Saturday, November 3, 2007

Big Sugar is a Big Sugar Daddy:

Big Bucks to Pols Who Help
Keep Prices Artificially High

Big Sugar is a Big Sugar Daddy.

We hear much talk about the evil of "Big Oil". But one industry with a much higher profit margin than Big Oil is Big Sugar. Political contributions from the sugar industry ensure consumers foot the bill. U.S. consumers pay much higher prices for sugar--and every food item that takes processed sugar--than they would have to if Big Sugar's wasn't protected by market forces of supply and demand.

It's been estimated that the price consumers pay for sugar is twice as high as it would be if Big Sugar weren't pampered by the politicians that get Big Money from this Big Sugar Daddy. More from Dan Morgan, at the Washington Post:
When U.S. sugar farmers needed help this summer defending a $1 billion, 10-year subsidy plan in a new House farm bill, they found it in some surprising places.

Among the 282 lawmakers siding with Midwest and Gulf Coast growers on a key vote was Rep. Carolyn B. Maloney (D-N.Y.), who represents Queens and Manhattan's East Side. The only sugar refinery in the New York area is well outside her district.

Four days after she voted against a measure that would have derailed the new subsidy plan, Maloney hosted a fundraising event at Bullfeathers restaurant on Capitol Hill that netted $9,500 in contributions from sugar growers and refiners, according to Federal Election Commission records and Maloney's election attorney, Andrew Tulloch. Tulloch called the timing of the July 31 fundraiser -- dubbed a "sugar breakfast" on the campaign finance report of one group -- a "pure coincidence."

Pure coincidence?

How can spinners say such things with a straight face?
So far this year, nine sugar farm or refinery groups have made more than 900 separate contributions totaling nearly $1.5 million to candidates, parties and political funds, according to federal election records and CQ MoneyLine. American Crystal Sugar Co., a Minnesota-based sugar-beet cooperative with 3,000 members, has made 317 contributions totaling $819,000. In July alone, its political fund contributed more than $70,000 to 26 House members, 24 of whom sided with it on the July 27 sugar vote.

The sugar industry contributes heavily to politicians, the politicians contribute heavily to the sugar industry, using trade legislation to allow sugar prices to be artificially high. Nice arrangement for both, bad arrangement for working families trying to squeeze another dollar out of the food budget.

Americans are being asked to foot the bill every time they have a candy bar or take the top off the sugar jar. They've been shouldering this burden for a long time.

Big Sugar Daddy is spooning out Big Bucks to see it remains that way.

by Mondoreb


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