David Frum

05.20.13

Why Are American Taxpayers Subsidizing Sugar?

Three senators are heroically attempting to reduce federal government price supports for America's sugar industry. Roll Call's Niels Lesniewski writes:

[Sen. Mark] Kirk is one of three senators leading a push to reduce price-support levels for sugar. Sens. Jeanne Shaheen, D-N.H., Patrick J. Toomey, R-Pa., and Kirk will reintroduce their sugar program overhaul as an amendment to this year’s farm bill after it reaches the Senate floor Monday afternoon.

Uwe Hermann (Flickr) ()

This effort will almost certainly fail, and it won't be the first time common-sense efforts like this fallen short. Why, you ask?

The American Crystal Sugar Company PAC has given out $567,500 to federal candidates and committees in 2013

Ah, right. Subsiziding sugar, like the federal government's Soviet-style dairy program, brings a financial burden and environmental costs that are totally unacceptable. I'd support ending the current farm subsidy system entirely, but even a modest phasedown should be cheered.

On this issue, President Obama is totally in the right. Kill sugar subsidies.