Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Harvesting Cash: A Billion Dollars for Big Sugar

NY Times Editorial Sugar’s Sweetheart Deal:

Of all the government’s farm-support programs, there are few as egregious as the tangle of loans, quotas and import tariffs set up to protect the well-connected club of American sugar producers at the expense of American consumers and farmers in the developing world. This year’s farm bill will add American taxpayers to the list of casualties.

According to estimates from the CBO, supports for sugar in the House bill could cost taxpayers from $750 million to $850 million over the next five years. The eagerness of members of Congress to please their sugar daddies is not surprising. Campaign donations from the sugar industry have topped $3 million in each of the last four political cycles. American consumers and taxpayers, as well as poor farmers overseas, shouldn’t have to pay the price.

MP: According to futures trading on the NY Board of Trade (now ICE), the current world price of sugar is about 10 cents per pound, and the price of sugar in the U.S. is about 21 cents per pound or double the world price, due to U.S. government price supports, tariffs and quotas against foreign sugar.

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