The GOP Is About To Get Its First Huge Test On The Deficit

farmer,corn,, 1940s

Photo: Library of Congress

Since we just mentioned that amazing boom times for farmers right now (sky-high commodity prices and ridiculous volumes), it’s apropos to bring up this political question posed by Tim Carney at the Washington Examiner: What will the GOP do regarding ethanol subsidies?If they’re serious about reducing spending, and limiting government reach into the market, this is a no-brainer. Everyone knows ethanol subsidies are a disaster, and that they only exist because of Iowa’s first-in-the-nation primary status.

But a principled GOP should be eager to get rid of them, and since ethanol is also bad for the environment, the Democrats should comply.

But will they?

Here’s the thing: the subsidy expires December 31, so it’s all up to the Democratically-controlled lame-duck Congress.

Our guess is that if the Democrats want to extend the subsidies, the GOP will take the path of least resistance and just let them do it without the headaches.

But if the Democrats punt til next year and force the GOP-led House to make the decision, then things get interesting, and then we get a real sense of the seriousness of the party when it comes to living up to its principles.

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