Wall Street Journal: Hoeven Backs “Corporate Welfare” That Violates “Free Market Principles”
The Wall Street Journal hits North Dakota Senator John Hoeven, among other Republicans, for backing wind power subsidies:
Most Congressional Democrats will back anything with the green label. But Republican support for big wind is a pure corporate welfare play that violates free-market principles. Last week six Republican Senators—John Boozman of Arkansas, Scott Brown of Massachusetts, Charles Grassley of Iowa, John Hoeven of North Dakota, Jerry Moran of Kansas and John Thune of South Dakota—signed a letter urging their colleagues to extend the production tax credit.
“It is clear that the wind industry currently requires tax incentives” and that continuing that federal aid can help the industry “move towards a market-based system,” said the letter. What’s the “market-based” timetable—100 years? In the House 18 Republicans have joined the 70-Member wind pork caucus. Someone should remind them that in 2008 and 2010 the wind lobby gave 71% of its PAC money to Democrats.
Here’s a better idea. Kill all energy subsidies—renewable and nonrenewable, starting with the wind tax credit, and use the savings to shave two or three percentage points off America’s corporate income tax.
Hoeven, I think, is the poster boy for a widespread problem with Republicans who are pro-business, but not necessarily pro-markets. During his time here in North Dakota Hoeven proved, time and again, that he doesn’t trust free markets. His economic policies were consistently in favor of government “investment” (read: government subsidies and grants and loans) driving economic growth, as opposed to low taxes and limited government allowing the economy to grow naturally.
Hoeven’s policies, in fact, weren’t at all different from President Obama’s “investments” in the boondoggle solar industry, best exemplified by Solyndra. Hoeven never had a Solyndra-sized debacle, of course, but he did have some big flops on his watch including companies like Alien Technology and Websmart which, combined, represent millions in squandered taxpayer dollars.
So of course Hoeven is for corporate welfare at the federal level. When it comes to crony capitalism, Hoeven is a lot like our friends on the left.Tags: John Hoeven, North Dakota News, subsidies, wind energy, wind power