Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Marco Rubio Believes National Security Depends On Continued Sugar Subsidies to Brazil

Rubio: Our National Security Depends on Sugar Subsidies
You may not know this, but Brazilian sugar is a threat to U.S. national security. At least, that is the view of Senator Marco Rubio (R., Fla.).
Image result for rubio sugar subsidies
Asked in August about his support for sugar subsidies, Rubio said he would eliminate them if “the countries that export sugar into the U.S. get rid of theirs as well, and here’s why:
Otherwise, Brazil will wipe out our agriculture and it’s not just sugar.” If we eliminate our sugar subsidies first, Rubio warned, “other countries will capture the market share, our agricultural capacity will be developed into real estate, you know, housing and so forth, and then we lose the capacity to produce our own food, at which point we’re at the mercy of a foreign country for food security.” Let’s try to untangle this.

If we get rid of sugar subsidies, Americans will turn their sugar farms into condominium lots and start buying sugar from foreigners, who will starve us until we surrender to ISIS. Or something like that. The federal sugar program, which consists of price supports, import quotas, loan guarantees, and other anti-market contrivances, costs $1.9 billion annually, according to an estimate by the GAO. The Coalition for Sugar Reform, which advocates the repeal of sugar subsidies, says the program has cost $15 billion since 2008.

American consumers must bear these costs for the privilege of buying sugar at more than twice the world rate. The benefits, meanwhile, accrue to the fewer than 4,500 domestic sugar producers. In 1934, the U.S. government decided to subsidize sugar on a “temporary” basis. As often happens in Washington, at some point in the intervening decades, “temporary” came to mean “forever.” The result is a system in which the less-than-1 percent enrich themselves at the expense of the 99-plus percent, thanks to unremitting bipartisan support. -subsidies

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