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Hope the House Health Bill passes. It has Biofuels as part of the bill.

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Posted by Don T on November 6, 2009, 12:39 am

How Biofuel Leaked Into the House Health Bill
By David M. Herszenhorn
At first glance, it might seem as if House Democrats were so overwhelmed by
their ambitious legislative agenda that they confused their big climate
change legislation with their big health care bill.

A package of last-minute changes to the Democrats' health care bill made
public on Tuesday night included a curious tax provision related to the
production of biofuels, including ethanol. By changing some of the rules
related to tax credits for biofuel manufacturers, the provision would raise
about $4 billion in additional tax revenue from the biofuel companies over
10 years.

So what do biofuel producers have to do with health care? Actually, nothing.
The change was all about the money.

In case anyone hasn't noticed, there are few things that Congress hates more
than raising taxes. As a result, two of the favorite euphemisms on Capitol
Hill are "pay-for" and "revenue-raiser," which are just fancy ways of
describing a tax: something that "pays for" legislation, or "raises revenue"
to pay for legislation.

But good revenue-raisers are hard to find. And when one is available,
lawmakers often fight over it.

In the case at hand, Senate Democrats swiped a revenue-raiser that House
Democrats had included in their health care legislation: a delay in a tax
code change, which would result in multinational corporations' paying $6.1
billion in taxes over 10 years that they would otherwise be spared. The
Senate Democrats decided to use that tax revenue to help pay for legislation
to extend unemployment benefits and a popular tax credit for first-time

But that move left a hole in the House Democrats health care bill and sent
lawmakers in search of another way to raise revenue.

The solution was a change in the "second generation biofuel producer tax
credit" which will make up most of the money taken by the Senate. In essence
the change means some biofuel producers will receive less in tax credits
than under current law. (The House also retained a limited version of the
tax code change for multinational companies, which will generate $ billion
for the health care bill.)

Representative Chris Van Hollen, Democrat of Maryland, who sponsored the
biofuel amendment on behalf of the House Democratic leadership, said that it
was both a good way to raise money and an improvement in alternative energy
policy that Democrats would have carried out anyway.

"The idea is to make sure that biofuels get a tax credit to the extent to
which they meet the energy efficiency goals," Mr. Van Hollen said. "Number
one, this is something we have been focused on in terms of good policy."

But he also quickly added that the Senate's swipe of the tax provision -
technically a provision "to delay implementation of worldwide interest
allocation" - had left the House no choice but to find more money.

The biofuel provision, Mr. Van Hollen added, "is a good piece of policy that
also accomplishes the goal of providing revenue."

Such a tug-of-war over revenue-raisers is hardly unusual in Congress. But at
a time when lawmakers and the White House are thinking about ways of
reducing the nation's huge long-term debt, the current spat highlights how
increasingly difficult it has become for lawmakers to generate revenue
without imposing new taxes that will be felt directly by the constituents
who elect them. President Obama's promise not to raise taxes on Americans
earning less than $50,000 a year has made that challenge even harder.

Some Republicans have been warning that Democrats are using most of the
available revenue-raising ideas to pay for the health care legislation,
rather than reducing the deficit. In the Senate, Democrats on the Finance
Committee decided to limit all of the tax provisions in the health care bill
to the health arena. Otherwise, the worldwide interest allocation provision
might well have been included in the Senate Democrats' own health care bill.

 Ain't that just sweeter'n hell. If we all use biofuels we will all be
healthy and never, ever, need to see any Medical Doctors. Makes sense. Not
so much.


Don Thompson

Stolen from Dan:  "Just thinking, besides, I watched 2 dogs mating once,
and that makes me an expert. "

There is nothing more frightening than active ignorance.

It is a worthy thing to fight for one's freedom;
it is another sight finer to fight for another man's.
~Mark Twain

Posted by Josepi on November 6, 2009, 12:51 am

Who cares about some small country in Africa?

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