As the economy continues in its downward spiral and talks in Congress about reducing spending have only amounted to political theater, the subject of how the tax code treats energy has become a topic of controversy. Specifically, should we subsidize, enforce mandates, or give tax credits and deductions to industries like ethanol and natural gas? Having a thriving energy market domestically is a good thing and something the government should not hinder. Not only would decreasing our dependence on foreign oil simplify our foreign policy, but it would greatly enhance our anemic economy at home.
Of course, the government should neither inhibit nor subsidize any particular type of energy. While many people agree with that statement, there is much confusion over the difference between government subsidies and tax credits or deductions. The difference is night and day, yet so many times they are all lumped together as evil government handouts. A subsidy IS a government handout. It amounts to the government taking money from the people and giving it to a favored interest. It is the worst sort of market manipulation and it is something I can never support. This kind of government mischief is anathema to the Constitution and the principles of freedom and the free market.