Monday, March 08, 2010

Stop Subsidizing Everything!!

An article from the Cato Institute describes my frustration with "part-time" conservatives:
Government Support for Nuclear Energy Misguided
Peter van Doren have long argued that the case for government intervention in energy markets is flimsy: "Despite promises in the 1950s that nuclear power would soon become 'too cheap to meter,' 50 years of lavish federal subsidies and regulatory preferences have yet to produce an industry that can turn a profit without taxpayer help."Calling the plan "radioactive corporate welfare," Taylor says the plan is highly misguided:President Obama announced this week he would allocate billions of dollars in loan guarantees to build a new nuclear power plant in Georgia, the first new nuclear power plant in the U.S. in thirty years. Cato scholars Jerry Taylor and
A good default proposition regarding the government's role in the economy would state that the government should not loan money to an enterprise if the enterprise in question cannot find one single market actor anywhere in the universe to loan said enterprise a single red cent. It might suggest — I don't know — that the investment is rather … dubious. Alas, like all good propositions regarding the government's role in the economy, this one is being left by the roadside by the Obama administration.
Many conservatives who regularly defend free and open markets praised Obama's decision to subsidize nuclear energy. The editors of National Review wrote, "the president has sent a clear message to the country — and to environmentalists — that nuclear will be part of the country's future energy mix. For that message, he deserves our approbation." Cato scholars have repeatedly warned against supporting such subsidies in energy markets, criticizing so-called "free-market advocates" who lose their way when it comes to energy policy. Taylor and Van Doren write: 
Rather than defend free markets, [conservatives] bang the table about the need for national energy plans and government timetables for energy-plant construction…. How is the conservative case for the above subsidies any different from the liberal case for subsidizing solar or wind energy, or high-mileage automobiles — or, for that matter, the case for government backing of financial institutions and automobile companies? It isn't, and conservatives should not check their skepticism about central planning and the bureaucratic ordering of markets at the door when they walk into the energy-policy funhouse.
Taylor and Van Doren further outline a plan for sound energy policy in the Energy Chapter of the Cato Handbook for Policymakers. For more, read Richard L. Gordon's 2008 Policy Analysis on energy policy and government subsidies that makes the case against government intervention in energy markets.

I recognize that nuclear is good, necessary, and a WAY better energy generator than wind and solar. But encourage it by LOWERING REGULATIONS/RESTRICTIONS!!! Stop thinking the only way that anything will ever develop is if government throws money (Other People's Money) at that market.

When supposedly fiscal/limited government conservatives jump on the subsidizing bandwagon just because that money would be going toward something they like or agree with, it makes me question the validity of their claims of truly being limited government. I know, I know, "But we need energy independence ASAP! It's about our national security. It's about lowering energy costs for those struggling. We can't wait to battle for lower regulations or for the market to mature itself. We must act

Sound frighteningly like another party I know.

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