Leaves Bitter Taste in Taxpayers\’ Mouths
WASHINGTON- Americans for Tax Reform today condemned the Clinton Administration\’s decision to burden taxpayers with a $60 million purchase of 150,000 tons of sugar.
"This bailout is Clinton-Gore\’s election-year sweetener for the large sugar producers, but it is a bitter pill for taxpayers," said Grover Norquist, president of Americans for Tax Reform.
"The sugar price support system is a disaster which is hemorrhaging millions of dollars every year," Norquist continued. "It was one of the few agricultural programs untouched by the historic 1996 Farm Bill and it needs to be eliminated. Even Agriculture Secretary Dan Glickman has acknowledged that the sugar program is unworkable."
The federal sugar program operates as a price-fixing system, shielding the relatively few large sugar producers from the market laws of supply and demand. The program\’s survival depends on a powerful lobbying machine, which so far has succeeded in protecting it from any meaningful reform.
The federal sugar program costs taxpayers over a billion dollars a year in inflated prices. This 150,000-ton purchase will raise sugar prices even more, with resultant cost increases for industries dependent on sugar, such as confectioners.