Drawing the wrong conclusion XI — the ‘that cronyism is bad because it can’t go to this cronyism’ edition

Veronique de Rugy discusses all the cronyism on display in the president’s recent State of the Union speech. At one point, the president gave a shout-out to green energy, and then he called for

a smarter tax policy that stops giving $4 billion a year to fossil fuel industries that don’t need it—

Good call! Let’s stop with playing games with tax policy for giveaways to special cronies. Wait, he had more to say. What was it?

—so we can invest more in fuels of the future that do.

So a tax policy that would stop giving $4 billion a year to those energy cronies for the purpose of giving it to these energy cronies would be a … smarter tax policy.

It reminds me of an old state Senate campaign ad that stated “Government that wastes a dollar is a dollar that can’t go to educate a child, or provide for healthcare, or make us competitive in the global economy.” If we take it from you and waste it here, then we shouldn’t have taken it from you and we resolve to stop doing that simply can’t waste it somewhere else.

As de Rugy writes,

To be sure, giving tax breaks to fossil fuel industries is one of the many forms cronyism takes, but so is implementing green energy loans — mostly through the 1705 loan guarantee programs — and cash transfers from Treasury for the politically connected beneficiaries of these loans. When you add the generous federal tax credit available to rich people who buy expensive green energy cars like the Tesla, you can see that this administration doesn’t mind corporate welfare.

Previous entries in “Drawing the Wrong Conclusion”: I, II, III, IV, V, VI, VII, VIII, IX, and X.

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