CITIZENS AGAINST GOVERNMENT WASTE BLASTS CLINTON ADMINISTRATION’S SUGAR BAILOUT

For Immediate Release Contact: Jim Campi or Aaron Taylor
May 16, 2000 (202) 467-5300

 

(Washington, D.C.) — John Frydenlund, Director of the Center for International Food and Agriculture Policy at Citizens Against Government Waste (CAGW), issued the following statement today in response to the Clinton Administration’s decision to purchase 150,000 tons of sugar to prop-up domestic sugar prices.

“It is outrageous that the White House caved in to the special interests and agreed to purchase 150,000 tons of sugar, which will cost taxpayers approximately $65 million.  The only plus to this action is that it clearly demonstrates that the U.S. sugar program is a colossal failure.  Finally, it debunks the greatest myth that producers have perpetrated on the U.S. public – that the sugar program does not cost taxpayers anything.

“This bailout will cost the taxpayers at least $65 million.  However, even the Clinton Administration acknowledges that this purchase will not help strengthen sugar prices.  In fact, the sugar lobby is already pushing for another purchase of sugar that will cost at least as much as this one, but likely closer to $100 million.

“To make matters worse, because the sugar will eventually be converted to ethanol which will displace sales of corn, the U.S. Department of Agriculture is already considering a similar purchase of corn to make up for lost corn sales.

“Then, what will they do with the corn?  They’ll end up dumping it on the market and displacing the sales of some other commodity, which the government will then have to purchase.  In other words, there is no end in sight to the government trying to correct a situation caused in the first place by the most ridiculous program ever created:  the U.S. sugar program.

“At least CAGW’s long-standing contention that the only ‘fix’ for the sugar program is to eliminate it has been proven to be true.”

The Center for International Food and Agriculture Policy was established in 1997 to implement CAGW’s long-standing goal of dismantling Depression-era agricultural price supports and regulations.  CAGW is a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization dedicated to eliminating waste, fraud, mismanagement and abuse in government.

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