When the richer get richer by theft, they should be punished, even if government helped them in their highway robbery. And those government shysters should at least be voted out of town on a rail.
The ethanol people never really did have as their primary goal to save the planet. Their primary intended consequence was to get filthy rich--which they have now done. Congress wasn't out to save the planet either. They may have been out to look good, but their primary goal was to buy votes.
It goes like this--dream up a scary scenario, then provide a "solution" for the concocted problem. Then, before too many people find out about the scam, make millions of dollars perpetuating it. Finally, after all those people do find out about it, claim that the consequences were unintended. Ummm......
Those consequences (causing food shortages while "saving the planet") may have indeed been unintended. Because as far as those consequences are concerned, there were no intentions at all. They never thought--or cared--that deeply. The only sure intentions of congress, Archer Daniels Midland, and the ethanol good-ole-boy network was to make the government complicit in fleecing you.
Robert Tracinski of The Intellectual Activist (subscription required) is now calling out Congress and their ethanol partners in crime:
This recognition of the so-called Law of Unintended Consequences [is] coming from the mouths of everyone [involved in the scam]...The problem is that "unintended consequences" are being invoked in this case by people who have never before expressed such skepticism about the power of government—and who are not likely to do so again.That's it. It's as simple as that. Call it whatever you will--man made global warming, climate change, radical Islam, supercalifragilisticexpialidocious, or whatever.
Congress is not shocked to discover that an idealistic program has gone awry. Instead, they're eager to avoid the blame for something that they already knew they were up to.
By mandating that oil companies include ethanol in their gasoline, and by spending tens of billons to subsidize its production, Congress certainly knew that it was creating a vast new demand for corn and supplying vast sums of money to pay for it. And they knew and hoped that this would drive up the price of corn and the profits of Midwestern farmers.
It's not convincing for Congress to claim that its purpose was to replace oil with a cheaper alternative, because a cheaper alternative would be able to compete on its own merits and would not require government support. Cheaper goods don't need to be subsidized.
One thing is becoming more clear. The scam continues. For ethanol subsidies, these people knew all about it--inside and outside of congress. These rich people should be investigated and punished.