The US Senate voted Tuesday NOT to repeal a $6 billion tax credit for Ethanol. The bill’s chief sponsor Senator Coburn (R-OK) argued that despite their pledge to not raise taxes, the GOP must stop tolerating wasteful giveaways through the IRS Tax Code. Senator McCain (R-AZ) chimed in stating “Everybody’s entitled to their own opinion…It’s my opinion that it’s a disgraceful subsidy that is unwarranted and a waste of taxpayer dollars.”
For those of you who are keeping score 34 of the 47 Republicans in the Senate voted to repeal this tax credit, despite an ATR pledge by 40 of them to never increase taxes. (Lets be fair, ATR did advise them that so long as they cut another tax to make up for increasing taxes by repealing this credit, they would not be breaking the pledge.) The credit in question was an earmark granting a $6 billion dollar available tax credit for gasoline producers who blend ethanol into their fuels. This blender’s credit amounts to 1 tenth of 1 percent of the requested Federal Budget for fiscal year 2012 and is in fact not a subsidy for ethanol producers, or corn farmers, but a fuel subsidy for the oil companies who blend and sell gasohol.
Am I the only person who thinks this kind of political pandering is disgusting? Senator Van Hollen (D-MD) is quoted as saying “A realistic conversation about deficit reduction must include both cuts and revenues, and Senator Coburn’s amendment to eliminate $6 billion in tax earmarks for ethanol is an important part of this discussion,” and feels Senator Coburn’s “willingness to cut special-interest tax breaks for the purpose of deficit reduction is encouraging.”
Now, I am all for cutting special-interest tax breaks, but let’s get real, one tenth of one percent is a small drop in the ocean of red ink that is 2012 deficit spending. How about cutting something real like the $121 billion mandatory spending in the USDA budget. (%3.2) Or what about cutting some of the $575 billion being spent by the DOD this year EXCLUDING War Funding for Afghanistan and Iraq. (%15.4) Maybe we could look at cutting the $53 billion dollars being requested for foreign aid this year. (%1.4)
But the Republicans are the only ones pandering. The Democrats continually call for the elimination of tax breaks for Big Oil but they voted to keep this bill on the table instead of bringing the actual tax cut up for a vote. I am sick of reading about “earmarks” and “tax credits,” “deficit spending” and “fiscal responsibility.” Let’s see some real action please!?!