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Wind Energy Subsidy is Another Example of Government Waste
Congress Must Use Taxpayer Dollars Responsibly
(Washington, D.C.) – At the end of 2013, the U.S. Congress allowed the 22-year old wind-energy tax credit to expire. This decision kicked off a ten-year "phaseout" of the credit, during which no new applicants could apply, but existing beneficiaries could claim the credit for as much as 10 more years. Recently however, 26 Senators and 118 Members of Congress have endorsed a reinstatement of the Wind Energy Production tax credit which would increase the deficit by $6 billion, unless offsetting cuts are introduced. The Senate Finance Committee may include this provision with as many as 50 other expired tax credits in a package of tax cuts to be considered next month.
These special-interest benefits have been criticized by those who argue that taxes should be simpler and more straightforward, and that it is time to focus on deficit reduction. Opponents also argue it is an "unjustified waste of taxpayer dollars" – especially considering that the credit was originally created to "jumpstart" new production – not to protect a maturing industry that is unable to compete without taxpayer handouts.
Daniel Garza, Executive Director of The LIBRE Initiative, released the following statement:
"Giving away taxpayer dollars to companies that can't make it in the free market is unfair to consumers and to taxpayers. It essentially takes money out of the pockets of working Americans and gives it to failing companies. People are having a hard enough time surviving in an over-regulated, stagnant economy – without Washington wasting even more of their money on special interests with powerful lobbies.
We've seen the cost of taxpayer giveaways for "green energy" companies that have gone bankrupt. The wind energy tax credit is just another subsidy that should be allowed to wind down, as Congress chose to do last year. While it is important for our country to diversify its energy resources, the success of different alternatives should be based on market forces rather than government subsidies. Congress should focus on making tough choices to limit subsidies and rein in spending. That's the way to lower our annual deficits and encourage real economic growth."