By Chuck Muth, President, Citizen Outreach
Some members of Congress are fortunate that there’s no “truth in labeling” laws that apply to political rhetoric the way they do for the rest of us. Case in point: A new bill recently introduced called the “Fair Sugar Policy Act.”
The purpose of the bill is to gut the current U.S. sugar program which applies targeted tariffs and quotas on sugar imports that undercut American sugar prices and distort the global market thanks to foreign government meddling.
How is it “fair” to force American farmers to compete against international growers who are propped up by foreign government subsidies?
It isn’t. So much for political truth-in-labeling.
“The current sugar program,” says Sen. Pat Toomey, a co-sponsor of the bill, “is a bad deal for American consumers and federal taxpayers.” He went on to claim the program “hikes food costs for families.”
But the truth is the cost of Made in the USA. sugar today is the same as it was over 30 years ago. So the fact that a 25-cent candy bar from the 1980s now costs “consumers” and “families” a buck-and-a-half certainly isn’t because of the sugar program.
Another inconvenient truth is that the there is NO COST to “federal taxpayers.” Unlike these other countries, American farmers do not receive a dime in tax money.
So much for political truth-in-labeling.
“There is one single commodity program that has not been reformed in over 80 years,” said Rep. Virginia Foxx, a co-sponsor of the bill, “and it’s the U.S. sugar program.”
But there a very good reason for that: It works! And as they say, when something works, don’t fix it.
Rep. Foxx when on to declare the government shouldn’t be “picking winners and losers” and should support “free market capitalism instead of crony-capitalism.”
But the truth is that by gutting the U.S. sugar program the government would be picking Big Candy manufactures and international trade “cheaters” as winners and American sugar farmers as losers. THAT’S crony-capitalism.
It’s not a free market when foreign government subsidies tip the scales against American farmers. And any bill allowing them to continue is anything but a “fair” sugar policy.
Citizen Outreach is a free-market grassroots advocacy organization. For more information, please visit www.CitizenOutreach.org