To Top

When a Subsidy Isn’t a Subsidy…and When It Is

In a Red State blog post today, Daniel Horowitz voices objections to the Farm Bill (S 954) because, among other things, it “contains sugar subsidies.”

No, it doesn’t.

Tariffs aren’t subsidies. Tariffs are a tax on imported products. Subsidies are payments to agricultural producers with taxpayer dollars.

Not a single taxpayer dollar has been spent on sugar for the past decade because unlike other crops, sugar farmers don’t get subsidy checks.

We can argue the policy of tariffs on subsidized IMPORTED sugar, but it does the debate no good to call an apple an orange.

The real discussion regarding the sugar program should be how to eliminate the tariffs on imported sugar while simultaneously eliminating actual subsidies foreign nations provide to their own sugar industries; a field-leveling strategy that is being referred to as the zero-for-zero policy.