30 Jun '11, 12pm

Are energy subsidies really in danger?

A while back, Washington Monthly ran a provocative piece by Jeffrey Leonard arguing that all energy subsidies should be eliminated. I wrote a two-part response. In the first , I argued that while subsidy reform is certainly needed, the libertarian ideal of an energy market with no government involvement is neither possible nor desirable. (I'm quite fond of the post -- go read it!) In the second , I argued that, as a political matter, comprehensive energy subsidy reform is extremely unlikely because nobody actually cares about the deficit . In 99 out of 100 cases, politicians' professed concern over the deficit is thin cover for an effort to advance pre-existing policy goals. In practice, all pols like subsidies that go to their constituents and contributors and are unlikely to sacrifice them in the name of the deficit, which, just to repeat myself, they don't actually care...

Full article: http://www.grist.org/politics/2011-06-30-are-energy-subsi...

Tweets

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