TAXPAYER WATCHDOG GROUP TESTIFIES AGAINST SUGAR SUBSIDIES IN SENATE HEARING | Citizens Against Government Waste

TAXPAYER WATCHDOG GROUP TESTIFIES AGAINST SUGAR SUBSIDIES IN SENATE HEARING

Press Release

For Immediate ReleaseContact: Jim Campi
June 25, 2000(202) 467-5300

 

(Washington, D.C.) – John Frydenlund, Director of the Center for International Food and Agriculture Policy at the Council for Citizens Against Government Waste, will testify Wednesday on federal sugar subsides before the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry.  The hearing will take place 8:30 AM in 216 Hart Senate Office Building.  Following are exeprts from Mr. Frydenlund's prepared testimony:

"For years, the sugar lobby has successfully deceived the public into believing that the sugar program has no cost.  However, the truth has finally come out.  The Clinton Administration’s decision to purchase sugar to prop-up domestic sugar prices finally debunks the greatest myth that producers have perpetrated on the U.S. public – that the sugar program does not cost taxpayers anything.

"The Clinton Administration’s mid-session budget review shows that from 2000 through 2005, the sugar program will cost taxpayers ¾ not consumers, taxpayers ¾ a cumulative $1 billion.  The White House agreed in May to purchase 132,000 tons of sugar, which will cost taxpayers approximately $54 million.  However, this is only the beginning.  The Clinton Administration acknowledged that this purchase would not help strengthen sugar prices.

"The U.S. Department of Agriculture made this situation worse by mismanaging the tariff-rate quota (TRQ) for sugar.  Sugar processors used their clout to pressure USDA to announce a TRQ that would permit them to forfeit sugar to the government if they wished.

"If USDA had followed the intent of the law last fall, taxpayers would not be paying for sugar purchases now.  The big processors could have still gotten the loans, but they would have had to pay them back with real money, not sugar.

"Even before this year’s fiasco, the General Accounting Office (GAO) found that USDA raised sugar costs for users and consumers $400 million higher than would have been necessary to hold sugar prices at the artificially high levels required by law.  In other words, USDA has added another $400 million to the consumer tax for sugar."

CCAGW is the lobbying arm of Citizens Against Government Waste, a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization dedicated to eliminating waste, fraud, mismanagement and abuse in government.

 

 

Sign Up For Email Updates


Optional Member Code