But it’s difficult, because the sugar growers are well-organized while consumers, the real losers here, are diffused across the country.
“As long as the government has the ability to hand out favors to some industries and punish others, resources will be diverted away from productive private-sector activities to fund lobbying campaigns in Washington, D.C.,” as Heritage’s Bryan Riley puts it.
Sugar’s not a big deal in the grand scheme of things. The country needs to throw off the yoke of ObamaCare, needs better tax policy, needs to reduce spending and reform entitlements. But a long journey involves both big steps and small ones.
Ending the sugar subsidy program would allow lawmakers to see that they can roll back a subsidy without the sky falling in on them. They could then take the next logical step and reform all farm subsidies. That would begin piling up savings, opening up markets and saving food shoppers money.
As another Halloween comes and goes, the one thing that just won’t die is the sugar subsidy. “This Depression-era program, which was supposed to end in 1940, has outlived its intended lifespan by 72 years,” Heritage’s Riley concludes. “It should be abolished.” That would be a sweet deal for all of us.