Perhaps that reflects the fact that 24 of the RSC's 165 members sit on the House Agriculture Committee, the notorious overseer of farm-welfare programs. Total direct government farm payments to the districts of those 24 representatives alone costs taxpayers more than $1 billion per year. Numerous other RSC members hail from farm states, and therefore have a vested interest in protecting payments to their constituents.
We are also seeing the usual quadrennial pilgrimage of supposedly fiscally conservative Republican presidential candidates to Iowa, where they swear eternal fealty to farm subsidies generally, but, even worse, to ethanol subsidies in particular.
Perhaps the most revolting example of this spectacle was former House speaker Newt Gingrich's claim that opposition to ethanol subsidies and mandates stems from "big city" folks who just don't like farmers. But Gingrich is hardly alone.
The level of hypocrisy is breathtaking. For example, conservatives rightly denounced government subsidies to business when the auto industry was at issue. Why, then, are subsidies a good idea when directed to, say, Archer Daniels Midland?
Read the rest of Michael Tanner's article