Senator Dick Lugar (R-IN) calls the New Deal-era federal sugar subsidy program “one of the worst forms of government interventionism in America,” and wants to undo the corporate welfare scheme between Big Sugar and Uncle Sugar with his “Free Sugar Act of 2011.”
Here’s Lugar writing in the Washington Times:
In sugar land, as in communist countries, prices are set by the government, not the market. Agriculture Department central planners determine “marketing allotments” to assure domestic producers at least 85 percent of the market. They limit imports to keep prices inflated far above world levels. The planners set the split between cane and beet sugar and mandate a sales limit for each processor and mill.
If prices fall below the official level, a price-support system of “loans” to processors ensures that Big Sugar gets its federal share. The recipients get their loans in taxpayer dollars, but can repay them in (what else?) sugar.
It’s about time this command and control economy relic go away.