Column By: Carl Hiaasen
Cut by cut, the forced budget reductions known as the sequester are beginning to affect millions of Americans. …
Still, not everyone who depends on the federal government is suffering in these austere times.
According to the Wall Street Journal, the USDA is on the verge of purchasing 400,000 tons of sugar in a massive bailout of domestic sugar processors. The move would cost taxpayers about $80 million.
It’s the sweetest of deals for the big companies that grow cane and beets. For years the government has guaranteed an artificially high price for American sugar, undercutting foreign competitors and inflating consumer prices for everything from soft drinks to breakfast cereal.
Last year, sugar processors under the price-support program borrowed $862 million from the USDA. The loans were secured with about 2 million tons of sugar that was expected to be harvested.
And the harvest was very good. Too good, apparently. The market got flooded.
Read the full column here.