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Sugar Reforms that Would Actually Give Americans a True “Sweet Deal”


(Chuck Muth) – Big Candy’s propaganda machine needs a serious overhaul.  It’s starting to resemble “Baghdad Bob” in its refusal to accept reality and its continuation of reporting “facts” that just aren’t so.

In an op-ed published by The Hill this week, David Williams of the Taxpayers Protection Alliance trotted out many of the same old discredited arguments against the U.S. sugar program; falsely claiming it provides a “sweet deal of federal subsidies” for American sugar farmers and processors.

He went on to attack Rep. Ted Yoho’s (R-Fla.) common sense “zero-for-zero” resolution calling for ending the U.S. sugar program of relatively minor tariffs and import quotas in return for foreign governments ending their outright subsidies for their own domestic sugar industries.

According to Mr. Williams the U.S. shouldn’t negotiate a deal in which U.S. competitors are required to reform their government programs at the same time the U.S. reforms our own.  “America should lead by example,” he writes.

By “lead by example” he means unilateral disarmament.

That’s like one street gang challenging its rival to meet them at the high school football field for a rumble and telling them upfront, “Hey, we’re gonna leave our guns and knives at home and hope after seeing our good example you’ll follow our lead.”

On what planet does something that absurd make sense?

Mr. Williams goes on to claim the U.S. sugar program results in a “hidden tax” on American consumers “in our grocery bills” that drives up the cost “for thousands” of sugar-infused products.

It’s not hidden.  It’s non-existent.

The truth is the cost of a pound of American sugar today is almost exactly the same as it was when Ronald Reagan was president.  So if the cost of thousands of products with sugar as “a major ingredient” have skyrocketed over the years, it ain’t because of the cost of sugar.

Mr. Williams also falsely suggests that the cost of American sugar is the cause for candy and sweets manufacturers “to seriously consider moving facilities offshore to avoid a completely unnecessary government-imposed cost.”

While it’s true that many such manufacturers have moved their operations to other countries for a variety of reasons, the cost of sugar isn’t a major one.  Again, just look at the facts: American sugar today costs the same as it did some 30 years ago.

No, such companies are fleeing the U.S. because of ridiculously higher taxes, government over-regulation, labor costs and mandated government benefits (such as ObamaCare). Oh, and higher profits for shareholders. That’s the reality.

Mr. Williams’ idealized global “free market” is populated with unicorns and is viewed through rose-colored glasses.  The interests of American consumers, however, require that his free market nirvana be tempered by fair and balanced trade agreements, not unilateral disarmament.

While the current U.S. sugar program may not be perfect and is not ideal, it is based on global reality.  As such, Congress would be better off following Rep. Yoho’s lead and good example and enact government reforms that will truly revitalize our manufacturing industries and bring back American jobs.

Now THAT would be a sweet deal.