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When seven Republican presidential hopefuls gather in Iowa for a candidates' debate tonight night, they'd better be ready to discuss corn and ethanol. Based on what we've seen buzzing around the media for the last few weeks, we expect biofuel will be a hot topic. Here are their stances on the federal subsidy for ethanol producers:
  • Michele Bachmann: Kind of against. Has called for a re-examination of the subsidies.
  • Herman Cain: Supports. Has said, "Let's be honest, ethanol is not going to save this country from its dependence on foreign oil. I believe we need to take advantage of all the resources that we have and the Congressional Research Service has indicated we have plenty of resources, including ethanol."
  • Newt Gingrich: Supports.
  • Ron Paul: Against. Way against.
  • Tim Pawlenty: Against, wants to reform the system.
  • Mitt Romney: Supports, says ethanol is "an important part of our energy solution in this country."
  • Rick Santorum: said that his anti-ethanol subsidy stance, won't hurt him in the state because he thinks current ethanol production processes have gotten efficient enough for the companies to be "weaned off the subsidy."
Even Republican politicians and celebrities who are not going to debate in Iowa have made statements about the biofuel and America's agribusiness policy. Sarah Palin said she's against corn subsidies and Jon Huntsman told Politico/ABC News that he is "not competing in Iowa," because "I don't believe in subsidies that prop up corn, soybeans and ethanol."
Even in Iowa, blind support for government assistance is no longer a given. U.S. Representative Steve King (R-IA) said recently that he would support eliminating the federal ethanol subsidy. Of course, not everyone thinks that being against the ethanol subsidies is all that politically courageous, but all this criticism is a shift from tradition, so that's something.

[Source: Domestic Fuel, NACS Online, Politico, Radio Iowa, The Gazette, The Hill | Image: Kevin Briody – C.C. License 2.0

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 1 Month Ago
      Where's the debate about eliminating the 50 BILLION dollar a year black budget? Oh that's right, none of you candidates know anything about that. Social security? Healthcare? None of those measure up in comparison to the amount spent on things that "can't be discussed". Military research can still be done and done well, just not when the gov. writes blank checks and we have no idea how the money is being used. Lots of people shave off lots of cuts for themselves when it's someone else's money, and no record of any of it.
        Marco Polo
        • 1 Month Ago
        The US is really caught in a Catch 22 situation! On the one hand, the US desperately needs to spend money on domestic reform and infrastructure, as well as recapitalising industry. On the other hand, the US population has no savings, export revenues have been decimated, debt is reaching unservicable proportions, and it's only because the greenback is the world defacto currency, that the current devaluation has had such a beneficial effect. The Us has expended a vast amount of it's national treasure in providing military supremacy as the worlds policeman, while neglecting it's domestic viability. The US uncritical support of Israel and a flood of immigrants adding to an unskilled workforce, in a nation whose blue collar jobs have all but disappeared has meant that the military is major source of employment. It's difficult to see a solution,. For the first time the US is entering a trade war as the underdog, and with divided and weak leadership. However, the US still has the good will and trust of loyal allies, and leads the world in innovative technology and creative solutions. But, the next few years will be difficult. More than ever, the US needs inspired leadership, with positive policies, and a united populace.
          Marco Polo
          • 1 Month Ago
          @Marco Polo
          @ Sir Vix. It's very hard to disagree with anything you wrote. But, I am not a US citizen. Any criticism I offer must be in the context of a friend an ally to the US,and a observer over many years of visiting the USA. You may be surprised to learn that although I am a centre-right voter, I was deeply affected when I heard the news of Robert Kennedy's untimely demise. It seemed to me that much of the bright optimism of America died with Robert Kennedy. Like most people, I can remember where I was when the sad news was broadcast ! I was waiting at the old Biên Hòa to travel up highway No 1 to my own command, when a priest held up his transistor, and I heard with profound sadness, the doleful news. Bobby Kennedy was a great and compassionate man. But he disapproved of the concept that knee-jerk legislation can fix social problems. No one wants fellow citizens to be poor and disadvantaged. It's bad for them, bad for us, and disaster for the economy. Every citizen should have opportunity to participate in society. This includes the right to work hard, and reap a fair return for labour. The right to put in the extra effort, risk and creativity, and be fairly rewarded. The citizens who have fallen on hard times, or made unfortunate decisions deserved the right to prove themselves, through their own efforts, to be worthy members of society again. No citizen should be degraded or written off, redemption and rehabilitation should be rewarded. Responsibility, should be a golden value. Likewise achievement and excellence should be respected and encouraged. The poor and the misfits, along with societies lost, should not be the targets of charity, welfare and patronising dismissal. These are American Citizens and need to be inspired, helped and taught the path back to dignity and success. This applies to whole communities. I admire the efforts of the Ford family who have stuck by Michigan and spent much of their personal wealth, fighting to restore "the arsenal' of democracy. The US needs a Bobby Kennedy to bind the nation together, and in the oft quoted words of his brother, "Ask not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for country'. To those words I would add, what you can do to lift up your fellow citizen. To a non-American, it was a marvellous thing to see Obama in the White House. But, take away the Afro-American thing, on character, what was wrong with John McCain? I Know he's a man of proven steadfast courage. The US needs a Bobby Kennedy, who can tackle the problems with disciplined pragmatism, yet inspire and harness creative, passionate idealism to a constructive and positive result.
          • 1 Month Ago
          @Marco Polo
          Well summarized. One of them problems is it seems so much of the population here is media-hyped as green day illustrated in "american idiot" (though much of their america bashing I don't agree with). One thing they did get is that there are too many people who feel how they feel because the evening news told them so (IE too dumb and careless to be a deep enough human being to not be irked by such things) It's just turning into an Idiocracy (see the movie) :) Although the 50 billion dollar black budget is totally wrong, the american people COULD pay that tax bill (it still shouldn't even be there) and all the rest of the things that the fed bills people for (also should not be there) IF a whole heck of alot of us would stop sitting around talking about the bad economy, not realizing that what we're actually doing is being lazy and refusing to learn new skills, while watching american idol, watching TMZ, all while saying life is hard and claiming we have no free time. Americans today talk like pansy, entitled, victims now more than EVER and it's DISGUSTING. Half of them would be attracted to a jail cell if there was a sign above it that said "security". Something like that is only attractive to he who is incapable of providing for himself something better. People's language has just changed to victim. Commercials will talk about how banks are horrible and oppressive and get in the way of you being able to feed your family when all they're doing is charging OVERDRAFT FEES! People think they're oppressed if it's cloudy out. The was some special on national TV this past weekend about the "epidemic" of hungry children in America. The whole show it shows little 10 year old kid in school saying "there's not alot of food on our shelves at home..." then a teacher telling a story about a how kids making food artwork just wanted to eat the food and it was so sad. Then it would show some "brilliant, educated" person who would say "ya know, we need to feed these kids, this is AMERICA'S problem, kids that don't get proper nutrition aren't healthy!". NEVER ONCE did the show question whether or not the parents made bad decisions, NOBODY THINKS LIKE THAT ANYMORE! It's just "it is America's problem, these kids are hungry because america turned their back on them!" (such a load of $#$%) They also said there was a "new, working class poor!" now, but failed to give any examples. Such a victim filled sack of crap. There are totally things that the gov needs to get right, they're a thorn in the side. The people as a whole have alot more that they need to get right, and I can't see what could possibly happen to make everyone stop whining that times are hard. What has to happen to do that? I don't know what could. But if you tell someone "man up, value your brain, be clean, well spoken, and respectful to everyone, work hard, smart, and long, be passionate" they would conveniently forget it soon after, asking all the way to the grave "Where's MY bailout?!?!".
      • 1 Month Ago
      I was not aware of a republican debat in Iowa ... though there was a debate in New Hampshire.
      Ford Future
      • 1 Month Ago
      How about debate on the Bush Tax cut's that make Working Americans Poorer and Poorer Year after Year. With that special 15-20% capital gains tax, while we sweat making our next mortgage payment. - How about getting real on Global Warming while Texas and the SouthWest Burn Up, and we watch our farmland destroyed. - How about giving corporations, that pay almost No Tax, Another Tax Cut, while They FIRE Teachers and take away our Kids Chance to get out of the Working and Middle class. - How about that attack on Social Security, which Most Americans Need, and Medicaid and Medicare turning programs with real benefits into Voucher systems that will cover almost nothing. - How about those oil subsidies to oil companies SENDING JOBS to India and Mexico. Yes, I'm going to listen to the debate of fools. Not a chance.
        Marco Polo
        • 1 Month Ago
        @Ford Future
        @Fordinsight. just out of curiosity, could you tell me exactly what 'Oil Subsidies still exist ? I have always believed that the old exploration and strategic reserve subsidies were still in place. But in actual fact, the were scrapped some years ago. I can't find any that are specific to the oil industry from the US government. ? So, i would be grateful if you could direct me to the relevant Act of Congress.

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