I haven’t written anything until now about the $10.1 trillion “deal” bipartisan budget “deal” being imposed on the U.S. taxpayer because it is a sad thing. Listening to the news you would never know there was a “tea party” movement in this country.
Obviously the main thing wrong with a $10.2 trillion omnibus bill is the $10.2 trillion. We don’t have it. We can’t afford it. We should be looking for deeper cuts than the sequester, but we are instead getting rid of the sequester.
But that $10.1 trillion can be broken down into many more obvious mistakes. I’ll start with an easy one in this post: Energy.
People need energy to function in society. They are willing to pay for it. Obviously this provides an opportunity for entrepreneurs who can invest in new sources of energy in the hope that people will pay them a profitable amount for that energy.
This is a completely natural and spontaneous operation. There is no need for the government to interfere with it.
So, naturally, the government interferes with it.
According to the Heritage Foundation blog:
Heritage experts worked through the night to comb through the massive spending bill Congress just released. One of the big disappointments they found is a whopping $10.2 billion for energy industries and government energy programs—much of which should be taken care of in the private sector.
While Congress allocates billions of dollars to basic research and development that could be considered a legitimate government function, billions stray into activities that Congress should eliminate.
Americans are far too dependent on energy subsidies, says Nicolas Loris, Heritage’s Herbert and Joyce Morgan Fellow. And these subsidies haven’t reduced our reliance on foreign energy sources; instead, they’ve merely boosted politically preferred technologies.
Loris pointed out taxpayer money allocated to these industries for 2014:
- Renewable Energy and Efficiency: $1.9 billion
- Oil, Coal and Natural Gas: $562 million
- Nuclear Energy: $889 million
Each of these industries should succeed or fail on its own—without taxpayer help.
“We need to be removing subsidies for all sources of energy,” Loris says. “Whether a government-backed project succeeds or fails, it is a waste of taxpayer dollars to pick winners and losers among energy technologies. The market does a fine job of determining what makes economic sense and what doesn’t.”
The market doesn’t just do a fine job; it is the only just and fair way to allocate resources. The Heritage Foundation is completely correct in their statement against energy subsidies, except when they claim that “basic research and development” could “be considered a legitimate government function.”
If we can’t get Congress to stop giving money away to profit-driven industries, when we are so deeply in debt and our economy is hurting so badly, how can we get them to ever cut anything? These people have obviously become delusional about money.