Rick Perry Doesn’t Understand the Word “Subsidy”

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Paul Kane writes in the Washington Post today that both Ron Paul and Rick Perry, who have spoken out against energy subsidies, nonetheless lobbied for federal loan guarantees for a nuclear plant in Texas. Is this hypocrisy? Paul actually had a perfectly good answer: he opposes federal intervention in the energy market, but once funds have been allocated he’ll do his best to make sure that his district gets its fair share.

And then there’s Perry:

On Wednesday, Perry spokesman Mark Miner said he thinks loan guarantees are not the same as “subsidizing” corporations, because a well-managed company will not default and leave taxpayers liable for repayment. The governor said energy promotion will be a hallmark of his jobs creation plan during the presidential campaign.

Unlike Paul’s answer, this one is nonsensical. Of course loan guarantees are a subsidy. What else would they be? And the whole point of a federal guarantee is that it’s only necessary if the private sector isn’t sure about whether the company will default. If the loan is a sure thing, Wall Street would be happy to finance it all on its own.

I may not agree with Ron Paul on much, but at least he has a functioning brain that knows how to think consistently. But Perry’s just dim, and apparently so is his spokesman.

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