The General Accounting Office estimated that domestic sugar producers reaped about $1 billion in 1998 as are result of this policy. However, 42 percent of the total benefits to sugarcane and sugar beet growers went to just one percent of all producers; indeed, just seventeen sugarcane farms collected over half of all the cane growers’ benefits.
So let’s say someone on your Christmas List is lucky and up there in The Iniquitous 1%™. Let’s furthermore assume that She/He/IT cares about the 99%™ almost as much as Senator Warren and Ward Churchill bleed Indian Red, but not quite. What do you get the ruthless, plutocratic (expletive) that has everything for Christmas? The answer is obvious. !More Government!
Here’s how Proud Republican Congressman Tom Rooney helps fill the stocking of Amerikan Agri-OPEC. Taking to the pages of THe Daily Caller, COngressman ROoney brags about his distortion of the American agricultural market through the continued imposition of sugar tariffs below.
Like most conservatives, I don’t like subsidies or government intervention in markets. But I do like U.S. sugar policy, which, according to some, runs counter to these core conservative ideals. America’s sugar policy has my support and the support of so many other conservatives because it’s the best line of defense we have against an OPEC-like market that threatens our food security and 142,000 U.S. jobs.
So in order to protect 142,000 domestic sugar growers, Congressman Rooney and his allies cause the domestic consumers of sugar to pay 56.22 cents per pound instead of 31.68. This adds up to $3.85Bn per year the American people lose just to keep Congressman Rooney’s big-shot Agri-Business buddies rolling in the lucre.
With sugar prices elevated, people sweeten foods with High-Fructose Corn Syrup instead. This is wonderful for Iowa Caucus Farmers, but not so much for the general population getting stuck with artificially high prices. This is a classic example of having the government arbitrarily intervene in the market and select winners with no regard to the actual quality of the products for sale. It’s the sort of thing crazy, foam-flecked, right-wing bloggers* take those nasty, Lib-rawl Democrats to task for all the time.
Of course nobody listens to those crazies on the blogs. They don’t speak on honest principal. They just spew the party line. And after watching Congressman Rooney go on the Daily Caller and justify government intervention into the sugar market on behalf of soul-sucking agri-business giants, I can understand why people believe everything I’ve written in the first two sentences of this paragraph. It’s not like the contributors who bought Congressman Rooney that seat were in the market for a smaller, less activist government.
So yep, I’m forming up the circular firing-squad. I’m putting childish, imaginary principals over practical things like being “bi-partisan here” or “going along to get along”. I believe in Santa Claus, The Tooth-Fairy and the existence of legitimate economic conservatism. Silly Me! Don’t I know these political arguments are just Potemkin constructs and that everybody will just get passed their fat envelope in the end?
It would be awesome if we actually had a legitimate political debate in Amerika still. It would be reaffirming if there was still a hill somewhere in the moiled, muddy ruins of the political battlefield upon which a Republican member of Congress had the guts to dig in, fight hard and die. I’d hate to think that the 2 million or so hypothetical conservative voters who sat home and watched Barack Obama, Clair McCaskill, Benjamin Cardin, Sheldon Whitehouse and numerous other odious Oligarchs get reelected to rob us yet more actually had a point.
*- Like Repair_Man_Jack for example.