There’s another train wreck in the cornfield
Obamacare isn’t the only impractical government mandate
Do you think the Obamacare rollout raises important questions about government mandates, confusion, penalties and just how well bureaucrats can manage complicated issues? It’s not the only one. There are a number of similarities between Obamacare and an energy mandate known as the “renewable fuel standard.”
Just consider: The federal government mandates consumers use both products (health insurance and renewable fuels), because the vast majority of people otherwise wouldn’t. It sets the guidelines for what must be used, and heavily subsidizes the effort with taxpayer dollars. In both cases, the government imposes penalties for not using the product — even if the products can’t be accessed. The government assured us both would lower costs when they obviously raise consumers’ costs — significantly. It is widely recognized that both products could be very harmful, even though the government continually denies it. Other than that, both Obamacare and the renewable fuel standard work just fine. In 2005, Congress passed the first renewable fuel standard (RFS), mandating that by 2006, a minimum of 4 billion gallons of renewable fuels, such as corn-based ethanol, be used in the national transportation-fuel supply.
Then in 2007, Congress expanded the mandate to 9 billion gallons by 2008, and 36 billion gallons by 2022. However, no more than 15 billion gallons could be produced from corn-based ethanol and no less than 16 billion gallons from cellulosic ethanol — a biofuel made from organic material such as switch grass and wood chips.
Like Obamacare, very few people would demand ethanol be mixed in their gasoline, so the government mandates it to try to ensure widespread usage.
The government also promised us that switching to renewable fuels would eventually save money (where else have we heard that claim?) — even as the government was pouring in billions of taxpayer dollars to subsidize production.
Anyone following the news lately knows that people are having trouble accessing the Obamacare website, which has an increasing number of politicians wondering how the government could fine