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Subsidy Talk

Recorded on May 18, 2011

It's time for common sense; I'm Ernest Istook.

Washington is talking about energy subsidies. But they usually ignore a basic question, namely what is a subsidy?

Liberals call it a subsidy when oil gets the identical tax deductions as other industries; but equal treatment should never be called a subsidy. And oil already pays higher marginal tax rates than most other companies.

But now natural gas wants honest-to-goodness subsidies such as ethanol, wind power and solar power already enjoy. Pending in Congress is a proposal is to give billions to those who make vehicles powered by natural gas, and to those who buy them, and to those who build natural gas filling stations.

Certainly natural gas is a great and clean fuel. But government should not use our money to tell us which fuels to use; the free market is the best way we can decide for ourselves.

For common sense, from The Heritage Foundation, I'm Ernest Istook.