Sen. Lugar once again pushes for sugar program reform


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By Agri-Pulse staff

© Copyright Agri-Pulse Communications, Inc.


WASHINGTON, March 31 - With sugar prices at record highs, Senator Dick Lugar (R-Ind.) is once again taking aim at the U.S. sugar program.


“The New Deal-era sugar program has been big government at its worst for decades,” Lugar explained in a release touting the “Lugar Free Sugar Act of 2011. “It picks the pocket of every American with a hidden tax, drives jobs overseas, and enriches a handful of powerful sugar producers in the United States. It is one of the worst forms of government interventionism in America.”


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“Cutting sugar subsidies was among the first votes I took in the Senate in 1977,” said Lugar, who is the former Chairman and most senior Republican on the Senate Agriculture Committee. “We have made several efforts to further cut wasteful sugar programs and reform the entire Farm Bill.  With more Members of Congress willing to take on reform efforts, it is time to finish the job.”


“Every American business that makes candies, ice cream, cookies, bread, or sells lattes, sandwiches, or cupcakes, is paying more than twice the world market price for sugar because of this hidden tax,” Lugar said. “American consumers pay for this tax, while more and more sugar users are being driven out of business because of off-shore producers who don't have to pay high prices dictated by the U.S. government.”


The “Lugar Free Sugar Act of 2011” would repeal the obtrusive and expensive sugar program to free United States sugar markets from federal government intervention and free American citizens from paying artificially high prices. 


“Every time Hoosiers see sugar listed as a food ingredient, they should know that they are paying more than they need to because of the current federal sugar program.” Lugar said. “I still manage my family's 604-acre farm in Marion County, so I understand the challenges of competing. Yet, I also know that government intervention to keep prices high for a small group of powerful farming interests violates the free market concept of the American economy.”


The Lugar Free Sugar Act of 2011 is supported by a growing number of groups representing wide interests in saving consumers money, supporting job creation, and reducing unnecessary government intervention.  Endorsements so far include: Kendallville Kraft facility, Aunt Millie's, Competitive Enterprise Institute, National Taxpayer's Union, American Bakers Association, Emergency Committee for American Trade, Everglades Trust, Grocery Manufacturers Association, Independent Bakers Association, International Dairy Foods Association, National Association of Manufacturers, National Confectioners Association, National Foreign Trade Council, Retail Bakers of America, Snack Food Association, Sweetener Users Association, and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.


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