Policies set by the Department of Agriculture inflate the price of sugar, benefitting only a handful of sugar producers and processors. While the sugar cartel receives no direct subsidies, Americans still pick up the tab in the form of higher sugar costs.
The sugar program “costs consumers an estimated $3.5 billion annually and has reduced employment by more than 127,000 jobs since 1997,” Mario Loyola explains in a new Heritage Foundation report:
Eliminating the sugar program would dramatically lower America’s food bill, not just for sugar, but for all foods that contain sugar. Indeed, lowering the wholesale costs for makers of sugar-containing products would make these secondary producers globally competitive again, leading to an export boom for their products with positive consequences both at home and abroad.
He suggests three steps to dismantle the government-created cartel and save Americans money:
- Substantially reform the sugar program or eliminate it altogether;
- Require the Congressional Budget Office to assess the economic costs and benefits of all price-support programs; and
- Change all programs that effectuate a forced transfer, like the sugar program does, to a form of transparent subsidy.
Do you think the government should protect special interests and pass on the costs to consumers like you?