Home
In this issue
December 2, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Defending the Right to a Jewish State

Heather Hale: Compliment your kids without giving them big heads

Megan Shauri: 10 ways you are ruining your own happiness

Carolyn Bigda: 8 Best Dividend Stocks for 2015

Kiplinger's Personal Finance editors: 7 Things You Didn't Know About Paying Off Student Loans

Samantha Olson: The Crucial Mistake 55% Of Parents Are Making At Their Baby's Bedtime

Densie Well, Ph.D., R.D. Open your eyes to yellow vegetables

The Kosher Gourmet by Megan Gordon With its colorful cache of purples and oranges and reds, COLLARD GREEN SLAW is a marvelous mood booster --- not to mention just downright delish
April 18, 2014

Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology

Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

Lizette Borreli: Green Tea Boosts Brain Power, May Help Treat Dementia

John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious

April 14, 2014

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

The Kosher Gourmet by Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon Don't dare pass over these Pesach picks for Manischewitz!

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

The Kosher Gourmet by Diane Rossen Worthington Whitefish Terrine: A French take on gefilte fish

April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review Feb 13, 2012/ 20 Shevat, 5772

A blank canvas can be a beautiful thing

By Paul Greenberg




http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | Congress finally did something right. Or rather it did nothing at all, which was just the right thing to do in these wasteful circumstances. It let the ethanol tax credit expire after 30 years.

That's 30 years during which this wasteful, destructive, wrong-headed and (for some parts of the world) near-calamitous handout cost the American taxpayer more than $20 billion in subsidies.

Misguided from the first, the consequences of this brilliant idea -- use food for fuel! -- became worse every year. Even if it came wrapped in green slogans about saving the planet by avoiding fossil fuels. And as an Extra Added Bonus, make making the country energy-independent, too!

But a bad idea doesn't get any better because it's marketed as The Latest Thing. (See the Solyndra scandal.)

Wherever there is a federal subsidy involved, questions should be raised, suspicions aroused. The ethanol subsidy turned out to be a great boondoggle but an awful idea: a massive, long-term handout that was worse than useless. It was actively destructive, raising food prices around the world by driving up the price of corn, distorting the free market, and diverting a perfectly good foodstuff into an increasingly unneeded source of fuel.

Coal, oil, natural gas, nuclear energy, wind ... almost anything makes more sense than using food for fuel.

It's hard to think of another government giveaway that has had so deleterious, not to say indecent, effect on the world's poor, the global economy, and the planet's economy and environment, not to mention a simple rational order of priorities.

Why subsidize the production of a dirty fuel that's not needed? Such subsidies encourage deforestation that the planet cannot afford, and stick the cost to taxpayers and consumers. The ethanol subsidy belongs in any gallery of Congress' greatest follies. And now it's mercifully gone. Let's just hope it stays gone.

Who killed the ethanol subsidy at last? An unlikely coalition of environmentalists and budget balancers sick of crony capitalism. They joined forces to kill this monster.

At last, conservatives and conservationists found common ground -- as they should more often.

This boondoggle was ended not by doing anything about it but by doing nothing, nothing at all, which is a beautiful thing after three decades of doing all too much.

The news that nothing had happened, that this huge tax break had simply been allowed to lapse, came like a glimpse of a pure, undefiled canvas in the place of some huge snarl of paint that a Jackson Pollock wannabe might sell to an all-too-gullible world.

Ethanol was going to be the answer to all our problems when, like so many panaceas, it proved the source of a multitude of them.

By raising corn prices, the ethanol lobby hurt meat and poultry producers, food companies, the food stamp program and shoppers in general.

Seldom have so few profited at the expense of so many. Not to mention the cost to the natural environment, which had to bear the brunt of still more pesticides, soil erosion, pollution and all the other ills the planet is subject to in an industrial age. Agribusiness applauded; the rest of us were stiffed.

But the ethanol lobby isn't through with us yet. Now it wants the government to further subsidize the manufacture and distribution of the pumps, tanks and other gizmos needed to make gasoline with higher and higher concentrations of the grain-based fuel. These people need to be stopped before they do even more damage.

Here's the good news: The long-entrenched ethanol subsidy has been replaced by just one great big, beautiful blank. And all because Congress did ... nothing.

Nothing whatsoever, praise the Lord.

Contrary to our president, there are times when the country could use a do-nothing Congress.

Paul Greenberg Archives

Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.

JWR contributor Paul Greenberg, editorial page editor of the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, has won the Pulitzer Prize for editorial writing. Send your comments by clicking here.

© 2010 Tribune Media Services, Inc.

Columnists

Toons

Lifestyles