published Saturday, April 9th, 2011

Ethanol subsidy low compared to oil


Ethanol subsidy low compared to oil

The Free Press’ recent opinion on ethanol subsidies demonstrates how little they know about agriculture. Canned corn and corn on the cob prices will not increase due to ethanol demand for corn. Sweet corn is used for most human consumption while field corn is used for ethanol.

While corn demand from ethanol does increase food prices marginally, it mainly affects animal product prices through increased feed costs. However, corn available for animal feed when adjusted for ethanol byproducts has remained fairly stable over time. Foreign food demand and supply shocks and increased energy prices are the real drivers of increased food prices.

Ethanol, in fact, helps offset energy cost increases. The use of ethanol reduces gasoline prices by 18-20 cents per gallon even when accounting for reduced energy efficiency. That is for every gallon of gasoline. In addition, there are benefits to fuel security resulting from reduced reliance on imported oil.

Ethanol subsidies are cheap when compared to oil, which receives two and a half times the subsidies of ethanol, not including the billions spent from our defense budget to stabilize the Middle East. You may think these subsidies are unconstitutional, but no court has agreed with you.


Sewanee, Tenn.

Police officers provide stability

My first experience with a policeman was in 1957 as an 8-year-old in Eastdale. His name was John Green. After moving to North Chattanooga, Mr. Green lived at the bottom of the hill where my family moved! He was my hero as I became an adult.

I’m fortunate to know police officers who are the husbands of teachers with whom I teach school. My son-in-law is a police officer in Red Bank. Another friend was the late Wallace (Frey) Brown, a Chattanooga police officer.

My experiences with policemen have been positive and rewarding. I greatly respect the social institution of law enforcement whose foundation is supported by those police officers who patrol our communities and provide protective services for all of us. Not only do they provide protection, they provide stability within the community because of the “people skills” they possess and are demanded by their work. I feel safe when I see a police car or a policeman.

I am deeply saddened by the death of Officer Tim Chapin. It is difficult for us “left behind” to grasp what Officer Chapin experienced the instant he left life as we understand it on earth and began eternal life. We know it is better than we can imagine.


Where is the land of free and brave?

A friend recently asked: How come a lie to Congress is a felony? If they lie to us, its politics.

If a white dislikes a black, it’s racist. If a black dislikes a white, it’s First Amendment?

Our government spends billions rehabbing criminals but nothing for victims.

Public schools teach homosexuality’s OK, but can’t use the word God.

We kill the unborn, but can’t execute murderers.

We don’t burn books, we rewrite them.

We eliminate Communists and Socialists, calling them progressives. We can’t close Mexican borders but have no problem with the 38th parallel in Korea.

Protest against President Obama, you’re a terrorist; but burn our flag or refuse the pledge or the National Anthem, and it’s First Amendment.

TV pornography is OK, but Nativity scenes verboten.

We use a human fetus for medical research, but it’s wrong using animals.

We take from those who work and give to those who won’t.

Government continues to demand corn-manufactured ethanol be used in gasoline though prices of edible corn double.

Parenting has been replaced by Ritalin and video games.

Land of opportunity has become land of hand-out.

Are we still the land of the free and home of the brave?


Signal Mountain

Credits, deductions split winners, losers

Most of us have to file tax returns. Approximately half will actually pay the federal tax; because of various credits and deductions, nearly half will owe no tax.

Credits and deductions are among the numerous ways Congress picks winners and losers in the constant scramble for government favors and handouts. For now the second year, those who itemize deductions (Schedule A-1040) may claim a deduction for sales and excise taxes paid on the purchase of a new automobile between Feb. 16, 2009, and Jan. 1, 2010. This deduction isn’t available to those who purchased new cars before or after these dates.

Why would the buyer on Feb. 15, 2009, not receive the same “reward” as the buyer a day later?

We all remember in the early days of the 111th Congress, the president and Congress were determined to stimulate the economy, to use political leverage to hopefully score economic points. “Cash for Clunkers” and huge incentives for hybrids like the GMC Volt were also part of the package.

Those who correctly timed their purchases benefited; no one else did, which means in a perverse sort of way, they subsidized the winners.

Nothing new here, the business of picking winners and losers, but still perverse.


Lookout Mountain, Ga.

Conservatives want to spread inequality

I’m fed up with angry complaints about “spreading the wealth,” usually by someone who fears predation on his money. It’s as if wealth were created by pushing paper in the FIRE (finance, insurance, real estate) sector instead of by work that results in a useful product or service. It seems that conservatives have a burning desire instead to “spread the inequality,” saying they’re already drowning in taxes.

Are the poor less selfish than the rich? I don’t think so, else lotteries would languish, but they lack the resources to express it with such power and ostentation. We would all do well to consider our own possessiveness, which unless overcome and curbed, will ultimately cost us more than any one of us can pay, at the bar of true judgment. See James 5:1-8.

Will they “shut it down”? The current Washington debate exemplifies the weakness our Founding Fathers built into the government, to prevent it from interfering with their hopes and aims in business.


Cleveland, Tenn.

Why is Obama running again?

I find it hard to believe that President Obama would have the audacity to run for a second term.

It appears extremely strange to my mind that this man who has not been forthright in showing the American people his birth certificate, and for a lot of other reasons, that he would consider running again.

I feel that the American people can’t vote anybody into the White House. It appears that the one who has the most money is the one who wins the election.

It seems that most Americans are duped into thinking that they can vote someone into the White House.

If poor “Honest Abe” Lincoln were running for the presidency today, he would not have a chance. He’d be too poor and too honest.


Sequatchie, Tenn.

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bookworm said...

Dear Norma: I feel sorry for you birthers. You must be tired watching re-runs of Gilligan's Island, and playing with a deck of 51?

April 9, 2011 at 8:20 a.m.
hambone said...

Dear Norma; If poor " Honest Abe " Lincoln were running today he would be a Democrat!

April 9, 2011 at 8:34 a.m.
frankfeeny said...

John J. Spittler of Signal Mountain did not write the letter that he signed. Just Google his phrase "parenting has been replaced by Ritalin and video games" and you will find this letter all over cyberspace.

April 9, 2011 at 10:04 a.m.
Plato said...

Norma and others in the so-called "birther movoment" are simply seeking a way to delegitimatize a president who the do not like for other reasons. There is absolutely no reason, rational or evidence why a 9 month pregnant women would fly half way around the world to give birth and then get back on a plane with the infant to come home:

<p>" staffers have now seen, touched, examined and photographed the original birth certificate. We conclude that it meets all of the requirements from the State Department for proving U.S. citizenship. Claims that the document lacks a raised seal or a signature are false. We have posted high-resolution photographs of the document as "supporting documents" to this article. Our conclusion: Obama was born in the U.S.A. just as he has always said.

Update, Nov. 1: The director of Hawaii’s Department of Health confirmed Oct. 31 that Obama was born in Honolulu. Analysis Update Nov. 1: The Associated Press quoted Chiyome Fukino as saying that both she and the registrar of vital statistics, Alvin Onaka, have personally verified that the health department holds Obama's original birth certificate."

case closed except to the loony fringe.

April 9, 2011 at 2:34 p.m.
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