Why Taxpayers Should Care About Cellulosic Ethanol

Cellulosic ethanol, a form of non-food based fuel produced from sources such as algae, wood chips, and corn stover,  is not a likely topic of dinner table discussion.  But as taxpayers, whether we were aware of it or not, we have been involved in attempts to produce it for many years.

Why?  The Chairwoman of the U.S. Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) 5% is convinced it’s a central part of becoming energy independent and lowering our gas prices at the pump.

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Mike Lee to GOP: Serious About Reform? Here’s Your Chance to Prove It

Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT) 100% has some advice for Republicans if they are serious about regaining popularity.  It boils down to being true to their word and upholding “principles we already espouse.”  One such principle is their stance against crony capitalism, which was singled out for condemnation for the first time in 2012 in the Republican party platform.

“Republicans have slammed all this ‘corporate welfare’ and ‘venture socialism’ for ‘unfairly picking winners in the marketplace’,” he recalls.   

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Tea Party Defines “New Republican”

A new project, led by longtime GOP strategist Alex Castellanos, is aimed at rebranding the Republican Party.  Announced today in Politico’s Playbook, NewRepublican.org will focus “on outlining a positive GOP agenda for the future.”  In an ad slated to run on Sunday shows, Gov. Bobby Jindal (R-LA) says “If you don’t think the Republican Party should be the party of big government, big business or big anything, you’re thinking like a New Republican.”

If that message sounds familiar that’s because Heritage Action has been pounding it for years.  In October 2011, CEO Mike Needham and COO Tim Chapman wrote an op-ed for Real Clear Politics entitled “The Washington Establishment’s Big Problem.”  They explained:

The Bigs – Big Wall Street, Big Government, Big Labor, and Big Business – are all protected classes in the American political system. The tax code, regulatory regime, and campaign finance laws are all written by those powerful enough to hire an army of lobbyists to descend on Washington. Labor unions pushed their way ahead of bond holders when the Establishment bailed out Chrysler. Solyndra got venture funding from the middle class taxpayer after spending $1.9 million lobbying the Establishment. 

This corrupt nexus is at the heart of the dissatisfaction across the country towards Washington.

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Export-Import Bank: A Microcosm of Washington’s Cronyism

The United States Export-Import Bank is essentially a microcosm of some of Washington’s biggest problems, from the corruption it encourages, to putting taxpayers at risk, to the cronyism it facilitates.

The alleged purpose of the Bank is to “facilitate exports and imports and the exchange of commodities between the United States and other Nations.”  That sounds harmless, perhaps even helpful, until the Bank’s actual operations are exposed.  For proof of the Bank existing in part to advance political ideologies, look no further than the Bank’s backing of the failed solar panel company, Solyndra, which was the recipient of an Ex-Im Bank loan guarantee of $10.3 million.  American taxpayers shouldn’t be used as pawns in this ongoing game of political correctness and corporate cronyism, while free-market principles are trampled.

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School Choice and Freedom Go Hand in Hand

This week, the Heritage Foundation’s Lindsey M. Burke deftly dismantled an argument by Politico reporter Stephanie Simon that since some private schools teach that God created the world, everyone should oppose vouchers.

Simon takes issue specifically with schools teaching Creationism or intelligent design. She states:

Decades of litigation have established that public schools cannot teach creationism or intelligent design. But private schools receiving public subsidies can — and do.

She goes on to broadly detail how terrible many private school curricula are, using their coursework as the basis of her argument against school choice and the use of public funds for vouchers.

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