful of corn farmers and producers in just a few states.
And in 2009 Gleckman reported this subsidy has contributed to increase in food prices of possibly as much as 15%. Seems like a perfect target for a party that professes to care about the hungry people of the world.  And yet it was our GOP senator (and supposed dupe of the nefarious Kochs) who voted to end the subsidy while our senior senator, Democrat Herb Kohl, voted to keep sending taxpayer money to Archer Daniels Midland and keep corn prices higher than they would otherwise be for the food consumers of the world (that is, everybody).

So to my Democratic/progressive friends in Wisconsin, I say don't get all strung out on Koch.  Sometimes the interests of American taxpayers, hungry people the world over, and billionaire GOP donors align.  And when they do, we shouldn't let partisan considerations prevent us from acting on them.


Cindy K. said...

A little Oklahoma knowledge from a native:

Yes, Oklahomans consider themselves Midwestern, especially those from the NE corner. OKC has both midwest and southwest properties. South of OKC they'll call themselves the south, not southwest. Basically, you are in the middle of everything, so you get to choose.

It is also big oil, so you can bet Coburn voted to support that. Oklahomans pride themselves on selling gas without ethanol in most stations. It's a big selling point.

Dad29 said...

So OK interests, Koch interests, taxpayer interests, car-driver interests, and the interests of ~1 billion hungry around the world co-incided.

That settles it: Kohl obviously favors the downtrodden Archer-Daniels-Midland (Greek) management.

Greece is in trouble, right?