Donald Trump has announced he plans to stop eating Oreos because Nabisco is moving its Chicago plant to Mexico, and 600 residents will lose their jobs without anyone violating our border.
For the first time in recent history this may cause the federal government to express support of The Donald, since the Dept. of Agriculture has been hectoring Americans to cut back on sugar and desserts for decades.
But that won’t help the workers now looking for work.
Most Americans who travel internationally don’t visit the grocery store to check the price on a 5–pound bag of sugar, but if they did, the traveler would learn we pay the highest prices for sugar in the world. The reason: The federal government guarantees U.S. sugar producers a minimum price, and it slaps a tariff on imported sugar to raise the price to match that of U.S. producers.
The sugar lobby claims this costs taxpayers nothing, but that’s a lie. We pay for the program every time we buy a bag of sugar and every time we buy a product that has inflated–price sugar as one of the ingredients.
That’s why Oreos are out of here, and the workers are out of work. It’s less expensive for Nabisco to move to Mexico and buy cheaper sugar and then ship the cookies back to the States than it is to make Oreos here.
Now a bipartisan group of 17 senators has introduced a bill to end this giveaway. The Daily Caller reports one of the sponsors asserts: ““The [sugar subsidy] program has already cost consumers more than $14 billion since 2008 and meanwhile, 125,000 jobs in sugar- using industries have been lost since 1997.”
And that’s also why the fight is an uphill struggle. The benefits from that $14 billion are showered on a relative handful of sugar producers who will fight to the last cookie to keep their corporate welfare coming, while the costs are spread over hundreds of millions of Americans who pay the bill a little bit at a time. The Americans also don’t make campaign contributions in the amount the sugar cartel does either.
This program is such a boondoggle that in 2013 it “led to a nearly $300 million bailout of the sugar industry . . . when the federal government was forced to buy hundreds of thousands of tons of sugar to protect sugar processors from default.”
Sugar subsidies are also why soft drink manufacturers went from using sugar to using corn syrup as a sweetener, which some nutritionists claim is contributing to America’s obesity epidemic.
There is simply no excuse for this exercise in crony capitalism to continue. Sugar doesn’t deserve a subsidy any more than aspartame does. It’s time to get the government out of the cane field and let the market take its place.
Michael Reagan is the son of President Ronald Reagan. He is president of The Reagan Legacy Foundation and chairman of the League of American Voters. Mike is an in-demand speaker with Premiere. Read more reports from Michael Reagan — Go Here Now.