Sweet Deal – Rich Sugar Corps Cost Consumers Billions and Jobs

April 12, 2013 07:50

Sugar is less than 2% of crop value in the U.S. but sugar lobbyists spend over a third of all crop lobby money to bribe your government to continue this sweet deal. Companies that use sugar have closed U.S. factories which costs thousands of jobs no longer available to Americans due to this lobbying (bribery) by just a handful of sugar producers.

IBD Editorials points out:

“This racket benefits only a handful of sugar growers. The Government Accountability Office has found that a mere 1% of them get 42% of the program’s gifts. Perhaps the top beneficiary of this politically designed government planning is Florida’s Fanjul family. This is not some small operation, but a megabusiness that controls 40% of the state’s crop and gives generously to politicians from both parties.”

Hundreds of thousands of dollars and in some cases millions have ended up enriching politicians who vote for many costly farm subsidies. Shouldn’t they go to jail?

Brian Philips at Capitalism Magazine notes:

“What if competition was reduced or eliminated? What if there was a guaranteed market for a product? What if insurance was subsidized and these was an abundance of loan programs? If you are an American farmer, all of this and more is provided by the federal government’s farm programs.

… also provides marketing support, subsidizes crop insurance, and conducts research for farmers. These programs and services cost taxpayers up to $35 billion each year.[2]

… dairy programs cost consumers at least $1.5 billion per year ..

The agricultural lobby is one of the most powerful in Washington. For example, in 2008 agricultural interests donated $10.4 million to federal candidates.[6]

… government’s farm policies are often contradictory and frequently accomplish the exact opposite of their stated intentions.

On one hand, the government is enacting policies that encourage additional production, while on the other hand it is enacting policies that discourage production. And taxpayers get to the foot the bill no matter the program.


Consider what would occur if all government intervention in agriculture were abolished. Taxpayers would not be forced to subsidize agribusinesses and celebrity “hobby farmers.” (As one example, billionaire Ted Turner has received more than $200,000 in subsidies.) Consumers would not be forced to pay artificially inflated prices.”


The Environmental Working Group gave these horrendous examples of corruptocrats enriching themselves, friends and family at the expense of taxpayers:

Rep. Robert Aderholt (R-Ala.)

Aderholt’s wife, Caroline, is part of the ownership of McDonald Farms, which received $3,059,878 in federal farm subsidies in 1995-2009.

Rep. Stephen Fincher (R-Tenn.)
Fincher is listed as directly receiving $114,519 from USDA. Fincher’s farm, Stephen & Lynn Fincher Farms, is also in the database for 1995-1999, receiving $3,254,324 in farm subsidies 1999-2009.  Fincher and his wife Lynn are each 50 percent partners in the farm. EWG’s estimate of farm subsidies paid to Fincher and his wife is $3,368,843 between 1995 and 2009.

Rep. Vicky Hartzler (R-Mo.)
Hartzler is listed in the EWG Farm Subsidy Database but received no money. Her husband, Lowell Hartzler, is listed as a 98 percent owner of Hartzler Farms, which received $774,489 in 1995-2009.

Rep. Timothy Huelskamp (R-Kansas)

This farm is likely owned by his parents, Leroy and Estelle Huelskamp. H&H Farms received $1,169,499 in federal farm subsidies in 1995-2009.

Rep. Tom Latham (R-Iowa)

EWG’s estimate of farm subsidies paid to Latham, using the percentage share information provided to USDA, is $330,046 in 1995-2009.

Rep. Marlin Stutzman (R-Ind.)
Stutzman is listed as directly receiving $179,370 in subsidies in 1997-2009. His financial disclosure forms for 2009 list Stutzman Farms as generating a salary of $48,985.


One of the most egregious examples of wasteful spending on subsidies is the multibillion dollar ethanol scam.

From Al Gore presidential aspirations cost US $16 billion in worthless ethanol subsidies and caused world’s poor to pay more for food previously on usATIONnews:

Gore said “One of the reasons I made that mistake is that I paid particular attention to the farmers in my home state of Tennessee, and I had a certain fondness for the farmers in the state of Iowa because I was about to run for president.” -Reuters

Even though ethanol has been shown to have no environmental benefits and in fact harms the environment those who get rich of its subsidies don’t want it to go away. An Investors Business Daily article recently pointed out the problems with ethanol:

“A report by the Paris-based International Council for Science says clearing land for the production of biofuels has aggravated rather than ameliorated global warming. It releases nitrous oxide as well as CO2. Nitrous oxide is said to trap heat at a rate 300 times greater than an equal amount of CO2.”

“Even some environmentalists have gotten wise to the ethanol scam. The Environmental Working Group and five other groups not long ago came out against a further bailout. Subsidies “for corn-based ethanol,” they said, “have produced unintended, yet potentially catastrophic environmental consequences, with little or no return to taxpayers in energy security (or) protection from global warming.””

The ethanol subsidy program is up for renewal this year and its supporters are scrambling to get the lame duck congress to extend the $7 billion dollar a year boondoggle.

A 2007 National Center for Public Policy Research report titled ‘Thanks to Congress, Ethanol and Biofuel Mandates Cause Food Prices to Soar‘ said increased ethanol production was causing a rise in food prices and actually causes harm to the environment:

“Enter the U.S. Congress.  Driven by powerful agribusiness and ethanol lobby interests, Congress is dead-set on further raising the “renewable fuel standard” for ethanol and biofuels, showing little regard for inflated food prices, its impact on the poor, and the recent stream of scientific studies showing ethanol’s harmful impact on the environment.

If the energy bill currently in negotiations between the House and Senate passes, Americans will be required to increase their portion of ethanol-based fuel to 36 billion gallons by 2022, a monumental increase from the current 7.5 billion gallons mandate by 2012.  Twenty-one billion gallons of that must come from the still unproven, land-reliant “cellulosic” technology that turns cornstalks and switchgrass into ethanol.  The remaining 15 billion gallons must come from corn.

For what?  We have known for years that ethanol, like other “poster child” renewables that were supposed to end our dependence on oil, is not all that and a bag of corn chips.  More recently, we’ve learned its effect is even worse than we thought and that, as the OECD reports, “the cure [may be] worse than the disease.”9

Producing biofuels leaves a huge ecological footprint, exceeding that of fossil fuels.  The recent OECD report finds, “When… soil acidification, fertilizer use, biodiversity loss, and toxicity of agricultural pesticides are taken into account, the overall environmental impacts of ethanol and biofuels can very easily exceed those of petrol and mineral diesel.”10

Similarly, nitrous oxide released in the production of biofuels actually increases  greenhouse gas emissions – about twice as much as previously thought – and, in the view of Nobel Laureate scientist Paul Crutzen, is likely contributing to global warming.11

Moreover, ethanol requires enormous quantities of water, a valuable resource already in short supply in many areas of the nation.  Producing one gallon of ethanol fuel, including the water needed to grow corn, requires an astonishing 1,700 gallons of water, according to Cornell University ecology professor David Pimentel.12

As the New York Times recently summarized in an editorial on biofuel: “What’s wrong is letting politics – the kind that leads to unnecessary subsidies, the invasion of natural landscapes… and soaring food prices that hurt the poor – rather than sound science and sound economics drive America’s energy policy.”13

According to the Reuters article Gore admitted knowing of the increased food prices.

“The size, the percentage of corn particularly, which is now being (used for) first generation ethanol definitely has an impact on food prices.

“The competition with food prices is real.”

So we have the great environmental hypocrite admitting that his presidential ambitions were the deciding factor in creating a monstrously wasteful government program that not only was detrimental to the environment but caused millions of Americans and possibly billions of people around the world to have to pay higher food prices. Welcome to the politics of environmentalism.

As Jay Leno said, is it any wonder we are over $16 TRILLION in debt and escalating unbelievably fast?


Also please consider:

Sugar lobby costs consumers $3 billion a year

Thanks to Congress, Ethanol and Biofuel Mandates Cause Food Prices to Soar

Time to end the mother of all corporate welfare: ethanol subsidies

UN climate official admits climate hoax is about redistributing

Taxpayers subsidizing almost half of ethanol costs

Al Gore presidential aspirations cost US $16 billion in worthless ethanol subsidies and caused world’s poor to pay more for food

End Farm Subsidies

Close The Candy Store

Senators Supporting Ethanol Subsidies Reap Riches From Corn Interests

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