Unfortunately, Bush also proposes government mandates to buy “alternative fuels” including ethanol. This departure from free-markets in favor of big government is disappointing, given, as readers of this blog are well aware, ethanol producers already depend on government subsidies; ethanol mandates are driving up the cost of fuel and food; foreign ethanol faces high tariffs; and ethanol production, use, and transportation use more gasoline than ethanol saves. Not exactly the way to become “energy independent”
Last night’s State of the Union Address showed the two faces of President Bush. On the one hand, his health care proposal, which includes tax benefits for individual health insurance purchases (and limiting tax benefits on “cadillac-style plans“), association health plans, liability reform, and price transparency, follows closely the principles of the free market. In fact, these are ideas the Commonwealth Foundation has supported.