Sunday, December 12, 2010

Ok, rationality has left the building--to pass a tax bill that increases the deficit, Senate leadership offers incentives to reluctant Senators that will, well, increase the deficit...Will it ever end?

Why, oh, why does it have to be ethanol.  It is the one subsidy that has widespread support from the left and right to get rid of.  If they can't eliminate this one bad policy, I have little faith they can cut any spending on anything significant in the federal budget...Business as usual??

Reid Sweetens Tax Deal With Ethanol, Green Subsidies  

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., late Thursday unveiled a new version of the tax cut deal President Obama hammered out with Republicans. The package keeps the basic framework but adds several provisions clearly aimed at winning over wavering Democrats. Chief among them is an expansion of ethanol subsidies. The bill would extend existing tax credits on the additive as well as a tariff on imported ethanol.
What does ethanol have to do with expiring tax cuts? Well, Sen. Tom Harkin, D-Iowa., has slammed the deal but is also eager to preserve ethanol subsidies, a big deal in his corn-producing state.
The bill also extends tax credits for biodiesel and renewable fuels, energy-efficient homes, alternative fuels, manufacture of energy-efficient appliances, and investing in “alternative vehicle refueling property.” The provisions have been endorsed by the clean energy lobby and may help win over reluctant Democrats.
Additional article: Add-ons turn tax cut bill into 'Christmas tree'

For urban lawmakers, there's a continuation of about-to-expire tax breaks that could save commuters who use mass transit about $1,000 a year. Other popular tax provisions aimed at increasing production of hybrid automobiles, biodiesel fuel, coal and energy-efficient household appliances would be extended through the end of 2011 under the new add-ons.
The package also includes an extension of two Gulf Coast tax incentive programs enacted after Hurricane Katrina to spur economic development in Mississippi, Louisiana and Alabama.
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