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Big Sugar: Sanders And Rubio Share A Sweet Tooth

August 25, 2015

By Preston Cooper and Jared Meyer

U.S. Senator and Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders (I-VT) wants to portray himself as a fierce opponent of the status quo in Washington. He regularly excoriates American corporations for not paying their “fair share” of taxes and for buying politicians. Earlier this summer, he was the sole member of the Democratic caucus to vote against reauthorizing the Export-Import Bank, an indefensible outlet for corporate welfare. But on one issue, Sanders walks in lockstep with the political establishment on Capitol Hill—Uncle Sam’s sugar-buying scheme.

The federal program that resembles a Soviet Union relic works as follows: the U.S. Department of Agriculture guarantees a price floor for American sugar, below which it spends hundreds of millions of dollars to buy up excess sugar and bump the price back up to the minimum. Uncle Sam then sells the sugar at a steep discount to ethanol producers. Limits on imports also artificially prop up the prices that domestic sugar producers can charge.

American consumers get fleeced on two fronts. Not only must they foot the bill for the subsidy scheme, they also have to pay higher prices at the grocery store for sugar, cakes, and confections.

Read the full article at Economics 21: Big Sugar: Sanders And Rubio Share A Sweet Tooth

Issue Categories : Agriculture, Corporate Welfare