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Among the many federal programs that deserve getting the ax in the name of deficit reduction and common sense, ethanol subsidies are at the top of the list.

Unfortunately the U.S. Senate doesn't see things the same way. Its version of the bill preserves the corn-based fuels many subsidies.

The idea of farmers expending energy to grow food for the purpose of producing a fuel additive has lost its appeal to many - even to those who fervently wish to reduce the United States' dependence on foreign oils. Technology that uses grasses to produce bio-fuel makes more sense to us than the use of a food staple such as corn.

As an editorial in the Washington Post recently pointed out the government "pays the industry for the privilege of selling to a captive market."

The federal government currently requires that ethanol be blended into the nation's gasoline, imposes tariffs on foreign ethanol and rewards those who blend ethanol into gasoline with a tax credit.

It's a redundant and wasteful practice that should be ended.