Friday, October 8, 2010

Russ Quixote and the Wind Farm Bailout

The Missouri Record's cartoon column, Off the Record, has captured the essence of Russ "Quixote" Carnahan's (D-MO) problem. The cartoon of Russ says: "Those aren't my brother's tax subsidized wind mills.... Those are giants!" This parallels the arguments made at left-leaning blogs as they assert that Russ is innocent in the matter of the $107 million grant in lieu of $90 million tax credit for his brother Tom's wind farm.

As long as the left defends the indefensible award of $107 million grant in lieu of $90 million tax credit they fail to see the structural injustice of a bureaucracy that peddles money and influence into the hands of a few, well-connected individuals. That's the same injustice that bailed out banks and automakers. In fact, because wind power is not economically viable at the moment, funding wind farms is the equivalent of preemptively bailing them out. It's the same injustice, so to say that "Russ is innocent" is to ignore his vote for Cap and Trade which is a reasonable proxy for whether or not he wants to bailout "Big Green".

Perhaps Tom Carnahan has developed an innovation that will make his wind farms economically viable. In that case he will succeed with or without public subsidy and deserves to be richly rewarded for bequeathing to civilization an environmental boon. But in a time of economic turmoil and high unemployment, Russ Carnahan's policy preferences are irresponsible as they will drive up the cost of electricity even for the poorest Americans.

In short, vote for Ed Martin on November 2nd.

Update: Here's a recent example of the systemic problems with bureaucracies. Pajamas Media reports on their FOIA request to the FDIC:
Late last month, PJM reported that Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA) — ranking member of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform — had begun an investigation into allegations the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) gave preferential treatment to banks with political connections.
In the two-page response, the FDIC does not claim they do not maintain such a list or engage in the practice of flagging banks which have important contacts. Instead, they essentially say they do not have to provide such information to PJM because the request was simply too broad.
Is there anyone that would be surprised to learn that the FDIC plays favorites?

1 comment:

Oback Arama said...

If Russ knew that his brother was going to get a windfall of more than 100,000,000.00 dollars, he should have recused himself and abstained from the stimulus vote. The fact is that none of these congressional turkeys read the bills they vote on, so he does have plausible deniability on his side. Either way, a vote for Russ is a vote for either ignorance or or a vote for more windfalls for Russ and his family and friends.