One of the most pernicious effects of crony capitalism is that it benefits very, very few people. Usually, those who are in the business of protecting the particular crony. A great example of that is the bogus “Renewable Fuel Standard.” This is a program which hurts consumers, both at the gas pump and at the supermarket because RFS inflates the price of beef and pork, it hurts fuel refiners, and it stunts the entire RFS by controlling the fuel blends allowed–even ethanol manufacturers acknowledge the RFS no longer serves a purpose. The only people who benefit are the lobbyists who get paid to keep a corrupt system in place.
If you recall, during the Iowa GOP primary, Senator Ted Cruz ran against crony capitalism and beat Donald Trump by tying him to the Branstad clan and crony capitalism.
Since Trump’s election, Ted Cruz has continued to pressure both Iowa’s governor and its congressional delegation to get rid of this corrupt mandate. No luck. Senator Joni Ernst threatened to block appointments to the EPA if EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt pressed ahead with his plan to get rid of the RFS. On background, administration and Senate sources have said that Senator Chuck Grassley has threatened to torpedo Trump judicial nominees if the administration mucks around with the Branstad family’s access to the public teat.
When RFS porker and Iowa agriculture secretary Bill Northey was nominated to a senior position in the US Department of Agriculture, Ted Cruz placed a hold on his nomination. The kicker here is that Grassley’s grandson was supposed to be appointed agriculture secretary when Northey’s appointment is confirmed…which now seems might be never.
The price of releasing the hold is good faith negotiations about how RFS fits into the fuel mix.
Will this happen? It depends upon whether Grassley and Ernst have been bought or merely rented by the RFS mafia. Right now Grassley seems unwilling to be moved…but a lot of people have learned to their dismay that Ted Cruz can be a “miserable son of a bitch” when crossed.