Paul Greenberg

Ethanol was going to be the answer to all our problems when, like so many panaceas, it proved the source of a multitude of them.

By raising corn prices, the ethanol lobby hurt meat and poultry producers, food companies, the food stamp program and shoppers in general.

Seldom have so few profited at the expense of so many. Not to mention the cost to the natural environment, which had to bear the brunt of still more pesticides, soil erosion, pollution and all the other ills the planet is subject to in an industrial age. Agribusiness applauded; the rest of us were stiffed.

But the ethanol lobby isn't through with us yet. Now it wants the government to further subsidize the manufacture and distribution of the pumps, tanks and other gizmos needed to make gasoline with higher and higher concentrations of the grain-based fuel. These people need to be stopped before they do even more damage.

Here's the good news: The long-entrenched ethanol subsidy has been replaced by just one great big, beautiful blank. And all because Congress did ... nothing.

Nothing whatsoever, praise the Lord.

Contrary to our president, there are times when the country could use a do-nothing Congress.

Paul Greenberg

Pulitzer Prize-winning Paul Greenberg, one of the most respected and honored commentators in America, is the editorial page editor of the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette.