Don’t Touch My Handouts

That’s the sentiment flowing through the country right now. People are complaining about corporate handouts, entitlement handouts and education handouts – but as soon as their handout comes under fire, slow down!

The American Wind Energy Association (AWEA) CEO Denise Bode sent out a press release deriding Congressman Mike Pompeo’s (R-KS) bold initiative to remove all federal subsidies. This, of course, would include a tax credit for wind energy. Rep. Pompeo believes that industries that are good for the country should be able to stand on their own. Unfortunately, that does not sit well with Bode:

“The stability of the production tax credit has provided the foundation of wind energy’s transformation of a new manufacturing sector based on American ingenuity: wind has supplied more than a third of all new electric capacity in the U.S. over the past five years.”

The press release claims that wind energy will produce 20% of America’s electricity 18 years from now, that wind energy has 400 factories in the U.S., and employees 75,000 workers across the country. If they’re doing so well, why do they still need a government subsidy?

It’s the same argument that liberals make against oil and gas. These industries should be able to stand on their own. That’s why Rep. Pompeo is introducing legislation that will eliminate subsidies for all energy sources – from oil, gas and nuclear to wind, solar and biofuels. According to Congressman Pompeo:

“For decades, the federal government has provided billions of dollars in energy tax subsidies—which do nothing more than pick “winners and losers” in the private marketplace.  Wind, solar, biomass, and other sources of energy all have shown great promise, but it is high time for energy sources to demonstrate their value on the open market—without government interference.”

It wouldn’t be surprising if Denise Bode was in favor of ending other subsidies, so long as hers remain intact. This is a fundamental problem going on in our country. Whenever any entitlement, program, subsidy, tax credit, agency is threatened with a cut in order to keep our economy from collapsing, some special interest claims it will be the end of their industry. Until we can get past this, our economy can’t recover.

It’s time the government gets out of the energy subsidy business and allows the free market to take over. Energy prices will be cheaper, and companies will have more freedom to hire and spend capital.

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