At least the corn guys are feeling a little, little, heat for their cronyism these days. But the sugar guys? Well, things are as crony sweet as ever. (Interestingly cronyism tastes bitter to the taxpayers who pay for it. Funny how that works.)
As if that were not enough to keep sugar producers’ nests nicely feathered, the Feedstock Flexibility Program requires that, in the case of a sugar surplus, the federal government must buy the excess sugar and sell it to ethanol plants (at a loss). In other words, American taxpayers who are already paying through the nose for artificially expensive sugar are also responsible for buying excess sugar, should sugar producers produce more than Americans want to buy (at exorbitant prices).
All this cronyism imposes a heavy cost on American consumers and businesses. A November 2017 study by the American Enterprise Institute estimated that the sugar program costs somewhere between $2.4 and $4 billion, while costing between 17,000 and 20,000 jobs annually. Around 600,000 Americans are employed in the food and baking industries, and these industries are harmed greatly by artificially high sugar prices.
It’s a legal jack. Theft with the cover of government. Why should we be paying these guys a dime?